"I am at a loss to conceive how a man should permit himself to write anything that would be truly disgraceful to a woman, or why a woman should be censured for writing anything that would be proper and becoming for a man."

31 December 2010

Throwaway the Year

"Is 'all right' special Timelord code for 'really not all right at all?'"
"'Cause I'm all right, too."

Agreeing with this post, I would like to offer a big FUCK. YOU. to this past year. January came and went leaving me jobless and stressed with a show. Oh yes, and began a still-ongoing purgatory of not knowing whether I can stay in my home as my landlords endeavor to sell the property. February graciously gave me a new job with friends who have become closer and co-workers who have become friends. As stressful and anti-what-I-want-from-life as it is, I think what I am most thankful for this year is that job.
March acted as March always does - a hellacious reign of suck, topped off by the death of my grandmother, my last grandparent and my closest non-immediate relative. Yeah.
April brought about my largest tax bill yet, which I will likely be paying off for another two years since despite having a steady paycheck filed under the correct status (and including benefits), I'm deeper in debt now than I ever have been before. May brought more suckiness, though for all its failings and being the first year I haven't been home for my birthday, or to my second home up north, my birthday itself begat an awesome party with awesome people. June and July were passable, and I got to see my mom which eased the not going home in May travesty a bit. August through early November saw the most intense, grueling, impassioned theatre project I've ever been involved in... and the following month and a half have been spent attempting to recover from those four months, along with insanely busy times at work and some of the most turbulent emotional issues I've tried to cope with in years.
Yeah. 2010, you sucked. Big time. I will not miss you at all.
Yet for all your screwing me and the rest of the world over, there are a few items I will remember fondly:
Previously mentioned new job and all the new and expanded friendships
This blog
A new Doctor who (very thankfully) is truly fantastic
The Huntington
Celebrations at the house -- and a house to have celebrations in
Writing as an escape when I needed it most

So here's what I intend for 2011. Following with long-standing tradition I have a few goals, resolutions if you must:
Write more
Read more
Create more
Find more positivity in life
Trust my instincts more
Plus a couple I won't mention here

More than these goals, however, what I will endeavor to do is shake off this past year. The universe has ever-delighted in playing games with me and continually screwing over myself and those I care most about. What it is about me that carries the target for 'step on me, crush me, screw me over, and laugh all the while' which fate continues to hit with deadly accuracy I may never know. I do know this, though: whatever hell occurs, it can always get worse and instead of dealing with it or ignoring it, next year I intend to act in the form of my namesake, my astrological sign, and my general personality... I intend to fight back. I do not expect anything in my life to get easier or better; I've learned enough to know that's not my lot in life. However, as I've learned with time and progress and experience, being upset, depressed, accepting, etc. for me are unproductive emotions. Being pissed on the other hand, that gives me fire. It gives me energy and passion, planning and action.
2010, you fucked with me like no other. 2011, you're about to get fucked.

Yeah, that's my pep talk.

Happy Fucking New Year!

30 December 2010

Planes and Princes...

By a certain point in life, one sometimes believes they know themselves well enough; that random epiphanies and revelations occur only to later turn out as extensions of what we already know. Yet then the right set of ideas, circumstances, emotions and frame of mind align and we experience something we might have begun to think impossible: a new revelation about ourselves.
This revelation, however it happens, can occur due to a shattering life experience. However, though it may be through my own limited experience of the world and the people I know, often these revelations come at the oddest and seemingly most mundane times. One such revelation emerged piece by piece over the past week, though the bulk of it formed over the course of plane trips to and from my hometown for the holidays. While it's too personal a revelation to speak of right now, too close to my emotional core, for the sake of expanding on the randomness of revelation I'll elaborate a tad on what concepts and items of inspiration led to the ultimate realization.
The holidays, as we grow up, fire within many of us deep rooted memories, emotions, familial ties, traditions -- whether good or bad, we constantly grapple with the past and either fight or strive to work towards or against that past. I have yet to meet anyone who treats the holiday season with complete ambivalence, and if I ever do I'm likely to even chalk that emotion up to influences from their past. Combine this with the stress of life, work, money, relationships, adulthood -- all those things we deal with on a daily basis -- amplified by the rush and fervor of the season and it's already a cocktail for examination of our lives.
Flying always causes a certain amount of reflection for me, mostly because I'll think of anything to keep me from focusing on the miraculous and always potentially horrific science and luck that allows us to fly. It's one of those commonalities of modern life which I refrain from contemplating too much lest I go mad with the knowledge of all that can go wrong.
The final unexpected ingredient in the revelation cocktail is reading. As I get older I have this horrendous habit of seeing reading not as a necessity, a productive activity which spurs on my mind and endeavours through enjoyment and enlightenment, but a time consuming activity which yields less than more important activities like paying bills, doing laundry, overworking myself, looking at facebook, and speed-watching TV. Erroneous and ludicrous a concept as that is, it's a trap I find myself in more and more these past few years. Then I pick up a book and invest myself in reading it and I realize once again how insane I've been for ever seeing reading as a chore, or worse, an utterly unproductive activity.
This particular trip I chose the first in a series of novels on Plantagenet England and Wales, Here Be Dragons. An historical and imaginative novel, it chronicles the story of kings Richard and his brother John, their kin, and the parallel stories of Llewellyn Fawr and his kin -- centering primarily around Llewellyn's story and his marriage to John's illegitimate daughter. The story and characters fed into sections of my mind and emotions I hadn't allowed myself access to in a long time, and as a result, in combination with all other factors, caused me to stumble headlong into my newest revelation.
It's comforting and terrifying at this juncture to realize myself still capable of discovering new aspects of myself and the world around me. Even more than that, it's inspiring.

21 December 2010

Holiday Stress Relief

Most people know that, for various and sundry reasons, the holiday season presses down on us with stress like an older brother presses down on a head-locked sibling. Far from having immunity to these stresses, this week I am exceptionally grateful for not only my office co-workers, but for our newfound form of stress relief thanks to a holiday party gift exchange. During the exchange, filled with fighting and yelling and cajoling over a myriad of cool items (and booze), one item landed itself blessedly into the hands of one of the office staff. Since its arrival on Friday, two other staffers, myself included, have run out to their nearest big box retailer to purchase this ultimate tool in stress relief:

Since Friday afternoon this little toy has brought untold joy and excitement to more than half the staff. We've had shooting competitions involving everything from moving ducks drawn on white boards to targeting by facing backwards with a mirror to straight out regular skill and luck. And yes, shooting these little buggers has a bit to do with luck. It's not an exact science. However, for such an affordable source of fun (and with a few modifications which are already being executed -- and some personal decorating which will happen soon), one can excuse the lack of a completely accurate, scientific and logistical method to firing off several rounds of this magnificent little time waster.

Some offices have pool and Foosball. Some even have arcade games. We have Nerf guns, and damned if we don't have just as much fun with our little six-shooters as any group of kids (or college students playing humans vs. zombies) would.

15 December 2010

Dreamy Writing

After almost a week of dreams involving nothing but work (grading, proctoring, answering phones that never stop ringing... it's just like being there only worse) and traffic (when you live in a major Metro area with a two-hour daily commute, you will occasionally dream about traffic *sigh*), between 5:40 and 6:30 yesterday morning I experienced the most uplifting dream -- about writing.
I basically got a pep talk from an unexpected source who encouraged me to write and write and write, while said source made me food. I had needs being taken care of by someone other than myself AND encouragement to do what I love. This is something I am so not used to that when my alarm went off I did that thing we do when we want a dream to linger. I smacked the alarm off, leaned back in bed, closed my eyes, sighed and tried to re-envision any and all parts of the dream. More importantly I tried to hold on to the feelings it stirred in me. On the surface those feelings held out until about twenty minutes into my day at work, but in a deeper, more hidden place those feelings took hold. If they had not, I believe I would not be sitting here writing right now.
Whatever theories exist on dreams and their meanings and effect on our conscious mind, the fact remains that when a dream impacts you deeply in any way, you can use that dream and its associated feelings. Channeling those emotions and thoughts can lead to great and terrible ideas and actions, but ignoring the power of them ignores a primal aspect of our emotional and mental make-up. For me as a writer, to ignore the tales my subconscious spins is like ignoring the lighting ideas which strike without warning and the most random times. Inspiration comes in only so many forms and we have to grab it where we can.
So thanks, dream buddy, for instilling a little more writer's courage in me... and for making me realize I deserve (and may even need) someone in my life who is that supportive. There's been far too much 'me' time in my head lately. Time to let others inside there to rummage around a bit.

14 December 2010

Open Heart, Insert Fist... then remove and move on.

It's amazing what occurs in our minds when faced with realizations and information to major questions we've been coping with for months. Sometimes what we feel might most damage us when our worst possible (or close to it) imaginings come to pass turns out to, in the end, only make us chuckle, shake our head, think, "I knew it," and prepare to carry on. When you've already prepared yourself for the worst in your mind over and over again and dealt time after time with the emotional beatings of what that final piece of information will do to destroy you, you may have already processed that poor piece of news without realizing. Thus when the time comes to hear and accept that information you're much better equipped having already imagined the scenario, as well as experiencing satisfaction at finally having a semi-definitive answer.
I'm not talking about horrendous life happenings like losing a loved one or getting news about health or any sudden, unexpected wretched news. I mean those situations and desires we build up in our minds and psyches to the point they nearly drive us mad. All we want is an answer, preferably something to give us hope or even more, but you reach a point where the answer matters more than the desire ever did. For me, a curious thing has occurred: I got the answer, not a surprising one yet certainly not the one I wanted; yet while I won't pretend to be happy about it, there's a satisfaction in just having any answer and since I already played out the seeming inevitability of emotional destruction in my mind, repeatedly, instead of feeling crushed (which I do a bit, let's be honest, we never like not getting what we want and believe we need) there's a sense of freedom. Almost power. The situation no longer needs to control me; I can control it and how I react to it from here on out.
I never expected to feel so empowered by devastation, and there may be some lesson on my personal psychology in there, but I've never been much for psychoanalysis. All I know is that I thought I would be broken, and while there will be some breaking and scar tissue formations to come I am sure, right now I feel not just able to cope but to overcome.

13 December 2010

"When I figure out what that means I'll come up with a crushing reply."

If I could only work my head around and/or through some Serious Life Thoughts, I might be able to regain a sense of my Writer's Voice and Purpose. Right now I'm swimming in a sea of emotional and mental fog of my own, combined with my sympathetic tendencies entangling me in the turmoil of others, some of whom I can help but am not allowed to for various reasons, and others of whom I just cannot.
These past several weeks have once again shown me all the downsides of being a semi-social, impeccably internal, deeply sympathetic over-thinker. It's the over thinking aspect which kills the ability to write. Everything else could, feasibly, be a trigger for writing, something to spur me on or provide inspiration. Instead, all these swirling thoughts cause me to be mired in an eternal battle inside my head where I go over detail after detail, concept after concept and arrive at less of a conclusion than I began with -- it's like living in between the foggy words of Heart of Darkness in my head.
Not nearly as appealing as it may sound to writers and bibliophiles...

07 December 2010

"That would be cool if you were actually hot."

Succeeded but not happy with what was accomplished during NaNoWriMo. This I knew would happen, and I'm not at all upset that I tried, I just have that perfectionist drive that is disappointed I didn't overcome everything in life to write The Book of Awesome.

Closed a show and then nearly passed out from exhaustion for almost three weeks following.
Yeah... need to try and never do that again unless I'm being paid Fair Market Value for my skills.

Gained and then lost all ability to be creative, thereby causing an emotastic funk which I'm still trying to work out of... to little success thus far.

Had one pop culture reference slip through my brain and immediately felt a surge to do nothing but watch TV and movies for weeks on end to regain a sense that my title of Pop Culture Maven stays deserved. Have yet to give in to this impulse, but it's terribly difficult.

Experiencing Deep Thoughts about life, most of which are sobering and in no way inspiring for creativity or anything other than drowning my sorrows in staring into space whenever given the chance.

This is a girl who needs to get motivated, find positivity in her life, and get the hell out of L.A. for a while to regain a sense of the world at large and not this insane melting pot of crazy which breeds Emo like mold breeds itself.

More Like This: