Michelle and I went to see the Hide/Seek exhibit at the National Portrait Gallery today. One piece in particular, AA Bronson's "Felix, June 5, 1994", really hit me hard. I stood there for a long time, looking at the face of a man who died of an AIDS-related illness 17 years ago, who was so wasted away when it happened that he was no longer able to even close his eyes.

The description from the artist, paraphrased, was that he was surrounded by all his favourite things: his tape recorder, his cigarettes, his television remote. Such little things, so much life broken down into things he could have next to him on his bed while his body ate itself alive. Did he smoke out of habit, did he need to to get by, or was it more of a "screw you", something he did because it was never going to have the chance to kill him slowly? Was the tape recorder for taping himself? His friends? Did he listen to music, or was he trying to leave messages for the people he loved? Did it mean anything at all to him as a tape recorder, or was it just something he recognized, something that was his, that he could have near? Was the tv remote some last vestige of control over his life, a connection to the world that was leaving him behind, that HE was leaving, that still didn't really care why he was dying at all? Or did he just like reruns?

I don't know any of that. I know that his picture looked like Jim, the man my Mom used to clean for in Hilo, who died of AIDS-related pneumonia and a wasting disease I never knew the name of in 1993. I know he made me think of Marc, who taught me how to use a potter's wheel, who turned to say something to his husband Glenn in 1994, and dropped dead of an aneurysm. The shirt he was wearing reminded me of one that my neighbour down the street would have worn, vibrant and full of motion. Paul was a dancer on Broadway, and he moved to Hawaii with his boyfriend, Lonnie, in 1994. He died of AIDS-related lymphoma three months after they moved in. I could never understand how the man who couldn't remember where he was, who could barely move from the couch to the dining room chair, could possible be the man in the pictures on the wall, caught in mid-flight on stage.

I looked at the piece for a long time. I know that the impact of it, of seeing someone stripped down to the bone by illness and death, felt like someone was hitting me in the chest because I was thinking about my Gram, and my Dad, and my friend Deniz. I know that a large part of my reaction was me co-opting the portrait and warping it through the lens of my own current and past experiences, but I also know that his eyes were open, and he was surrounded by his favourite things, and someone cared enough about him to make other people stop, and look at him.

So I stopped, and I looked him in the face. I felt like he deserved that much.

You can see the portrait here. (Warning, you may find the image disturbing)
an_sceal: (Live nude women)
"To avoid criticism, do nothing, say nothing, be nothing."
--Elbert Hubbard


It's not a quote I've ever seen before, but it's one that resonates with me. I am (as I think many people are) constantly checking to see if something I've done or said is worthy of criticism. Being wrong is scary. Being corrected always makes me think that everyone feels that I'm an idiot. I hesitate before I state an outright opinion, not because I don't want to be wrong, but because I don't want anyone to see me being wrong. I know people change their minds all the time, yet I am convinced that if I do so after having expressed an opinion on something, someone will think I'm uninformed, that I can't make up my mind, that I don't understand the issue.

I know exactly where this fear comes from. I could probably recreate two particular scenes down to what I was wearing, but I'll spare you the childhood trauma.

Sometimes, I am wrong. I don't have to like it, but I don't have to hide from it either. If you really are that person, the one with the invisible Reesa scorecard who keeps track of everything I've ever said, and the ways in which I later changed my mind or outright contradicted myself? Have fun.

If you'll excuse me, I have something to go be wrong about.
The daystar has beaten down upon me, and lo, I have fallen in love with the world again.

Amazing how 15 minutes of sitting in the sun and grass, knitting and listening to music, will improve your day. I feel like the universe just gave me a big hug.

Hooray!
Well.

My closet is cleaned out even MORE, rearranged, and the will of the people has spoken- I have caved and bought hanging cubbies, and folded all my t-shirts.

I have a fucking LOT of t-shirts. (Though fewer now than I did when I started.)

The never-ending and ever-growing stack of papers next to my chaise lounge is cleaned up and mostly sorted. There is still yarn everywhere. There is still roving everywhere. There are boxes and bags of trash, that would be much more convenient to get rid of if I could just drop them out the window, rather than drag them down three flights of stairs and out to the curb.

OOOooOOooO! Dude, I CAN drop them out my window, if I just wheel the dumpster up to the front walk! <--my lazy, let me show you it.

Found the pattern for the first sweater I was working on!!!!! Yayness! Now I can actually FINISH it at some point! It was super simple- basically just a bunch of neatly decreased scarves sewn into a figure eight. I have some beautiful Mountain Mohair from Green Mountain Spinnery, in this amazing blue that words and pictures cannot do justice.

I haven't written a word of fiction all weekend, nor have I spun anything. But my closet is clean, and I march forward in the great decuttering of '08, so it's not a total loss.

And that's about it. Tomorrow, I get an [livejournal.com profile] interminable, for three weeks! *bounce* I can't wait!
HOMG.

Wireless print server that works.

Creation of the GODS.

Stupid.

Jan. 28th, 2008 10:58 pm
So this month, I paid every credit card bill twice. No, not in some awesome attempt to get myself out of debt, though that's in the works. Sadly, I just paid my bills twice because I'm a fucking moron.

Meanwhile, the cable bill? I set up auto billing on my account back in say, November, when the first bill came through. Did I check to see that the payments were actually coming out? HELL NO.

Because, once again? I AM A FUCKING IDIOT.

Or probably just distracted. But whatever. Jesus wheels. I think I need a copy of QuickBooks or something.

Things.

Jan. 13th, 2008 02:12 am
-I am getting sick. Pretty sure.

-Claire isn't going home till Monday at the earliest, based on fever spikes and other complications. She's recovering, but slowly, and we are all impatient for her to be well. I have spent more time in the hospital this week than I ever thought possible, and that little 10x10 room is starting to creep in at the edges.

-I am surely guilty of this myself, but DAMN do I really dislike people with the attitude that their version of fandom is the only valid expression of such. It's just fine with me if other people don't care for fanfic, and there is a large amount of it that -I- don't care for, but it HAS been around a very long time, and in general, is a fairly accepted bit of fannish culture. If you don't like it, DON'T READ IT. See how that doesn't take ANYTHING from your "legitimate" fannish pursuits? Hurrah. Now kindly piss off.

-Did I mention I think I'm getting sick, and I'm exhausted, and I keep having nightmares, and I want my baby to be better NOW, and I have no fucking sense of humour and/or perspective anymore? Eh. Fuck it.

-Hospitals suck. They suck when you are 28, and I can only imagine how much they must suck when you are two and a half, and you have been stuck in one for a full week. Someone, please send something besides thee damn Heffalump movie! We are hoping like hell that it isn't really charging them $10 PER SHOWING when she watches it...if so, Claire's college fund/bail money has been burned through already, and we may have to leave one of her parents behind to wash dishes for a few months after she's released.

-I got nothin'. Well, nothin' except a little man with a hammer inside my head, a snarly temper, and a desire to never, EVER see another Baby Einstein video.

Cheers, y'all.

2007

Jan. 3rd, 2008 12:02 pm
Hmmm. While far less unhappy and unpleasant than it was for some of my friends, I have to say that 2007 wasn't exactly the best year ever.

In short... )

I wish I'd been healthier, wish I'd not gained quite so much weight, but couldn't have asked for a nicer year in terms of seeing friends.

Karma?

Oct. 21st, 2007 01:52 am
an_sceal: (Ha fucking ha)
So as we stepped outside to see what was going on down the block, guess who stepped on a root and heard her ankle (right, this time) go sproing?

One trip to the ER and 4 very painful x-rays later, I am not broken, but I have severe damage to the ligaments in my right ankle. Which is the ankle I DIDN'T fuck up last time I did this to myself, about 6 years ago. I guess I'll have matching scars now. Hooray?

Orthapedist next week, off it as much as possible...and did I mention, on a scale of 1-10, about an 8 in terms of pain?

So. Not. Cool. I guess this is what I get for being a nosey neighbour.
I never used to miss Hawaii. I never felt homesick for years after we left, just grateful. I hated Big Island with a passion, and swore as soon as my feet hit the mainland that I'd never go back.

I've recanted that since, because I don't think you can ever leave the islands behind completely, and I spent most of my growing-up years there. It's a lot of history to just toss.

Today, as I looked at pictures of Puna and Hilo for a project I'm working on, I realized that I was looking at pictures of home. Not my current home, not my future home, because I could never live there again, but my home, where I come from, where I will always think of when someone asks me where I'm from.

I guess I'm Hawaiian after all.

(*snerk* Gee, and I've already covered this territory. Sometimes it just slaps me in the face again.)
Borrowed from Rainy.

1. The fact that other people have stopped hurting you doesn't mean you need to start hurting yourself.
2. You aren't disgusting, or huge, or gross. You're going to wish you were that shape again. Why not just stick with the body you've got?
3. Bras. You should think about wearing one. Preferably one that has some actual support, and doesn't create a uniboob.
4. Masturbation? Awesome. Totally awesome. Not in the least bit unhealthy. Ignore the Catholic School/Sexuality Is Bad voice in the back of your head.
5. Want something for your future. Something more than just that vague desire to do better than your parents, because honey, your parents didn't do so great, and being Not-Them isn't really a future.
6. Ignore it when the jackass who says he loves you tells you that your writing isn't any good. It is. With time and practice, it's going to get better. You will note, years from now, that he's still not published, so his great masterwork can't have been all that amazing either.
7. You'll make it out. I promise. And the rest of your life? So far it's been worth waiting for.
- I am so, SO, SOOOOOO behind. On everything except shipping my orders and dyeing new stock. My life? Bah. My laundry? I reached the bottom of the "clean" pile at the end of my bed, washed everything again, and then swore that I REALLY WOULD PUT IT AWAY THIS TIME! It's sitting there at the end of my bed. I took my third outfit from it this morning. What may save this chore from the "never gonna happen" list is that I just can't deal with having to paw through my laundry baskets every morning looking for a matching pair of socks.

-Email. I owe email to -everyone-. I owe email, I'm sure, to people I haven't even met. Hell, I may owe email to people who haven't even been BORN yet. You are not being ignored. You just aren't being answered, and I'm sorry, and as soon as I figure out how to cram a week of free time into a single Sunday, I WILL answer all of you.

-You, who ran off somewhere in the middle of the night- I hope you're doing okay. I owe you email too. I know I am on the periphery of things now, but I still think of you often, and wish that I was better about keeping in touch. Be okay, yeah?

-My sock yarn should be in soon! I can't wait! Wheeeeee! Damn. Though that does go right back to Thing #1, where all I seem to do anymore is dye things, work, and sleep. Sometimes skipping the third...

-I still haven't sent [livejournal.com profile] bibliovixen her birthday present. :( <--is a sad, sad procrastinaty-face.

-They just don't understand me. Case in point, when telling various family members about my new venture, I was met with responses like "So, is that like really big yarn? What do you do with it? And what does it have to do with those perky bicycle people?"

-Once upon a time, I used to write fanfic. I remember it well. It was a Tuesday. I miss you, fandom.
Hellooooo world!

As you might have noticed, I've been trying to focus my drastically reduced "free" time on fiber and words. Words that, brace yourselves, form -stories-. And they aren't even fanfic.

My success in these matters remains to be seen.

Anyhow. Still working on my sweater, and still trying to find the perfect pattern for use with my pretty, pretty Fiesta Yarns La Paz Silk. (Australia colourway.) Only one skein, and I want something I can wear next to my skin so I can appreciate the silk. In the end, I may just end up with another "My So-Called Scarf".

I am still on the hunt for a decent distributor of sock yarn. Ashland Bay hasn't returned my emails yet, but perhaps they are swamped. Or maybe I sounded like a spaz when I wrote them. I often think I sound like a spaz.

I am also feeling somewhat pooky of late, and I keep looking at the phone when it rings and fighting down the urge to toss it into a ravine somewhere. It isn't that I don't want to keep in touch, I just don't want to TALK. It takes so much fucking energy some days. Still, I fight that, and I return calls eventually. It just takes me awhile sometimes.

I am feeling SO MUCH BETTER after my surgery. Losing a gall bladder has made me a much happier woman. I'm even trying, in my own somewhat limited fashion, to cut down the amount of fast food and utter crap that I consume. I'm not cutting it out, because honestly, that way lies madness and binge eating, but when I think I want fast food for lunch, I make myself stop and consider it first. Then I either go make myself a sandwich or buy a salad. Yesterday I splurged on Taco Bell, but it wasn't even something disgusting or terribly awful for me, so I'm doing okay. Ice cream in the evenings may have to be considered more carefully, but hell, I actually LIKE the Edy's Grand Light, especially the Slow Churned. I can't taste a real difference. And bonus, I could get flavours that only I like. Woot!

Between the lack of gall bladder, the drastically improved sleep with the CPAP (Note to self- pay bill and order new mask), and the general small efforts to at least TRY and take care of myself, I'm feeling pretty good physically. I still get damn tired in the afternoons sometimes, but hey, that's what a power nap is for, right?

Life is pretty darn good. And tonight, I buy vats for my stock dye solutions. Hurrah!
Officially have food poisoning.  It's not stomach flu because I have no fever, and never have.  (Not even at night, which is when I normally seem to run the worst fevers.)  Doctor says that basically, I need to keep drinking clear liquids, try keeping down some of that yoghurt that is supposed to help the bacteria in your stomach, and wait it out.  She also took the name of the last place I ate (since I specifically mentioned a restaurant), and will be reporting it to the health department.

Hooray?
Slept like SHIT last night. For some reason (yeah, gee, I wonder why?) I dreamt all night that I was Dean, and I had pneumonia. My chest was so heavy, so full, I couldn't get a breath. And I'd wake up, and prop myself between pillows, and even took a hit off the old inhaler, and I'd go back to sleep and dream the same damn thing all over again.

So today, to quote Spirit of the West lyrics, you'll have to excuse me, I'm not at my best. I'm feeling like that last cup of coffee- a little cold, a bit stale, a weird sort of skim on top, and a bit gritty around the edges.

On happier notes!

-[livejournal.com profile] marigot came home yesterday from Faire with a -beautiful- bowed psaltery. It's really stunning, and we're all picking it up rather quickly.
-[livejournal.com profile] interminable and [livejournal.com profile] mala_idea came over for dinner and hanging out last night. We had Korean BBQ short ribs, which turned out exactly like the ones I remembered from Verna's in Keaau. I'm loving the new GrandeMart up the street.
-Got a bunch of stuff unpacked, moved the bookshelf, moved the washstand into the hallway, and am generally pleased with the amount of work I managed to actually get done in one day of weekend.
-I really think we're going to have everything done before the party, and I am looking forward to it a lot.

In moderate news:
-I'm going to devise a budget for myself for next year. My plan is to have a significant amount of savings by January of 08, and be generally debt-free. I am comfortable with my lifestyle now, but I want something concrete that I can plan against for vacations and big purchases.
-I really don't know how to make new friends very well.
-My aquarium had better not be as cloudy as it was this morning by the time I get home, or I shall have to lay a smackdown upon it.

My head feels unfinished today.
an_sceal: (Live nude women)
How To Apologize, by [livejournal.com profile] makesmewannadie

This is a fabulous, thought-provoking post about the way to apologize and actually MEAN it. I can see some of my own behaviours in there. I'm sure we all can.

Own your shit. I know it's something everyone struggles with, but things like this are a good way to remind yourself.
[livejournal.com profile] a_treitell offered some thoughts on homeschooling, and that kind of got me going. This was meant to be a comment, but I got a little too wordy.

I was homeschooled, grades 8-11. I spent 4 months in an arts school in Arizona during 11th grade, then another 3 months homeschooling in 12th before I turned in my credits and graduated early with a diploma they printed me on a laser printer in the office. Technically, yes, I graduated from a recognized Arizona high school, but I really shouldn't have.

I taught myself. My Mom tried to be as involved as her schedule allowed when we first started, but that faded within a month or so and I was left largely to my own devices. Somewhere in my library I still have the algebra books I was supposed to be learning from- they are nearly brand new. I hated math (and still do), and found that the problems I had with transposing numbers so frustrating that by grade 9 I'd entirely stopped doing any math work at all unless my Mom made me. English, social studies, and the rest were never a problem- I tested out of most of them at a college level in 7th grade, and I enjoyed learning them, so I kept it up.

When I enrolled in the arts school, I was able to turn all my classes into real credits in the state of Arizona. I took a math class to finish out my requirements for them, and placed in pre-Algebra. In 11th grade. After 6 weeks of absolute struggle, I transferred to a consumer math class, got an A, and called it quits.

I'm smart. I know I'm smart. I'm well-educated about the things that matter to me, and I have decent research practices and goal-setting abilities, but I was utterly stymied by the few college courses I took because I had forgotten how to sit in a classroom and learn things at someone else's pace. It was frustrating and boring, and while I had a 4.0, I hated every second of it. I -know- that being homeschooled has everything to do with that.

Socially, homeschooling was a disaster. Without going into a huge amount of detail, by 13 I was already on the emotional roller-coaster ride that was hormones, depression, and anxiety. Being homeschooled and living in a remote area gave me the perfect reasons not to make any kind of effort, and for at least 2 years in there, I didn't speak to a soul outside my immediate family and my best friend. I am still unintentionally standoffish, even to people who know me well. The first place I learned any kind of adult social skills was -the internet-. On a -fandom mailing list-. I'm just saying, it's a wonder that people don't run screaming more often.

Now, the positives- I -did- get to learn at my own pace. I learned by delving into things, by immersing myself in a subject. It was a fantastic, wonderful thing, and one that never could have happened in a traditional public school classroom. I'm truly grateful for that. I'm grateful that I was able to escape the extreme and violent bullying that I lived with every day in middle school. I'm happy that I was able to make a study of nature, and able to enjoy the wild places in Hawaii, even if I hated living there at the time. Being that independent as a teenager has helped me be that independent as an adult.

The myth that -all- homeschooled children are smarter, better educated, and better parented is just that. It's a lot like saying that every public school is a cesspit full of gangs and drugs. Each experience is different, and while I certainly know some people who did a -fabulous- job homeschooling, I know others who used it as an excuse to segregate their children from the nefarious masses and fill their heads with nothing but religious dogma. And I know that in my case, it was the best of a bad situation, and I'm glad I was able to do it, but I should have been monitored more closely, and I should have been reminded that sometimes learning is work.

Given my experiences, and those of other people I know who have both parented homeschoolers and been homeschooled, I can honestly say that unless the situation was completely dire, I would never consider it for my child.
- Had a great weekend.  Much cavorting with everyone, including a trip to the bead store (I can hear some of you groaning even now...*grin*), a trip to Springwater, the fiber arts store, and out for steak at the Roadhouse in Centreville.  Awesome. 

- Not at work today or tomorrow.  ULTRA awesome.

- Got to spend some time creating.  Made a nifty (though I'm not sure I'll keep it the way it is) shawl pin, a felted 3D goose for my Mom, and this weird little artsy-fartsy felted bannerthing.  Knit some more on the hat of doom, which is rapidly approaching completion (and before that, a transfer to some circs.  Keep losing stitches off the ends of my dpn's.

- Went to the doctor this morning.  Apparently I have all the classic symptoms of sleep apnea.  I have a sleep study on the books- just have to schedule it. 

- I am home to watch the very first episode of the 35th season of Price is Right.  It's an all car (except for Plinko!) episode.  Hooray! 

- Waiting to hear from [livejournal.com profile] interminable about plans tonight.  He informs me that we have a reservation at Les Halles.  OMFG!  I have the best friends EVER!  I've wanted to go there forever!  GAH! 

- By the time I go back to work on Tuesday, I plan to have SOME space to work in the craft studio.  Heh...think it'll happen?
So of all the things, tonight while we were buying carpet at Home Depot, I met someone from Hawaii.  He grew up on Oahu, but like always, there was a kind of instant rapport.  For ten minutes it was just a list of all the things we missed, from plate lunch to loco moco, Zippy's chili (which he tells me you can order online!  I never even liked it that much, but it's home in a little plastic container.) and malasadas, and manapuas.  I got Frank DeLima's "Da Blullah" stuck in my head this morning in the bathroom.  He had Frank DeLima speak at his graduation.  He talked about Ala Moana, and I could hear the jingle in my head, still promising me all the cool things I always imagined must be sold there.  (Prince Kuhio mall was...erm...lacking, as malls go.  However, it still had Kaiko'o beat all to hell and back.)

I have decided that when we go back to finish ordering the carpet, I'm going to take him a package of malasadas.  I've also decided that I want to spend my 30th birthday there.

I never really thought of myself as having a hometown.  I never wanted to move back.  Gods, I don't even like the ocean that much.  I never wanted to claim Hawaii as my home.  It turns out, oddly enough, that I don't have to.  Hawaii claimed me, and for all its faults, Big Island will always be my hometown. 
Recall, if you will, the Toe Thing I was dealing with around this time last year. I finally wound up at the podiatrist, where he excavated a portion of my big toe and burned out the nailbed, swearing that it wouldn't grow back and would never be a problem for me again.

Guess what?

It grew back. And it's ingrown again. And infected again. And it hurts like a mother. So today I'm off to ANOTHER podiatrist, to have a similar pocedure (I imagine) done. At least I get to leave work early.

The house thing? It's not relaxing at all. In the least. The only moments of relaxation I enjoyed this weekend were the ones I spent imagining what it would be like to bathe in my new jacuzzi tub. Which rocks. And which is sitting in my new bathroom as we speak, waiting for plumbing.

Eventually (hopefully tonight?) we'll be getting together some pictures of the ongoing building project up at [livejournal.com profile] bedlam_house. It's pretty cool. And also? ENTIRELY CONSUMING MY BRAIN.

Except for the part that is writing Marton and Janska.

December 2015

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