completely random

Saturday, May 16, 2020

Reignited passion

writing fan fiction in a nutshell

I mentioned my interest in re-focussing on Ukrainian a couple of entries ago. I think - I remember talking about how much I hate Spanish, but I’m too lazy to go back into the archives.

Anyhoo.

I picked up Duolingo again. I don’t understand the point of using it as a type of formal language instruction. If you’re on the mobile version, it doesn’t seem to show you anything of value.I already had Ukrainian and Polish… and Spanish on there. I had used it to keep myself busy at BU hockey games and added Spanish for when I was super bored after we moved here.

The Ukrainian is easy, despite the fact that I haven’t seriously studied it in a long time. The Polish is OK, except for the fact that I can’t spell worth a damn. All those accents on the letters! Dangly bits! Lines through the L - which totally look like a T! It’s near impossible for someone with a shit memory like me.

But because I don’t torture myself enough, I added Russian. FUCKING RUSSIAN. Now, I have a complicated family history with Russian. Back in Ohio, after my dad died, when I was still speaking to THAT aunt, I’d mentioned wanting to learn Ukrainian, but I couldn’t find anything to use. The internet wasn’t what is is now, remember. This was 2001/2002. Napster was still around a little bit, and other file sharing services were popping up, but there wasn’t a Facebook. MySpace didn’t exist. There was literally nothing except Barnes and Noble. (I don’t even think Amazon was around then, but I’m too lazy to check.)

So, I casually said I was thinking about learning Russian because they’re similar.

Jesus Christ, did she tear into me. It was disrespectful. Did I know what the Russians put Ukrainians through? Did I know what they did to my family? (No. No I didn’t, I would find out years later. Long after we last spoke. Holodomor. Forced labor in Germany. Chornobyl.)  So. Yeah. Fuck Russia and the language.

But, you know, fan fic demands that I learn some Russian in order to write about a Russian teenager, his Russian coach, and his Kazakh boyfriend (who also speaks Russian). I’d go as far as to play with Kazakh, but Duolingo doesn’t offer it.

All that to say, a few years ago, I bought a book titled “Get Started in Polish.” I have had this burning desire to actually crack it open and focus on Polish for a while.

So… I think that’s what I’m going to do.

Posted by Matty on 05/16 at 10:31 AM
completely randompolyglot in trainingPermalink

Sunday, April 26, 2020

Made for this

oh, fuck yes

We’re into month 2 of the COVID-19 craziness.

We’re supposed to stay at home and stay six feet apart at a minimum.

I was made for this shit.

Who would have thought that introversion, general shyness, and social anxiety would turn out to be a blessing instead of a curse?

 

- - - - - - - - - -

There’s one other huge thing I was made for:

Working in construction as a cost accountant.

If the Cats hadn’t come along and the assistant controller hadn’t been such an ass, I’d probably still be at the HVAC contractor in New Hampshire. (Of course, she ended up being fired by the Board and I wonder if she would have taken me down with her.)

I left my last job because they were struggling to make payroll. Famous last words: “I’d rather temp than wonder if I’m going to get paid.”

Well, two days after that, I got a temp job with a construction company. They had a new CFO and a huge mess. I jumped right in and started identifying problems, trying to find solutions, blah blah blah.

I’d continued to interview that entire time; I was enjoying the fact that I could work without the pressure of a permanent role. The office had a weird vibe, too, and I wasn’t planning on staying. I couldn’t… I would have quit before the year was out. But it was a job at a time when I was desperate for a pay check.

Seriously, I am so lucky that, while I couldn’t work remotely, I had a job with an essential business.

And then it all went to shit and they offered me a job on a Friday.

Thankfully, I had just interviewed with another construction company. I got offers on Friday and Monday and took Monday’s.

This title is better (Controller), the pay is the same, the commute is better, the job is more or less the same. Cost control, working with PMs and Estimators, trying to set procedures and put other accounting controls in place.

I’m very good at working in companies that need to be straightened out.

This one… well, it’s bad.

I’m not going to go into details, because I can’t, but hooooooo boy. I’m feeling a little bit like I’m over my head. I’m wondering what the fuck I got myself into.

This is my normal, though.

This is where I thrive.

I couldn’t have asked for a better job.

Seriously.

I’ve spent too much money on professional organisation memberships and I’ll be taking a metric fuck ton of professional exams. Definitely the CMA exam and the CCIFP exam. I’m even thinking about getting some bookkeeping licenses.

I think they’ll go well with my current title and they might fill in some blanks - not every company books their transactions the same way and it feels like I’ve forgotten some of the basics because I haven’t used them in years - so it’s worth the thousands of dollars that these will cost me.

I’ve only been a Controller for a week, but I know this job suits me more than any other I’ve had in a long time.

I don’t know… for the first time since I left the Cats, I’m finally feeling like myself. I’m excited to get up in the morning and that’s a new feeling. One I haven’t have in a long, long, time.

Posted by Matty on 04/26 at 10:19 AM
completely randomPermalink

Saturday, March 28, 2020

Run, Magic, Run!

Racery. In a nutshell

It’s time for Battle of the Fandoms IV!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

(The battlecasts are the best part, tbh. Where else can you get quality commentary and awesome Facebook translations?)

This time I’m on Run Magic Run. (Reads completely different with the commas, doesn’t it? English is amazing.) It’s a Labyrinth themed team. My other choice was Hamilton (Talk Less, Run More), but at the last minute decided to give up my place on the team to someone else.

I think I’ve talked about my love-hate relationship with Bowie before, but here, around the the 28th anniversary of my mother’s death and the accompanying reminder of the restraining order from my aunt, it might be time for a retelling…

If any of her family is reading this, well, I can promise you that you don’t know the whole truth about your sainted godmother or mother. I could bitch about my aunt all day, but I only want to talk about Bowie. (And maybe his enormous goblin.)

Where do I start?

My aunt was always there for me when I was growing up. Her house was an oasis, a place of safety in the maelstrom that was life with my mother. It was, honestly, my favourite place to be.

She had three kids, a boy and two girls. The boy, forever in my heart as Inky, is also forever four years old. In a weird quirk of life, I am 7 years older than the middle child and 14 years older than the youngest. Middle child and I, I thought, always got along pretty well. In some ways, she was more like a younger sister than a cousin.

But I digress.

Home. Safety. There for me. All things that were important when I was growing up. All things I was desperately in need of, despite my father’s best efforts to provide them at our house.

There was always music at her house. ALWAYS.

I grew up with Bowie, the Stones, Mott the Hoople, Led Zeppelin, all the great classic rock. Then, hair metal joined the never ending rotation and I developed a love for Poison, Def Leppard, and strangely, Adam Ant. (I might be one of the few people in the world who knew all the lyrics to his albums.)

But Bowie and Mick Jagger… those were her men. They were almost always on repeat when the radio wasn’t on.

As much as I loved the Stones, it was Bowie that I really connected with.

Maybe it was his shifting personas. Maybe it was the two coloured eyes (which aren’t actually two different colours, by the way). Whatever it was, when I was at home, I devoured everything I could get my hands on. Let me remind you, back in the 80s and 90s it wasn’t nearly as easy as it is now. I had to save my allowance, get a ride to a record store, find something I didn’t already own. Now, if I’m craving a particular song, I drop two bucks, get points on my credit card, and move on with my life.

My parents were officially divorced, I think on March 13th, and then my mother died on March 18th. My aunt got something like 90 percent of the estate… none of which my mother rightfully had any claim to since she never worked. (That comment the other day about leaving nothing in death is an actual line in her will and I read it in a fucking book someone gave me. Fuck public records.That book was supposed to bring me peace after my father died and I ended up ripping it in pieces and setting it on fire. I also hired a lawyer to send a strongly worded letter, but that’s another story.)

My father had to take my aunt to court for a share of the estate - CT state law said that as a minor I was due a portion - and I got $2K. Nothing compared to the thousands she walked away with. I found out later that she also managed to get the other 10% from the other person named in the will…

And then there was the restraining order.

Have you ever been served?

It is a fucking amazing experience.

I highly recommend it.

As her story goes, she was being overwhelmed with the amount of mail my father was sending to her and she asked her attorney to ask my dad if he would send that stuff directly to the lawyer handling the estate. The lawyer “misunderstood” and well… the rest is history.

She also forgot my birthday that year.

I always made the excuse that it was because my mother’s wake was on the 20th and her funeral the 21st, but FUCK, WOMAN. It would have taken two seconds to wish me a happy birthday. (Then again, five years after my uncle’s death, the grave stone still wasn’t engraved with his information. FIVE YEARS.)

Then there was the time when she blamed Youngest Cousin for playing with the answering machine and deleting all the messages I would leave.

In the end, I don’t know who walked away from who first, but the relationship between us was over.

I mourned it for a long time and I broke up with Bowie. It was too painful to listen to him.

Even today, twenty-ish years later, it’s rare that I listen to his music. I generally do when I’m sad and need to cry. All the pain and confusion of 1992 - today, really, comes pouring out. There are few things that can create a spontaneous crying fit, but I always reach for Bowie at those times.

I rarely play Bowie when I’m happy.

I never forgive and I never forget. Not sure if that’s learned behaviour (thanks, mom!) or just hardwired in my DNA, but I don’t.

Especially when someone fucks me over.

So… what does this have to do with Racery? Why would I pick a movie that heavily features Bowie (and his enormous goblin)?

Because, simply, running when I hate the fucking world is the quickest way to calm me down and make sure that I don’t go manic. Anger is my default mode during mania - and being pissed is normally the way to trigger a visit to that other side of the equation. Mania makes me do and say things I should regret, but since I have no filter even when I’m stable, I normally just shrug it off. Whatever I wouldn’t say to your face (because manners), I’ll happily do when I’m manic.

Rage running. It’s a thing.

With all my IRL races cancelled or postponed, I’ve been slacking. This might be the thing I need to get motivated again.

Thank you, aunt.

I know you come for the scathing commentary on my life and openness about the bipolar, but I wouldn’t be me if I didn’t include the long awaited commentary on Bowie’s massive goblin.

But first…

OK. On to the scholarly commentary…

Critical analysis of David Bowie’s crotch bulge

Who Is Jareth In Labyrinth (1986) and Why Has He Got a Bulging Penis?

The Dick Debate: “Labyrinth” Edition

And, last but not least:

Crotch Magic - Tribute to David Bowie’s bulge in Labyrinth (link in case video breaks - bonus points for use of the words wang and dong.)

Posted by Matty on 03/28 at 10:55 AM
bipolarcompletely randommusic is liferunningPermalink

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Hands… (not) touching hands….

lack of races equals lack of motivation

I had a really bad birthday week.

Like top three worst birthdays.

Considering that birthday #1 was the year my mother died and birthday #2 was the year after my father died, to crack the top three you know shit had to be bad.

A 10K, a half marathon, another 10K, and Rival Run were all cancelled within a few days of each other.

Universal was shut down.

People who should have wished me a happy birthday disappeared.

No special birthday meals.

No birthday cake.

A whole lot of nothing.

And yes, I am perfectly aware that this is a minor issue compared to some people’s lives during our new reality, but… I’m bipolar. This sort of situation will create a very dangerous low. When it swings the other way, it will be a very dangerous high. I purposely make a big deal out of my birthday for a reason. In order to survive, my birthday has to be surrounded by fun and I need to be distracted. Those are the rules. I don’t make them.

So.

Let’s talk about that low.

I had (rather foolishly) thought that all the shit I went through after getting fired was as bad as it could be. As depressed as I could possibly get.

Ooooooooh, how I wish I had remembered Birthday Depression.

Holy fuck, I didn’t think I’d ever see the sunshine again.

As it is, it’s still dark and cloudy as fuck, but there’s light on the horizon.

 

- - - - - - - - - -

My mother and I had a (thankfully) short yet ridiculously complicated relationship.

She died two days before I turned 17. She was 45.

I, myself, just turned 45.

That alone is a huge mind fuck. I know I’m not an alcoholic and that I won’t die from the same thing she did, but… when your time is up, it’s up. My only question is whether or not there’s another ticking time bomb in my DNA. I mean, she already gave me bipolar, and a family with a history or heart disease. (Thank you for the SVT, mom… and possibly, the heart murmur, too.)

It’s been twenty eight years.

Twenty eight years of freedom.

Twenty eight years of wondering if I’m going to die at 45, too.

Twenty eight years of living with the fact that “I gave everything in life, I leave nothing in death…” was published IN A FUCKING BOOK.

Twenty eight years of knowing a double life was lived… and that I got the worst of her.

Twenty eight years of conflicting emotions.

Twenty eight years of not forgiving because I earned the right to hate her.

Twenty eight years of not forgetting what she did to me.

Twenty eight years of starting my day singing “Ding dong, the witch is dead.”

Twenty eight years is a lot of life to miss out on, but she didn’t deserve to be in my life and I’m glad she’s gone.

(Did I say we had a complicated relationship? It was… Complicated.)

Posted by Matty on 03/24 at 08:28 PM
#threewordsbipolarcompletely randomPermalink

Friday, March 06, 2020

Twenty. Eight. Years. (part one)

Fitting, seeing that I’m writing YOI fan fiction and watching HP

It was a strange feeling to lose your parents. It was the kind of deep, enveloping pain that only came with truly life-altering loss, but at the same time it was accompanied by a degree of emotional liberation. Being without parents was like taking the stabilisers off a bike; both exhilarating and frightening. It was the final challenge on the road to becoming a true adult, beholden to no one but oneself.

—Iain Rob Wright (The Picture Frame: A Horror Novel)

 

Posted by Matty on 03/06 at 06:56 PM
#threewordscompletely randomPermalink
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