2018 was, um…
My obligatory blog post outlining my three (five?) words is here. I bet you’ve been waiting for it.
1) FIGHT - there’s a lot of stuff going on because of an unexpected, rather large, change to our lives.
The resolution of these items is going to take time. I know this, but I also know me. I’m not patient enough to see these things through.
I’m at that point right now where I want to get this stuff over with NOW and move on with my life. I thought about walking away from having to deal with these things, but fighting is the right thing to do.
This is the first time I’ve ever needed to fight so hard, so… yeah.
2) COMFORT ZONE - I’m still working on the baby blanket from hell. I’m still sewing like a mad woman. I’m still writing HP fan fiction.
But. All of those things are comfortable.
I need to work on harder craft projects.
Knit projects with cables, for example. I can do them, but I prefer not to… so. KNIT ALL THE CABLES!
Sewing is a bit different. I love the Summit Peak Hoodie pattern. I’ve made 6 shirts out of that pattern. There are other shirt patterns I want to sew - an oxford for example because ready-to-wear doesn’t fit me right. AND! I’ve started buying dress patterns because of the way they look. I DON’T WEAR DRESSES. (Do you see where this is headed? Yup. Two different comfort zones. One sewing machine sized stone.)
I need to get out of the Harry Potter sandbox and visit my other fandoms… or at least write about different characters in my fan fic. There’s so many over done tropes and so many fics for the main several ships that I’m just tired of it all. I don’t even want to read HP fan fic anymore.
3) SELF-CARE - 2018 was a doozy of a year. Like, it fucking sucked HARD.
I was struggling and it, it was bad. Very bad.
The bipolar flared to a level I haven’t experienced since my father died and I was… unprepared.
There wasn’t one clear trigger. I have a feeling that it was a bunch of little things adding up, which of course, made everything worse because I couldn’t see the whole picture.
After fighting being told to go to therapy for YEARS - because, honestly, I never saw a benefit from talking about my “underlying issues” to a complete stranger - I’ve finally sucked it up and will try it again.
I have an appointment on Jan 7th. Wish me luck. I have a feeling I’m going to need it.
snape does a shot… love it!
I think this is the best thing I’ve ever read:
I really loved the way in which Harry & Draco got together at first, not really talking just being there for each other.
Then being arrested and losing hope.
And then Harry’s testimony! That part totally had me crying for Harry & Draco.
I normally don’t like Fics where they fall for each other so quickly, but the way you wrote them, it felt right, and believable in the “fic” world.
So thank you very much for a different outlook on the immediate aftermath of Draco & Harry post war!
Many kudos and I look forward to reading more of your work.
Working on a 12 hour italki language challenge and a 90 day language challenge… That’s a LOT of Ukrainian filling my week, but at $97 to enroll in the 90 day and over a hundred bucks in italki tutoring, I’m finally seeing some results. I’ve got two different tutors right now: One I’m very comfortable speaking with and one that I’m sure will be good to go over grammar drills with, judging by the amount of written homework she keeps assigning. The 90 day challenge cumulates in a 15 minute video conversation so speaking has to be a major priority, but that tutor’s only available at 5 AM. The Grammar tutor is available in the afternoons. I really wish they were switched, but…
My major driver right now, is that there’s airline tickets on the line. I could fly to Ukraine for free if I “win” the challenge. I’m assuming the major thing is to completely rock the challenge and be as fluent as possible, so I’m going to kill myself learning the language if that’s what it takes.
Using the feedback from that comment above has lead me to tear apart the second Drarry fic I was almost ready to publish. I definitely have trouble with the two of them suddenly forgiving each other and falling into bed within hours of reconnecting when I read it in other fics. It’s a huge issue in any fandom when you’re writing about characters with a lot of history. They already know each other so all the verbal/emotional foreplay has been had. In my first Drarry fic, I had to put a bit of a fast-forward on the enemies to lovers thing because of the timing of the post-War events. I can’t imagine the Wizarding World would have waited to capture and put the Malfoy men on trial, but it was important that Draco and Harry had a solid relationship BEFORE Draco’s arrest. In this second one, I have more time to play with, so I’m going to drag it out until the last chapter.
I spent the eight hours in the car, driving back and forth from Woodstock, thinking about how to make it real between them at a ridiculous snail’s pace. I think I nailed it, but I can’t wait to tear into the draft and fix it.
Speaking of Drarry, I’m going to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter for a long weekend! I’ve been sorted into Ravenclaw on Pottermore (and several other website quizzes), so I decided to knit myself a Quidditch sweater! I’m so excited to knit such a big project for myself and one with such a tight deadline. This will be so much fun! I suppose I could buy one, but the movie colours are not the same as the book colours and I’m doing this by the book, as the saying goes. (HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA)
On that note - maybe I should go read some Harry Potter (Ukrainian version, of course) and work on some vocab…
The fun never ends.
*sigh* all that work… headed to the frog pond
My first socks done toe-up and TAAT are headed to the frog pond. Somewhere, somehow, I screwed up pretty badly and there’s laddering up the borders of the pattern. It looks terrible on the needles and even worse on the foot. I’m not sure if it was because I did them two-at-a-tme, I counted completely wrong, or if I managed to drop a stitch on both socks in the exact same spot. All of which are, sadly, very likely to occur and may have even happened simultaneously. That’s how bad they are.
I don’t want to frog them, but as I looked at how fucked up they were, I realised that - more importantly - I hated knitting that fucking pattern. I mean, REALLY hated it.
I love the way Hermione’s Everyday Socks are knitting up, even though I’ve just started a pair in that pattern. (Socks for a friend, unfortunately.) I think it will look equally awesome in that red. And HES isn’t nearly as boring to work on.
It’s really weird how that happens - both are four row repeats, both are relatively simple combinations of knits and purls - but one is infinitely more fun to knit than the other.
I ended up buying a new Forester last Friday and broke it in by heading to Woodstock for Black Mountain Symphony’s record release party. 492 miles from the Subaru dealership, to Seabrook Town Hall, to my house, to Woodstock and back to my house - I’m already at 1,000 miles.
Have I mentioned I’ve only had the damn thing a week?
It was a hard decision and one I didn’t make lightly, despite how it may seem.
My dream car - my BMW - doesn’t come in a stick until you get to the 335, and I need an X-Drive (all wheel drive). When I found one, the sticker on it was $51K. FIFTY ONE THOUSAND. FOR A CAR. I still can’t get past the fact that my very first house was only $32K and I still can’t justify buying a car that costs more than a house. (Even though my current house has an insurance replacement value of $289K, I can’t use that for comparison. I just can’t.)
I know, I know… and I did know it was going to be ugly. I could go down to a 320 / 328, but I don’t want an automatic that thinks it’s a stick. I refuse to drive anything but a stick.
So… my car had had these ongoing issues with the fuel line. It kept throwing up “Check Engine” errors and the dealership was kind of playing hit or miss with the repairs. The first time, it was $500 for a new gas cap and some kind of fuel container thingy. This last time, it was $300 for a stupid gasket. (There were some tests, but seriously? $300 for what ended up being a $6 part.)
When I got it back, the car stunk like gas, but I was told that it was natural and the smell would go away. I didn’t have anything to worry about unless the check engine light came back on.
I don’t know about you, but worrying if my fuel line was going to go while I’m on the backwoods of MA / NY isn’t my idea of a good time. Worrying about whether or not the car would spontaneously combust wasn’t particularly enjoyable, either.
Maybe those are stupid concerns… but the car was paid off. If it hadn’t been, I’d probably still be scared shitless to drive it, but sucking it up until I could afford to pay it off.
I got a brand new 2015 Forester - approximately the same exact car (minus the horizontal roof rack thingies), with technology befitting a car seven model years newer - for the same exact payment as my old car.
I suppose I could have done a lot worse.
I have mixed feelings about it, which sounds completely weird, right? I love it - I really do - but it’s just that I didn’t want a damn car payment.
I have mixed feelings about Black Mountain Symphony’s new album. It sounds ‘flat’. I thought it was my speakers in the new car because I hadn’t tweaked them, but my iMac, iPhone, and Jamie’s car confirmed that it just sounds flat and shitty. Maybe it’s because I’ve heard the songs live a bazillion times and that energy didn’t carry over? I don’t know, but the first album sounded so crisp and clear that the mix on this album is really disappointing.
My other complaint with this album - and it’s definitely petty - is that I wasn’t listed on the liner notes, but someone’s dog was. We all joke that I’m the #1 fan, the miles I’ve put on my car, the amount of money I’ve put in tip jars, the fact that I’ve let them stay in my house (not once, but twice)... all of those are testaments to my dedication to them. I know they sincerely appreciate me. I’ve NEVER doubted that. Not for a second.
It would have been nice to get a public thank you… and there are quite a few others who are surprised that I was left off.
Especially in light of someone’s fucking DOG being thanked.
I’m not going to lie. It hurts.
I’ll get past it because it is so petty and minor in the grand scheme of things, but for now, I’m just going to let it bother me so I can get it out of my system.
I contacted another immigration law firm this morning. I laid out the reasons why I think I can claim citizenship and asked them simply if they thought I could and how much it would cost for that privilege.
I guess we’ll see…
sherlock returns tomorrow!
Last year, my #threewords were self, create, and family.
I think I did well -
SELF: despite being unemployed for most of the year, and dealing with a serious, debilitating, case of depression, there were days when I was able to pull myself out of it and function.
There were also days when I excelled at being a functional human, despite The Ick.
This was probably the worst bipolar / depression episode I’ve ever had, if only because of the length of time it lasted.
But I survived it, no matter how hard it was to remember that depression lies.
CREATE: I published four pieces of fan fic on AO3. While I’m not a superstar, I’ve gotten some kudos, some nice comments, and a proofreader out of it. If I grow some balls, I might even have a brit-picker.
And I’m still writing - I have a Cabin Pressure 30 Day OTP Challenge I’m struggling with, the NaNoWriMo Case Fic / Johnlock disaster that really needs some serious editing, the Sherlock 30 Day OTP Challenge I started as a warm up to NaNo, and I’ve got an idea for another Johnlock fic that I toyed with a long time ago. It never came to fruition because I didn’t know the best way to handle it. After reading a similar Cabin Pressure fic, everything clicked and I can see that those first two pages have a lot of promise.
I didn’t do nearly as much photography as I wanted to, and I never learned how to sew, but I think the amount I wrote more than makes up for it. I also got some quality knitting done, so all things considered, “create” was probably my most successful word.
FAMILY: I spent a lot of time with my Albany family and managed to expand it. I knit a sweater for L. I managed to create/strengthen relationships with high school and college friends that previously didn’t exist in anything similar to their current form. I let go of close friends that I considered family when their behavior turned toxic.
... and finally, oddly, I managed to piss off a member of my family with my deeply rooted belief that I am Polish. Only the National Archives in Warsaw know for sure… but I’m still holding out hope.
This year, I’m not sure what my three words should be. I have a rough idea, but I don’t know if these three are final yet.
I came up with the lame “happy/happiness” for the first one. (At least I think it’s lame - the word, not the idea behind it.) I want to focus on doing more things that make me happy. Whether that’s to write more, spend more time with my family, get my ass to London at least for a visit, stay at the new job, continue to embrace the SuperWhoLock family and the friends I made there, I just want to do the stupid little things that make me happy. I spent too much of 2013 feeling like a victim, “suffering” from the bipolar and really letting it define who I was. That’s not really something I’m proud of - and while the bipolar is something I’ll always have to deal with - I handled it poorly this year, despite my few victories.
The second one would have to be “travel”. I want to visit far away places this year (London, obviously), but there are places closer to home to see as well. I really want to play tour guide when my friend from Cincy finally gets her ass to the East Coast, and sometimes there’s nothing better than being a tourist in your own town. I’d like to spend more time with Black Mountain Symphony. I’d like to spend more time in Connecticut with my friends and family there.
I think the third one has to be “J”. This year has been super rough on both of us, and I know I’ve taken advantage of his kindness and patience several hundred thousand times. Part of me couldn’t help it (unfortunately, the depression really forced him to step up and be a grown up which I hated), and part of me just watched as he did things that I was going to do later that day, and part of me tried to make up for it in stupid little ways that aren’t nearly enough. He’s been my rock through everything that’s happened since January 1998 and I can’t imagine my life without him, so it’s probably time that I let him know that I’m sorry for 2013 and 2014 will be a better year for us. My biggest fear is that I’ll lose him. There’s only so much crap I can put him through before he gets fed up, right? Shit, I hated myself for most of this year. I don’t know how or why he’s still around… I would have left me a long time ago.
No - there hasn’t been any sign of things going that bad between us, but it’s a very real fear that’s taken root lately. He really is the Hubby of Wonder because I wonder every day why he’s still here.
These kind of overlap with last year’s, but I’m OK with that.
Happy end of 2013, everyone… may 2014 give you everything your heart desires.
and the hipster-fandom war continues
THE HIPSTERS HAVE THE CREDITS
I can’t remember the last time I laughed so hard at a hipster post…
And they wonder why we don’t like them.
It’s a “Hunger Games” morning over here. Apparently, I need a reminder that I can survive being unemployed and bored out of my mind. And alone. We can’t forget alone.
I’m not a social person, but I do miss being surrounded by people. Even people I don’t like very much. That makes this even harder.
But I’ve settled into a pattern of sorts: drop Guinness off at day care, watch Doctor Who when I get back, then switch to Supernatural if the reruns are good or watch a movie (preferably an absolutely terrible horror flick on Netflix), and then it’s Ramsey’s Kitchen Nightmares, and then back to Netflix. If I’m somewhere else in the house, I can normally find some trainwreck TV (I’m partial to the judge shows: Alex, Judy, People’s Court.)
Dog, that makes me sound pathetic, but since I mostly just listen to them, it makes me feel a little less lonely.
I did have some much needed social interaction with people who aren’t my trainer last night when I finally got back to my knitting group.
My knitting group! It’s been so long - it was awesome to see the majority of the old crew. There’s not a lot of newbies, and some women have been in the group for almost 20 years. It was nice. I got a lot done on the Wallaby and decided I’m going to finish my red socks and probably work on a Wallaby for myself when the socks get boring, but without the pocket and hood. I haven’t decided about the hood since I’m not there yet, but the pouch isn’t really my sort of thing.
If I’m going to be taking the trail into Boston, I’ll have plenty of time to knit the socks - they travel well. It’s about 70-80 minutes to Boston by train. It would take me that long to drive and probably three times as long to find a parking space around Downtown Crossing.
But back to the Wallaby: I know. I know. I just vented about how shitty the pattern was. Now that I’ve done one, though, it will be much easier. It will just make much longer since I’m not a child’s size 6. I’m afraid to even look at the pattern right now to see just how many stitches I would need to cast on. Right now, I’m working with 188 and that feels like it’s taking forever.
My phone interview went really well last night and they told me I’d hear back in one or two weeks. In the meantime, I passed up a part time, temporary bookkeeping job. I had to commit to eight weeks and since I’m starting to get some calls, I don’t want to commit to two months of temp work. Even though I could have started today.
As much as I don’t like the idea of commuting into Boston, the money’s better and this job would be worth it.
Wish me luck. I think I’m going to need it!