Tuesday Talks 1/28

My horse Willow is moving from one boarding facility to another, and that coupled with my parents’ vacation last week made me consider my finances. I spent today planning out my bills and spending through March, and made the stressful decision to withdraw my retirement. I’m not yet ready to think about retiring, and I don’t think I’ll ever have the luxury to be honest. I need to make sure I stay in good standing now in order to be in great standing later on down the road.

Money is a very stressful subject with me. It makes me think of our government, the economy, of everything. It makes me want to burn down society as it is and rebuild it differently. I was just talking to one of my new coworkers today about how in the 1950s and 60s, a man could work and support a family. Now, there’s no room for a stay at home parent. Every adult must work to survive and if they can’t, they’d better find a way to earn. On top of that, the minimum wage hasn’t changed for decades while the price of everything else has skyrocketed. I think my family expected me to become more conservative by working in the blue-collar department. If anything, I’ve become more of a tribal anarchist. I used to say I was a communist. The associations with that word (i.e. the USSR and the Killing Fields) drives me away from the belief system despite its origins being far from those specific events in history. I wish I could identify as a socialist, but that term has similar negative associations. It’s hard to tell people over and over, “I believe in this, but not what people have done with it.” It’s why I stopped identifying as a Christian even though I do believe in God. I don’t want to constantly say, “Yes, I believe in God but I don’t believe the Bible is His word, it’s man’s.” It’s the same with communism, I believe in what Marx originally proposed but not what the word has come to mean today. I can at least say I’m anti-capitalist. Capitalism is a system that only works for those who have capital. If you have no capital, you have no worth. If you have no worth, you starve. You thirst. You suffer, and people put spikes on the ground to keep you from resting your aching body somewhere. You earn, or die.

I have a friend who’s seen the worst of being poor, Meg. I love Meg, we’ve had some fantastic discussions because I’m on the far left and she’s somewhere in the moderate. She once would have been conservative. But Meg said something amazing I liked pondering. Music and media today would not exist as it is if it weren’t for capitalism. She’s right. Big industries made things that are popular today popular. Money makes the hit movies, hit songs, hit albums. The Oscars are defined wholly by who shells out the money to win the favor, to win the views. If it weren’t for capitalism, we wouldn’t have all of that. But there’s one thing I disagree with.

I can’t remember who the YouTuber is, but he said that the most unrealistic thing about The Walking Dead series is the lack of art. The lack of creativity. The lack of people daring to hope in the darkest of times. You don’t need to be in a capitalist society to have art of any kind. Art persists in spite of capital. That alone helps me continue to create art even at my most broke. I may never be a bestseller, but knowing what I’m capable of spinning, what I’m capable of making, makes me feel like I’m worth more than the dollars I make per hour. I’m not sure I have made my point clear, but talking about this helps me reconcile my anxiety about my worth.

Tuesday Talk 1/21

I have been working on my Shadowverse Mythos if you would like to take a look. I plan on writing five romance novels about the gods.

This week has been a stressful one at work thus far. Coworkers are struggling, so I’m thinking of them often. For now, I babysit my mom’s dog Bougie. My parents went on a cruise and they were afraid something would happen to Bougie. So even though she’s their service dog, they decided to leave her with me. She’s stayed snuggled up with me and Diana the whole time, eating noodles and pieces of chicken that I drop. Everyone else is doing well, and Willow (my beloved mare) is parading her blanket about because she doesn’t yet know how to grow a winter coat in Florida.

I try to stay productive, it keeps me from worrying about others.

Tuesday Talk 1/14/2020

This past week has been full of Penny Dreadful and tarot incidents. My tarot cards have finished purifying, and my first reading for myself was essentially my cards bitchslapping me and telling me, “We got work to do.” Getting told that I’m stubborn and need to be patient by a deck of cards is pretty bad, especially when everyone living in the house has said the same thing for years now.

Finishing Penny Dreadful was a time and a half. I already miss the characters dearly. For one, the show is a bisexual dream. It’s full of heartthrobs for my gothic literature-loving heart. If you enjoy horror narratives, this is definitely the show for you. If you enjoy morally gray characters and intertwining plotlines, this will definitely be a treat. It’s only three seasons, and it dives into tough subjects such as colonialism, sexism, religion v. spiritualism, sexual violence, and a great deal more. It’s lacking in POC representation, there being only one non-white character per season worthy of note. That is my main qualm with the show, but I did take great pleasure in Sembene (the only African character) being the one person who has some goddamn sense in the midst of all the craziness. I enjoy questioning religious themes, and I love seeing characters develop over time and yet not be completely redeemable. I got attached to everyone in spite of their misdeeds SPOILER Everyone except Dorian Gray, the death of the one trans character in the show is still a sore spot for me. I wished he would have had his portrait destroyed at the end, but his ending was incredibly fitting as well END SPOILER.

Even though we had new characters introduced who were separate from the source material, I found the use of the source material incredibly accurate and well done. The sensual Dracula, the poetic Frankenstein’s Creature, the mad scientist Jekyll, all of them were so well done I cried. The number of LGBT+ characters was very nice, and perhaps the strangest thing for me to be pleased with was the amount of male nudity as compared to female nudity. The willingness to show the naked penis gave me a strange amount of excitement mostly because, you don’t see that shit often. You tend to only see tits and vag, but nothing else. Maybe some ass. I should be clear, I’m excited because it just doesn’t happen and the imagery felt balanced. And as stated earlier, this show challenges a lot of sexist notions, so I found myself really enjoying the dichotomy set from the very first episode.

I really loved this show and the storyline has stuck with me. It will continue to stick with me for a while, and I hope someone else close to me watches it and comes to tell me about it.

Tuesday Talk 1/7/2020: QUARTERLY GOALS

This past week has been fraught with homemade pierogies and listening to my beloved tell me all about Fire Emblem: Three Houses. However, the best thing she has told me is that she almost texted me asking what the technical term was for ‘when a horse does a wheelie.’ It’s called rearing up, love XD

New Job

So I’ve got a new job cleaning community areas and after three days, I’m liking it more than I expected. I get paid a dollar more than my last job, and I have the whole day after early morning shifts to get things done. I am thinking I will stay with this job until something better comes along and offers me more money for my work.

Penny Dreadful

After last week’s shows ended for us, we resumed watching a show we started years ago. I love this show for its ability to subvert my expectations, but at the same time it’s still a very whitewashed series. One reason I’m willing to overlook that is that it does a good job punishing the people in the series for the roles they played in colonization. However, it would be nice to see more of the colonized people doing the punishing and not just the families they destroyed back home as a result of their efforts. The show also leans heavily into witches as largely evil with the good witches as either dead or conflicted. I don’t enjoy that, but I do enjoy treating every character as morally gray. It makes for a fun show to watch, knowing that their moral compasses could roll either way. Of all the things I was astonishingly okay with, I was okay with the character Angelique. I loved her, and everything about her and Dorian’s story together left me very satisfied. She was a trans character in every way but that specific word, and Dorian Gray was the perfect individual to aggressively accept her as who she is. When she died, I was upset at losing such a wonderful character but I found myself rejoicing she wasn’t killed for who she was. Isn’t it sad that those are the standards we LGBTQ+ must live with? We didn’t bury ALL the gays (there are at least three more queer characters in show) but we did bury our one trans woman and that’s a shame.

Quarterly Goals

As a change, I’m only going to list my last set of quarterly goals and not my current set so I don’t pressure myself to do more than is possible. My goals change a lot as things happen.

-Draw full body profiles of all the Children of -Different Worlds, in regular clothing and masquerade clothing plus three facial expressions. (Kiara [x], Nazim [], Kipling [], Liggan [], Renan [], Rufus [], Elliot [], Accalia [], Morfran [], Fletcher [], Pippa [], Evelyn [], Vanessa [], Eloise []) FAIL
-Exercise thrice weekly.
-Read a book each month. (The Conception of Terror, Wally Roux Quantum Mechanic, The Foxhole Court)
-Email newsletter Oct.
-Clean makeup and hair brushes monthly. (October, November, December)
-Wipe down baseboards and molding monthly. (October, November, December)
Dust ceiling monthly. (October, November, December)
-Freshen garbage disposal monthly. (October, November, December)
-Wash bath mats monthly. (October, November, December)
-Clean out drawers and medicine cabinets. (October, November, December)
-Clean closet. (October, November, December)
-Clean floors under furniture. (October, November, December)
-Deep clean fridge. (October, November, December)
-Have Sand and Silver professionally edited.
-Write The Shadows of the Forefathers. Technical Success
-Oct 31-Nov 2, celebrate Samhain.
-Publish Sand and Silver for Samhain.
-Commission cover art for The Amulet of the Phoenix. FAIL
-Participate in NaNoWriMo with Dice and Discards. Technical Success
-Nov: set up new obgyn and psych connections for meds.
-Nov: Build Crow’s Nest. FAIL
-Write Winter Winds. Technical Success
-Write Sorceress in the Catacombs. Technical Success
-Dec 20-25, celebrate Yule.
-Get Audible.
-Save up for tattoos. FAIL
-Save up for high quality camera and editing software. FAIL
-Paint an oil landscape of the Valley of the Dolls. FAIL
-Plot out Trilogy of the Cracked Well. Technical Success
-Plot out Ditchwater Six. Technical Success
-Plot out Wretched Duology.
-Plot out some of Children of Different Worlds, focus on making fourth and fifth arcs for each character.

Tuesday Talk 12/31

I was going to try and do a video, but I just do not have the setup or the spoons for that. Besides, I know people will want itemized lists of what I have to talk about so they can pick and choose. I know, because that’s what I would want. So welcome!

The Holidays

Christmas, or Yule (which is what I celebrate and intend to celebrate harder next year), was a simple day this year. Much of this month has been full of me trying to get started on a newer, better fitting job. More on that later. For Christmas, my family got my wife and I each a gift in the form of office chairs (I have stolen mine back from my cat and am sitting in it now), a brand new TV for our room, all of the IT movies including the miniseries from the 90s, and Fire Emblem: Three Houses. Diana is hooked on that game, and I’m happy to see her playing on the Switch again. My soul sister, whom I left in Virginia, also got me a very special gift: my very own Tarot set. I have always been leary of anything divination, especially since Diana and I messed with runes in college and boy howdy, that was a tale of its own. However, as soon as I began shuffling these cards, I started feeling like they were meant for me. I got that pins and needles feeling friends of mine who do dabble in divination describe after being given their first set of cards. It stunned me, especially when my dog Scruffy started barking at the deck after I placed it on the windowsill to cleanse until the full moon. I don’t know just how far I’ll go with the deck, if I’ll want the responsibility that comes with having such a tool. If you don’t believe in that stuff, I understand. It’s a part of my druidry though, and I do intend on practicing to see if the Tarot is right for me. I’m currently knitting a blanket to keep the deck wrapped in, and will wrap it in that blanket with bits of sage before I end its cleansing. I know it’s not entirely necessary to cleanse it, it is a brand new deck, but I feel it’s right. The timing just feels correct.

Job Switch

I’m officially no longer working at and never will work at Petco again. Some severe events occurred on my last days on the job that caused me to miss my final two shifts. I am not the kind of person who gets their mom to call out for them, but I needed to at this time. When she was on the phone with the leader on duty, he informed her (and made her quite irate) that I was now deemed unhirable despite there being a family emergency. It’s just as well, I’ve grown ever more disenchanted with the company. No, I do not consider PETA a reliable resource and many of their stories are fabricated and even deemed slanderous. However, I do not approve of chain pet stores selling live animals unless the staff on hand is 100% committed to the care of the animals. That is not always the case with Petco and other companies, and while I was really happy with this particular team there were still moments where I found the corporation absolutely brutal where it wasn’t necessary and negligent where it should have been attentive. I will miss the people I worked with. Some of them. But I have a new job with a cleaning company already lined up. I’m due to start Friday. I have a customer service representative position I’m waiting to hear back from, and a receptionist job I’ll be able to try out while assuring my family is alright on Thursday. So things are progressing. As of right now, I’m not sure what I want my career to be. Every time I think I know, I learn something new about that career or myself that changes everything. I joked with my mom that this is what happens when people try to tell eighteen-year-olds to define their lives by choosing a career as early as possible. She laughed and agreed. At my age, she was in secretary school. Now she is an esteemed Licensed Veterinary Technician with thirty years of experience who has trained doctors. She’s proof that we really don’t know where we’ll be in a decade. In 2010, I certainly didn’t think I’d be living in Florida.

The Witcher vs. The Mandalorian

Nope, this is not a competition. This is, however, me appreciating the TV dads just trying to keep their hooligans out of trouble. I ADORED both of these shows. They are filled with complex and lovable characters. The Witcher in particular was so filled with strong women and POC characters that it was the most refreshing take on fantasy I’ve seen in years. Ever, maybe. Yennefer won my heart, as did Cirilla. Calanthe was flawed, but consistently flawed. I loved her character, and I loved how well they diversified this cast. I was stunned to see them basically ride the ‘men are trash’ train like it was going off a cliff. The points where they blatantly declare the rights of women are virtually nonexistent was NICE. And the chemistry between Yennefer and Geralt left me shook, I was not expecting them to go so hard so fast. Chef’s kiss, 9/10. Why 9 and not 10? Well, because I’d love to have seen Geralt’s ass as much as Yennefer’s tits, but we can’t have it all, can we? The true bisexual dilemma. I haven’t been this tortured by hot characters since Wynonna Earp, may she return to us soon. Even Jaskier grew on me, he was some epically timed comedic relief. And Mando, agh! How he and the child won my heart. Cara too, the award for the absolute most valid representation of me on TV goes to Cara for sitting on her mount with her leg through over the wither of the animal. I sit like that on my horse to this very day and have never seen it on TV. My heart goes out to that found family, they were everything I needed. I can’t even begin to describe how impressed I am with the writing of The Mandalorian.

Pet Stuff

Another gift my family got me was a new rat cage. We took a ferret nation and converted it into a palace for my thirteen rats. I came to Florida with nine, lost one, then gained six girls when a female rat arrived at Petco and proceeded to birth eleven jelly beans. Now I have mom and her five daughters. I haven’t posted many pictures of the rats on Instagram because of the horrendous tumors three of my older girls have. The tumors are in inoperable spots, and the ones that are operable are on a rat who’s already undergone surgery one too many times. Tumors are an all too common part of owning rats, but that doesn’t mean I want to showcase my animals when they just want to be fed, comfortable, and happy. So I will continue to love them until they tell me they are in too much pain. This rat cage was the best gift for my babies.

We spent a lot of time working in the barn this past week. Diana and I helped shift the mats and level out the stalls, and we got a new horse bathed and settled in as a present for a little girl who is absolutely in LOVE with her new horse. I love every horse at that barn, including my own. Willow, my mare, arrived in Florida before I did and fell into a herd of grumpy geldings and eventually an initially shy but ultimately puppy dog mare. The other mare is VERY jealous of the new horse because she doesn’t want her momma baby-talking another horse. My horse is a brat no matter the circumstances, but she’s my brat. This barn is a refuge for my mom and I, my mom having adopted one of said grumpy geldings. His name is Ganache and Willow and he are the leaders of the herd thus far. Sometimes Willow lets the other mare take over, but mostly she likes to be on top.

Mental Health: Depression

An abrupt change of topic, but the family crisis we had to deal with involved clinical depression. I won’t go into detail, but I do want to talk about my experience here in case anyone needs to hear about it. I personally have severe general anxiety which can be set off at the drop of a hat even with medication. It was set off when people began questioning the validity of this family member’s depression. They wanted to know why this person could go from joking and laughing and having a good time to absolutely inconsolable in seconds. And the honest truth is, I can’t explain it in any other way than it’s a serious chemical imbalance. The brain is sick. I have a chronic illness, diverticulosis, and it can be set off just from me eating something remotely spicy. If my intestines can snap into sick mode at the drop of a chicken wing, I’m sure that a brain with depression can do something similar. But I’m not a therapist, and right now my role in helping this family member get better is helping them find someone safe they can confide in.

Supporting someone with clinical depression is often a divisive subject. There are people who say that the person will never be happy, so why bother. I cannot listen to those people. I’ll never not be anxious. My anxiety is a thing I have to monitor and measure for the rest of my life, but this family member wouldn’t throw me away just because I need constant assurance that I’m not screwing everything up. So I will never do that to them. They are so dear to me and have been with me through all the hell over these years. You could say I started this decade out with them, and we made it to the tenth year stronger than ever. I am nothing if not loyal, and this family member has earned every bit of my trust, love, and loyalty. When my anxiety tries to tell me that people not understanding them, their circumstances, their behavior and quirks, I just have to remind myself that that’s not my responsibility. What IS my responsibility, one I accept and fully commit to, is ensuring that I do everything I can to help this family member. Anxiety and depression are a dangerous couple, but we’ve gotten each other this far when at some points we didn’t think we’d make it.

I’m very fortunate to be where I am now. I have a loving family. I finally have a home again. I have the best animals who provide the absolute best therapy. I’m working on getting a job which can leave me satisfied while also supporting this family. Not everything is perfect, I’m financially unstable right now, but we’re actively on the verge of resolving that. I look forward to this new year full of new beginnings.

 

Tuesday Talks 12/24

It’s Christmas Eve, so this shall be short. I pondered for a while what I could offer that would be of value, and have still come up short. My skills are sometimes too broad for scope. So for now, I’ll share significant things I’ve done in the week since last Tuesday.

The main new thing I tried was watching The Witcher on Netflix. I will not be giving away spoilers. I know nothing about the Witcher series outside of the title character being an ostracized beast hunter. I started to worry I was just getting into another Game of Thrones situation where the women were so clearly written by men it was glaringly, painfully obvious. But I found myself appreciating the wide variety of women in the story. Granted, I’ve only seen the first two episodes. That’s still enough to tell there are some strong characters in this story. Cirilla, Calanthe, and Yennefer have my undying love and respect, and I absolutely feel awful for Renfri. I’d have to side with her and kill the man who’s brought so much hell on the lives of so many girls.

Which brings me to the topic of lesser evils. I love stories featuring morally gray themes, and I love Geralt as this person who shows the audience the consequences of moral grayness. Plus Geralt’s voice is hot. It really makes you wonder what you’d do in the situation and I think that makes people uncomfortable. I love that. I love a story that makes me wonder what I would do in a situation.

We’ll see how i like the rest of the series. I might find the rest cringe worthy, but I’m holding out hope. It’s a darkly themed show, but I don’t feel disgusting watching it like the aforementioned GoT.

Anyways, I’ll be taking notes throughout the week as a means of presenting them to you on Tuesdays. Till next week, I’ll check you on the flip!

Tuesday Talks

Starting today, I’ll be sharing stuff about my personal experiences and current goings-on on a weekly basis. Be it about writing, riding, pets, ghosts, empathy, art, movies, shows, books, druidry, survival, lgbt+, or mental health, I’ll spill. If there’s anything you’d like to see personally, tweet me or dm me over Instagram or hit up my contact page!