Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Ramblings and stuff.

I have been plugging away at life in the hopes of getting ahead on a few different fronts. Somehow, though, it keeps going a bit sideways on me. I can report, however, that I have finished that shawl I was working on since last August. I knew it was going to be pretty big from the pictures that went with the pattern. Once I got it off the needles, I was kinda left in shock at the size of it. Still, I have it finished and ready to be given to my sister in law.

Beloved has been searching for a hat to wear in the sun. I had been searching for a hat for him as well. I finally decided to take matters into my own hands. I picked up some space-dyed blue/white cotton yarn and crochet him a bucket hat. The first attempt was waaay too large and basically made him look like Cobra Commander, if Cobra Commander's hood thingy was in multiple shades of blue and white. We laughed and then I got to work on my second attempt. I am pleased to say that the second attempt was successful and his hat fits just right now.

I have been struggling with my writing. Part of the problem is the fact that I haven't felt well for a while now. Part of the problem is I haven't been sleeping well. And part of the problem is the fact that I have been very anxious of late, which turns writing time into worrying time. All of this interference has made it very difficult to focus enough to keep up with my blogging, let alone work on any of my books. I wish I didn't get so upset and panicky that I couldn't think when I have sat down to write of late.

It's been hard because the financial situation smacked me in the face recently. I knew that things were tight. After going over the budget to fill out a form to request a reduced rate at my therapist's office (they've made changes to their billing structure and my old form didn't meet their new requirements), I quietly sat at the kitchen table and did my best not to start shaking and freaking out. I am hoping that we'll hear something from Social Security regarding my second attempt to get disability in the near future.

Until then, it's creative budgeting and pinching pennies. I have been having difficulty socializing, which makes being logged into Keen torture. So, I have been avoiding it because I break out in a cold sweat at the prospect of talking to someone unfamiliar of late. My therapist is of the opinion that this is partially due to my high stress levels. I just want to get back to where I was mildly uncomfortable talking to people I didn't know rather then quietly panicking over the idea that they might attack me for daring to even exist.

I'm sure that my panic would be pegged as a variant of paranoia. I just know that it sucks and I want it to go away. Unfortunately, it doesn't seem to be doing that right now. My psychiatric provider has adjusted my medications again as of last week. We'll see if this resolves issues for me or not. I am hesitant to say that it has helped me sleep. Last night was the first night of no nightmares since August. I am daring to hope that tonight will be just as nightmare free. I would like to get back to where I am not afraid to go to sleep.

I am just trying to keep things moving forward. I don't feel like I'm making progress but Beloved assures me that I am. The gods tell me that everything will be ok and I should persevere. So, I've put my shoulder to the proverbial boulder and been pushing with all my might. Either things will improve or I will find a better way to cope with it all. Something is going to change if by nothing more then pure force of will.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Stumbling around toys and stuff.

The apartment is something of a pit of chaos right now. It's not as bad as it was yesterday afternoon but it is still not as tidy as I'd like it to be. I'm looking at everything and feeling the itch to start pitching stuff again. I recognize that the urge to organize and such is part of my entering into a hypomanic phase. Honestly, however, I think we could benefit from a purge of broken toys. There's just enough of them that I get irritated by them. The question is how to manage it with out the kids having massive meltdowns over it.

The laundry seems to have taken on a life of its own and declared the living room to be its domain. I just haven't had the energy to fold all five loads right now. I keep telling myself that I'll get it taken care of tomorrow. And then it is the end of the next day and I haven't done anything about it. Today, I folded one load and put it away. So, we're no longer at six loads of laundry in the living room. I don't think, however, that counts as much progress on that front.

I've been struggling with writing for the last few weeks. I stare at the screen and my mind just goes blank. I get the same problem with my journals. It is a really awful feeling, especially for someone who hopes to make some money via their writing. I have been spending some time editing. Book two of the fantasy series is off at beta readers right now. My goal is to have all of my ducks in a row to self publish this by the end of July. As my beta readers are making their way through the manuscript, I have been flailing over what to do for a cover. It hasn't been very pretty.

My mental health hasn't been the best. I want to say that I'm finished with this recent depressive episode. I don't know, however, if that is 100% accurate. My difficulty sleeping has come back somewhat and I've been making up the difference with naps in the morning. I'd like to say that it has improved the situation but, honestly, I don't think it is. I am attempting to not worry about stuff and not sit here and complain about how unfair it is. I still have a lot of anxiety and anger, however, roiling around in my gut that I just can't seem to get out. (Because of the difficulty in writing, which is also extending into drawing/painting right now too.)

I'm not seeing my therapist as often as I was before. I just kinda feel that I'm treading water right now. The medications help even out my moods, I suppose. But I keep having more unpleasantness welling up when I sit down to look at it. I am not even phased by it. I look at it, sigh, and then continue on with my day. It's, to some extent, become like another ache or pain. My knees haven't been happy with the weather, so the aches and pains have been regular. Hopefully, the return to the regimen of gulcosamine will resolve that.

Gardening stuff is a mixed bag. I have some seeds that I want to sow but I need a bit of work done to get the pots I am going to put them into ready. I picked up a few plants at the farm market just up the road. I purchased a bunch of herbs (apple mint, chocolate mint, and dead nettle). I potted up the mints and put the dead nettle into the flowerbed in the front yard by the steps. I had to cover everything because of the potential for frost tonight. My biggest concern is that my miniature rosebushes will not survive the night.

I will be very disappointed if they die. It's bad enough that I can't just plant them in the yard and I basically have to treat them as annuals. If I can't get them to make it through the season, I will be quite sad. I'm hoping that they will take well to being potted. I divided them and put them into pots last week, they look a bit bedraggled. I would love it if they bloomed. I am thinking about keeping one of the pots indoors in the back hallway over the winter so that I can keep at least one plant but I don't think that is a realistic option. Ah well, such is life.

Sunday, May 03, 2015

On the Baltimore riot

NOTICE: Re-posted from my Facebook account. I was inspired to write this after the umpteenth time of seeing people saying that the riots are BADWRONG and not conducive towards effecting change to resolve the problem highlighted by the death of Freddie Gray. Flame me if you will, I'll just ignore you and continue in my merry way.

riots are the language of the oppressed. it has been the case for as long as there have been people oppressed in *any* society. you can find examples on the matter of race going back at least to the Civil War era (if not longer). some of those riots were not termed such, but rather 'slave rebellions' (because the rioters were slaves).

have there been riots by those who are in the dominant group? yes but the majority of riots that have happened over the course of history are the oppressed attempting to force change. and they get called riots by the dominant group because it belittles what the rioters are moved to violence over and their acts of rebellion.

if you are going to say that a riot isn't the way 'civilized' people effect change, you are taking an exceptionally narrow and elitist view on history. sometimes, the only way change happens is because of the pressures placed upon the dominant group through the uprising of the oppressed group(s) and one of the ways the oppressed puts pressures on the dominant group is through violence.

when they've been stripped of 'legitimacy' and 'credibility' by the dominant group (who systematically undermines peaceable efforts to effect change by the oppressed, because that's what oppression does), the oppressed people are left with a limited range of ways to force society at large to take notice of their situation and demand redress of grievances. in an ideal world, people could peaceably assemble and air their grievances with the expectation that just action would be taken to rectify the problem.

that, however, is not the world we live in. when systemic oppression reaches a limit where it is intolerable, people will violently move to throw off the limits of oppression. this is part of the reason why the American Revolution happened.

don't like it? then actively work to see justice done for the oppressed and give them back their voice, legitimacy, and credibility in our society. if no one does anything, this will continue to fester and get worse. not because rioting is bad but because oppression is like cancer and will spread to other areas as the people who are in positions of power attempt to expand it.