Hi! How are you today?
Hi! How are you today?
It feels more like four days today. Like I just saw him yesterday and if I turn fast enough or around the right corner, I'll find him standing there, grinning at me like a loon.
I miss my father so much today.
There's nothing new to say or for me to tell you about my father. If you track either the Hugh M. Hyatt tag or the Poppa Bear tag here on my LJ, you will find my memories of him. Stories that I've kept alive as best as I can, because it's all that I have left of him. The things he touched and the things he made are not him. But the memories... Those are things, moments that retain a bit of his soul. A bit of who I knew and remember of the man. That I remember of my father.
This year has been so so full of death and grief. So many have died or been killed and not far away, not across the water, but in communities that I travel through, losses to friends I have known for years. Artists gone that I have known of for years. Children taking their lives, because they're not sure that the next four years would be survivable for them, because the gender they were did not comply with the physical form they were born with. Artists also taking their lives, because they weren't sure if they'd have health care the next four years, and better to make one's own exit than be at the mercy of a cruel and merciless government that demands Obedience, and dispenses only pain and a slow death from pre-existing conditions, because apparently the sick and disabled don't deserve care or help or gods forbid, hope. And on top of that, a friend I knew since high school finally lost the battle with his heart, the organ he had been given with a congenital defect that finally got him. He lived longer than any of us thought possible. So much so that I think we all thought he would be here for a little bit longer.
But maybe that would have never been true, no matter when he died. Jason's dying would have been a loss no matter what, and a lot of us would have wished for more time. Not for us. For his children and for his wife, who has been such a pillar of strength and power, that I am in awe and hope that when or if she needs to break or just take a break, we will all be here to catch her.
It's the least I can do. The least *we* can do as her community.
And here we are on Pearl Harbor Day and the World is on fire and we are firmly in the grips of what Heinlein called the Crazy Years. I like to think that my father would have been a voice of reason during all of this. Spoken out especially against the willful denial of scientific fact presented in hard data. This once, his stubborness would have been a gift and a source of power. He loved to argue. I like to think that he probably could have out-argued the Devil. He had that in him.
I don't have his facility for the math or the science. I can only write about the people and the art and the music that I track. The politics that I immerse myself in, because at heart, I am a truly political animal, and in another life, life in DC and write analysis for people who probably never read them. But whatever. That life is not this life and I work with the tools that I've been given.
Oh, it hurts this year, Lady. It really fucking hurts. And next year doesn't look any better, in fact the next decade looks to be pretty fucking shitty. We're going to lose more people, and not to natural causes. Even my father's heart attack was an expected risk. It's not like the family history doesn't run in that direction.
So apparently today is going to be full of fire and tears. I will burn incense and offerings and pray. I will meditate and weep. I will rail at the cruelty of men and the blind neutrality of the vast Universe.
I need a box of tissue and a new cup of coffee. The crying is giving me that stupid headache that seems to follow such outbursts.
Pop, what are we going to do? I know that we can prevail, but I also know what the human cost of that effort will be. It'll be body count in both literal bodies, and in a lot of minds. It will break a lot of people and we will lose people we love and gods, I just want it to stop. I just. want. it. to. stop.
Goddess, help. Help. Help, help, help.
I don't know what to do.
I want my Daddy.
I won't lie. That first dinner was barely adequate. The potatos were lumpy, I think the stuffing was Stovetop, and everything else was just passable. An excellent first attempt.
And it is, to this day, one of the best memories of Thanksgivings dinners that were full of warmth and love and too much food followed by pie. For a day, I helped my friends, and especially myself, feel a little bit more at home in the world.
That's a big deal in your twenties.
Needless to say, ah, you could say I've improved from that day. (And that would be a screaming understatement LOL)
What started out as a dinner between friends, became an open dinner for anyone who was alone and needed company that day. A day where even if I hadn't met you before, from that day on, you were a member of my chosen family. Because the people that would turn up with established friends, always turned out to be as dear as the ones they came with.
What started out as cooking on the day of, over the years gained a day or two here. Because as the number grew from four to at its highest 35, I started to teach myself more dishes and refined my techniques. Now I start prep a full week before the day of dinner.
Yes, you read that right. A full week.
There's good reason for that. The annual menu now includes the biggest fucking turkey I can find that year (24 is ideal, but I'd really love to get 30 pounder some day, CACKLE), the usual sides, AND chicken and beef liver pate, cakes, banana bread, pies, cookies, and if I end up having five minutes, a cheese and veggie plate and deviled eggs. And people still bring food if they want to.
So let that sink in for a minute.
Because this year is different. This year, I knew and know that I could not do all the work that I did before. There was no way. I just can't work like that anymore. So for the first time since that first dinner, I've cut back and streamlined. Dropped the pate, because I don't currently have a working food processor (that alone was a huge gain of time, it's a complicated dish), dropped the cakes, and only made two batches of chocolate chip cookies, versus my usual raft of dozens of those, sugar, peanut butter, and whatever new cookie recipe had caught my eye.
Yes, I was fucking nuts.
And it made and makes me stupid happy to do this every year. I can't even tell you. This is one of the great touchstones of my life.
Cutting back was really fucking hard for me, because I felt like I would be letting everyone down. Don't worry, Sane Anji pointed out that I always make too much fucking food, and there was a good chance no one would even notice, let alone care. The priority was to do the dinner without murdering my sanity and mood.
So here we are.
Final prep day.
I get the lesson now, Lady. Trust people to help when they actually show up to help, and know that I can’t do everything on my own. Except if no one shows up, figure out a way to do it by myself. Don’t let their lack of support or apathy drag me down. In short…
Fuck the crab pot.
Fuck the crab pot.
Roger that. I copy loud and clear.
Now understand that yesterday, I did not take timed breaks and ended really hurting my right shoulder due to recalcitrant ancient flour and an equally ancient flour sifter. Don't ask. It was an ugly three hours. So by bedtime, I was in fucking pain. Well, cannabis to the rescue.
Between taking a serious hit before bed and having the Husband put the Whoopi & Maya cannabis salve on my back, I am tender today, but not racked in pain. I've been diligent about setting my timers and sitting often and taking Advil and my dose frequently, Oh, and mostly use my left hand for heavy duty. (Thank Crom for ambidexterity)
So far, I've got one pie in the oven, and just walked away to take my break from slicing apples for crumble and pie. I'd call the experiment a success.
But all of this spawned some heavy thinking this morning. Specifically...
Man, the fucking arrogance of “Let nothing stop you.” Yeah, if you are completely healthy and able-bodied, and/or are born with enough support and care, you totes can go balls to the walls. There are people behind you who will catch you if you fall.
Then there’s the rest of us, who I’ve joined and didn’t understand and couldn’t believe when they said that they couldn't do things, because frankly, I saw how much it was a lie when it came out of my mother. I just missed that that piece of data was specific to her. You can’t help someone who won’t help themselves.
It wasn’t a universal.
So, yeah, some grace and compassion for myself. There’s no way I could have known any of that. A) I was a kid in a hideously abusive household and B) I was a fucking kid! Jesus Christ, give myself a fucking break, guys! We don’t expect that kind of cognitive burden from a child! It doesn’t matter if they’re a prodigy! (And I wasn't) That shit will burn them the fuck out.
I didn’t know and I couldn’t know.
I know now. And knowing what I know, I can take this knowledge back to the world of the abled and finally explain in terms that they can understand what it’s like to be caged by disabilities that you have no control over and that on some days, make you just want to scream with rage, pain, and frustration. How everything in your life requires a work around, life hacking every minute of every day for the rest of your life. Because for some of these things, there is no cure and in some other cases, they would refuse a "cure" because y'know what?
We're not broken.
We're just different.
I can tell people that. I can do that.
Lots to be grateful for. And grateful for you. Especially you. You keep me breathing.
* I had a footnote in mind earlier, but it has gone walkies. Oh well! It's gone now! :)
The Magician - Tarot Apocalyptica - 11-2016
No. I wouldn't fuck with her either.
Serendipity. When it hits, it hits, and you pray to be in the right place, at the right time, with a working camera. This counts as the Arrested Moment. This is what I was waiting for.
*I still don't have a REVERSED meaning, but I'm sure it will come to me in time. For now, this is the card meaning.
( Tell the truth and shame the devil. )
Magician Crosses - Tarot Apocalyptica - 11-2016
I want it put down officially for the record that it was the Mouse's idea to go in the water. I didn't even bring it up. So we went down the embankment and she walked into the shoals of the Los Angeles River.
Time to head home.
In other news, being October with my birthday, anniversary, and Samhain coming, I realized I had no energy to carve pumpkins, let alone decorate. I was just too damn tired and had no motivation or enthusiasm to do it.
Luckily, this is where the Bean stepped in. I let her decorate the house with the regular things to her great delight. Delegating! I can haz!
And I told myself not to stress.
That went as well as you think.
* * *
And currently, as of today, I find myself thinking of my father a lot. Which is normal. We're coming up on his death day. My father tried to teach me so many things that I am only now starting to understand. Gods above know why he thought a six-year-old was going to grasp this shit, but hey, it made an impression and I'm apparently figuring it out now.
He used to play this game with me. He would say, you can make any rule for the game. So, I'd make up something silly, like stand on one leg. Then it would be his turn, and he always said, "I make a rule that I win."
And I would lose my shit, well as much as a six-year-old can. But every time, he'd point out that it wasn't cheating. I had not made a rule that said you had to win by a certain metric. (Yes, I'm quoting.) He never said as much, but I think what he was trying to say to me is/was: we make our own rules. We are the masters of our destiny. Not our churches, not our governments, not even our peers. We decide what our moral or immoral center is. And one of those choices can be, to win. But you have to choose, and you have to abide by those choices. Be willing to take those consequences.
Quite the lesson packed into so small a game. It's up there with his, the sky is red thing that he'd spring on me from time to time.
I make a rule that I win. It’s not cheating. The parameters of the game are that you can make your own rules. One of those rules can be, I rule that I win. Done. No. It’s not fair. But life’s not fair, and anyone telling you differently is selling something.
And you can too.
* * *
I forgot my meds yesterday. No bueno, but I also didn’t pass out around three to get a nap. Something to think on. I don't know if it's happening because the Wellbutrin is wearing off and the Prozac takes over, and the Prozac makes me sleepy. I took my regular dose this morning. We'll see what happens. (Yes! I am my own test bed!)
My hand remor was bad this morning too. Thing is, I don't notice it anymore unless I'm trying to do fine handwork, or someone points it out. I've just learned to work around it.
I can't decide if that's good or bad.
I feel good today, if in a bit of pain, so painkillers before I head out to Costco. Pray for me.
I’m really not all here today. I am just drifting out of my body, wordless and floaty.
And last night was rough. I had a whole raft of difficult and painful emotion come up that I kept trying to process on my own and that was rather stupid. Then the light bulb went on and I thought, how about I just...sit with the feeling. Stop trying to fix or resolve it. Just let myself feel the pain, the hurt, and the disappointment, and let myself grieve. And eventually, all the pain and hurt processed and drifted away.
I wish I could retain this lesson better. It keeps getting taught to me and every time, I act so damn surprised. Gah.
And that's it.
Or: the quiet start to the year is over.
As of today, I’m off to a networking thing tonight, it’s Valentine’s Day on Friday, a bridal shower on Sunday, and running 18 miles on Sunday, all while carrying my usual work load.
Piece of cake. But the moderate pace of the last six weeks has clearly just been ejected from my schedule like woah. It’s not a problem, but I can see that I’m going to have to start being more militant in deploying the word that we all seem to struggle with from time to time: No.
There’s so much that I want to do this year and there’s so many opportunities. But if I learned anything from last year, it’s that I can’t say yes to everything at the same time and I absolutely have to make my own work a priority or suffer the consequences. To some degree, I’m still digging out from that. Which is not a bad thing.
But I would really like to be able to squeeze out enough to hit Warp 9 in this bucket…
(Oh, and I need to figure out a new user pic…)
Because tomorrow, it will be. The Amazing A dropped off the first of the Vaudeville props last night and it is *awesome*.
We have rope. With interesting knots!!!
I also sketched in two paintings yesterday, so I’m feeling more sane than I have in weeks. Working on paintings = instant sanity.
I get some photo editing in and I’ll be a whole new woman.
I have also got all the current perks worked out for the upcoming Alice Assassin campaign and I am pretty excited about it. Getting the show on the gallery walls will be made of total awesome, especially in conjunction with the book release. At this point, we’re 38 days out from launch of the campaign.
Knocked down the 18 miler on Sunday. Only one more this Sunday and then I begin the taper, the period of time where I allow my muscles to heal in prep for the marathon in (holy shit) 25 days.
And did I mention that the Bean is turning 3 this April?
First Quarter of 2012?
Burning it down.
I have Monday and Tuesday off, which will be devoted to running and sleeping.
I know. Look at me. Living la vida loca…
The writing is coming together very slowly. My brain is just not regrown enough. So I’m letting it take its time and just relaxing. Reading and working on all the metric tons of things that the press needs right now with the 12×12 initiative. Soon enough, something will light my cranium up again and I’ll be off to the races.
Mostly I just want to paint. I’m hoping to do that this weekend.
Otherwise, it’s just the same old same. Lots to do. Not enough hours in the day. Avoiding politics, because it alternately enrages me or terrifies me. Being the mother of daughters right now is enough to give you the cold sweats if you let it. Doing all I can to make sure the world they inherit sees them as people with rights and not slaves.
And when I can’t take anymore, I retreat for a bit and read. Remember that magick is real. Get back to it when my strength returns.
Which means I should get back to pushing this rock uphill.
Have a good weekend, my darlings…
I have Dust in the Wind doing the earworm thing right now and I am just fine with that. One of the few songs that I just love.
But moving on.
So. Busy, busy, busy week. Lost Tuesday to rain, so I’ve done this week’s training runs back to back to (tonight) back, which I was worried about, but which the body is responding to with not even a hiccup. It is *wonderful*. But it does mean that on the 8 miler nights, I get nothing else done but running. Which is actually fine. It is more than enough to get home, love my family and then run 8 miles under the full moon.
The new novel continues to slowly accrete mass, like they do. I am debating what I want to write for ScriptFrenzy, if anything. I have yet to dig up my old screenwriting idea file.
Not much else going on. I run. I write. My camera and easel languish right now. But the marathon is less than six weeks away. I will need them then, for after.
Pictureless Wednesday. Need to edit more photos and hopefully that will be tonight.
Last night’s run hurt like a motherfucker. I don’t know if I didn’t stretch enough or what, but holy crunchy frog, it sucked, not that my pace showed it, so go me. Quads were killing me and the blisters on my right pinky toe continue to be painful little bitches. I did more work on my foot last night and seem to have caught the last blister (seriously, I have blisters under my blisters). Today my foot just feels raw, not “Oh hai, I am under your epidermis and here to fucking torture you!”
Pro-tip for other returning or newbie runners: micropore tape is your friend. Sand off your callouses and tape your feet before you run. You will thank me.
In other news, only ten pages remain on the Broken Rainbow copyedit and hopefully that will get nailed down today, at which point I take a five minute break and start working on the edit of The Mad Scientist’s Beautiful Daughter.
Still no painting, but that’s okay. Only so many hours in the day.
I have other news that I cannot share, but think good thoughts for me and mine.
How’s your world?
Friday. Yes. It is Friday. And my brain is too full of full. I have so much going on and most of it is fantastic and really there need to be about five more of me to handle it all. One alone to do the sleeping for the other four. For reals.
And how crazy is this? So I'm in edit mode. But I want to be writing. Because my brain is going crazy in just edit mode. So I'm probably going to crack my notes open for either the.childrens.crusade or Mistress of Assassins. I'll have to flip a coin to see which one. Or sit down and crank out one of the many short stories that's been trying to eat me lately.
And then there's photography.
The Alice Assassin series is done. Now it's all processing and printing and gallery hunting.
So what do I shoot next? Do I shoot more Goddesses? I have an idea folder around here somewhere...
And I finally have a hole carved out to paint.
Brain. Full. I just want a week to empty it out. Yes.
*does more Pranayama*
Dark Lightning eARC is going out today as soon as the PDF can be generated. That doesn't seem real to me at all. But there it is.
Next thing is to get the layout together and then wait, because of the damn review cycle.
Luckily, I'll be diving straight into the massive edit that is Broken Rainbow. Much work waits for me there and come July, the first edit of Vaudeville Goes to Hell needs to start as well as the joy that is busines plan writing for the production.
I still don't have a place to paint, which is pissing me off. I need to finish the painting for the Broken Rainbow cover.
And I need to do more jumping jacks and run.
There's a lot going on.
I transferred photos from the camera to Beast last night. Via the built in card reader in the front.
The transfer screamed images by so fast it was like watching video, the frames whipped by so quick. What used to take anywhere from fifteen minutes to half an hour was done in less then a thirty seconds.
I may possibly have gotten up and danced like a mad thing. I may have emulated Kermit the Frog. You will never know. I did not take video. But yes, you may wonder. Oh yes.
Gods. After two years, I shit you not, it is like having a limb reattached or regaining brain function after a stroke.
I am almost afraid of what I'll be capable of when I upgrade to a full pro camera rig...
And considering how gray it is outside today, this is appropriate. A little piece of missing sunshine.
* * *
So. Back from vacation and back to dayjob. We return to our regular programming.
Vaudeville Goes to Hell is cranking along, though I'm 21 pages behind on page count (my own count).
I did only a little photo editing, but a lot of shooting with Instagram on Mr. iPhone. I love how easy it is to get back to the daily shooting with it.
Granted, vacation jacked up my back, without the dual visits to PT, so I'm paying for it, but the shooting pain isn't back. Small favors. Meditation and yoga are lifesavers.
If all goes well, I will be shooting the final photos for Alice Assassin in the near future. Just trying to get things to line up.
And that's me. There's a million other things going on. Consider this the highlight reel.
Man. My weekend is already so booked as to be a joke. But there it is.
My writing list just got hammered this week too. I am eyes deep in structure for the.childrens.crusade *and* Vaudeville Goes to Hell, because, y'know, I have to frikken' write both of them now. So trying to schedule that crap out.
I'm taking a break before tackling the next painting. Want to make sure the tank is full when I tackle Broken Rainbow. I also can't find my reference photos for the painting, which has me cranky. Cannot paint without reference. I take huge liberties with what I create, but I need the visual "What the hell am I painting again?" to do it effectively.
Photo editing is just getting hammered by all of this too. It needs to happen, but shit on a stick, it's not.
I need an additonal ten hours a day, stat!
If I could just get over this head cold, it wouldn't all seem so hideously overwhelming.
*crawls back to it*
It's been a really long weekend. As in, I'm going to work tomorrow so I can actually get some rest, it was that kind of long.
I'm exhausted. I'm going to bed in about five minutes.
But I can't turn my brain off and stuff is going on and and and... I need to turn my brain off. But I can't. So I've had some tequila. And it helps. And it doesn't. So I'll talk to you instead, because that does help, full stop.
I rambled and I deleted it, because even I could tell it was incoherent.
Just know that I'm thinking of you, wherever you are and whatever you're going through. I'm holding you in the light. Yes. You.
This life? Oh, it can be sharp. It can cut you to the bone. But it's the sharpness of a crystal, a brilliant thing of knife edges and brilliance and refraction. And even as it draws your blood, it robs you of your breath because of its beauty sometimes.
And on that note, to bed, my darlings. May visions of sugar plums dance in your head. If not that, whatever most delights you.
*kisses you on the forehead*
Remember when you were young and you could stay up and out till 4 AM, sleep two hours, get up, suck down a pot of coffee and feel fine?
I would like it fucking back now. Fucking wasted on the young.
Out late last night to see the So You Think You Can Dance touring show. Tickets were my birthday gift this year from Dave Mitchell (Darling Man (TM)). Show was epic awesome and amazing and the cameras don't do justice to the amazing dancer that is Allison Holker. Like OMFG, do not even come close.
But now I am wasted and I'm going to do it again on Thursday, because the Amazing A is taking me to my very first silks class where I am going to learn how to fly, though on my first lesson, I foresee a lot of falling and hurting myself. Can't. Wait.
And NaNoWriMo continues to kick my ass, but the book broke for me the day before yesterday and I have four sub plots (or so) that I can go back and seed in now and oh, look! It's like a novel and everything! Go me!
And the rest, life is just life. Good things. Bad things. People falling in love. Others having their hearts broken. Sometimes the sheer magnitude of it all robs me of my breath. It's nothing like what I imagined as a little girl. Some parts are so much worse.
And some parts are so much better that it leaves me staggered.
How we live.
I can call anyone in the world in real time. I can see a photograph of a woman peering out a porthole and looking *down* at a glowing blue Earth. Most phones are smarter than I am.
Been getting a lot accomplished, which is wonderful, though last night I bailed on everything, because the latest Lois McMaster Bujold book was waiting for me, and excuse me while I devour it. Worth. The. Wait. Guy Gavriel Kay's latest book will be my next acquisition after it.
I don't really have anything else to natter on about.
I have loops of Zoe Keating music playing through my head.
Both my daughters are no longer ill from their respective illnesses.
Progress. I haz it.
How do I combat a morning like the one I've had so far?
Art. Look at my glorious models.
* * *
Well. The last thirteen hours have been...challenging.
Up half the night with the Bean who is not entirely sick, but not entirely well and as far as I can tell was having nightmares or something and refused to be soothed. Unfortunately, by the time it was 5:30 AM or so, as much as I wanted to take care of her, I had to start getting ready for work, my plan being to get her when I was done taking the World's Shortest Shower and getting dressed.
And when I got out and was finished?
She was asleep again.
Nearly died on the way in to work. Guy nearly drove me off the road.
Walking in to work, my heel is hurting like hell. Finally get my shoe off at my desk and feel something poking out of my foot. 1/4" thorn.
I got nothing.
How's your day?
I'm going to hide under my desk.
Grief is still a heavy weight. So many friends hurting.
But even in spite of my grief, I don't know. I felt a release.
I am enough. They are enough. Our lives are what they are. We are all doing our very best, right this second. If we can do better the next second, we will. Or we won't. It doesn't matter.
All that matters, is each other.
"You're an interesting species. An interesting mix. You're capable of such beautiful dreams, and such horrible nightmares. You feel so lost, so cut off, so alone, only you're not. See, in all our searching, the only thing we've found that makes the emptiness bearable, is each other."
- Alien, Contact
You. Yes, you. I wouldn't be here with anyone else.