Do I bid on a pair of hand-knitted socks and take a chance that the knitter will be able to do royal blue with a pattern of silver stars, or do I not? On the one hand, squee! On the other hand, I'm worried I'll accidentally ruin them when trying to wash them, and then there's the accidental hole in the heel problem, and the 'oops, crap, I tugged a loose piece of yarn and now things are all unraveling' problem, and...

Decisions, decisions. :)

It *does* look like one pair of wrist warmers will happen, which is an absolute delight, socks or no socks. Royal blue cabled secondarily in silver, or if not true silver, then as close a silvery grey as the knitter can manage. And they will be my own commission, in my own color pair, and no one else will have had a hand in besides myself and the crafter. Assertion of my own identity, separate from family expectations and ideas, feels a little like joy and a little like righteous defiance. And it's for a beyond worthy cause, so triple score.
Current Music: Lin-Manuel Miranda -- Almost Like Praying
Current Mood: nervous
22 October 2017 @ 08:28 am
I. Nerdvana Con

This went about as well/not-well as I truly expected it to. The things that were badly planned for a first year, over all, were still badly planned for a first year (and one of them even went as unpatroned as I knew it would), but more importantly I made the decision to focus less on the con as a whole and more on the postage stamp area that is mine (/ours): which is only the Gaming Area/Gaming Committee.

Gaming went amazingly well. We had X-wing mini demo's. A game vendor who brought dice & games to sell, as well as was our awesome people who checked out both board games and card games for free play, too. We had a huge area for Intro to DND, with four different DM's running 1 hour campaigns. During the whole nine-to-two period of the 1st Nerdvana Con we never had less than 75 people in our area. It was a resounding success.

There was some incredibly inconvenient stresses with the person who headed up our committee for this last year, but it's about to be run, more specifically, by the four of us who've been around more during all the planning. During yesterday we filled two documents with how it's going to be run during the next year, too. All pro's, con's, ideas from us/the kids/the people volunteering time & product for us.

I went into the con yesterday burned out and not all that pumped (and considering the idea of not coming back at all to the big planning group or the small committee for next year), but I've come out off it proud of what we managed to accomplish for the fist year, and newly inspired for everything we can do in the next year to prep for the next Nerdvana Con.

II. Laura & Brian's Family's Halloween Lake Party

My whole party response has been underwhelming.

After two years of feeling guilty for never being able to make it to this rocking Annual Lake Halloween Party (which Amber & Laura go to, which is, I know now), run by Laura's husband's parents), I finally made it. It's out about an hour from town, and it was, undeniably, a gorgeous drive. Especially during the last 10-20 minutes of it, when everything is dips, and dales, and green rises, cutting into valleys and lake scenes.

Apparently, though, everything about party this year was bust. Everything that it wasn't, it was instead. The party usually has 60-75 people; it had about half that. The party is around a bonfire, because it's usually freezing; it was unexpectedly Texas hot even far away from the bonfire (and terribly warm near it). The party usually runs until 2-4 in the morning; we were leaving to shower and sleep around 11.

It being unprecedented, even the people who come every year were very surprised, and I've been told multiple times by multiple people 'it's never like this.'

My second borrowed DragonCon dress from Laura ended up being a bust, as the stays actually punch into the top of my thighs when I sit down. I crashed hard after the party. The nearby cabin we stayed in wasn't terrible, but the tiny place decided to not get cold and there was one glaring light through the front window, which mean after sleeping like brick, once I woke up at my normal 6, it was almost impossible to get back to sleep.

The party itself was a burst, but really the rest was just fine. It was lovely getting to hang out with Amber, Laura, and Brian, meeting Brian's parents and their friends across the way. The hours getting into perfect makeup and costumes for everyone was fun. The hot dog bar was a lovely, lovely thing, and second favorite to the venison sausage. The mule-rides were hilarious (especially when I accidentally stepped on the gas during one, and another where we were all trying to carry bottles and open drinks while going and down the hill in it).

During the same said main house alcohol raid which lead to the mule ride with the open drinks, I discovered a new alcohol I have a deep, new love for: Tennessee Fire. It's cinnamon whiskey, but it tastes exactly like a red hot. It's better than any Fireball or Goldschläger.

It was nice to have a catch-up session in general, since I don't see Amber usually during my weeks or months anymore the way it used to be daily working in the same grade-leve/department as her. It was nice to see Laura for something fun and frivolous, and not simply related to us talking about my arduous -- that are mostly rare, but highly emotional bouts on the -- path with everything revolving around my endocrinologist.

Pipe Creek is gorgeous in the blustery, just barely sprinkling morning (and now, raining!), with a riot of garden colors and a million birds singing. It really is a lovely place and I can see the appeal all around. It will be fun to come back in the spring and see the infamous St. Patrick's Day party.

We've plans off to breakfast next with all the crew out here, and then I'll be off into the rest of Insane Weekend's plans. Geek Girl Brunch will be in the middle of my day with October's Cosplay brunch, and then tonight my house is hosting a viewing party for Grand Prix Event #1: Rostelecom. More on these and other things once they've come to me.
22 October 2017 @ 06:58 pm
[From here]

Bodhi only just glances over his shoulder as Dorian lets himself out. The blood is pounding in his ears, too loud to let anything else be heard.

Galen wants him. Galen wants to marry him. Galen will marry him. Even after- after Lyra. After everything.

"Galen, I- Is this real?"
[ Day I | Day II | Day III | Day IV | Day V ]

DAY III - Your Favorite Quote

This is still absolutely perfect and correct as the last time I wrote it.

Do I contradict myself?
Very well, then I contradict myself.
I am large. I contain multitudes.

-- Walt Whitman; "Song of Myself"

Once upon a time I was a wee wanderlust thing, still just catapulted into the world of words and books with degrees attached to them, and the marvel that I could become accredited for talking about them, knowing about them and loving them. In this land, I was asked to read Walt Whitman, again, for the third time I think. I had spent all of high school reading it twice, while preoccupied with several other worlds dreading it. So I put it off, and I put it off, and I put it off.

Finally, like the day before I had to have read the whole book again, I picked it off the table, and stared at it like I was girding myself for war, before taking it outside to lay on my back lawn, in the grass while reading, as you guessed it, Leaves of Grass which is where you will find this poem. But something magical happened that day. I fell into Whitman, or he fell into me, or we fell into each other, looking across that vast wide water, like a puzzle piece slotting into place, like a drop of water returning to the ocean, like a snow flake descending slowly and melting all at once.

Suddenly, all of it made sense. Suddenly, I could not close my eyes and I could not read it fast enough. Suddenly, I was underlining quotes, and reading it the way you learn a lover, wanting madly to suddenly know everything, and wanting in every pause to go back and trace the wrist bones and eyelashes that you just found, that could not be as fragile and perfect and unreal as they seem. Suddenly, he was speaking to me, and about me, and the world made sense through him.

There were many things that happened from there (like the fact all my Kindles are named Leaves of Grass [Insert Number] based on nine successive times the novel was republished; I'm on IV), but this quote among several favorite jumped out and stuck forever.

The moment I read these words it rang like a clarion bell, the one I'm so attuned to listening to, in my soul.

The one that said, Look, look, come and see, stop worry if other people think everything you believe does not line up. The one that said, You are larger than one big, big, big truth. The one that said, You are big enough for a million million big, big, big truths, whole unto themselves, and all holy in the their own rights, and not needing to justify themselves to each other.

And somehow it felt like Walt Whitman, speaking about himself, had given me the right to exist. To be most microscopic, and unashamedly, unapologetically, cosmically multifaceted. That it was not a shameful thing to contradict yourself. Maybe it was just a normal thing. A thing that came with setting great things side by side, like breathing and blinking at the same time, like tea and toast. Different, but beautiful things all at once. And true, true even when it wasn't beautiful.

Because it simply was. Like rain, and love.

This is definitely on the list of things I would not mind having tattooed on my skin somewhere, and it will never stop being the top of my journal now that the introduction post has it there.

Subject Index )
Current Mood: peaceful
Moving sucked. Wilford hated everything about it, but after two years of correspondent work on someone else’s show, great things were finally happening. With enough sweet talk and arm-twisting, he’d managed to keep everybody on board through the whole oreal, and now finally it was paying off, and he’d made good on his word. It was time to get the hell out of the trenches and do something fun.

Wilford couldn’t remember what it was about Mirror Park he hadn’t liked the first time around. He just knew that he hadn’t liked it. A house up in the hills with a bit of space between him and the neighbours seemed like a better choice this time. On the other hand, it meant that even the smallest properties were way too damn big for just one person to live in. It also didn’t have much of a yard in any real sense, which ordinarily would fly right past his radar. This time was different, because Buster needed a space of his own outside. The small strip of green before the natural terrain took over wasn’t quite ideal, but it was something. And there was always Milliways if he needed to go let the dog run out all his energy.

Wilford hated the house. He hated how much it had cost, and the way it looked, and how everything was the same bland shade of not-quite-white. He hated that he was going to have to spend even more money if he intended to do something to make the house feel like anything other than some anonymous, sterile hospital room. Not that any of his previous apartments had been much better, but at least then he had the excuse of being stopped by a lease. He dealt with that by just never going home, which just seemed like a stupid waste with the amount of money he’d spent on this place.

But the neighbours were all hidden behind walls of tall trees and dips and ridges in the terrain. It was quiet up here; nobody blasting music or racing their cars along the roads. Both were bound to happen sooner or later, but for now, it had peace going for it. And the view from the deck alone was worth some of the cost. Just standing there, overlooking the entire city, it was easy to see why people built houses up in the hills in the first place. But the house itself was nothing short of hateful. It was cold in all the wrong ways, and even with everything painted the same shade of not-quite-white, it still seemed dark and oppressive. But the dog seemed to like it, and had immediately claimed the master bedroom as his own. Which was fine, because it wasn’t like Wilford would ever be using it. All of the dog’s toys got tossed in there beside the bed, and immediately forgotten about as soon as Wilford started putting his kitchen together. Aside from a few basic pieces of furniture, the kitchen was the only real amount of shopping Wilford had done anything for. Rather than trying to move everything across the country, it was cheaper to sell it all in DC and start fresh. Which also had the added bonus of getting everything brand new and in perfect working order. He didn’t have much in the way of dishes or cutlery, but he didn’t need to if it was only ever just going to be him and a dog. Instead, it was all electric kitchen gadgets, sharp knives, cutting boards, a dozen pots and pans, and spoons and spatulas for every occasion. It was going to take a week to get everything settled and put away in a place that would work, but it would be a good distraction from the madness that was going to be getting a new show off the ground.

He was to the point of installing a hanging rack for all the new frying pans when he heard the dog yelp suddenly from the other room. He ran out from the bedroom and into the kitchen, skittering and clacking across the wooden floors all the way. (That flooring would also have to go.)

“What’s wrong with you?” he asked the dog.

Buster skidded to a halt under the table and whimpered. As that answered nothing, Wilford walked back toward the bedroom to see what had bothered the dog so badly. There was nothing there, or anywhere, that he could see. But there was something there. The same something that made everything seem so dark and cold.

“Who do you think you are?” Wilford asked the house in general.

Buster barked from the kitchen, sounding more panicked than intimidating. He probably had the right idea though, so Wilford stomped back to the kitchen and grabbed the biggest wok he had and a wooden spoon.

“This is my fucking house now!” he shouted as he banged on the wok to make as much noise as he could. “Get the fuck out! You’re not welcome here!”

He stopped banging the wok after a few moments, and glared at the empty air around him. There was a brief second where he thought he might have got off easy, but it was a very brief second. Suddenly, the entire house rocked on its foundations as every light burst and plunged everything into darkness.

“Fucking hell!” Wilford shouted, immediately running for the door.
21 October 2017 @ 08:55 am
After reading Ann Leckie's new book Provenance I went on Twitter and asked what you call a screwball plot if it isn't necessarily a comedy.

Like, Provenance, while frequently funny, is not a non-serious book -- it concerns itself with classism, wildly unhealthy family relationships, interstellar warmongering, fetishization of cultural artifacts, and inhumane conditions of incarceration, not to mention murder -- but the structure of the plot is very classic screwball. Misunderstandings! Mistaken identities! Brilliant[ly ill-advised] schemes colliding with each other and blowing up in everybody's face! The faint air of Yakety Sax playing frequently in the background!

Honestly it feels a lot like Ann Leckie channeling Lois McMaster Bujold, with less intense character dynamics but also fewer moments of side-eye.

Our Heroine Ingray Aughskold is the foster daughter of an elected official who has been locked in competition with her foster-brother since they were both small for the eventual goal of inheriting their mother's position. Ingray comes from a public orphanage, while her asshole abrother is the son of a wealthy family, which gives him an edge that Ingray has never quite been able to best.

CUE: Brilliant[ly ill-advised] scheme! Ingray decides to attempt to break a fellow political foster-kid, Pahlad Budrakim, out of Compassionate Removal (i.e. terrible jail) in order to learn the location of the highly important cultural artifacts which Pahlad has hypothetically stolen.

Complication: Pahlad is possibly not Pahlad, and is certainly not inclined to be cooperative.
Complication 2: The space captain who Ingray hired to get them back home is wanted for theft by an alien ambassador, who Does Not Understand Humans, and whom everyone is panicked about offending due to some Very Important Alien Treaties.
Complication 3: Meanwhile, what Ingray's mother would actually like her to be doing with her time is shepherding around some other ambassadors, human ones from a different planet, who want to do politically-motivated excavations in a local nature preserve
Complication 4: Also, someone is about to get murdered!
Complication 5: And the cop in the case has a crush on Ingray!
Complication 6: And MANY OF THE HIGHLY IMPORTANT CULTURAL ARTIFACTS HAVE DISPUTED PROVENANCE AND IT'S VERY DISTRESSING (for everyone but me, because the minute I heard that title I was like 'this had better be about cultural heritage' and LO AND BEHOLD)

((...though I did want to see a little more documented archival paperwork and process surrounding the question of the authenticity of the artifacts, but I mean, ignore me, it's good, it's fine.))

My favorite character was definitely possibly-Pahlad, with their bitter cynicism and constant challenges to everyone else to do better; wanting More Pahlad all the time was probably my biggest complaint about the book.

My other favorite character was the almost entirely useless Radch ambassador, who just did not want to be there that day. Everything about the treatment of the Radch in this book delights me. "So weird to hear this totally clueless woman speaking with the accent we're used to hearing from villains on the TV!" You definitely don't need to have read the Imperial Radch books to enjoy Provenance, but I suspect it does probably make the few Radch cameos five times funnier.
21 October 2017 @ 06:41 am
Things to do in the hour & half before I leave today and don't come back until tomorrow evening. I really should have realized these were all back-to-back, without me coming home at any point, sometime before it was five minutes-to-bedtime last night. It left me with anxiety and though I was able to fall asleep fast last night, I woke up 30 minutes before my normal alarm and could not sleep. Which, I supposed, as least gives me 2 hours to get all of the below finished.

I. Nerdvana Con (Saturday)
- Thursday: 1 page Cleric & Wizard Spells for Pregen Sheets
- Friday night: Setup
- Scarlett II Costuming & makeup
- Starbucks for life at 7am

II. Laura's Family Massive Halloween Lake Party (Saturday/Sunday)
- Prep Overnight Bag (Include Meds, Pillow, Laptop/Cords)
- Prep 2nd costume for bonfire-usage

III: Geek Girl Brunch, October 2018: Cosplay (Sunday)
- Reuse Scarlett II Costuming & makeup
- Prep Coloring Sheets
- Pack in Colors & Raffle Tickets

- Consider Easy Pick up Grab Bag offerings for Sunday Morning

IV. Rostelecom Party Watch (Sunday)
- Trash Out/Dishes Done
- Clean LivingRoom/Dinning Room/Bathroom
- Check Ice Network for Current(/Live Friday) Offerings
Wilford wasn’t quite sure when he fell asleep, but waking up made it very clear that he had. He didn’t want to wake up; waking up meant dealing with things. Like the fact that the bed slanted slightly toward one corner. But there were dog claws digging into his ribs, and a night of heavy drinking had caught up with him, so getting up and moving was a necessity.

He found his glasses on the edge of the bed, and sort of wished he hadn’t. The room was in an even worse state than he remembered. For one, there was no bedside table for his glasses. For two, everything was smashed and broken and lying somewhere it shouldn’t have been. This was not a damage bill he was looking forward to paying. He headed into the bathroom, finding it in no better state. The door was barely on its hinges, the mirror had been shattered, and for some reason, everything that belonged in his dresser was either in the sink or on the floor. This was stupid. He was stupid. And he was feeling just sick and hungover enough to admit it.

Wilford had to go home. He had to deal with what he’d been trying so hard to ignore. Maybe Jim was wrong. Maybe the stuff he’d found in the library had been one big coincidence. Maybe the sky was purple.

He did what he could in the trashed excuse for a bathroom before finding his jeans from the day (week) before and fishing out his wallet, keys, and phone. There was no point to this room anymore. It was time to move somewhere else. He kicked the bed to wake up the dog, making sure it saw that they were leaving before heading downstairs. He stopped at the bar just long enough to arrange for new room, and for all of his things to be moved over while he was out. Then he got the dog its breakfast, and left while the animal was distracted.

His own apartment was comfortable in its emptiness. He didn’t like a lot of things or clutter in his space, which did have a hidden bonus of being infinitely easier to clean up when he threw a fit. At least at Milliways, he could pay someone else to do it for him, and throwing his fit there this time spared him from that. He headed into the bathroom - clean, neat, everything right where it should be - and started what he couldn’t do at Milliways. He spent at least ten minutes brushing his teeth, scrubbing the taste of sleep and stale booze out of his mouth until it almost hurt. The fashionable scruff he normally liked had become messy and dirty-looking. He picked up the small set of clippers from the drawer, but changed his mind seconds later. It was time for a change anyway so he reached for the shaving cream instead. Once the scruff had been taken care of, he cleaned up his moustache, giving it a good trim so it would sit right when he shaped it. It felt nice to clean up. He could probably do with a haircut as well, but that wasn’t something he’d be doing himself. After a few more moments of staring at himself in the mirror, he decided a haircut was exactly what he needed, so he headed back to his bedroom to put something on that wasn’t decorated with reindeer drinking coffee and surfing geckos.

Plain black T-shirt. A decent pair of jeans. His favourite shoes were still back at the bar, but he had a few other pairs he could wear that were equally comfortable. Making sure he still had his keys and wallet and anything else, he spared just enough time to grab his leather jacket from the kitchen table before leaving the cramped confines of his tiny apartment.

Billy wasn’t home when Wilford knocked on his door. It didn’t make much sense, since Billy was just as unemployed as he was at the moment, but he didn’t care. He let himself in with the spare key he’d stolen years before and headed to the kitchen to make himself some coffee and find something to eat. The front door opened as he was digging through the fridge to find something that wasn’t cream cheese to put on a bagel, but he barely looked up. There was only one person it could be.

“What are you doing in my house?” Billy asked through the wall.

Wilford finally pulled his head out of the fridge just in time to see Billy walk into the kitchen. He looked around at the mess Wilford had made with the coffee pot, sighed, and poured himself a cup of coffee.

“Good! You’re home!” Wilford looked at something that looked like strawberry jam, and tossed it back into the fridge. “Make it to go.”

Billy looked down at the mug in his hand. “You just…” He stopped himself, sighed, and reached for a travel mug instead. “Where are we going?” He looked up at Wilford, stopping again on his way to grabbing a second mug. “You’ve shaved. What’s wrong?”

“Nothing.” His bagel popped up out of the toaster, but he ignored it. Billy was here, so they were going to do something far more interesting.

“Fine.” Billy took the bagel for himself, smearing some butter on it before wrapping it in a paper towel. “Whatever.”

“Where were you, anyway?” Wilford asked, taking what he presumed to be his cup of coffee and making tracks toward the front door.

“I was at the unemployment office. Where you might want to be,” Billy said, following after Wilford because he didn’t have much of a choice in the matter.

Wilford paused before opening the door. “Why?”

Billy sighed. “Because somebody had to go act out a vendetta and get half the station laid off.”

“I’ve got a plan for that,” Wilford said. He opened the door and stepped outside, taking only a few moments to decide on whose car to take. “Give me your keys.”

“How about no?” Billy said as he juggled everything to lock up behind them. “Where are we going?”

Wilford shrugged. “I don’t know yet. Keys.”

Billy ignored him and got into the driver’s seat of his car, leaving Wilford with few options. Resigned to Billy’s stubbornness, he got into the passenger side and wrenched the seat back as far away from the dash as it would go.

“Where are we going?” Billy asked again.

Wilford shrugged again. “Don’t know. Just start driving. We’ll find it.”

Billy made the noise he usually did when he was trying not to sigh as he started the car and reversed out of the space. Wilford ignored it as he pulled out his phone and pulled up the apps on the small screen. They were primitive versions of the apps he’d come to rely on for fun, but they had mostly the same information. Wilford found a gathering nearby and directed Billy through the streets, ignoring his questions about where they were going until they came to a parking lot with a line of cars and a huge crowd around them. Wilford didn’t want to participate; he just wanted to watch the mayhem unfold. It was like any other street game people played, with simple rules. People bought in to have a spot in the line of cars, and they had to stay in the car as long as possible while a second group of ‘zombies’ did everything they could to get into the cars using nothing but their bare hands. The cars were a mix of old junkers and specially built rigs, but it never really seemed to matter which one you were in. The zombies would get in sooner or later. If your car was the last one to be broken into, you got the money. And then the whole thing started over again.

It was mayhem. Pure, simple mayhem. People jumping on cars, trying to kick in windows and pull enough trim pieces off until the whole thing just started to fall apart. It was, ultimately, pointless for everybody but the five or six buy-ins in the cars. Something to do to let off steam, but they stood no chance of gaining anything for their efforts.

The more Wilford thought it looked like evidence that the whole thing with Jim might have been some epic prank or misunderstanding, the less he was certain. Why did anybody do this, unless it was something they were supposed to do? Something somebody else wanted them to do? But surely that would mean that he wouldn’t just be able to sit by on the sidelines and watch. What, then, was his role in this if the whole thing had been dreamt up by some insane being?

“Fuck it. Let’s get out of here,” he declared suddenly.

Billy looked over at him with that Look. Wilford hated that look. Billy wasn’t here to worry and fret; he was here to be Wilford’s ride in case anything got out of hand.

“You cut your hair.” Billy was still giving him that Look. “And you spent more than eight bucks on it, didn’t you?”

“Drive,” Wilford said, ignoring the question. He shouldn’t have been surprised that Billy would notice. Billy noticed everything. He was irritating like that.

He made that noise again and pulled out of the parking lot, this time to just drive around aimlessly. Or was it aimless? Was something or someone else determining where he turned? If that was the case, then surely Wilford should have been bound to that as well, right? That’s how things worked, wasn’t it?

“Stop here,” he said suddenly.

Billy tried to pull over, but construction scaffolding blocked the shoulder. Before he could ask any questions, Wilford quickly hopped out of the car and picked up a chunk of concrete from the sidewalk and hurled it at the first car that drove past them, shattering the passenger window. The car immediately screeched to a halt just feet in front of Billy. Then the driver stepped out, and Wilford realised that he had maybe made a mistake. The guy was huge, and he was pissed. Wilford reached for his gun in his inventory and… it was gone. Where was his gun? Why did he only have an empty cardboard box and little else on him?

“What the fuck?” Billy shouted, already trying to get away.

Wilford wasted no more time. He got back into the car, struggling to get the door shut while Billy tore out of the tight space, having to back up to get away from the car with the smashed window. The driver chased after them on foot as Billy quickly turned around to get away.

“What is wrong with you?” Billy shouted, keeping an eye behind him. Of course the angry driver got back into his car and turned to chase them.

“I had to do something random!” Wilford shouted back, turning to look at the car quickly approaching behind them.

“Well, you fucking did it, dumbass!”

Wilford could not really argue with that. Especially not because the other guy had got close enough to ram into them from behind. The tail end swerved out, but Billy held it, keeping them almost in their lane. Other cars honked and shouted at them as they ran through lights and cut sharp corners to get some distance between them and the guy Wilford had managed to piss off.

“Why?” Billy demanded, cutting off a truck as they ran a stop sign. “Take your fucking pills. Maybe this shit wouldn’t happen!”

“Fuck you!” Wilford shouted, again reaching for a gun that wasn’t there. He could kick himself for not checking that he had it.

Billy spotted something up ahead, and quickly slammed on the breaks, making Wilford have to brace against the dash as they skidded into a curbside parking space. The guy behind them wasn’t fast enough, and sped past them, crashing into a cop car that was pulling out at the next intersection. They both watched for a few moments while the cops got out of their car to swarm the other driver. Well. That was that taken care of.

“What the fuck!?” Billy shouted again, this time throwing a few awkward punches at Wilford.

Surprised at the outburst, Wilford blocked his face for the first two, before lashing out with one of his own. The cramped confines of the car made it difficult to get a properly good swing in, but he had no problem trying. At least, not until Billy landed a solid hit right in the middle of Wilford’s face, making his entire world explode with red and pain. He covered his nose, knowing he was bleeding, and looked at Billy with stark disbelief.

“The hell was that for?” he demanded.

Billy followed it up with one more, which Wilford barely managed to flinch away from. This time Billy’s fist hit the side of his head, which did not feel any better.

“Warn me next time,” Billy said, properly angry for the first time in months.

Wilford had nothing to say that wouldn’t make him sound completely insane. He just stared at Billy dumbly, trying to not bleed all over himself.

“I don’t know what the hell is going on this time, but if this is your cooldown, I’m glad I missed the beginning of it,” Billy continued, not quite shouting, but clearly wanting to. “You cost me my job, and now you’re trying to get me killed. I’d appreciate it if you just… stopped.”

Wilford still had nothing to say. He had clearly crossed a line, and this time he even had a pretty good idea of what that line had been. He responded with continued silence; by not arguing and letting Billy win. They sat in silence for a long, tense moment before Billy finally put the car into gear and pulled back into traffic. Wilford waited until Billy had calmed down a little bit before starting to dig through the glove box and the centre console for some napkins or something. He found some eventually, and tried to stuff them up his nose to stop the bleeding, but it was already a mess that just a few napkins weren’t going to fix.

“Put your head down, stupid,” Billy said finally, driving much more cautiously than he normally did.

Wilford did, only because it seemed like the best way to keep Billy from shouting at him some more. At the next light, Billy reached into his back seat and unzipped the gym bag that was still back there. The shirt he pulled out was not the most pleasant thing in the world, but it was better than a couple of flimsy paper napkins, so it’s what Wilford used to hold his face together. He thought that maybe Billy was going to take him to a hospital or a clinic somewhere, but was surprised when the car stopped, and he looked up to find himself in the parking lot outside Billy’s building.

“Go home, Wil,” Billy said tiredly. “Get laid. Get some sleep. I don’t care; just get over whatever the hell this was.”

He got out and walked up to his door, clearly not wanting to be followed. Not sure what else to do, Wilford got out as well, and headed to his own car, slapping away a couple of curious bees that wanted to examine his face. Once behind the wheel, it took him about twenty minutes to get his nose to stop bleeding so he could actually drive. He thought for a brief moment about going out to do something else, but in the end he took part of Billy’s advice, and went home. He had no plans for once he got there, but it was a start.

The drive was short, and soon he was climbing the stairs up to his own door, sighing as he unlocked the door. He hated this apartment. He hated everything about it, and how small and empty and boring it was. Maybe he’d go back to the bar for a little bit. Trash a few more rooms, and then maybe he’d feel better.

Except, when he tried to open a door, all he found was his bedroom on the other side. Same with the closet. And the stairwell on the other side of the front door.

Well, fuck.
My phone tells me that I climbed 51 flights of stairs today.

But on the plus side, everything I don't plan on tossing from Old Place is now in New Place, and I drove a large van in freaking Brooklyn and didn't damage anything (a true first for me driving rented vehicles in a city!).

My nephew is worth his weight in gold, and I am so glad we get to reconnect like we are.

A good day.
20 October 2017 @ 09:52 pm
...and every compacted and impacted frustration I have with tomorrow, and all the frustrations that have led up to me wishing time would drag its feet and not bring me swiftly on the heels of my dreams to morning. All the words that have never been said, and never been needed, that have just swirled and swirling growing ever bigger behind my breast bone.

But. I am really tired. With compounds the frustration. As does needing enough sleep to get up early and do all of Miss Scarlett's costume and make perfectly, to then be basically on point, working for most of 12 hours tomorrow.

It'll keep. It's been keeping all of these months already.

And, minor plus, once it's kept still one day more, it will finally (finally) be done.

P.S. That great moment seconds later when you realize you'd forgotten you were supposed to pack in the morning an overnight bag, and a second costume, for your first Halloween Party of the season, plus the morning-after outfit which needs to by cosplay related for GGB Brunch, which is immediately followed by Rostelcom Party in your own house, that you'll only be driving between each to the next without coming home again.

Augh. More reason I need to go to sleep to get up so early and do all the things at dawn.
Current Mood: tired
20 October 2017 @ 09:44 pm
[ Day I | Day II | Day III | Day IV | Day V ]

Day III - 20 Facts About Me

1. This year -- for the first time since I was 12 and received a horrible bowl cut that made me threaten to shave my head if anyone ever came near it again -- I got my hair cut. I'd done regular trims, but this was my first serious, and along with it I acquired a hair girl named Angela, whom I see about every 2-3 months.

2. I have two piercings on each of the lower lobes of my ears, the lower left of which is ripped longer than normal from a childhood bike accident. I entertain an exorbitent amount of jewelry and a lot of dangling earrings. In the times when I'm keeping my dresser neater, I use them all the time.

3. I have three tattoos. One on the outside of my right bicep: the symbol "愛" in Japanese Katakana, spoken as "Aishiteiru," or "Ai", meaning "to love," picked to match my name (Amanda/Of Love/Beloved). Two on the insides of my ankles: the right a treble clef with a heart in the middle and the left a quill pen amid writing.

4. My life used to be overflowing with religious/spiritual activity, and it’s gotten very stagnant, with nothing filling some egregious gaps that formed due to extenuatingly bad circumstances. I am in a year-long dedication to Throat Chakra (in eight years dedicated to the chakra’s, one per year). I keep the holidays, and have holiday altars, but I thirst for more lately.

5. At any given time I’m in the middle of 4-5 books (and always set myself the challenge of reading 100 books a year). I have a 40 minute drive to and from work usually running an audio book. I have the books I’m currently teaching in my AP III & IV English classes. I have a long, slow bed-table book. I have constantly filling advance readers from Netgalley & Library Thing, and newly backed publications from Kickstarter.

6. My vocabulary is deeply extensive already, to the point I throw around big words without any concerns already (and I do not audit for any audience of personage unless they are under ten), so understand the gravity of these words to come: I feel I'm re-learning vocabulary I have not used in nearly a decade in teaching AP. (Aside: I love it so much.)

7. I have lost a little sister, a parent, a grand parent, and a lover. Within these have fallen a natural passing, a ravaging disease, a willful self-suicide past rehabiliation, and manslaughter. I have lost two half decade plus best friends. I'm pragmatic prepared and realistic about my own survival in the face of the worst of grief and loss.

8. I believe in unconditional love and I have a terminal case of hope. Not optimism, but hope. I am a highly optimistic realist, but I am absolutely incapable of not hoping. Believing their is always a silver lining, a meaning to be found, lessons to be learned, a future path being warmed and prepared.

9. I love technology and I use a lot of it. Daily, I wear a Fitbit One, an Apple Watch 2, and an 6s IPhone. In my purse, I carry a Kindle PaperWhite. At home, I have a Mac Laptop, iPad 2, an AppleTv 2, Firestick, Instant Pot, and Vitamix. At work, Dell Computer, Apple Ipad, Elmo, Projector, and Laptop Cart. (I already have plans for my upgrades for iPhone X, Kindle Oasis, and AppleTv 4.) On all of these I have favorite amazing tech programs, as well, which I occasionally do favorite tech rec's.

10. I love lists and keep them everywhere, especially on notepads on my computer, on post-its notes of endless rainbow colors and shapes at my desk, and in the reminder app & notepad app of my iPhone. Without them I would forget so many things, including plans and promises, it's not even quantifiable.

11. I can't draw to save my life. Or even be granted a million dollars. It's hilarious. And sad. I am the person who can mess up stick figures. But I've mostly come to terms with it now. I once drew the picture replica of my hand, with a ring, in high school, but it was on the back of a state test booklet and I wasn't even allowed to keep it.

12. I love snow with the kind of unwavering love the moves mountains and meet money. I want to live somewhere it is negative 15 in the winter, and around 113 in the summer. So much that I experience seasonal crankiness/depressions in places where this isn't happening (such as when it's too warm to even be winter in Texas, or when it was too mild to truly ever be warm enough in the summer in Korea). I know it's not a very realistic to fill want, but it doesn't change it happening, or me loving those seasons as such.

13. I will off the top of my head when asked identify as Bisexual and Polyamorous, but it's actually a lot closer to say I'm Demi-Sexual/Pan-Sexual/Pan-Romantic than actually Bisexual. It's, also, a lot more unlikely I'll ever point out that I don't date, and won't re-date if there isn't a spark. I'm just unable to figure out dating if I'm not interested, and 90% of the time I'm not interested.

14. The flip side of the 10% though is that every single relationship in my life has been two years or longer (with only a one-girl friend caveat being below that). All of the people I've end up with pinged the interest scale so hard and so seriously that I ended up with them for a very long time. And I'm really actually okay with this system. I'd rather be with the serious-to-me people, than go through many who weren't.

15. It's not impossible for me to cry, but it is still really hard and extremely, snow in lower Texas, rare for it to happen anywhere near other people. I'm past the point where it's been years since I've cried finally, but it's still a rather low yearly number, because there are few things feel as useless, pointless, and personally messy as crying to me still. I can, when it happens, let it happen, but it still won't happen for very long. A few minutes. My logic remains strongly entrenched in the crying not actually accomplishing anything to solve the actual problem.

16. I have weak nails. I love to grow them, and tap them on things, but they will always bend, tear and break long before I have any chance to grow them extraordinarily long. I really love them painted, like really really love it, but I get really annoyed at how fast normal & gel peels off, as well as anything that ruins my actual nail by requiring someone to shave it down first.

17. My favorite forms of exercise are heavy weight lifting and swimming. I've been weight lifting for over two years now, originally with a trainer, now alone, and totally on pace with a 5x5 app. I've been swimming in a serious fashion since somewhere in the middle of this past spring, wherein I acquired all professional gear and started follow professional swims through Swim Pro, too.

18. I love music with the fire of a million suns. I think in lyrics a lot of times. I have several playlists dedicated to characters in the 300-600+ songs per playlist range (and anywhere between 1-7 playlists for any given character, with that many songs on them). I do the same with my own personal playlists and listening. I play music in my classroom all the time and my kids love that I cover the widest of unending varieties.

19. My current (and mostly long standing) vices of choice are everything/anything tea, dark chocolate (especially the Godiva Drinking Dark Chocolate at Christmas), Victoria Secret (...well, everything really; bras, underwear, sports wear, bath stuff, perfume, sleep wear), Bath & Body Works (shower gels for myself and sale lotions for my kids in the classroom), and most of all right now, any and all adorable Katsuki Yuri merchandise from Yuri!!! On Ice.

20. I have a life long thing for red-headed telepaths, apparently.

I fell in love with Ember (the not-yet-then Blood of Eleven Chiefs) at the age of about five. I fell in love with Jean Grey (of the cartoon tv shows and then the comics, later) at the tender age of nine. I fell in love with Lyta Alexander, somewhere right at the end of my teensish period, beginning of my live journal, around 17/18. I fell in love with Edward Cullen (after infecting myself with the whole 4-book series in less than 36 hours the weekend the fourth book came out, which was the week right after I finished writing my Master thesis) at 26.

Subject Index )
Lay beside me, under wicked sky
Through black of day, dark of night, we share this paralyze
The door cracks open but there's no sun shining through
Black heart scarring darker still, but there's no sun shining through
No, there's no sun shining through
20 October 2017 @ 08:07 am
I think about starting this up, taking this up, having taken it up again, a lot the last few days. It's the go-to topic in my head that is not King Lear Act I, AP Multiple Choice Strategies, or Tropes & Schemes Poetry. I've turned over and over in my head this idea I've been trying to put into words, about the glaring hole of silence in my world, in my heart, in my head.

I think about talking about feeling relieved every time I've hit send, like this iota footprint of space has cleared out from my clogged to choking mind, never quite sure how to put it into words. My last post was the beginning of my 2017 version for 31 Days of Blogging (which I've actually been working on since this morning/last night, making sure all the links were updated right, and picking pictures during work today on the side), and I thought I'd glance at my number II from 2013.

Starting out, my options, were amusing, but then I hit twelve and felt my heart stutter.
12. I write a lot. A lot. And it's true that maybe there is only one person who sees it that on a daily basis, whether that's in a game or it's in iMessage. But it's there, and I really only massively worry about how my internal barometer is doing when I stop being able to see where the massive daily/weekly outpouring of my words is.
I used to talk about this a lot. The idea words (words, words) defined where my internal barometer truly was, and you could tell something was wrong if I was quiet and not writing. It wasn't ever not true. A number of words happening in my week. Anywhere. Everywhere. I'm not writing a lot anywhere. Discourse is at a minimum. There are band-aids, but not tributaries.

The idea this silence shapes the edges of my emptiness feels suddenly deafening tonight, in these words from a me who was only saying them four years ago, four very different years ago, especially when I think about the fact 90% of the noise in my weeks, currently, is children, who need me as a teacher and don't know me at all as a singular person...

I'm not entirely willing, or wanting, to stare at the whole of this dark shape in the eyes yet. But at least I can recognize its name in the mouth of my younger self, when I feel where the sore beat of my heart thumps furiously for a moment in the clear connection to what was once far more of itself.
Current Mood: tired
Day I - Introduction and recent photo

Hi, I'm Amanda, called Amanda, who is Amare, and is recognized sort of twitter/Tumblr/fanfic/etc internet over as Wanderlustlover. I'm really good at being willing to answer any question someone poses me about myself, or take part in any discussion volleyed over in my direction, but my introduction never seems to run short, because I never seem to consider the world in concision.

My first introduction people find is the one you'll find on my journal profile;

I am ink stains and music notes; reader, writer, singer, and muse. Loves the smell of old books; entertain that which aspires to a library. Cooks a soulful yuletide bread, a mean lobster and amazing ramen mix. I am worn pages and spinning atoms; philosopher, student, and rule breaker. I adore teachers, books, classes, and homework. This is my bliss. Respect it. Challenge it. Please.

I am snowdrops in spring; horseback riding, cheerleader, girl scout turned comic manager and college salesman, seventeen-year soprano turned writer and teacher. Champions those who would challenge fear to seek their hearts and dreams content, ever-changing daily. Thinks smoking should be banned, parents taught how to raise children, and children left alone to dream.

I am silent wish, whispered prayer; dragon-protected, water-touched, moon-child, unconditional love: Amare. Four things truest- dragons, blue, three and love. I am dried leaves and exotic scents; eclectic herbologist and oiliest, sometimes Diana dedicated, Pagan. Thinks God's a man, think God's a woman; think it's silly we're trying to assign trivial things like names and genders to the great creative force.

I am Taurus with Pisces rising and five houses in Sagittarius. I am spontaneous movement and grounded stability. I am the arrow that is going. My mind is always seeking, ten thousand things in ten thousand directions. My feet, filled wanderlust, traversing new places constantly. Dreams endless, each old invoking a new star to populate my sky.

I am hawthorn tree and staunch boar; stubborn, at times unyielding. Works self into the ground at regular intervals. Willing to give everything for others when needed and not needed. Place those around me above my self. I am INFP and one; sensitive dreamer, loyal and easily wounded. Sanity is continually dependent on my car, my computer and the bed of blue.

I am sleepless nights and lines of code; geek, gamer, web creator and fangirl. X-men spectator; fan by fanatic, all around comic enthusiast. Watcher of almost all sci-fi space shows; third generation Trekkie; shameless gamer. Lover of all stories of love. I am oddity and intensity; have worked with children, elderly, handicapped, retail, museums, and comic fanboys.

I am husky fragrance and flowing form; female of the species, mostly free-spirit tomboy to slowly charming woman. Still prefers bare feet to sandals, sandals to heels, but thongs to underwear and bath bombs to soap bars. Have outgrown tank tops and discovered scarves, elegant dresses, and girl-cut shirts. Secretly entranced with becoming a girl.

I am fire's ember and phoenix's flare; posses long fuse, explosive temper and hidden scars. Still learning how to cry. Starts more things than are finished. Lives in a constant state of inspiration, gratitude, and hunger. I am a water creature; a palette of deep browns, pale pinks, and deep blues. Needs forests and oceans, needs cities and cars.

I am ever woods and crumpled papers; faithful, honest, nervous and judgmental extroverted introvert. I am understanding and hypocritical. Loving and hoping beyond reason. Forgive everything, forget nothing. Think too much about my body; yet content with my weight. Believe that all forms of falling in love and making mistakes should be embraced.

My second one, aka The Massive and Informative One, you'll find as the top first entry of both my live journal (here) and my dream width (here), which is from many years, but was mostly recently updated today/yesterday.

It comes with when, where whats of I was born, where I'm living now and with who, and then a plethora of tiny overviews of important topics: Parents & Family, Spirituality & Religion, Education, Health & Body, Sexuality & Politics, Strong Passions, Fandoms & Fannish, Places to Find Me, and Filters You Can Opt In To and Out Of.

Another awesome introduction is My Mini-Gaming Intro Link. It was made in late 2015, during my foray into some new games while partaking of fandom/gaming community involvement on Plurk (but is updated often enough).

Some recent & relevant pictures  )

Subject Index )
19 October 2017 @ 09:23 am
 Today is not starting well and I am having trouble getting my feet under me. Hella late to work from first doing dishes which I was too tired to do last night and couldn't leave for the day since we're battling ants, and then I knocked over, and broke, a jar of garlic olive oil; which I then had to clean up. 

I kind of just want to fire the day, tbh, but it can only get better now, right?
I'm here! I'm intact! I'm in my new place! I'm about 90% moved in, but, lololol, the things that are still at the old place are, for some reason, things like all my regular clothes and my blankets and sheets. Betta Barnes will probably come with me tomorrow, and a friend with access to a creepy van (for setting up races) maaaaaay be able to help me collect everything that's left (mostly kitchen and random stuff). Five amazing Russian men completely disassembled my apartment in 90 minutes yesterday, four flights of stairs and all, and the whole move was done in just over three hours. As I was standing on the sidewalk with my bike, talking to the guys about how to get to the new place, who but Terrible Neighbor comes sauntering by, with her two kids right there. "Bye, bitch," she says, like she's ~got me (or something???). I thought up all this clever shit I could have said later, but... no more. It's almost over.

So now I'm picking out paint colors and trying to find where I packed things like my remote controls. I am determined to have at least one small corner plastered with flamingo wallpaper. An awesome Puerto Rican guy from the Bronx set up my internet tonight; we traded pet photos and stories, and he told me all about his brother, a retired Marine, who lives on the island with a service pig named Cleopatra. (He also told me that he thought I was an autoresponse robot when I picked up his call, because my voice was so "creamy," which is a freaking delightful compliment.)

I kind of don't have much more to say at the moment. Therapy was good today. Things are just... looking up, and that's great. ♥
18 October 2017 @ 08:25 pm
Dear Kimi,

I have been composing this letter in my head all day.

It's been several years since my last one of these, and I will make you no more excuse than the single I allow the universe for taking you in the first place -- time moves on. This remains unerringly true, does it not? Somehow past my teen age years, somehow past four years ago when I hit as many years alive after your passing as in a life with you, somehow to one year before it will be two decades since you passed.

I have pictures of you, on my living room wall, on my bookshelf in my classrooms. I cannot imagine you as a fixed point, an end dot, an end stop. I can't imagine you frozen time, waiting on a sister who cannot be. I can't imagine you still only thirteen, with babies and a flare for that pink Mexican dress. I hope that the color of your eyes in mind remains as vibrant in you as it will always in my memory, and that I can be allowed to wish and dream and imagine it forever in motion.

I am not that girl in her first high school years, who had never touched another country, never been brought to such traumatic lows and such overawing heights. I hope that it can only be as much with you. Perhaps, you have made the universe without a skin your playground. Perhaps, you race the light across the galaxy for fun, and the tales of your daring adventures are still returning to the earth at the snails pace of liminal light, arduous and tireless then the void.

Perhaps, you blow the stop lights into being for the small children who wish and stare hard enough from the front seats. Or maybe you have gone to where the bees when, to join the jam-bee-rie. Silly, right? Foolish? But you smiled, didn't you. I wish you, what I have always wished you, with all of my heart, and all of love (and even, yes, all of my absence-laden sorrow):

An endless existence of magic,
wherein there is only joy, and only wonder,
where pain can never touch you, and the only things for you
are made of beauty, and miracles, and laughter, and light, and love.

From the girl who will carry your heart in her heart forever,