Posted in empath life, family, friends, life, Personal, poetry

7/16: Lifetimes

(This may not be complete…)

As we part ways
Know we will meet again
Somewhere, some day.
We are not lost to time.
This life or the next.
Our bond will survive.
Who are we but
A pair of travellers
Meant to pass through
Each others lives for a while.
Not to stay for all of time.
To bring joy.
Laughter.
Balance.
To one another.
Each time we meet.

Posted in bigotry, community, cosplay, dragon, faith, feminism, friends, life, politics, research, Science Fiction and Fantasy, society

7/15: Trek and Overcoming Human Cultural Differences

A few years back, I was doing some demographics research for a project my boss was working on. While I don’t have the work I did (everything I did is still protected by an NDA I signed), I remember what I found.

There’s been a long-standing misconception that the SF/F fandom is predominately male. HA! Nope. Women are equal, if not a higher percentage, of SF/F fandom than men. And yes, that statement comes from research I did a few years back. Based on research done over the years…. *ahem* …. decades. Even back in the 50’s and 60’s, female readership of SF/F books and periodicals (such as Asimov, etc) was roughly 49-50%. Today? I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s higher. Fandom is just as much for US women as it is for men.

So, what sparked this post? The following image:

20023784_10154719646601546_3572358340627745923_o

And then the ensuing “discussion” on a friend’s posting of this on FB. Filled with Trek fanboys who think they know better than us “females” …. guess what, Ferengi wannabes, you are not better than us, you are not smarter than us, and you most definitely do NOT grasp the concept that women can have a better fucking grasp of Trek than your Neanderthal-esque selves. Crawl back in your caves, boys. Us ladies got this.

Here’s the thing:

How do they know religion isn’t practiced in the Trek future? Because it isn’t as fucking obvious? Trek showed how humans, as a global society/race, have moved beyond differences and work WITH each other. Even if those differences may still exist. We know from later shows and films that the French still make wine (Picard facing his brother), the cuisine and such of Cajun/Southern life survives (Sisko)… and what else? I mean there are all kinds of things that survive a few centuries… if Cajun culture survives, I’m pretty damn sure Islam (not the terrorist shit, but the peaceful religion practiced by nearly all Muslims, save for that percentage of a percentage that have skewed it for their own purposes) will survive. 

The individual episodes don’t have enough airtime to show every aspect of life in Starfleet. So we don’t really know if religion is still around on Earth in Trek. I know one thing: Sisko and other humans in Starfleet are respectful of Bajoran faith. For all we know, there may be a ship chaplain or multiple ones for different faiths represented. Or, in TNG and later, programs on the holodecks for various religious ceremonies and services.

We simply do not know.

But having someone of a specific faith represented doesn’t mean indoctrination (man, I can hear that bigoted outcry now) or pushing any one faith or anything. It’s merely giving a chance to represent the beliefs of Roddenberry and his vision of unity. Just as Chekov was a representative of Russia (who was a major enemy of the US until the end of the Cold War in the 80’s) and showing that we can one day overcome our differences. Just as a Muslim woman would be representative of what many white supremacists and others hate and fear in the here and now. To show that the differences we have TODAY can be overcome in the future.

Showing that humanity on this planet can overcome our hate, judgment, fear, and violence and thus come together to form one world coalition so we can explore the stars without infighting and competition amongst ourselves. We will still have differences and cultural diversity, things that are shown in the later shows. Humans are not “homogenized” in Trek. The military aspect may show some of that to some degree…

But…

Remember, Starfleet is not all encompassing of humans. It is essentially the Navy in Space. One part of Earth’s culture as envisioned by Roddenberry and his people.

~Dragon the Geek

Posted in anxiety, community, crowdfunding, empath life, family, friends, grief, life, Personal, storage, urgent

7/15: Panic Attacks, Cat Food, and Storage…

Cat food first. Don’t ask. I don’t need dry food for Portia or anything. She has that. I also have some cans. But she’s been getting canned for dinner the last few days and is now barely eating her kibble.

Brat.

Not like it’s some cheap kibble either… Granted, the canned food (and the squash baby food I’m mixing in with it for… reasons. And yes, this is a vet-approved method) is helping her and I’m sure it’s pretty tasty stuff… but I can’t afford a lot of it. I wish. Maybe once I’m working I can go with more canned food.


Storage: I’m now halfway through the month and haven’t gotten enough to pay them. I don’t want to resort to begging, but I’m trying to keep this from getting backed up… I’ll have roughly half, but nowhere near enough. PP is the only method I’m using at this point, if anyone is so inclined to help. I need to get interview shoes and stuff out of there sooner rather than later.


Panic Attacks: I’ve been doing pretty good lately. Mostly general mood shit getting to me when I’m on transit (being an Empath who can’t block sucks ass). But then last night happened. My heart rate shot up, my chest tightened, and I was having difficulty breathing. All of this basically out of nowhere. When this kind of thing happens like this, it usually means something has happened to someone I’m connected to, such as family. I have yet to see anything come down from any cousins, so I don’t know if anyone has died. But considering most of my remaining aunts and uncles are in their late 80’s and 90’s, this is an inevitable thing to happen.

So this was one time I really needed my inhalers. Problem? They were in a bag of first aid supplies I’d left at Gearcon, but were safe with my friends who run it. Thankfully they’re night owls, so they found the bag and ran it over to me at nearly midnight. I am thankful for good friends. I can say that once I dug my inhalers out and took a couple of puffs from each, I was able to breathe much better. Between them and the valium I took, I was able to come back down from the attack.


I was going to talk about relationships… but I think that needs to be a separate post… if you’re curious about it, look up the recent articles about why Sherman Alexie has canceled the rest of his book tour. Familial relationships are hard to write or talk about… and the article I read on his situation reminded me a LOT about my relationship with my own mother who died in 2013 from End-stage Alzheimer’s. I may compose my thoughts and write on that later.

~A

Posted in health, job hunting, life, Personal, storage

7/12: *twitch* ‘net went back down

Roughly a half hour after I posted Purr, the internet here at the house went buh-bye again. With the exception of a little free wi-fi at a coffee shop yesterday (VR appt with my guide person… came up with a good term earlier today and now I can’t remember it) and waiting for a semi-last minute doc appt yesterday evening, I’ve been sans internet. While most people are fine with it and can go without for the most part, having access for me is kinda important. Things like banking, booking gigs to gain some income, what semblance of a social life I have, job hunting, etc… and dealing with social anxiety, being online is where I’m most comfortable.

I’m still not even halfway with what I need for storage for the month. I’m stuck.

A few personal things: The doctor’s appt I mentioned. Apparently I’ve been hyperextending my elbows and triggering nerve pain in my upper back… I need to make some changes to my desk arrangement, which I can do with pulling from storage, but I can’t access storage without it being paid up.

Portia is being cute as usual….

I’m working on things. VR is going well. I’ll post more later….

~A

Posted in adoption, anxiety, cats, chronic pain, depression, peace, Personal, PTSD, storage

7/10: Purr

The love of a cat. Purring on my chest. Napping. Happy. The vibration of a purr can heal many things. Anxiety and so mich more. No matter if they weigh 4 pounds or 14, the love of a cat resonates through her purr. My therapy in the midst of pain, stress, times of hesitation and healing the scars of my own history. The purr of my cat against my heart… the world melts away and only peace remains. 

~A

Posted in artsy stuff, chronic pain, convention, cosplay, friends, job hunting, life, Personal, PTSD, sexual assault, society, storage

7/8: My week…

If anything below has already been said earlier this week, my apologies… I’ve had a crazy-weird week.
I survived GearCon with my sanity intact. Mostly thanks to certain people setting me up with my own sleeping space so I could retreat to a quiet place when needed. Which I desperately needed. To those people, I am in your debt and I intend on reimbursing you for the room. I know they aren’t cheap. Even those little ones. After four months of sleeping mostly on cots and rollaway beds, having a couple of nights on a real bed was heavenly.
I made my black waist cincher to wear at con on Saturday. I finished it that day and wore it a fair chunk of the rest of Saturday. It’s fairly thin plain tanned leather that I did a second layer to give it a bit more body, painted black, drew gears in silver and bronze Sharpies… and will be adding more later. It came out pretty damn well considering I only starting working on it the Thursday before.
(pics here)\
The Front

The Back
I enjoy working with leather. It’s a pricey hobby, but I have fun with it.
I had appts Wednesday and Thursday and have been strongly encouraged by my GP and my therapist to start creating a local in-person group for those of us with C-PTSD from domestic/sexual abuse. I won’t discuss it too much here, as it’ll be a peer-run (non-clinical) confidential group.
I also met with my VR trainer and we’re getting going on redoing my resume, etc and switching gears to finding work in research instead of social media. SM is over-saturated here in PDX, hence why I’ve had shitty luck in even getting interviews. Research isn’t AS saturated… likely not saturated at all, honestly. I may have a better chance at solid employment there.
Now, here’s an interesting thing. I’ve pondered about it on FB and have been told that this is actually very possible. A few months back, I fucked up my SI Joint (sacroiliac joint) on my left side. It’s right next to the tailbone and has affected my walking ability among other issues. I was already having issues with my right knee, and then this… but on Sunday, while at the con, I was room-sitting our hospitality suite while others were off doing things. I’m fine with this… I actually enjoy just hanging out and watching the room. I got up to make a sandwich (yes, we had gluten free bread), and on my short walk back to my chair, I had a severe sharp jab of pain right in that spot next to my tailbone. I couldn’t move that hip, could barely put weight on it, etc. One girl was also in there and I had her set my sandwich down on the other chair and then help me over the last few steps. I managed to get pain meds, etc… but before they could take effect, everyone returned in one big blob of happy people… some noticed I was having problems and asked if I needed anything. They got everyone else mobilized to set the sofa-bed back to sofa form and my stuff was carried over there, pillows set up, and 2/3’s of the couch set up for me. That’s pretty much where I stayed most of the rest of the day. I got a ride home and stayed in bed for about 95% of the next two days and nights.
By Wednesday, when I had a doc appt for other things, I had almost no pain on the left side. I’ve since wondered if that pain on Sunday was my SI joint basically resetting itself. That hip still doesn’t like sitting in any one position for too long, but that’s my body for you. I will have sciatica until I die… not much can be done for it. But no more excruciating SI pain. I’ve been told that the SI join can reset itself back into place… it happens… not for everyone, but it can… and I have a feeling that’s what it did for me. I’ll run it by my PT when I see her next.
I’m also having issues with the very computer I’m writing this post on. Oddly enough, it’s ONLY on Facebook and no other site. And on FB, if I’m using the other computer or my phone, it’s fine. I try to type a status or comment and get a few letters in and the cursor pops back to the beginning. I even shut the damn thing down a couple of days ago to let it rest… fired it back up about an hour ago and it’s still doing it. Closed the window, opened a new one… yup… still.
I’m also trying to scrounge up the remaining funds for July storage rent. I have about 130 or so, and the bookcases will be sold shortly, but that’s only another $50… I need 280 plus late fees. I’m working on it, but I’m just not getting anything else coming in. I may have a lead on a little part time (maybe under the table) work for a friend and fellow writer, but I need to email him. As my post from earlier this week stated, our internet was down for a couple of days and that threw me off track with emailing people and all that jazz.

I’ve been fairly quiet this week, but I have had a lot on my mind…

~A

Posted in asexuality, community, gender, LGBTQIA Pride, life, Personal, PTSD, sexuality

7/8: Different Territory

Before venturing down this rabbit hole, I will say this: Figuring out I was Asexual was a whole fucking lot easier than this. I knew, in my core, that sexual attraction was virtually non-existent for me. Also, in part due to my C-PTSD, I’m leaning toward being Aromantic as well… do I occasionally like romantic things? Yeah, sure… but wanting to -participate- in romantic things… no. My romantic leanings are much more fluid than my sexuality. I don’t find women even romantically attractive, but that isn’t the only other option to being hetero-romantic. Seriously, folks. There’s a shit-ton of territory to cover. But I digress… romantic and sexual orientations are not the territory I’m delving into…

Years ago, when I first realized I was asexual, one of the first people I told was a friend who had called me late in the evening, drunker than a skunk in a poppy field, and depressed about his work vehicle (which had all the tools of his then-livelihood in it) totaled while parked… some jackass slammed into it with their vehicle. Because this friend was drunk while we were talking, he kept confusing asexuality with androgyny. Also keep in mind, my boobs were a LOT bigger back then (thank you, Bast, for surgery in 2015). It wasn’t until the next morning that I realized he was referring to Androgyny. He kept focusing on looks and not what asexuality is… which is more internal, not external.

Here I am, closing in on 8 years of knowing my sexuality. And now I’m wondering about my gender representation. Here we go down the rabbit hole.

Ever since childhood, I’ve been classified as a tomboy. I hated dresses about 95% of the time, preferred climbing things, playing the dragon-slaying knight instead of a damsel in distress, destroying my Barbie dolls (realizing their hair does not grow back… whoops), and generally doing things that were not assigned a gender. I had dolls. I played with Legos. I read and wrote about science, science fiction, and fantasy. I dreamed of being an astronaut and begged to go to Space Camp (never did).

Later, in high school, I still rarely wore dresses, opting for skinny leather lace up boots, stirrup pants, concert shirts and either a beret (black) or a cotton fedora (also black). My clothing was neutral for the most part. I hated jeans but that was mostly because they tapered in to the waist and were uncomfortable for my very short-waisted body type.

In my 20’s, I still blurred the lines. Black high heeled boots, black leggings, a white ruffled shirt (or something more plain), and longer hair (think kinda like how Prince dressed, just less flashy). The next day I could be wearing sweat pants and a grungy t-shirt. When I worked in retail, I wore heels and mens’ dress shirts… and their ties. I loved wearing ties. Hell, even today, if I see one at Goodwill that I like, I get it.

Since then, my clothing has become more relaxed… but my choices in clothes have always blurred those lines. I prefer shopping for some things in the mens departments… mostly because they’ll fit my broad shoulders and broad ribcage better (thank you to my Swiss grandpa for that). I still like wearing skirts (I usually make my own when the mood strikes) and I tend to wear dresses for interviews. I rarely wear makeup (cosplay and job interviews, and even then, the bare minimum). I can no longer wear piercings of any kind due to a metal allergy. And my hair is currently cut as a mohawk… which I love. My hair (and the cowlicks on my scalp) has a mind of its own… especially on the sides. So, keeping the sides shaved super-close and the top and back longer keeps my frustration levels down.

So I’m looking at the terms that surround Gender Neutral. When I said at the start that realizing I was asexual was easier, I was NOT joking. I feel I may simply be Androgynous. I am fine with female pronouns… I primarily present as female (even though the boobage is smaller, they aren’t exactly non-existent). But how I dress… this is where it gets confusing. There are so many terms for this middle ground of gender representation. I think, for now, I’m just more androgynous. At least in terms of clothes and hair.

There’s a lot to consider. This, I think, will be a longer journey of figuring shit out. I’ve read some articles, tried to find the best term (androgyny and genderqueer are the closest, but even then… not sure). This is a process. I know that many people will say “only you can decide what you identify as” and I get that… I do… but damn… there are so many terms and I’m not sure what fits best.

A little insight from others might be helpful…

~A

Posted in bugaboos, job hunting, life, Personal

7/5: Tech-weird and Life

Bizarre. FB on the Chromebook is acting all weird. Any text box, whether it’s a status or reply, messes things up. I start typing and then the cursor jumps back to the beginning of the line and continues what I’m typing there. It won’t let me delete it either. The cursor keeps jumping back. And it’s ONLY FB… no other site. I’ll do a full restart in a bit.

Internet came back last night… although I think that was obvious from last night’s post.

I’ve had new issues with my sciatica pop up over the weekend. I’ve gotten used to most sciatica pain, but damn… a searing jab of pain right next to my tailbone when weight-bearing on the left side is not something I’ve had before, and I’ve had sciatica for 27 years. I can handle a LOT of pain, but this??? Oh, fuck no. It is doing better for the moment. I’ve had a surprisingly low pain day today. Two days of mostly bed rest helped.

Had a doc appt today and then saw my VR person to go over my resume and rebuild it. Doc ordered blood tests to check for… well… actually I’m not sure what she’s checking. But they pulled four vials and this was the first time in years I only needed ONE needle prick. The everlasting saga of surviving 3rd stage Cellulitis is that my veins are all -sees a needle and hides- … My record is four attempts, and this has been several rounds of four attempts per sitting. Vancomycin is a bitch on the veins at the IV site. They had to change my IV location about every 24 hours the first six days. Then they put a PIC line in and a day later take it back out because my shitty insurance at the time didn’t cover home IV therapy.

Needless to say seeing a tech only need one chance is a wonderful sight. I love the older, more experienced techs. They can handle any problem.

For VR, we tackled my resume and it’ll be a vast improvement. I may be a writer, but when marketing myself and my skills, I suck at words.

More musings later…

~Amanda

Posted in anxiety, chronic pain, community, depression, domestic abuse, dreams, empath life, eviction, faith, feminism, grief, history, LGBTQIA Pride, life, peace, Personal, PTSD, sexual assault

7/4: Open Book

After our internet came back up (finally), I was musing on a conversation I had over the weekend. I am very open about who I am, where I’ve been, what I’ve done, what I’ve been through.

What I’ve survived.

So I wrote a short post.

And then I decided to turn it into word art. Found an image that fit (and could use) and added the words to become the featured image above.

I am a survivor of a lot of life stuff. I share much of that history… my experiences and lessons learned…  with anyone who wishes to listen.

My life is my journey. This blog gives me a voice to share that journey.

… and so it continues.

~Amanda

Posted in bigotry, bugaboos, cats, chronic pain, community, convention, dragon, friends, life, peace, politics, PTSD, society

7/4: our webs are down

I got back from GearCon to find that the house internet has been borked by Century Link doing work nearby. I’m using the limited hotspot on the other phone until fixed, so I won’t be here much.

I discovered new pain Sunday at con, so I’m taking things easy. Sciatica sucks donkey ass. 

Happy 4th to my fellow Americans. 

Please don’t set things (or people) on fire with possibly illegal fireworks. I will be on “cat calming” duty. Have a phone and fire extinguisher nearby.

Be nice to each other. 

Respect local Veterans who likely have PTSD and fireworks are a massive trigger for them.

Don’t shoot guns into the air… those bullets are subject to gravity, just like you.

No fighting. No road rage. No hate.

Don’t drive under the influence of anything other than happiness.

~Dragon