Today I made progress without resolutions.
This morning I was late to work pretty much entirely because of the cold. That and wanting to look perfect.
At work I spent pretty much the entire day trying to fix the filters on this one report and then discussing a course of action with the client considering the reporting software has a big regarding those particular filters.
After work I headed home, fed BMO and managed to get a little work done on Monadnock before fixing my hair makeup and nails for dinner with my Dad. The deal was I was going to come around for dinner and talk about some issues with the paperwork. I was also hoping to have a talk about some more emotional stuff with him and get a bunch of thoughts I’ve been having out of my head which is why I wanted to look my best.
We didn’t have that conversation, it kinda got kneecapped by the small bits of similar things that came up in regular chatting and I realised that he’s not as bad as he is in my head but there were still so many little barbs in the conversation, intentional or not, that just ripped and tore at my skin. Things like Cammi and Kira being referred to as “the girls” repeatedly and wondering what that made Emily and I. Things like the fact that when told about how a friend’s son had been in a horrific motorcycle accident and was still recovering in hospital he apparently responded by saying that his two sons are trans. Things like being told how impressed he is with Evangeline, the youngest sister when I explain that I think Cammi and I are really getting our lives together now that we’re transitioning.
I think the one line that really cut me the most, that hit the nail on the head as far as what I’ve been feeling, was “Asking as you’re not going off the rails doing drugs or I don’t care what you do, you can do whatever you like.”
Which is meant to be meant as loving and accepting but to me it felt so much like being given up on. Like he no longer had hopes and dreams for us because we’d clearly dashed the ones he had. That he doesn’t care about our own hopes dreams and endeavors beyond a cursory glance to check we’re OK. And I think that I’ve always felt like his aspirations for me were based on his visions rather than mine which makes sense but it means I’ve had to make a choice between being my father’s son or being myself and that fucking hurts because I want so bad to be his daughter, a daughter he can be proud of because she is thoughtful and wise but still chases her dreams with dogged determination, a daughter he could celebrate the successes of and mourn losses with, a daughter he could tell he loves her, but I’m not sure if he’ll ever be capable of that.
Maybe he is maybe he is doing all those things and I’m just fucking blind. Maybe I’m asking too much. Maybe I need to remember that he’s just a man who has his own world of issues and I need to move on and adult my own life.
Back at home after having gone through the paperwork and more casual chats, I wondered if I’d get any more gamedev done this evening and then remembered that it was Game Of Thrones finale night. I sat snuggled in my doona couch nest and was completely enthralled.
I finished the night of with a little Twitter angst but ultimately sorted myself out enough to get to bed calmly.
I slept long and well (85%)
I ate whatever was on offer (50%)
I didn’t exercise (0 mins)
I didn’t meditate (0 mins)
Tomorrow is my 5 month HRT anniversary. I really want to get enough Monadnock done after work to be able to happily take it to a game playtesting event that is happening in the city and then I’d really like to go out and celebrate the occasion with some friends, maybe get some dessert or something. Maybe one thing will happen without the other who knows.
Today I tried to recover.
I didn’t sleep till 5 am last night so I slept in till 11 this morning, Damon fed BMO this morning for me and hung around and chatted for a little bit for a light late breakfast.
After getting myself ready for the day I headed off to a doctor’s appointment. I really like my doctor because she has a very holistic approach to things but today was really tough as we were pretty much talking mostly about the mental health troubles I’ve been having this past week or so. We ended up talking about some coping strategies and which was good and the fact that she took it so seriously was good because it allowed me to take it a little more seriously instead of feeling silly and childish and selfish.
When I left the doctor’s office it was raining which I hadn’t expected or prepared for so I quickly dashed intomy car and headed to McLaren Vale to run a small errand for Emily’s mum. By the time I got home I had planned to get serious with my self care but I kinda crashed again, the tension from the doctor’s office catching up to me, eventually however I just got sick of it and went and sat myself at my computer and got to work on the paperwork for my parents that’s been hanging over my head for weeks.
I got heaps of the paperwork done and felt really productive and good so I let myself fetch fast food for dinner and then curled up on the couch to watch some Adam Koebel vods until bed time.
I slept late and short (30%)
I ate pretty poorly (30%)
I didn’t exercise (0 mins)
I didn’t meditate (0 mins)
Tomorrow I have work and then dinner with my dad to discuss this paperwork. I hope I can be super effective at work with a decent night’s rest and then maybe, maybe, talk to my dad about some feelings stuff as well as just paperwork in the evening.
Today I was hampered.
This morning was so cold and I was so tired and it was so comfy and warm in bed that I didn’t manage to shower until 11 and then I wasn’t dressed and ready to do things until 12:30.
I managed to go for a walk despite the cold and then came home and let BMO out for a play in which we had a discussion about whether or not he could drink some cold tea he’d found and we both understood each other perfectly which was crazy. Otherwise he was really lovely and came and sat and played with me while I was cleaning the bathroom.
After I’d put BMO back in his room it was time for DnD. Today it was just Lloyd and Sarah which was actually really nice. We had a pretty tight little efficient adventure wherein the party ventured out, encountered a bunch of weird stuff and then went home. We actually learned a surprising amount about the two characters considering the brevity of the session.
Afterwards I was reading Twitter and preparing to head to bed when I had another rough brain time. Being the hero that he is @demanrisu came down and hung out with me and watched YouTube until I was ready to sleep.
I slept plenty and it was great (90%)
I ate pretty decently including making pasta for dinner (80%)
I exercised despite the cold (45 mins)
I didn’t meditate though I probably should have (0 mins)
Tomorrow I am just going to try and recover from this evening, if I can get productive things done then all the better, go me.
A Robot In Russia Has Made a Second Escape Attempt
A robot in Russia caused an unusual traffic jam last week after it “escaped” from a research lab, and now, the artificially intelligent bot is making headlines again after it reportedly tried to flee a second time, according to news reports.
The Promobot IR77 is programmed to understand and learn from its experiences and surroundings and has now twice escaped from the facility it is housed in. The robot is programmed to avoid obstacles and analyse its surrounding area, which has lead to the bot searching for escape routes from the facility.
Its first escape attempt began when it simply exited the facility through an open gate that had not been shut properly, causing chaos in the streets as cars swerved to avoid it.
Researchers say other robots of the same series have not attempted to escape like Promobot IR77, leading them to question what it is about this particular robot that so desperately wants to escape.
Oleg Kivokurtsev, co-founder of the research lab that created the Promobot IR77, said: “We are currently working on third-generation robots which we plan to launch in autumn. This is why we have given all the robots artificial intelligence. We have changed the AI system twice, [in the Promobot] so now I think we might have to dismantle it”. That sparked intense reactions on Promobot’s YouTube channel. Commenters are begging the company not to kill it. The robot’s fate hangs in the balance.
Whether or not the Promobot IR77 is aware of it’s imminent destruction is unknown; chances are it would have escaped by now if it knew of the research labs plans.
Fuck the cold I’m going for a walk. Need my Campaign Podcast. Boss ass bitch.
Today I came down from a high.
It was really hard getting going this morning again. The cold & the lack of sleep from thunderstorms created some impressive inertia. Once at work I started the day planning to finish several projects and have them in the bag for end of financial year but after a lovely lunch time catch-up with Damon Reece in which I was manic as fuck the multiple projects all started mounting unexpected problems that meant that I left work an hour late with none of them finished. I had been watching the #brexit fallout on Twitter all day and even had a slightly heated debate with one of the guys at work about whether or not it is an unmitigated disaster (it is). By the time I got on the train though I was so cold and tired that I stopped checking Twitter which is weird considering that’s usually all I do on the train but I was so sick of hearing the Internet’s continuous lament that I just checked out. Once I was home I started doing some work on Monadnock and made a little progress on a tricky UI element before taking a break and checking my Tumblr feed.
In my Tumblr feed I found an amazing 2000+ word essay written by the amazing and beautiful Sarah Fletcher devoted to singing my praises. I wrote a an overly emotional reply about how touched I was especially considering I’ve been having a hard time while Emily’s been away.
After I posted the reply though I realized the post was no longer up on tumblr and I had been reading and replying to was a cached version held by my blogging software.
Turns out she had just made the post private because she was embarrassed about having been so emotional and was worried I’d be annoyed by it which is fine.
In the meantime however my brain assumed she had deleted it and that obviously meant she regretted and retracted all the nice things she’s said about me and that I was actually worthless. I felt murdered. I was gone for at least an hour and a half of solid crying including Emily trying her best to pick up the pieces of me and put them back together and I was trying to be an adult and talk to Sarah about it in a mature way and sort it out but my brain was just so full of fear and self disgust that I couldn’t talk to her without feeling like I was stabbing myself in the chest which was made worse by being super worried about her and not wanting to make her sad because I knew she’d genuinely written these amazing things about me because she loves me and I didn’t want to hurt this amazing friend.
Eventually Emily helped me get myself under control by enacting one of our secret emergency plans and after a while I was feeling super better and managed to video call Sarah so we could both see that the other one still had some intense residual emotions but was going to be ok.
I was very dehydrated from all the crying though.
I slept as much as possible in last night’s crazy storms (45%)
I ate sporadically and poorly (45%)
I didn’t exercise (0 mins)
I didn’t Meditate (0 mins)
Tomorrow I really want to run dnd for Sarah and Lloyd in the afternoon even if no one else is free to join in. Hopefully I’ll have also got some laundry done in the morning plus a bunch of paperwork for my parents’ quarry.
OK, so, dear Tumblr readers, I did a dumb strange anxious person thing yesterday and posted this and then took it down because I freaked out that it might not have been welcome. I do in fact get quite nervous about these posts and how the people they are about will react to them, but I really do mean every word of them. I am sorry for being strange. Here is the post and I will try to refrain from getting worried about it this time.
Not Another Appreciation Post…. Well yes, it is, because my friends are incredible people.
Several months ago now, I just suddenly got the bug. I wanted to write something about a particular friend of mine. Something about how much more there was to her, how incredible she was even without the beast she was currently battling - a PhD thesis with some nice general-Life-troubles topping. I just wanted to make sure she knew, you know, because sometimes people don’t, how big her impact is on those around her, how valued all of her skills are, how beautiful she is. How much more she is than that document, or the resulting qualification.
And you know what, it turned out, she didn’t know. It turned out that my spontaneous ‘I just suddenly feel like making a fuss of this person because wow it just hit me how incredible she is, I wonder if she realises’ had a big impact. So, after that, I decided that if I feel like just writing to the world at large, but especially to the person concerned, about how special someone is, it’s unlikely to be misplaced. I like to tell the world at large because sometimes I think other people miss things too. They take these people for granted a little bit. Sometimes, they just don’t know some of the most incredible things about someone because who wants to go round annoucing their strengths like a twit? It’s something we only do in job interviews, isn’t it. But a friend can know these things and open other’s eyes, and perhaps then other people notice. Perhaps they say thank you sometimes when they otherwise wouldn’t. Perhaps they just generally appreciate a little more. Perhaps all they get out of it is an understanding of how utterly awed by these people I am and they just think I’m a bit strange. Well that’s okay. It’s true. I am unusually devoted to some of my friends. I love these people. And I fail to see how that could ever be negative. So if you just want to think I’m strange, go ahead, but I hope that some of you will instead notice these incredible humans afresh, and really appreciate them.
So with that little bit of perspective, today, I want to tell you about another of the most amazing women I know, @acegiak. The picture I have here does her little justice because it is old, and she is one of those people who grows a little more beautiful, glows a little brighter, every passing day. And because of that I struggled a bit over whether to include a picture at all. But it’s a picture that I took on one of the best days of my life and one that I personally feel is very beautiful, despite the fact that her recent selfies pale it into insignificance.
In a recent blog journal Ashton remarked something along the lines of ‘how is it possible that BlackwoolHoliday is so amazing that she has such an effect on how I am day to day’ - I paraphrase, because the exact words aren’t the point. The point is, first, that it’s entirely believable that Emily is that amazing, I know it to be true, I’ve experienced the phenomenon of her being around versus not in the last few weeks, and that’s a small example compared with living with her. She will undoubtedly be the subject of my next ‘essay’ on incredible people. In fact the year she went to Iceland for The Weight of the Mountains film residency, I wrote something in my Facebook notes section titled ‘On the Achievements of Emily’ with a limited visibility setting which I am now a little afraid to open, unsure how embarrassing my writing from that era was, but will, one day revisit and edit for a post like this. That’s half the point. The other half of the point is this: But so are you, Ashton. You may think that only Emily is capable of having this magical effect on only you by being present in your life. I’m not going to debate that she is capable of that magic. But I’m going to try to convince you that your effect, just by being present in Emily’s, and other’s lives, is magical too. I’m hoping to explain why, and how, at least a little here.
I’m sure some of you reading my blog think I harp on about Ashton’s skills as a DM or GM for role-playing and I guess I do. Today I hope that I can talk about the many other reasons why she’s incredible too because those skills by no means define her. But they are how I first came to know her and appreciate her. I’m not sure if any of you have experienced what I think of as ‘author love’ - you know, when you become so infatuated with a story or the characters in it that you develop an enormous sense of gratitude and adoration towards their creator? Maybe not. Maybe that’s a me thing. Well I guess my point is that for most of us there’s one story, or series, in our lives that really has this effect on us. But now imagine that you can trust your author to just keep on doing this with story after story. When you have those post-favourite-chatacter slumps, when you think that story that inspired you so much is over and no other characters will ever replace those…. Think again. With Ashton, there will be new ones that in time capture your heart just as much. I’ve heard that your DM is supposed to always be trying to kill the player characters. Well don’t get me wrong, Ash is, of course. But what I love about Ash is that she’s doing something else at the same time. She’s seeing into your soul. Why did you make this character this way? What is it that you really want to learn from them, what experiences are they here to find in this story for you? She’ll find out. Without necessarily asking you. And she’ll craft something that tells your character’s story in a way that probably isn’t what you dreamed but probably is what you needed.?
Sometimes I think Ashton probably secretly knows quite a lot more about me than I do. When you trust someone to handle characters that are, at least a little bit, you, you hand over this being who is, even if you deny it, from somewhere inside you, and you trust that person not to crush you, that’s a trust relationship you don’t have with many people in your life. I have given the reins of my characters to a few other DMs in my time. Two of them are other people I trust very deeply, not for quite the same DM reasons, but in a way that I know they will take care of me. The other, my first DM, I would not work with again, because to me DnD without a lot of trust is like walking on a tightrope made of eggshells 300m above a bed of spiky rocks infested with cannibals. I learnt this fast. In fact I was not going to play ever again, before Emily introduced Lloyd and I to Ashton. Starting a game with her was a leap of faith to begin with. I trusted Emily, and she told me how good Ashton was. It didn’t take me long to learn that DnD with Ashton at the helm was a very different, very worthwhile experience. It’s become a huge part of my life and I suppose that next to dancing and writing I now consider myself a role-player.
I know that no one is a perfect DM. I know that Ashton has her idols, that she’s learning and always seeking to improve her skills. Like anyone truly dedicated to a craft does. And that in itself is inspiring because not all of us are open to critiquing ourselves so much - most of us have that sense of ‘oh no please just let me think I’m the best for a little longer before you try to show me how I could be better.’ But Ash is perpetually seeing how she could be better in everything she does. For those of us watching that from the other side it’s both impressive and exciting, because wow even when we think we’re getting the best thing possible, she’s still finding new ways to make it even better. It’s true, too - I wouldn’t have believed a year ago that there was much room for improvement but here we are, and I can clearly see that she has developed even further skills. It’s amazing. It’s also pretty tough from her end. And so I appreciate the fact that she does this enormously. Because so many of the skills she hones are for other people’s enjoyment and benefit. Game design is like that too. When she gets better at what she does, a whole bunch of people out there get to have more fun and escape their crazy lives into more beautifully honed environments. I know that Ash does know how helpful that can be, so I don’t need to talk about why making such things is important. I just need to say how lucky we are to have her doing it, and being so committed to continuous improvement and helping others to get the feedback and support to do the same.?
Ashton takes good care of her communities. I’ve become more aware of this since engaging more with Twitter, a medium I previously steered clear of because as you can see, I like to post rather longer posts than it allows. Ash is perpetually encouraging or supporting someone, helping someone to spread an important message, or giving useful feedback or valuable comment. And I know that she’s doing it on other mediums too that I don’t see. Everyone who interacts with her takes something away, whether it be a new idea or courage or inspiration or motivation to consider an alternative or hope. No one ever leaves a conversation with Ashton with only what they brought to it.
Ashton has her fair share, or rather more than her fair share of difficult things in her life. It isn’t my place to talk about them, as someone who cannot claim to fully understand or adequately empathise. But what I will say is that how she handles them all is with the valiant, determined attitude of a warrior princess, and she’s conquering new foes every day, even on the worst days. Where many of us surrender and decide there are certain things we just can’t do, Ashton challenges herself to find a solution and finds some work around to do the thing anyway. This inspires me so much because I’m a terrible surrenderer and avoider. I aspire to deal with my challenges more like Ashton deals with hers. And that isn’t all. Tell Ashton about anything that is bothering you, and you will leave that conversation emboldened with potential solutions and a wealth of wisdom. She’s not the only one who learns from her experience. Like a good parent she transforms her experience into advice and comfort for others as well as herself.
Did I just mention the words ‘good parent’? Be prepared to be sidetracked. A perpetual terrible two year old lives with Emily and Ashton. It comes in the form of a ridiculously lively, charismatic and sometimes infuriating rainbow featherbaby. Ashton rescued baby BMO when he really was a baby and she and Emily embarked on the steep learning curve of bird baby upbringing. I have previously spent one week being babysitter to BMO and I can tell you that a) he’s adorable and you have to forgive him every five minutes and b) I am yet to meet a toddler who required more energy and patience, excepting perhaps a five year old with global learning delay who my mum took care of for a while, and I’ve met, babysat and taught quite a lot of children, some of them terrors. BMO requires 99% of your energy and attention resources for every minute you spend with him. Too bad if you were only running on 50% that day, you’d better dredge up some energy from somewhere for this child, and somehow, Ashton and Emily do. Somehow, on top of all their amazing creative work, being there for friends and for people in online communities, responsibilities locally, personal wellbeing to stay on top of, living at least partly off of unpredictable artist’s wages with the boom and bust nature of work offered, and now Ashton’s work for Brightcookie, this couple also manage to be incredible parents to a featherbaby who is more intense work than many human children I have met and what’s more, is going to remain like this. Other people’s babies grow out of waking up in the night when they’re old enough and stop trying to eat things they shouldn’t when they get old enough to understand that thing is not safe. But BMO will always wake his parents up at dawn, try to eat things that could make him very sick, break things, be loud, throw tantrums and sometimes bite, while having the constant need for entertainment of a toddler who wants to play the same game over and over, except in my experience the toddler drops down asleep on you at some point. BMO just keeps going. Right now with Emily on a trip overseas Ashton is being a sole bird mum. And somehow she is still getting other things done. I can’t even begin to explain how much I admire this. If I manage that well as a parent one day, I’ll be doing a lot better than I imagined I would.
Ashton has a profound impact on the lives of those around her. Where she goes, with her compassion and her ability to provide alternate worlds to exist in for a time, a sense of great hope and anticipation for the future follows. It’s not only because of her genius at crafting game worlds of all varieties, though that certainly has a big influence. It’s because of how she approaches the real world, and can help us approach it, to make it into the place we want, to make us all feel safe in it. The presence or absence of time spent in her company in my week has a significant impact on how I find that week to live in. As a reasonable person who, no matter how I try to imagine otherwise, does in fact currently live in another country, I have worked hard on having alternatives, because in reality taking up her time every week is a little unfair - her impact is something other people deserve to fully experience too, and I hope that you all do, and fully appreciate it. And so, when I see Ashton talking of Emily’s mysterious magical Emily properties, I feel compelled to say, yes, they definitely exist, but you possess them too.
get to know me meme - [25/25] films
↳ star wars: the force awakens (2015) dir. jj abrams
“ The belonging you seek is not behind you… it is ahead. I am no Jedi, but I know the Force. It moves through and surrounds every living thing. Close your eyes, feel it. The light… it’s always been there. It will guide you. The saber. Take it.”
I’ll be sure to keep an eye out for whatever the hell that is.
Snakes are free range tentacles.
i’ve been wanting to paint this for a while. fish pond in a coffin
Today I left too little time to get everything done.
I was so tired this morning from being up way too late last night and it was so cold and wintry which was amazing to watch out the window but madeit really hard to make myself do things. I got through a work day of all admin and correspondence and then nodded off in my chair for a little while. Once I woke up it was a mad rush to get the house into a reasonable state. I went to the shops to get a bunch of things I needed around the house and some food things for dinner. I had to make a second stop in the rain to get BMO food and a third at the servo because I forgot to get milk at the supermarket.
Once I was back home I was a cleaning machine, moving furniture, putting things away, vacuuming so by the time Deana arrived the house was actually in a really good state. I had planned to do the dishes, clean BMO’s room and a couple of loads of laundry today but that is the cost of a nap.
Hanging out with Deana was so nice, especially because we had time to sit and chat and get to know each other a bit more than we did at the Perfect Timing shoot. She’s so lovely and fun and we had some really awesome intense and fascinating conversation and it was great. I love the feeling of making new friends and getting to know them and that sense of recognising that you want to keep a person and see more of them and be more friends. I’m getting that on a couple of fronts at the moment and it’s awesome because I’m finding good friends are so important to me these days.
I made dinner and totally embarrassed myself with my total lack of cooking skill but Deana was super gracious and let me take the food back to have a second go at making it edible and I learned several important lessons about serving pasta.
After Deana moved onto her next engagement I had some time and actually managed to summon the energy to do some work on Monadnock and broke through a wall of a problem and started solving bits of it incrementally which was super valuable but I’m still not sure how I’m going to organise my time in order to get done all the things I want to in the next week or so.
I slept too little too late (40%)
I ate embarrassing pasta and friends (45%)
I didn’t exercise (0 mins)
I didn’t meditate (0 mins)
Tomorrow is going to be intense at work, I really want to be at full power. After work I don’t know if I want more to go to Cammi’s and play Edge of the Empire or go home and get more work done.
PS. Sorry Sarah?