grimrose_eilwynn: (Default)
I know it's been a while... I've been so busy with classes, hanging out with my sister's and my mutual friends group, and I do at least an hour of creative writing every day.

But I just wanted to post this. This is so cool! I totally want this to happen to my ashes when I die!

http://www.mymodernmet.com/profiles/blogs/artful-ashes-memorials
grimrose_eilwynn: (Default)
For Valentine's Day yesterday, I bought some Ghirardelli chocolates and went out to the movies with my sister and a friend. We were going to see Dead Pool. Perfect Valentine's Day movie, right?

I must admit, I didn't expect to like it. But I did. There was blood and violence everywhere, sexual jokes up the wazoo, and I still liked it.

The action was great, the romantic dynamic was perfect (they were perfect for each other - relationship goals), the main female character was both likable and interesting. The humor was genuinely funny. I think it was mostly in the delivery. Ryan Reynolds has always been funny, but here he really capitalized on that for the first time and that was fun to see.

I also liked the ending. For lots of reasons, but also because I liked how Dead Pool treated the main bad guy. I'm not going to spoil for anybody, but that was very satisfying.

I can definitely understand why it was rated R, though. Don't take your kids to see this movie. Don't be that douchebag who takes your kid to an R rated film, gets offended, and then ruins a potential sequel for everybody else.

I would watch a sequel. I would even buy this movie on DVD. I really liked it.

A lot of people are complaining that Dead Pool wasn't popular before this movie, but I kind of thought your favorite character becoming more popular was a good thing? Doesn't that lead to more movies, comics, and merchandise? My sister was always a huge Dead Pool fan, but I didn't really know much about him before watching the movie and now I'm a fan. Isn't that... a good thing?

I'm lost???

Anyway, I guess a lot of people are bothered by not having a date on Valentine's Day, but I'm not really one of those people. Relationships take effort, man, and I'm busy. I honestly had more fun with my friends than I probably would have on a date. Dates are nerve wracking and have expectations built into them. My ultimate dream is to find a guy funny and laid-back enough that I don't feel like he's putting expectations on me and like dates are a chore, but so far I have not found that guy yet.

Until then, my Valentine's Days are a friend zone. And I am happy that way.

Crafting

Feb. 1st, 2016 03:27 pm
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I decided over Christmas break that I needed something to occupy my mind that didn't require a lot of effort or forethought.

Bipolar people cannot achieve resting state neural connectivity. Research has proven this. What this is means is that we can't just sit around and do nothing and relax or be comfortable. We can't binge watch on Netflix or sit around watching TV, I even have trouble meditating without a guided audio to listen to -- the audio helps me focus my mind on something. I've talked to other bipolar people who experience the same thing -- an innate feeling of restlessness with doing nothing. You sit around doing nothing and your mind starts spinning and you start worrying.

To combat this, I have taken up crafting. More specifically, latch hooking. I may move on to sewing, knitting, and embroidery once I've mastered latch hooking. I usually have a mug of warm milk and calm myself down with some latch hooking at night before bed, or on a boring weekend afternoon. I find a good feeling fills me after I've done the crafting. So not only is it relaxing, it fills my brain with feel-good chemicals.

There's another problem going on concerning my bipolar disorder. I have a generalized, vague anxiety that follows me pretty much everywhere I go. My psychiatrist and I agreed meds aren't the answer, and the cognitive behavioral therapy techniques I've learned can only do so much.

Multiple people have talked about the option of an emotional support animal. I like the idea, I just don't know if I have the time and money to take care of an animal. If the animal were an officially trained service animal for psychiatric disorders, then it might be different -- I could take the animal with me to public places, etc -- but those apparently don't exist.

So I'm just going to have to go through my options and decide what I want to do here.

But for the most part, I've been feeling great lately. I've fallen into regular sleep and eat schedules, and aside from the occasional cold or bad experience I've been feeling calm and at peace. Christmas break was good to me and helped me gain some perspective.
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The first day of classes was rainy, but it was a light rain, little wind, and I had an umbrella, so that was no problem.

My first class was British Literature. We’ll be reading Mrs Dalloway, Hard Times, Frankenstein, and several others (the teacher actually forgot to tell us about one, which means I’ll have to buy an additional ten-to-fifteen dollar book off Amazon), and we’ll get to be creative in addition to being analytical. My idea of a perfect class! I’d had the teacher before, a peppy blonde woman who’s very enthusiastic about literature, and I like her, and I also was surrounded by several English major friends of mine that I’d had in previous classes. We sat around and had a lively conversation, talking and joking, before class started. The great thing about English majors is that they’re always up for discussion -- you never feel stiff, intimidated, or bored in their presence.

My business class, Promotional Strategy, was a little different. No one spoke or raised their hand at all -- I was the only one who raised my hand with a question for the entire class period -- and there was this intimidating kind of silence that no one wanted to break. The teacher, an older woman, talked really fast and then suddenly shot questions at us -- I could barely keep up with her. But I did raise my hand, and I talked with her after class about what assignments I should do, and she asked for my name and recognized it from an email about textbooks I’d sent her over the summer. So I think I made a good first impression.

I had very little homework that night, and then came a Thursday and Friday (no-homework days), and on Friday I had no second Promotional Strategy class, and then came a three-day weekend! So I was feeling pretty optimistic after my first day.

My second day of classes was also good. Sunnier, and I had a longer amount of time to sit and eat breakfast before heading out for the day.

I had been a little nervous about my Shakespeare studies professor -- besides the fact that he was an expert in Shakespeare, he had also seemed intimidatingly strict and old-fashioned in his beginning emails. But what actually happened is kind of funny. He’d mistaken the classroom number so we had to go find him because he’d been wandering the halls, lost. Once he got in there he turned out to be a nice, sharply dressed little old man. There was one moment of nervousness -- we’d filled out information cards for him, and he kept reading excerpts from the cards for the class, which we hadn’t known he’d do. But he just asked me about where I was from. Called the place name “exotic.” He seems to like the word “exotic.” Everything that’s not an English major from the school’s general region is “exotic” to him.

I took the bus back home for lunch and an hour and a half relaxation at my place. Then I went back out for my Advanced Poetry class, which was with the same professor I’d taken Intermediate Poetry with last semester.

Still the same guy -- had an existentially fraught hip flask (it doesn’t know whether it contains vodka or water, and neither does anyone else), liked the building where no one ever went, lots of interesting stories, hated assigning grades. It was soothing being back in an intriguing, familiar environment again analyzing poetry, so I really enjoyed that class.

The students in that class are always funny, too. We were in the geology building, and there was a picture of the Mt St Helens eruption in the classroom, and someone said that was like putting a picture of Hiroshima in a classroom in Japan.

"The circumstances were a little different," another person pointed out in amusement. "More people were killed in Hiroshima. There's also the problem of Big Intention versus Natural Disaster."

I love English majors.

I always reward myself after making it to that class, though, because it’s always in the late afternoon after I’ve already gone home from school -- I always have to go back to campus just for that one class. So as my reward afterward, I go to Starbucks and get myself a delicious little coffee. I sat at Starbucks for a while, just letting my mind unwind.

Now I’m back at home, and guess what? No homework, a short day tomorrow, and then a three-day weekend! And tomorrow I might be getting some new pajamas!

It’s been a great start to the semester!
grimrose_eilwynn: (Default)
So I rented my first apartment and now I have my first landlord problems.

My actual landlord can't be reached. That's the first thing. It's only her assistant that can be reached, and her assistant has an attitude problem.

From the beginning of our time in the apartment, all the way back in August, our living room window screen has been broken. We put in an order for it to be replaced. It's January, and guess what? Still no window screen.

And now our sink and bathtub drains are plugged, our kitchen window won't lock, and our burners fill the air with the smell of smoke. We've actually had to disable the living room fire alarm because it won't stop fucking going off every time we make tea or turn on the oven. They've told us to put the fire alarm back in, but have offered no solution to our problem. We've put in a work order for the kitchen window to be fixed and that, too, has gotten no results.

So my Dad, who's paying for this shit, called the landlord's assistant today and started talking threateningly about safety hazards. He knows exactly what to say to make people scared he's going to sue them -- he is a businessman, after all.

Today, without warning, we heard someone rip the living room window screen off and storm away with it. We waited... the screen was never replaced. We had duct taped the screen shut, and we can see that the duct tape was ripped away so hard some of it stuck to the wall. Talk about an attitude problem.

Really? You have to understand, this is a nice place. Unusually expensive for the area. We're paying extra money... and it's for this kind of service?

UPDATE: Well, a plumber came by the next morning to fix the tub and sink, and he seemed perfectly friendly. So maybe it was just that one service worker who was an asshole, to be fair.
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I am here today to wish my wonderful sister a Happy Birthday. I'm going to take her out to lunch and shopping later today, on her special day. She is my best friend and I love her dearly. So I'm here today to write a love letter about my sister.

Like me, my sister has a disability. I won't go into the details, because that's her business and she's very private about her personal life, but let's just say it made school very difficult for her. I say this to express my admiration of her determination not to let her disability define her or overcome her. She is the hardest-working person I know, with incredible perseverance and a lot of native intelligence. I wish I was as hard-working as my sister is. And it paid off -- she was a straight A student, has grown to love reading, and is now in college. She is a huge success story.

She is very responsible. She is always the first to take the initiative and do any chores that need to be done, she's conscientiously clean, and she carefully keeps all important paperwork and receipts in an organized place.

She's uncomplaining. My sister is very good at adapting to her surroundings and has a very "tough it out and make it through" attitude that I can really respect. Even though I'm the older one, because of my anxiety she's often the one helping and leading me. She's much calmer than I am.

She's caring and nurturing. Hungry animals and hurt people always find a home with her. Her friends command her undying loyalty, and she is very protective -- the kind of person who will punch you in the face if you try to harm one of her friends or family members.

She's a funny tomboy. She has a great sense of humor, loves goofing off, and can always make me laugh. She's great at clowning around. And she's definitely comfortable in herself -- she wears jeans and sweatshirts and baseball caps, loves Transformers and Pokemon, is mostly friends with guys, and is perfectly fine with that. Even when people have judged her for it, my sister has never been afraid to be herself.

She's great at video games. I say that because I'm horrible at them. She's good at strategizing and figuring out puzzles and can spend hours playing around with different video games, trying to get them just right.

She is a bit of a perfectionist, and that shows in her art. My sister is an incredible artist, both virtually and on paper. She may not be the fastest to get the art technique down, but her unflagging determination always ensures that she is usually one of the best artists around. I know for a fact that I'm not the only one who admires her artwork. She has a great imagination and lots of artistic talent.

She loves horror, ghosts, and all manner of other eerie things. She wears lots of black and loves rock music. People have judged her over these things as well, but again she has never let that faze her. She is proud of her likes and interests, and is also proud of being a Christian and believing in God.

She's an interesting combination of introvert and extrovert. She can be very chatty, but she's not a big partier. She's more comfortable at home surrounded by people she knows well, and is not really into drinking or drugs.

She's a very reasonable roommate and house mate. She rarely gets angry, always says just what's on her mind, tries to accommodate, and is helpful and non-judgmental. My sister rarely judges anyone and is a friendly and accepting sort.

I have tons of fond memories of the two of us as kids. We would play dinosaurs, cheat while playing Yu-Gi-Oh, and pull the heads off our Barbies and switch them with each other's. (We were interesting little children.) We fought horribly sometimes, but always made up and supported each other even when no one else did.

She is an amazing person and I love and admire her. She is my closest friend, my greatest supporter, and my best defender. I can always come to her for advice. We spent our childhood together and have become adults together. We may fight, but at the end of the day we're very close.

Happy Birthday, sister of mine.

Breakup

Jan. 2nd, 2016 12:38 pm
grimrose_eilwynn: (Default)
I broke up with Cowboy Bebop Dude today. It was really for a multitude of reasons:

- I didn't really trust him. I never felt like I could trust him with any personal details of my life. I don't know why, it's not like that with all guys, but I just never felt like I could trust this guy in particular.

- I never felt supported by him. I would tell him about bad things that were going on in my life, and he never really supported me, or even said anything against me -- he never really said anything.

- He was pushy. In a nice, subtle way, but still pushy. I told him I was not comfortable being physically intimate with him yet, but he would do things like move closer to me on dates, ask me for a time-frame for when we could be physically intimate, and invite me over to his place for the night after dinner dates.

- He wasn't big on family. This was a down side for me, because I'm HUGE on family, and unless your family mistreats you (which his didn't) I'm not impressed if you don't seem to enjoy spending time with them.

- He sometimes struck me as a bit whiny and dramatic. I canceled plans with him once during finals week, and he gave me a phone call -- right after he knew I'd had a huge, stressful final -- complaining in kind of a whiny voice that I never had any time for him. Sorry, dude, school comes first.

- And that brings me to my last reason: I might just be too damn busy with school to successfully carry on a relationship. At the very least, I need someone who understands that school comes first, like me. Maybe I'm just not ready for a serious relationship yet? Because this one very quickly began to feel like a burden on my time and energies.

Basically, he was attractive -- in an aesthetic sort of way, at least -- but problematic. Whereas my last boyfriend was blissful but physically unattractive.

My best friend and my sister didn't like him, either. My friend (the married one) gave the assessment that he seemed "clingy and immature, and only cares about being physically intimate." Not the first time I've attracted a clingy guy, funny enough.

My sister also never liked him, and she has good instincts. She thinks that might be why he was a boy in the feminist club in the first place -- and why he talks about how important women’s studies classes are to him so much -- to get sex. Well he won’t be getting any from me!

I waited until the holidays were over -- breaking up with someone over the holidays is a shitty thing to do -- and then I called him over the phone (he gets this really sad, pathetic face on when he gets upset, and I thought if I had to look at it I might not be able to go through with the breakup) and said this:

"I’ve realized something. I’ve been telling you that I’m not comfortable being physically intimate with someone I don’t know well, and I’ve also been too busy to have much time to get to know you better, and I’ve realized that’s not fair. That’s not fair to you. Or to me. We both deserve a better relationship than that. But I don’t have anything better I can offer at this time. I think the time is just not right for me to be in a relationship right now. I also think we seem to be looking for somewhat different things in a relationship. I’ve tried to tell you what I need, but I think our pacing in a relationship just seems too different for it to really work out. It’s not that I don’t like you, or aren’t attracted to you, or anything like that. It’s just that I feel this relationship isn’t healthy for either of us. So I’m breaking up with you.

"And I’m sorry, I don’t mean to be rude, but there’s really no negotiating on this. I’ve made up my mind."

I’ll give him this one, he took it better than I anticipated. He said, “I don’t agree that we should break up, but it sounds like you’ve made up your mind, so.” And then it got really awkward. We hung up soon after.

Honestly, I just feel so relieved. This huge weight has been lifted off my shoulders. It's a good start to the year, not a bad one. Breakups have never really bothered me. I'm not a big cryer. I have a pretty huge "life goes on" attitude when it comes to losing people -- through death or through separation. It takes a really close person being torn from my life for me to get really emotional about it. I guess it helps that I'm usually the dumper -- not the dumpee. I've been called a heartbreaker -- jokingly, but still. I guess you could say I don't handle bullshit well and I have pretty high standards.

My Mom put it the best: "You, more than anyone else I have ever met, need to find an intellectual equal. Like Jane and Mr Rochester. And finding Mr Rochester is going to be hard."

In any case, what's done is done. We all have to just keep going and not look back, don't we? I'll quote Reba McEntire: "I'm pretty sure it's not the end of the world tonight."
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Dear Teenage Self,

I’m not quite sure how to begin. There’s so much I want to tell you; so much has changed. Most of it for the better.

First, I know being a teenager is hard. It seems like people are always trying to under-rate the problems of being a teenager. But I remember: being a teenager is insanely difficult. Just know that things will get better, if you give them time.

I know you think you’re ugly. I know those bullying girls in middle school make you feel like you’re ugly. And I remember what you look like in middle school: long frizzy hair, braces, snobbish little gold-rimmed cat’s-eye glasses, tomboyish clothes. I remember that you cried the first time you heard “I’m Not That Girl” from Wicked. You pretended you were smarter and more arrogant than everybody else to hide the truth -- that you never felt like you fit in, that you doubted you’d ever find a boyfriend or fall in love.

Well, guess what? All those bullying girls in middle school? They’ll lose interest in you in high school. Your braces will come off. One day you’ll just decide to cut off all your hair, and it will feel incredibly liberating. You’ll get some new square plastic black-framed glasses. You’ll learn to make your tomboyish look work for you, with band T shirts and checkered open sweaters and long wool coats and skintight jeans.

And guess what else? Guys will call you pretty. So will girls. You’ll be asked out on dates. You’ll make new friends. College will free you from the confines of teenage hierarchy -- yes, you have to wait till college, and it will frustrate you because it seems like everyone else has it all figured out in high school. (They don’t. Trust me.) In fact, you’ll go to prom stag with a bunch of your girlfriends instead of with some immature teenage boy, and you’ll have the time of your life. You’ll rent a white limo and put on a lavender ball gown, and you’ll giggle and silly dance on top of a ship overlooking the sea sparkling in the night. And then, eventually, a year or two later in college, you’ll have the courage to ask somebody out and romance will happen for you.

But you’ll also learn not to let your beauty define you. I know you can’t even conceive of this right now, but you’ll get into a relationship, realize this guy’s not right for you, and you’ll have the courage to tell him “no.” He will validate this idea of the beauty you never thought you had, but he will not be the right person for you, and you will realize that it is okay. It is okay for him not to be the right person for you. You don’t owe anyone anything just because they called you pretty.

And it is okay not to have a boyfriend. Especially in high school. Ya got time, girl! Go easy on yourself!

Also know this: you still haven’t completely fallen in love. I think you’re probably one of those people who falls in love really intensely, but only once or twice a lifetime. And you’ve realized that’s okay too. You’ve kissed boys, held hands with them, even made out with them, but you have never given your virginity away to a guy who hasn’t earned it. And your inexperience? That doesn’t bother you as much as it used to. In fact, you’re a little proud of it. You go slow, and that’s okay -- your relationship experiences will be more rewarding that way. It’s okay to wait until the time is right.

You will try to force it. There will be a point in college when you try to force relationships that aren’t there, out of some misguided idea that you’re supposed to. And guess what? You’ll get over that, too. It’s a phase. You’ll grow out of it.

Don’t get me wrong. You’re not always the paragon of self confidence or anything. You still have your self conscious moments, but you’ve learned that those are okay. Progress can be imperfect and still be progress.

I know you have a lot of celebrity and book crushes right now. You’ll grow out of those, too. Don’t get me wrong, admiring sexy guys is awesome and so are idle daydreams, but the intense crushes on people you’ve never met? I’ve found those usually fade as you get older as well.

I also remember that those bullying girls used to call you a freak. Behind your back, which is worse. Even now, you still haven’t forgotten that girl who cheerfully told you, “I know everyone says you’re a freak, but I think you’re really nice! Oh, wait. You did know people call you a freak, right?”

You hadn’t.

Yeah. Ow.

That one still hurts a little.

But overall, you’ve come far. Time heals most wounds, and all those times you were socially humiliated in middle school? Those times don’t seem so important anymore. You can look back now and see those bullies for exactly who they really were: immature airheads. You can remember the memory, and be exasperated by it, and not feel pain.

And you know what? You ARE a freak. And you should be damn proud of that! The freaks are the best! They’re the originals, the daring ones, the ones who will change the whole fuckin’ world! Dare to be different! Live it up! Don’t let those assholes weigh you down!

And don’t give up on your childhood dreams. Remember when you wanted to be a novelist, a poet, a musician, an actress, but everyone told you that would be too hard and so you gave up? Don’t give up! You’ll get to a place where you’ll feel brave enough to start dreaming those things again.

You’ll also get better at talking in front of people. You don’t just babble incoherently and shake like a leaf in a high wind when you get up in front of people anymore. You’ve learned to deal with crowds, parties, and yes, school presentations -- at least to a certain extent. They can even be kind of fun!

Don’t start drinking. Stick to your principles and instincts and don’t get caught up in that addictive cycle. It may separate you from your peers now, but you’ll be so grateful for it later. For the ability to have an occasional beer or glass of wine without feeling the need to get drunk.

Yes, you WILL find jobs. You'll volunteer at the local library for a year in your senior of high school, edit someone's book for publication for a fee, and you'll have a really cool virtual internship doing business writing for an environmental company. (Your major right now is Creative Writing, with a minor in Marketing -- this may surprise you because I know you were thinking Psychology. But really, budding young writer, is it such a surprise?)

Also, you know that girl you’re best friends with? The daring, original one who loves goth stuff and who you walk home with every afternoon so she can show you her anime collection? The one you really admire and envy for her sheer comfort in being different? The one who takes you to the cool rock concerts? The one you wear bandanas with because you want so badly to be her? Yeah, you’re not really friends with her anymore. Not because you had a big falling-out or anything, but just because you both went off to different colleges and she turned out not to be the kind of friend who wanted to keep in contact with people she didn’t see every day -- even though you DID turn out to be that kind of friend.

I’m not going to lie to you and say that won’t hurt. It will. It’ll hurt like hell. It’ll feel like a betrayal. But eventually, you’ll come to the realization of this: that girl you admired and envied? You ARE that girl now. You’re comfortable being yourself, and being different.

And maybe you’re not different in the same way she is. Maybe you don’t wear dark eye makeup and dye your hair twenty different colors. But that doesn’t make you any less special and unique. Guess what? She’ll admit to you one day that SHE always really admired YOU -- for your dedication to your creative endeavors, especially to your writing, a dedication and creativity she’s found she can’t quite match.

Another compliment you’ll get, from a completely different girl, at the end of high school? That you’re “mysterious” but “passionate about your music.” And here was you always thinking people don’t talk to you because you’re a dorky loser. They may actually have been intimidated by you!

Speaking of that girl you’re friends with, you actually did want to go to the same college she did. She got in. You didn’t. And guess what? She was fucking miserable there. You cried when you didn’t get in, and she didn’t even like the goddamn place. So you moved far away, to a college in a different state right in the downtown area of a big city. You explored different kinds of cuisine. You tried online dating. You got interested in politics. You became addicted to coffee. You found out that snotty private school kids can be cold, bitchy, judgmental, and mean.

What I’m saying is -- first, you’ll get into college. Don’t worry about that. But second, the college you first went to? That wasn’t even your final destination. You ended up transferring to a totally different college, a public one in a small, rural town, and meeting some absolutely incredible people there. You’ll move out on your own, share an apartment with your college-age sister. The two of you will become incredibly close. You will successfully become independent.

Somewhere in between the first college and the second, you’ll be diagnosed with bipolar disorder. That’s right, all your online research proved you right. And I know that right now you’re trying to convince other people that how you’re feeling is an illness, and they’re grownups so they’re trying to tell you it’s really just because you’re not doing THAT and THIS and THAT OTHER THING.

So I just wanted to validate you. You were right. And finally getting that diagnosis and starting on the path to recovery? It’ll feel like a huge relief.

That brings me to my central point. I know you’re feeling suicidal. I know your parents are angry with you because you withdraw and hide in your computer so much, but you’re just trying to get good grades in class (you feel a lot of pressure there) and ignore the feelings welling up inside you. And I’m not going to sugarcoat it for you -- it’ll get worse before it gets better. There are times when you’ll sob and scream. There are times when you’ll just want to fucking die. There are times when you’ll feel broken. You will lose people. You will be bullied and abused. You will act fucking insane. Horrible things will happen to you.

But I’ll let you in on a little secret: It. Gets. Better.

You will go see a psychiatrist and a therapist. You will find a medication regimen that works for you, and learn self management techniques to keep bad thoughts from controlling your life. You will also start being healthy -- going out walking regularly, eating more frequently and healthier, sleeping more (but not too much), and you’ll travel and find tons of new hobbies! (You’ll even feel brave enough to take night classes in swing dancing downtown above a really sketchy bar.) These might all sound cheesy in isolation, but put them together and you’ve got a great recovery strategy.

Recovering from depression and suicidal thoughts is the most incredible feeling on the planet. All of a sudden, you’re grateful for everything -- you’re so much wiser, and you take a whole new lease on life. Life is an incredible journey, and you’ll want every part of it.

And the realization will come to you, over and over and over again: That you made it. You survived. You’re a survivor. And that realization never stops coming. It’s the gift that never stops giving. You will feel that triumph again, and again, and again. Every time you learn something, every time something good happens to you or you get reflective, you will feel that triumph again.

Like today.

So congratulations, kid. You’ve hit your twenties. You made it.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
grimrose_eilwynn: (Default)
So I was in a shitty mood. I'd just finished with all the stress of finals, which isn't good for my disorder; I was having relationship frustrations; I was menstruating and moody (my meds stop working on my period); I wasn't happy with any of my writing projects.

And then me and my sister decided to watch Begin Again with Kiera Knightley and Mark Ruffalo to cheer ourselves up, and we got to talking about music.

And we just randomly decided: we have two guitars. We're going to learn music together.

See, I took guitar lessons for about a year during my Ultimate Low Period talked about in my very first post. (See the top of my memories list.) It was a way to vent, pass time, not stare at the walls and feel depressed. But my teacher kind of sucked. He was obviously only in it because he couldn't make any money in a band. That's not to say he was a bad guitar player, it's just to say he wasn't a very good teacher. And I had no one to practice with, and I felt like I was learning little, and it was very frustrating. Guitar fell by the wayside.

But my sister revealed tonight that she's always wanted to learn music, so I gave her one of my two guitars. I taught her how to tune up, and it was just so rewarding, doing music back and forth with someone. The buzz when you get it all just right!

We have everything all set up. I have an online tuner and guitar chord-book bookmarked, as well as books I've bought on the guitar. I even have a capo, and several different kinds of picks. I'm all set to go because I was doing this a year and a half ago. We will practice guitar, and diaphragmatic breathing for singing (I took choir for a few years) until summer hits, and then we will take lessons -- with a GOOD teacher -- over the summer. Even if we have to get jobs to pay for them.

I'm hoping some of my sister's frankly incredible work ethic will rub off on me. I'm also hoping being in a partnership will help with songwriting, which we've already discussed as a possibility.

You never know. Maybe nothing will come of it, and it'll just be a fun thing we do together as a hobby. But you never know where life will take you, and I would love to be in a band. Even one that never went anywhere -- although of course going somewhere would be even better. I would be willing to put the time in, I think, not only because I would have something to fall back on (college), but because I genuinely love music. I do. I love music like I love breathing, or water.

And I don't know. I just feel so much BETTER. I'm riding this wave of enthusiasm. I've always loved music in this really intense and incredible way, and to be able to play it with someone else who I know also loves music -- that would just be the most incredible thing for me.

Maybe the enthusiasm will fade in the morning. But maybe it won't. Maybe all our plans to learn every chord in the online chord-book will actually come to something, and we'll start practicing together tomorrow. Maybe this is just the beginning of something great.

Music has always been my solace. Perhaps playing music can also be my solace. It seems I always turn back to playing music when I'm feeling really down.
grimrose_eilwynn: (Default)
So I decided to see the guy I'm dating (kendo/Cowboy Bebop Dude) at least one last time before he left to see his family for Christmas Break.

I had it all settled. I put a time aside for him in between all my finals studying. He came over to my place, I gave him his Christmas present, I sat him down in an armchair before the TV with a mug of warm apple cider, and I let him pick any movie out of all the movies I owned for us to watch. I made plenty of commentary throughout the movie, though always in between important scenes, and I made sure there were lots of opinions so he could jump into the conversation and offer his own thoughts.

I had it all perfect.

Three things:

1) When I went to Google search something about the movie, he looked at my computer screen and commented on it. Which is creepy.

2) He moved a remote from the arm of my chair so he could leave his arm there, very suggestively and deliberately.

3) At the end of the date, he asked if there was a specific time frame for when we could be physically intimate again.

What the hell was he expecting me to say? "Yes, in three months, two days, and eleven hours I will feel comfortable with you and trust you." And you know what? I'll NEVER feel comfortable with him and trust him if he keeps pushing this!

AARRGGHH!
grimrose_eilwynn: (Default)
So, I've always been uncomfortable coming into physical contact with people I don't know very well.

When I was little, the only people I enjoyed touching me or hugging me were my parents. Later, my sister was let into the group, as were my two closest friends. And they're about it. I have never liked to be touched by anybody else, out of all the people I have known in my life. It sets me on edge, and makes me nervous and uncomfortable.

This is a problem with dating. I have never known how to tell guys that I need them to wait on the whole physical intimacy thing for a while -- perhaps for a long time -- without it coming across like I'm trying to insult or control them. Additionally, I have always had some issues with this part of myself, because society tells you that you have to kiss on the first or second date and be having sex by the fifth or sixth. That is way too soon for me.

For this reason, I am still a virgin, and in fact I'm perfectly happy with that because I have NEVER known a guy well enough to even want to do that with him.

So I was talking with a good friend of mine the other day -- the married one, who I met through fiction class -- and she told me to just tell the guy I'm dating (the kendo guy) that I'm not ready for things like kissing and making out yet. She empowered me by saying some people are just like that and it's a perfectly valid way to feel. She goes slowly in relationships herself, and she found someone -- her husband -- who was willing to wait for her. She agreed that me and kendo/Cowboy Bebop guy already making out is way too soon. We've known each other less than a month -- feminist club aside, and we barely even talked in feminist club.

We've been on a couple more dates. One to dinner at a Mexican restaurant. But I always feel really nervous and uncomfortable on our dates, because I dread the kissing or making out at the end. It's not comfortable for me, I don't know him that well yet.

So I told Cowboy Bebop guy this -- face to face -- trying to phrase it in as polite and positive terms as possible. I told him he would see me a lot more often and I would feel a lot more comfortable, and thus the relationship would progress better, if we took physical intimacy off the table for a while (not forever).

He pretended to be okay with it, but I could tell he was not happy. Yet he still wanted to see me again, and we're hanging out on Sunday. So I'm not sure how to feel. Should I be angry that he seemed upset and appeared to take it personally, despite me saying I'd always been like this and it was nothing in particular against him? Should I be upset that he didn't understand me not wanting to make out with a relative stranger unless I didn't find said stranger attractive?

Because that's how I feel, sitting here thinking about it. I feel annoyed. Angry. Not understood. Even if maybe that's not so rational.

This guy's not very supportive, either, which is another count against him. I tell him about problems that are going on in my life, and he listens willingly enough but he always cops out and never supports me and never says much of anything with any emotional undertone to it. He doesn't even argue with me or tell me how I'm feeling isn't valid. He just... doesn't say anything. And so I don't feel supported when something upsetting happens.

I just... I don't know about this. He's sweet. Funny. Smart. Cute. I do like him. I just... I'm trying to tell myself not to expect perfection.
grimrose_eilwynn: (Default)
Just to be clear, I have not decided who I'm voting for yet. But I do agree with Bernie Sanders on this particular issue. Massive university costs is one of the biggest barriers to closing the gap between the rich and the poor.

I signed. Please sign if you agree:

Here's the description:

If you study hard, you should be able to go to college regardless of income.

As it stands today, higher education affordability is a giant barrier to growing a prosperous middle class. Massive student loan debt is not just a student’s problem, it’s an issue faced by families across the nation.

More than ever before, student loan debt is a multi-generational challenge within families. Parents still working to pay off their own existing student debt are struggling to save for the rising costs of their children’s college education. On its current course, the cost of higher education is a burden that will continue to impact our economy for generations to come.

Access to education shouldn’t be a luxury that only the upper class can afford. Stand with Bernie to support free access to public higher education.

Link:

https://www.change.org/suggested?alert_id=GYKOolfspq_bkU4bGi8qBXFvg7iXFox7k2a6gzoc4W9ZHY%2BPHP%2BpUFR0XNvVgwU96trRfo%2B3H2T&petition_id=4674162&use_rendr=true
grimrose_eilwynn: (Default)
We got a weather warning saying winds should hit seventy miles per hour. Power lines and trees were expected to go down. We were told to "stay safe."

I immediately felt the first stirrings of anxiety.

I went outside and that made it worse. It seemed every sharp-blowing wind was about to knock me off my feet. The world seemed dark and scary. I had to hold my sister's hand all the way to the bus stop. I needed to go to class today; this class in particular I've been missing a lot lately.

I got to class, but about ten minutes in my heart started racing. I got dizzy, numb, and tingly, and I was having trouble breathing. I stumbled out of the classroom in the middle of someone reading one of their poems for a workshop, which I'm sure was incredibly rude. I sat outside for a couple of minutes, just breathing, and then I went back inside and whispered, breath ragged, next to my teacher's ear that I was having a panic attack and I needed to leave.

I was making anxious noises and squeezing my sister's hand all the way home.

So now I'm probably going to fail that class, I feel like shit, and the weather's awful. Great.

Spectre

Nov. 15th, 2015 03:42 pm
grimrose_eilwynn: (Default)
I went to see Spectre in theaters on Saturday, with my sister and a friend. I'm here to write a review.

First, I've got to admit, I love Daniel Craig as James Bond. He and the director really got together and made something special with this series. He's human and realistic while still being Bond and I love that.

The other supporting roles in this series are also really good, though, and that continued in this movie. Fiennes was especially fantastic. And there was an interesting lead female this time, interesting for a variety of reasons: she does important things, she doesn't fall into bed with Bond immediately, she understands Bond and, most importantly, SPOILER ALERT, she survives at the end.

And now I have to admit something: I did not like her and Bond ending up together.

First, there's the fact that James Bond has some very serious issues involving getting into bed with women. I'm not sure if him ending up with one woman is realistic at all. But more than that, it felt FORCED. Their relationship felt forced and it was not built up enough.

I also must admit that the plot was a little weak. I didn't get enough of a reason for WHY Christoph Waltz's character has done all these horrible things, and how he's orchestrated them. The subplot between M and C was a little better, I thought -- more details and rationale were added.

And of course, as always with Bond, it was high adrenaline and high octane and millions-of-dollar pieces of equipment were used, discarded, and completely totaled. So that was nice. The action was good. Some of the dry quips were greatly placed at all the right high-stress moments.

What I'm saying is there were good characters and action, but the actual plot felt a bit lost in the details. I'm still putting it under "favorites", though, because Daniel Craig and James Bond.

Anyway, now it's Sunday and I'm having Vietnamese coffee and watching football at home with Cowboy Bebop Dude. He brought over a little Vietnamese coffee maker, a coffee grinder, and some condensed milk. Vietnamese coffee is sweet, but very good.
grimrose_eilwynn: (Default)
I went on a date today!

Not with the guy I mentioned in a previous post -- the one from American Lit class who seemed kind of like he was flirting with me? Yeah, it wasn't with him. It turns out he:

(A) Has a girlfriend

and

(B) Is a bit of an asshole, so I don't really envy her

No, this guy I met through feminist club. He's sweet, kind, and funny, with glasses and a long coat. He studied kendo (Japanese sword fighting) for several years. He studies business and environmental science. He has a learning disability but still manages to get As, and is currently interning as a Study Abroad Counselor after having spent some time himself in Thailand. He asked me out, and he also paid for our first date -- though politically liberal, he's pretty socially conservative. His Dad was a Mormon and his Mom was a Catholic.

We just went to a cafe downtown and had a casual coffee/lunch together. We wore fancy jackets and tried to look nice, but we also both just wore jeans. It was the perfect blend of "nice" and "casual."

We talked anime, because it turns out we're both really into that. (He shall henceforth be known as Cowboy Bebop Dude.) We also talked politics, religion, and family and life experiences. It was a really nicely intellectual and deep conversation. We even made future plans: to watch Cowboy Bebop together (I've never seen the whole thing) and to take swing dancing lessons in 2016.

We went to a bookshop afterward, and then we went back to his apartment briefly. It's a really nice apartment right in the middle of downtown. His roommate is a funny guy who drinks a lot and talks to his plants. We got helmets from his apartment and then he drove me home on his scooter/motorbike! I was nervous getting on, but it was so much fun!

We hugged and kissed briefly at my door, and then I went to go back inside. If I were a less awkward person, this would be the moment when I threw him a sly smile over my shoulder and walked smoothly in the door. As it is, it took me a full minute to find my keys and another two minutes to force my way in through the door. He thought it was kind of funny. He applauded when I finally managed to get in.

Just me being my usual, awkward self.

I called my Mom and dished with her over the phone after the date was all over. I also made sure to emphasize to said boy that I had a great time, we should do this again, and he should text me. I even texted him to let him know I had a good time.

So now soon I guess I'll know one way or the other if he was really into me. But either way, it was just nice -- to meet someone through normal social avenues (instead of online) and have a sweet, casual date with him.
grimrose_eilwynn: (Default)
It was dark and stormy on Halloween night, quite appropriate. Ducking against the rain, me and my sister ran out to a friend's car and hopped in. The group of us drove over to the bigger town next door, where we went to a little pizza parlor and bought ourself a pizza and some cheese bread.

After that, we went to theaters and saw the horror movie Crimson Peak.

It was beautifully set. Stunning visuals. There were a few good horror moments, but it felt more like a tragic drama than a horror movie, to be perfectly honest. Nothing wrong with tragic drama. It was still a great movie. But it didn't really have the usual horror movie vibe.

Oh, and Tom Hiddleston was really hot. Just saying.

One thing I thought was interesting was that the humans turned out to be the scary ones. The ghosts were the ones you ended up feeling sorry for. Kind of turning expectations on their heads there.

Guillermo del Toro said he wanted it to feel like the woman saved the man, rather than the man saving the woman. I didn't really get that feel from this movie. I mean, I guess technically Edith saved Thomas by being his One Twue Wuv, but he still ended up being the one trying to save her. Edith saved herself in the end, though, which I thought was nice. "I heard you the first time," was a great line. I loved the complex dynamic between Thomas's sister and Edith, and their conversations about the siblings' mother.

Now it's the day after Halloween, and I feel hung over even though I didn't drink. I guess Halloween just does that to you. I'm having a pajama day, snacking on leftover Milky Ways and Snickers Bars, doing homework and watching football.

Hamlet

Oct. 25th, 2015 04:17 pm
grimrose_eilwynn: (Default)
On Thursday, I met up with a friend on campus. We walked downtown and got some pumpkin pie and hot apple cider at a little local coffeehouse and pub that plays live music. Then we went to the nearby independent theater and watched National Theater Live.

Let me explain. National Theater Live is a program that broadcasts live from a major theater in London, showing up on the screens of hundreds of different movie theaters around the world. It's a mere twelve dollars to get in and watch a live theater performance from the safety of your screen.

My friend and I watched Hamlet, with Benedict Cumberbatch. It was pretty spectacular. He was very emotional and unexpectedly funny in some places. He was very good at playing the character in a way that seemed believable. They also tried to update the production a little bit for modern audiences, which I thought was interesting.

They definitely took very set stances on certain characters. Gertrude was definitely a moral character, while Claudius was definitely not. Ophelia's madness was definitely not feigned, while Hamlet's definitely was.

It's just always interesting to see the ways different people interpret Shakespeare.
grimrose_eilwynn: (Default)
So I was supposed to do a presentation on African American blues music for my African American culture class. I had a partner, a girl who came in blasting loud headphones every day and who sometimes never even showed up to class.

We traded numbers. I texted her about a week before the project was due and asked when she wanted to meet up. We agreed to meet after class on Thursday. I brought all my materials to school with me that day, but the girl never came. I didn't get a text from her -- nothing.

So I just did the project myself, and told the teacher I was doing such.

Two days before the project was due, she texted me and asked if I wanted to meet up, making the excuse that she'd "been out of town." She'd done some research of her own and wanted to combine her research with mine, supposedly.

Not wanting her to piggy back off of me, I said that since we'd each done a project, we should each present on blues music this coming Thursday. I emailed the teacher and she agreed -- I do the first presentation on Thursday, my ex partner does the second.

My ex partner seemed really annoyed. But honestly, what had she expected me to do? Let her skate by on one of our most important presentations of the year? If you've done the research, present it yourself.

Happy Days

Sep. 20th, 2015 02:08 pm
grimrose_eilwynn: (Default)
I've been feeling better and getting the hang of things at college lately. I've become accustomed to all the bugs -- they don't freak me out as much as they used to, out here in the country -- and I've fallen into a nice little routine of classes, homework, chores, bus rides, and grocery store trips. I'm starting to feel more like I'm treading water instead of drowning in it.

I've also been making new friends!

I'm now friends with several people from my feminist club on Facebook. I have one girl's number and she has a car, so she's agreed to drive me to and from meetings so I don't have to walk all the way back to campus every Wednesday night. She seems pretty cool; she goes to drag shows and is just as private and determined to abstain from alcohol as I am.

There's a guy I've befriended in American Lit class as well. I have mixed feelings about him. On one hand, he's attractive, funny, charming, and seems very interested in me whenever we meet up with each other -- kind of flirtatious, you know? On the other hand, when we're not together he almost completely ignores me. He has a rather cruel sense of humor and there are some days when he just doesn't show up to class at all, or doesn't show up prepared. However, we also have each other's numbers -- I suggested we trade numbers, because come on, he's a hot guy, what if something happens? -- and we text each other sometimes.

Finally, there's a girl I've befriended from my fiction writing class. She already has her bachelor's degree and is married to a man about ten years older than her -- they met on a bus, she sat down next to him because he was reading and she wanted to know about what he was reading, isn't that adorable? -- but she's taking this class because she wants to become a novelist. (Her husband's a professor, so she can handle the unsteady income.) We hung out at the mall and had lunch the other day, and she seemed really cool: non judgmental, easygoing, and just as big a fan of casual clothes and casual, intimate hangouts as I am. We share the same dread of parties. I helped her pick out some hand lotions as a gift for her sister in law, being more versed in smelly stuff than her.

My sister is also making friends and she just went to a football game with a few of them the other day.

All in all, good stuff is starting to happen!

Rude People

Sep. 5th, 2015 03:07 pm
grimrose_eilwynn: (Default)
I hate rude people. The thing is, rude people in real life usually think they're being nice.

Some random woman came up to me the other day and said, "Did you know it takes less muscles to smile?" So in her defense, she was trying to get me to smile. She just in the process implied that there's something wrong with my normal face. Rude people are always like that -- they're socially retarded.

I took a beginning poetry writing class last year in college and we had what is called workshop. In workshop, all your classmates would read your poem and then sit around and tell you all the things that were wrong with it to your face. You weren't allowed to speak till the end. So, sensitivity in criticism was a must, especially because poems are usually so personal and first-person.

Well, one pretentious asshole had no idea what sensitivity even was. I had done a poem on my favorite childhood stuffed animal, a little yellow rabbit I carried around with me everywhere. In the poem, I called the rabbit "my best friend." One guy said, "So she didn't have any other friends besides her rabbit? That seems kind of sad and pathetic."

The thing is, I hadn't intended it like that. I'd had friends in elementary school; I just wanted to emphasize that the rabbit had been my BEST friend. So I could see what he was trying to say -- that that hadn't come across. It's just in the process he majorly insulted me.

Here's what a socially savvy person would have said: "What I'm getting from this is that the rabbit was her only friend in school. Is that what she was trying to say here?"

But rude people aren't socially savvy -- they are, in fact, what a normal person would call "socially retarded."

I encountered another rude person today in fiction writing class. She critiqued my story by calling it "boring", "meager", and "cliched" and by telling me she hated the entire plot.

Here's what she should have said: "I'd have liked more detailed description and a few nice surprises in this story. Perhaps you could try this __?"

And honestly, if she'd put it like that, I'd have been a lot more willing to listen to her.

This is why we need lessons on how to critique politely in K-12. Because no one fucking knows how to do it. I think it would eliminate a lot of rudeness and unintentionally offended people.

Now, don't get me wrong. On none of those occasions did I get really angry, or go home and cry. I'm an artist who's been bullied and I'm used to being criticized. I've learned through hard times to be proud of my flaws, and to keep my feelings and my feelings about myself in separate places. When I'm criticized these days, my NT side kicks in and gets really clinical and "fuck you" about the whole thing.

But I still find rudeness kind of annoying. And I wish people would just learn to be polite. It's not that hard.

You see this in celebrities all the time. Just recently, Keith Richards began in interviews to criticize all sorts of bands, from Black Sabbath to Metallica to The Beatles to rap, calling them things like "a joke" and "a pile of rubbish" and "music for tone deaf people." And I get that he gets to get away with a lot because everyone thinks his shit comes wrapped in gold foil, and I get that by this point he probably thinks his shit comes wrapped in gold foil too, but that's still really rude.

I'm not saying he can't criticize those bands. I'm just saying he shouldn't have made blanket comments about music so many people like -- he should instead have explained specific technicalities, the parts of the music being made that he didn't like. I mean, I get that that takes more words, but I'm pretty sure everyone's okay with hearing Keith Richards talk about music.

For God's sake.

I dunno, though, maybe this is just me. I've never had any time for angry immaturity. I was always taught to wait till my anger simmered down into a cold, vindictive thing, and then to use that to sophisticatedly and politely shut down whoever tried to hurt me. And I have no patience for people who can't meet me at that level.

Needless to say, I have no patience for a lot of people.

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Hopeless Dreamer

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