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Journal : On Christmas

Christmas hurts. I'm beginning to realize that it will always hurt. It will never be the warm, cheerful time I remember, but... this year it hurts less. It rings very true to me that pain doesn't go away, you just make room for it. Just like any loss. I actually find myself wanting to listen to Christmas music this year, and the blinding anger is gone. For years I've been one misplaced comment away from smashing every even remotely christmas-y object in sight. It's refreshing not to be there any more. Instead of wanting to go back I want to remake Christmas, find new ways to feel the warmth and color and happiness. I'm not quite there yet - I don't have the freedom to do what I want yet, as I have to make constant concessions to my family. But that's life. It will change eventually - I can see that there's a light at the end of that tunnel. Some day.

It still hurts. It will end. I wish I could have that confidence about my chronic illnesses. That would make a difference. I could carve out my Christmas now if I didn't wake up every day in pain and in a mental fog.

It surprised me that my first thought thought when changing the calendar was that the placement of Christmas would have meant, years ago, that my dad would have taken a full week off work. A full week! It would have been such a good Christmas. We would have bought extra cherry cordials. It's the little missing pieces that make the holiday hurt so. I miss putting up the old tree, and digging through the ornaments - each one had a memory(the little iridescent unicorn from Carrs, the beaded angel, the ballet shoes from when I got to see the Nutcracker.) I miss spending all bad deep in wrapping, oranges, and pajamas. Christmas music until dark falls, and that piece of newness that I can't take my eyes off. I loved wrapping packages maybe more than getting gifts, and that was missing too. This year I miss snow. I miss the neighborhood light displays. (I miss the living doll performers, but those are years past now.)

Well, I hope everyone is having a great Christmas day, and rest of the year. You all deserve it.

Merry Christmas from Chai!

A photo posted by Jean M Tatro (@jmindigo) on


Journal : Packing Out

Whether we get done packing the truck today or not, today is my last full day in Alaska for a long time. At least I hope so. The work left to do seems endless. It's not - I know that. We are capable, even if it doesn't feel like it moment to moment. Right now our plan and schedule is running smack up against our physical limitations. I doubt there are enough spoons in the world to deal with packing a four person five dog house and moving it 3000+ miles.

One way or another it will happen. I don't have time to dwell on any thing that isn't packing or loading the truck. I'm going to miss Alaska, and all the things I never got around to doing, but right now all I want is a shower and to be behind the wheel. See you all on the other side.


Journal : 16 Days To Go

We've set June 23rd as moving day. Because of how things are going down we have a lot of leeway with time, but without a deadline things will never get done and we've got to get down the road while the weather is good. Initially mom wanted to roll out earlier, but I made the argument for staying until solstice at least. The longest day in the land of the midnight sun. It works out that I'll be able to see E3, but I'll but missing SGDQ because Canada. :(

After a few cool and cloudy days it went right back to being hot and sunny, though there is rain in the forecast.

The house is currently a mess, but less of a mess then it was a week ago. It's hard not to feel overwhelmed by just how much stuff we still have to deal with - either to pack or to get rid of. We only today finished going through the stuff we brought back from storage. It hasn't been easy. There's useless junk, but there's also presents and the scattered remains of unfinished projects and lost dreams. I was flat out delusion when I was younger - there's no way I'm going to get around to seriously cosplaying, or jewelry making, or drawing with anything above doodling skills. I don't need high end accessories for things that aren't even hobbies any more. But it's hard to let go of things still useful, something that I spent money on. Same with clothes, and books to an extent. My own wastefulness distresses me. And all the things I've shifted away from...

It's surprisingly hard, as well, to sell anything. People are just sort of assholes - they promise to show up at 9am but don't turn up until 2pm, or say they are coming in a half hour and NEVER SHOW. Each time it's a whole fuckin' day down the drain because we end up waiting for the assholes to show. Then there are the people who want to pay less than a quarter of what we're asking for. They seem to think we don't know what things are worth. There's no recouping it seems, and still so much stuff to cut ties with, in just over two weeks.

I might be mildly freaking out? All I know is that if it isn't one thing it's another with my health, and it's been nonstop anxiety dreams. I want this all to be over, but the end isn't in sight yet. I need more time, I need less time. I need a decent burger and to be able to breath again. *wheeze*

I bought Mario Kart 8 on release day, like a nerd, and got Pikmin 3 with the promo. I also got Child of Light a few days before. I haven't touched that or Pikmin 3 yet, but I've cleared the 50cc and 100cc cups in MK8 and spent some time online. It's far too much fun. I wish I had more time to game this summer.


Journal : Sleepy sleepy

Last few days I haven't been able to breath - the dandelions are in bloom, there's an almost fiftythousand acre fire burning on the Kenai, and there's all the dust from the stuff from the storage unit. The house looks a bit like it belongs to a hoarder. We brought all the stuff back from the storage unit so we could go through it and cut out that expense. All month it's been hot and dry, a constrast to last year when they moved the 'spring clean up' to the second week of June because it kept snowing. There's a sign on the Seward-Meridian that says they will be paving the road next week, "If Good Weather" - that's what the signs says. Alaska is a land that gradually teaches you to not trust the environment - prepare, but never trust.

I'm really sleepy today - couldn't get to sleep last night. Stress-related insomnia(stress-related everything) and the very poor choice of getting sucked into a book. I'm now 1/3rd of the way through Stolen Songbird by Danielle L. Jensen. A++ so far(Trolls that are actually fae! Nobody has been particularly stupid yet! Worldbuilding! Glowing glass gardens.) Wish I could stay up all tonight to finish it, but I've got work tomorrow. Aargh. I just recalled that also requires that I find my keys and pack a bag. I just want to sleep, or perhaps stress eat...

I finished the latest Ace Attorney game in-between nodding off this morning. It actually pulled out some great twists towards the end, and it's certainly not an easy game. Not as well written as some others in the series, but the localization is still hilarious and it's more tightly plotted - all the cases interweave. They also balanced all the gimmicks better. It pains me greatly that we'll probably get PLvPW and the Meiji era game before we get answers about those stupid black locks. I do hope the series continues to sell well enough that we get Investigations 2. I really approve of the digital release format for smaller audience games. Skip production costs, everyone wins.

Won the Child of Light soundtrack on Twitter today. I haven't played the game yet - haven't had the cash to buy it - but I'm looking forward to it, and the soundtrack is amazing and atmospheric, soft and dreamy - I have a feeling I'll use it a lot for writing.

Going to try and get my feet under me this weekend. Find some stability to build off of. About a month left until the move.

Journal : why must things change?

Checked in today and discovered the new layout upon needing to re-login. I'm having a visceral reaction against it, but I know it will pass because it always passes. Websites change, though this one is particularly uncomfortable because LJ has looked much the same since I joined it and... well, just too much is changing in my life all at once and I'm kind of tired of it.

So I make my first entry in months to bitch about a website making relatively harmless changes to its design. It's good, really - probably long over due. I'll just keep telling myself that until I believe it. (I've officially become the old lady who grumps about how things were 'back in the day.' *switches back to old version*)

Perpetually sick, still in Alaska(though not for long.) I had a thought today while going through some old books with an eye to pare down. There was a thin volume, by some poet or another, entitled something like 'letters from (author) to a friend' and it struck me how blogs now are less journals and more like such collections of letters. Missives long and short, written to colleagues and acquaintances, available for any who seek them out. It was a bit like the whole notion of blogs shifted underneath me.

It's hard to type tonight. I only have feeling in half of one hand. I'm rather tired of this slow decay.

Journal : Get Low Chailo

Today is Chai's 9th Birthday.
Chai September 2013

I can't believe he's already nine years old. Seems like hardly a couple years ago that I was kneeling on the slick airport floor, reporting that the puppy had his mask on the show side. "Are you sure?" "Yes I am sure." "No, are you sure?"

He's currently in good health - his ear is still crumpled from his run in with Puppy Belle, but hasn't worsened. It does nothing for his good looks. He hasn't seriously bothered his tail in an age. In the last year he's scrapped with Tobi a few times, but hasn't had any lasting damage beyond a bad attitude. He has been more stressed out than usual, since I changed rooms - makes sense, since my room has been his room nearly his entire life and suddenly I'm expecting him to accepted *Rita's* room as his room. I took him out and threw the ball for him until he wouldn't bring it back. Hopefully he will be tired tonight.

In the rest of the world - the weather has been unseasonably beautiful. Looks like it will stay that way. I remain suspect that this isn't going to be a good summer. Been playing Lightning Returns - solid game. The gameplay is good, they've finally figured out how to tell a story plainly, and that story isn't too bad so far. I've got a theory that the FFXIII series, while it has its faults for sure, has been unfairly criticized by fans and that it's primarily female cast has more than a little to do with it.

I've had to deal with my allergies a lot this week. February isn't fun for me, because there is Red 40 in everything. The insidious bastard. I had a sweet roll yesterday that had Red 40 in the raspberry icing - took me a while to realize why I had a headache. Then last week I went to Taco Bell, which is one of my favorite fast food places, and I guess they either changed their seasoning mix or there is something new on the menu that features horseradish. I spent a whole two days just out of it, barely able to breathe. Any larger a dose and I would have landed in the emergency room - horseradish is an awful one, because it sneaks in under 'assorted spices' or masquerades as 'wasabi.' It feels like I have the most random set of allergies, and they suck.

Journal : new verse same as the first

I've had it for like three-four months now, but my default icon still weirds me out since I used the 'tea?' one for so long...

I haven't posted since last year, have I? LJ is hardly my first line of communication with anyone anymore, but I enjoy the journal format and the casualness of it and I like to keep in practice.

December: Post-NaNo hibernation. Cold. Unreasonably cold, for weeks on end. Got all stressed out because Christmas. It's not a good time of year for my family, especially now, and I would like to be an awesome Christmas Fairy but it's really impossible when everything is packed away, my hands were not being hand-like, and we're barely going paycheck to paycheck. We didn't get a tree up until a few days before Christmas, and I puppy sat for a friend over the holidays. I'm trying to recall if anything worth noting happened, but just... cold. That's really all I got.

January: Started cold, but then PLOT TWIST. Everything melted, things started growing. Not good. Alaska has potentially four more months of 'winter' left, and this sort of nonsense mucks up the growing season. On the plus side, it may kill off this year's mosquito population? Blah. We took care of a friend's dog while she had her baby - I'll take dogs over babies any day.

February so far: Still warm, wtf. Though it's gradually getting colder. The wind has picked up the last few days so there is a startling amount of dust in the air. Very glad for the new car. I'm finally coming around to a place where I'm not in pain all the time, but the depression has caught up again. Everything is pain, everything is hard. It is difficult to find the will to do anything but stay in bed. Sometimes it feels like there's an energetic version of me inside struggling to surface, but she just can't make it happen. I could have a manic upswing any time now - it would be a welcome change of pace, even if it was only temporary.

Started having house showings again, but it's not going well. Money is tight, and things just don't work out well. I've been doing a lot of thinking - a lot of soul searching. I've realized that in a lot of ways I've lost the last three years. My life has been held in a holding pattern. Everyone has this or that idea of what I should do when and I don't like any of them.

Things will continue, as it does.

Journal : Validation Day!

I stumbled blindly across the 50k line in my NaNoWriMo novel something Thursday evening, but the ability to validate it wasn't available until today(I realized my terrible mistake too late.) Validation isn't working for me at the moment, so I remain invalidated(heh) but IT'S STILL PARTY TIME WOOO. I wrote 50,526 by the website's count, 50,912 by my word program's count(I always lose about 400 words no matter what writing program I use. It is odd.) But most importantly I'M DONE and the STORY IS DONE, and I can read, and play games, and watch TV without guilt for a while.

I pushed to finish so that I could play the new Legend of Zelda game guilt-and-spoilers free. Naturally a snow storm rolled in on Friday, and the first place I stopped on Saturday didn't even know if the game was released, inspiring a minor panic. But Gamestop pulled through for me. Gamestop has its faults, but I'm warming to it more and more. Also it feels pretty good to be done super early - maybe the earliest I've ever finished NaNoWriMo, I can't quite remember. This year it was just so easy to sink into my own mind and write, racking up huge wordcounts in a single day than slacking off for a few. I probably could have done better if I didn't spend so much of my time in pain and exhausted. Today is admittedly the first day I've been free and feeling well enough to sit at my desk and collect my thoughts.

On the writing of the NaNo - it sits, for the most part complete, at 50k. Completed twice over actually - part way through I hit a wall, and realized that because I hadn't established any subplots or greater worldbuilding. So after a couple of days of angst I settled on retconning the beginning of the story, pretend I set stuff up, and kept going. Then, in another low point of inspiration, I rewrote most of the beginning with the retcon taken into account, so essentially I wrote the entire story twice over. A lot of neat things showed up the second time. It's short, and far from readable, but it was fun and I think I learned some things. Definitely need to work on subplots, and my endings are weak - endings suffer from crunch time. I need to meditate on subplots and endings.

I don't have a playlist, or excerpts to share from this NaNo. It was so off-the-cuff.

Since Friday, I find that I miss it - I miss the word sprints on twitter, and I miss just sinking deep into my headspace for hours at a time. I also miss having an excuse to not deal with things. Writing is where I belong - I wish I could NaNo all the time, but when its not November the community dries up. It's just not the same.

Journal : so close and so far

It snowed the beginning of last week - three/four inches - then rained and froze, so there is a layer of ice over the snow that cracks and shatters like glass when you walk on it. It's been cold, but not below zero - not yet. The new room doesn't get too cold I find, and it's easy enough to warm up by turning on a game console. (I'll never forget how one of Microsoft's Execs called the 360 a 'space heater' when they announced the XBone.)

I'm behind on all my shows, and itching to get back to my games. A new Zelda game comes out next week - I want to be done so I can play it without guilt. At the start of last week I was really far ahead on my word count, but I hit a wall and did hardly anything on my word count for several days. I'm still ahead, but not as much as I could have been had I kept up the pace. I just hit a wall in the story - bad planning mostly, and not having enough story planned to make word count. My least favorite thing. It took me a couple days to just decide to Retcon the entire beginning to add some actual subplots/plot details to flesh it out.

Social media is overwhelming me. The signal to noise ratio is messed up, and I just can't handle it recently. I can hardly put two thoughts together. My body aches - my back, hips, jaw, and my hands. Some days I wonder how I function. Just have to keep keeping things together.

My word count as of last night is 37,177/50,000. Time to get to work.

Journal : Frost

The ground was frosted when I woke up yesterday, and it stayed that way all day and all day today. Winter has begun in earnest, though it hasn't yet snowed. It rained on Halloween - I can't remember another Halloween that it rained. I got roped into taking kids trick-or-treating - it went alright, but it wore me out. I would have preferred to stay home and watch all the Vincent Price marathon TCM did. Halloween is my favorite holiday, but I was just too tired to drum up much enthusiasm for it this year. It also appears that I'm allergic to eyeshadow, or to be exact the red dye in my favorite colors.

In one of my more brilliant ideas, two days before Halloween I traded rooms - moving all the craft stuff(and Rita) into my room and moving into the smaller corner bedroom. It's comfortable enough, though I miss my purple walls and the company of the tv, but it should allow us to move everything back from storage and cut out that cost each month. Moving things stirred up allergens terribly, and Chai, who has never known another room, is still confused but adjusting well. I'm so proud of him - he's so reliable now, and he rolls with the punches more than I would have ever expected out of the neurotic little puppy he was. He did backslide during the move itself, but came through in the end.

I'm a week into NaNoWriMo and keeping up fairly well, though I haven't gotten today's word count in due to a surprise guest(an old friend of mom's.) I'm doing really well considering I just sort of dived in without much of a plan and only the sketch of an idea. It doesn't even have a playlist, which is making it hard to capture the 'zone' each time I sit down to write.

What I'm writing is... well, it started as a take on Bluebeard with a wizard in the eponymous role. In considering it for something novel length I realized that wouldn't work - it was too simple, too familiar. If that was going to be the plot it needed something more, otherwise something else would have to fill the bones of a story it provided because there wasn't enough flesh. I landed on the idea of making the one murdering the girls the wizard's familiar(the wizard only guilty of being utterly oblivious.) So my elevator pitch is 'It's Howl's Moving Castle if Calcifer was evil.' ("Just think what I could have done with your eyes!") So far I feel like I don't have the best grasp of the world or setting, but it allows me to just throw stuff at it until it sticks. Dungeon and torture chamber? Tamed kelpies? Why the fuck not. Nobody ever has to read it. I think I might rather that they didn't, since this is mostly writing directly from the Id.

As of right now I'm sitting on 13,020 of 50,000 words. Time to get back to work.

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