grinninfoole: (Default)
I'm getting organized to drive to New York later this afternoon for a weekend excursion. I hope to visit with friends while I'm there, but the purpose is the company board meeting on Sunday. It's a bit weird to be outside looking in at day to day operations now, and I really hope that I still have useful insight to add. I feel my lack of ther business experience more acutely these days, plus I'm mentally aging and it's harder for me to sit still and absorb new information. Too much distracting myself with Netflix and Hulu of late with excellent TV and movies means I'm not reading that much anymore. (About which, more later.)

The mild depression of last week has passed, and now I feel pretty much normal. Flashes of anger don't spark conflagrations. I think the regular exercise has been helping (and I'm getting fitter and thinner, too), not just with the trainer, but also on the walks with Stoic. We spent much of the hour yesterday with him explaining to me some of the minutiae of cattle raising, the differences between steers and oxen, and how precise the terminology of farming actually is. (Not that I had doubted it, but, for example, gelding is a different procedure from castration, albeit with similar results.)

My FB feed delivered an interesting post from Jessica Abel, a noted indie cartoonist, about the ways in which our old ideas, unrealized, can poison our current creativity. It's what inspired me to write this while I had a moment. And now the pancakes are here, so that's all for now.
grinninfoole: (strangelove)
I was driving home from Andover today, en route to an appointment with an eye doctor (I need progressive lenses), and ruminating as I do, when it struck me that I'm a hypocrite. It's one of my bedrock principles that everyone matters, and yet so much of my life is shaped by a sense that I don't. Part of that is depression, of course, but I think my efforts to mind my privilege also contribute. I was having supper with Morlock, and talking about this, and I put it something like this:

1) The world lies to people all the time. Mostly, it's telling them they're worthless, and this message is especially loud for women, LGBTQ, POC, the mentally ill, and the poor. It's a constant barrage of advertising, movies, kids at school, pundits, cops, etc. ad nauseam.

2) The world lies to me, too. They're just different lies: that I'm important, that I'm powerful, that the world feels my pain, that I'm justified in acting out when angry or sad or amorous or whatever, and that I'm an authoritative and respectable person to be given all due deference. I spend time and energy undercutting these messages in my head. I know from painful experience how ugly I can be when I don't.

3) When surrounded by flattery, it's difficult to truly grasp one's strengths. Am I actually learned, or insightful, or eloquent, or compassionate, or generous? I hope to be. I strive to be. I might be. I dare not be too confident, though, lest in resting on my laurels I let my virtues ooze away.

I think I already posted about this before, but I think maybe a new course of action will be to seek out some new community for support. I have two ideas: one, find/form a support group for privilege awareness; two, start going to Quaker meetings. The sect has the most impressive human rights track record of any group in history, and they're just the sort of church an atheist like me could feel comfortable in.
grinninfoole: (Default)
1) Last Saturday was the second Paint & Pixel festival.  It was another great success, I think.  Attendance was much the same as last year, but with more kids.  We had a steady flow of people all day, and everyone I spoke to was happy with the show.  PLUS, this year, I arranged for programming throughout the day, with me moderating three panels: Pushing Boundaries, Juggling Tastes, featuring Howard Cruse, Gary Hallgren, and E.J. Barnes; Making A Career Making Art, with Raf Anzovin, Sarah Platanitis, Colin Tedford, and Jack Purcell; and what was basically a chat between Greg Ruth and Rebecca Guay on how to shape a story to the genre and audience.  I think they went well.  I also went to many artists' tables and did little interviews, which I taped, though I don't know how well they came out.

2) My mother is recovering from her second back operation.  It's only been a week, and she's still has pain, especially when she sits up, but she looks and sounds better, and feels well enough to have grown bored and to complain about the food.  No one knows how much she'll recover.  It's not impossible that she'll never walk again, which is, of course, the possibility upon which she dwells, but it's much more likely that she'll be up on her feet again within the next couple of weeks.  Exactly how much better a woman entering her fourth quarter century with Parkinson's will get is anyone's guess.

Dad, meanwhile, is getting progressively less steady on his feet, and may soon be confined to a wheelchair, which will, amongst other things, make it impractical to bring him home every weekend anymore.

3) Other folks I know are dealing with abruptly ended engagements, mysterious illnesses that take them to the ER but baffle the doctors, a young child diagnosed with autism, a callous and incompetent therapist, a chronic and agonizing mood disorder, a parent's fatal overdose, and the possibility that one parent may have murdered the other.  I at least still have my health, my fortune, and my friends.

4) My latest Mythspoken episode went well.  You can listen, if you like.  The New York store will be open soon.  I may well be out there working the counter for a few days while Jim is off a game designers conference.

5) I'm psyched to see Cloud Atlas, regardless of what the reviews say.  It's an amazing book, and I'm really curious to see how  the Wachowskis realize its challenging structure.  [ profile] millari, will you join me?

6) I'm having dinner on Tuesday with Grounded at Munich Haus.  Not sure what to do, or what I want from her, but so long as she makes me happy, I don't want to stop seeing her when she has time for me.  And after repeatedly giving [ profile] trovia shit along the lines of beer, cheese and sausage not actually qualifying as 'cuisine', I should probably actually try some traditional German dishes.
grinninfoole: (Default)
Had lunch with my old flame at Bueno today. She met me at the store, and seemed to like what she saw.

We chatted with no awkward pauses, some genuine humor.

After asking me about Millari and how things were going for us, she said something like "we'll have to work on getting you a girlfriend." I just started laughing.

She's proud of her son, telling me a story about how she showed him two active MRIs of adolescents, one who was drunk and one who wasn't, and he instantly understood what he was looking at and asked an insightful question about them. He sounds really great. I hope I get to meet him some time, and that he likes me.

She hugged me, too. :)

I think I shall invite her over soon.
grinninfoole: (Default)
My father is still in the rehab hospital. He's stronger in general, but he still has abrupt, unpredictable episodes of his blood pressure dropping. Thanksgiving morning, while simply sitting in a chair, he passed out and his BP was measured at 53/38; naturally, we didn't bring him home for dinner with us. He's taking medicine at much higher doses than average to control his condition, and even getting IV fluids and salt tablets, and yet this is still happening. It may take some time for him to be well enough to leave the hospital.

An important step towards that would be for him to accept that he is seriously ill, and that the ground rules of his life have to change. I see moments of recognition when I talk with him, but for now he lacks insight and is still liable to get restless and try and get up on his own, which will be disastrous when he blacks out. Part of the problem is that when he isn't blacking out he basically feels OK, and can get up and walk around just as he has for the past 82 years.

Personally, I seem to be in a bit of a low spot. I always like to say that I'm fine, but I'm really not. I'm OK–not sick, not hurt, not in peril–but last night I was extremely tired, yet I couldn't actually settle down and sleep, because I just didn't want to lie there in the silent dark, so I stayed up all night watching TV to distract myself. Now I'm so exhausted my ears are ringing. I guess I need to accept myself more.


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July 2017



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