hahaha.

I ended up going back to Twitter to microblog on a private account, because it’s just so easy to post pictures there, and also I have friends who actually read that account, whereas I don’t think anyone is reading this blog anymore. I mean why would they when I kind of stopped updating…

I did download an archive, and I am aware of some scripts to convert Twitter archives to WordPress posts, but I don’t have the mental energy to figure that out right now. There is a lot going on that I need to focus on. But maybe in March or April I will have the headspace for it.

I went back to Pinterest the other day, because Mom told me she had an account (turns out she only browses and doesn’t pin anything, though). I hadn’t logged in for five years. Scrolling through my following there was so nostalgic; there are so many people in that list who I lost touch with after leaving Facebook. I wish I was better at keeping up with people. The people I stay in touch with now are people I know on Twitter. If I leave Twitter, or if Twitter goes under, I’ll probably lose some of them, too. :/

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I don’t know if not having my usual Twitter outlet is good or bad. There have been so many times I wanted to complain, but also so many times I wanted to share nice things. I’m not sure if I wanted to talk about positive things more than I wanted to talk about negative things, though. Of course, I’m also not sure if not talking about negative things constitutes “bottling it up” or if talking about negative things constantly is bad for people. I kind of feel like the latter is true, or that it’s a mix of the two.

I’m still working on cards. The first batch was non-fandom friends and family. The second batch, fandom friends, is all ready except I need to add postage to some of them because I put too much stuff in and made the weight go over an ounce. Why did I buy huge, heavy cards this year? Because they’re pretty :P Fortunately, for some of the second batch and all of the third batch, the fandom exchange, I am using smaller cards that weigh 0.4 oz on their own, so I don’t need to add postage to those.

All that’s left is to put a few stickers in the exchange cards, write notes in them, seal them up, and apply postage; put the exchange cards and the other cards that don’t need extra postage in the mail; and go to the post office to get extra postage for the ones that need it, put that additional postage on those cards, and drop them in the mail slot. I may just take all the cards to the post office, so they go out at the same time. (I love that my local post office is so close, that it has a self-service machine, AND that when you print Forever stamps this time of year they are holiday themed automatically. I used to fret so much each year about buying holiday stamps!)

I’m off today and the rest of the week, and I’m hoping to get the cards done today and get a lot more done on another project I haven’t mentioned here yet. It’s a big ‘un. Way bigger than the cards. More to come as I decide when and how I want to post about it.

Christmas stuff

Christmas is a little wonky this year…we can’t see Sean’s parents due to Covid, and we’re not going to Kentucky until January, so the only celebration on Christmas Day will probably be Sean and me getting sushi. (We do have one small gift each to exchange, at least.)

I’m sending 110 cards this year, maybe a couple more if I get last-minute addresses, and you should see how much room it takes up to lay them all out. Actually, 51 of them have already been mailed, but I still have cards all over my dining table and floor. This may be the most cards I’ve ever sent, but I can’t be sure; my spreadsheet has incomplete data for all years before 2020, and in 2021 I only sent cards as part of a fandom exchange, which didn’t end up logged in my spreadsheet either. In 2020 I sent 104 cards, which is pretty impressive, but I’ve beaten that record now.

My tree is up but only partially decorated. That’s better than last year, when I didn’t decorate it at all. In 2020 I went all out. I decorated everything before it was even Thanksgiving, and I left it all up through January. I was trying to keep my spirits up in that first year of the pandemic, and it actually worked pretty well. In 2021, though, I was not nearly as motivated, and I found working on decorating to be kind of a chore. This year I started decorating after Thanksgiving (Cheryl and Reid came here for the Thanksgiving meal, so I left my fall decor up for that), and I got everything but the tree (and my little trees) done fairly quickly, but the tree itself took me a minute. It’s a big job: first you assemble all the parts, then you fluff each and every individual branch, and then you have to put ornaments on! I guess if the tree was the only thing I did, it wouldn’t be as big a deal, but I also hang lighted and regular garland, set out a Christmas village, and put display pieces in my china cabinet and around the apartment. It’s a lot. I do love the results, though.

In any case, I will finish up these cards tomorrow (Wednesday at the latest), take them to get extra postage (unfortunately these remaining cards have turned out to be heavier than an ounce apiece because I put some fandom goodies in them), and be done. The international ones will be late, but hopefully a lot of the domestic ones will make it in time.

I’m not doing cookies this year, unless I happen to bake some when we go to Kentucky. I baked a bunch of cookies in the fall and that was enough cookies for a while. Besides, I have a ton of stuff to do; I don’t need to add any more projects!

Connor already got and opened his Christmas present; he lives in Florida, so I had to send him his gift directly instead of taking it with me to Kentucky (he’s going up for Christmas, but I won’t be there yet). We’re taking all the rest of the gifts with us in January, so I didn’t have to rush to ship them or anything when I realized it was too dangerous Covid-wise to travel over the holiday.

I really hope the pandemic actually ends someday.

In any case, that’s Christmas! I’m enjoying it a lot more this year than I did last year, and I’m excited for Kentucky. :)

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Really fucking annoyed at this Twitter bullshit tbh.

Right about now I would be tweeting this on my private account, but I have announced I am not going to do that anymore, so here I am again already.

I’m just.

It’s so stupid.

I want to be able to talk to my friends and share my life with them without forcing them to come to a separate website and enter a password.

But that’s all I can do now.

Anyway, I have too much to do to spend any more time sitting here fuming. I’ll post about what all that stuff is later, when I’ve figured out how I want to approach it (publicly? Privately? Both?).

Ugh.

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Categorized as Diary Tagged

Everything happens so much

For years now, I have used Twitter as a microblog. I started on a public account in February of 2007 under my real name. During GamerGate, circa 2012, my Twitter usage dropped dramatically and I spent more time on Tumblr and Facebook. But in the late 2010s I split off a couple other Twitter accounts: one public, not under my real name, for engaging in fandom stuff after Tumblr banned explicit content; and one private, also not under my real name, for sharing personal stuff after Facebook’s lack of ethics spurred me to close my account.

Basically, I used that third Twitter account as my journal, as the place where I connected with people I cared about. That’s where my photos and quick blurbs about my life went. I shared thoughts and feelings and big decisions. I didn’t have everyone there, but I had a lot of people. It was private, and it was comfortable.

That’s all changed now that Twitter is run by a thin-skinned fascist. I no longer feel safe sharing personal life details, even on a private account.

In considering what I want to do about this, I have finally accepted that I can’t trust third-party sites with my personal information. It’s taken me a long time to embrace this truth, because it’s so easy to use social media, and social media is where most people are. But this kind of thing is just going to keep happening.

So what I’m going to do instead is start using this blog again. Whenever I feel like rambling about something or sharing something, I’m going to post here.

WordPress doesn’t have robust user permissions, so I can’t simply set up roles for user accounts and then limit certain posts to certain roles. My only option that isn’t installing a plugin is to password-protect any posts I don’t want the general public to see. I’m not keen on installing a plugin to manage security, so for now I’m going to use the password method.

If you see a password-protected post you’d like to read, and you’re a friend of mine, reach out to me directly and I’ll share the password.

It’s me being depressed again

Yay.

I don’t know what else to say. There’s a lot I can’t talk about publicly. And I feel like the personal stuff will just be a rehash. Sheltering in place due to delta etc., terrified about climate change, horrified by cruelty, doing practically nothing all day, not seeing much of a point to anything.

I guess that covers it.

Good things

I seem to forget this site exists when things are going well.

Things have been pretty decent recently, at least in terms of my own life. The world is still terrible and horrifying, there’s still a virus raging everywhere and being willfully ignored by both regular people and government people, so many people are dying (and it’s not just the virus; people are killing each other too), it’s looking more and more like the postmaster general will be successful in sabotaging and closing the post office, billionaires are pretending they are cool instead of actually helping people, Biden is not the savior many people thought he was, etc. But at least in my personal life things are okay? haha.

There were a few weeks in there before the Delta variant locked me back down where it seemed like things were almost normal again. Connor stopped by on his way to his internship at the beginning of the summer. I went home to Kentucky and stayed with Mom as soon as everyone in the family was vaccinated. I went out to dinner a couple times. I went to the movies once. I went horseback riding. I started to think I could have people come visit me, and even that I might travel somewhere.

Even though that didn’t last, I think it was a needed break from over a year of staying mostly sequestered. Seeing people I love and doing fun things I enjoy again, even for such a brief time, has kind of tided me over, at least for now.

Being vaccinated has helped me a lot mentally as well. I still mask when I go out, but I don’t feel as afraid. I feel like with the vaccine and the mask, I am pretty safe, and I’m far less likely to pass the virus to anyone else. This is a much better feeling than before.

I’ve had a lot of nice things happen recently as well. I was promoted at work, and the work I’m doing is having a real, positive impact on my coworkers; I got figs from my friend Jessica again; Connor spent the night on his way home from his internship; I baked two types of cookie last week; and after months and months of banging our heads against the proverbial wall of overloaded online shopping carts, Sean and I were finally able to buy a PS5. I’ve only gone on one bike ride since I had the bike tuned up, but in my defense, it has been super hot outside. I’ve started walking on the treadmill here and there to at least get myself moving more, and that has made me feel good too.

So basically, things are pretty decent in my tiny corner of the world, and I figured that instead of continued radio silence I’d actually post about it.

Deep Thoughts

I had one of those moments where it feels like you’ve thought of something really profound, but it’s also something completely obvious. Here is the thing I thought of:

Everything in life is preparing for doing, doing, and cleaning up after doing. Doing is all we do.

This miraculous epiphany came to me as I was tidying up after baking cookies. I’d been thinking about how people spend a lot of time and effort preparing to do things like go kayaking and then doing those things and then putting everything away after, and how I used to spend a lot of time and effort this way for hiking and photography, and how after roughly a year and a half of rarely doing anything outside the home, going to all that effort just to do something outside can seem so pointless. Over the long weekend I put together a TV stand (with a fireplace in it!). I also made blueberry muffins from fresh blueberries I picked at a friend’s house, but I didn’t hear the timer for some reason and they got a little burnt. This is why the next day I made cookies. All of these things involved a lot of preparation, time for the actual doing, and cleanup. And I thought, this is all there is. This is life.

We do some things because we must in order to survive. We do some things to help others. And we do some things, like the kayaking and hiking and photography, because we enjoy them. We expend effort on them because they are worth it to us.

Depression is not wanting to do things because you don’t see the point. Or at least, it is for me. Depression is not finding that enjoyment in anything.

I have paid attention to my depression for long enough that I can tell when I am in danger of slipping into it, and that has been very useful for managing it. My depression is not caused by not doing things, but not doing things can exacerbate it.

Thinking that “all there is to life is doing” felt like a depressive thought yesterday, but pragmatically, it’s just a general description of activity. There are so many variations possible within those loose guardrails.

I had my bike tuned up the other day. It’s a pain in the ass to get it up to street level from our apartment, and it’s a pain to get it out of the apartment complex too—I either have to half-carry it down a cliff, push it up a hill that is a struggle just to walk up, or shove it into the back of my car and take it somewhere else. But cycling is something I used to do all the time, regardless of the effort involved, because I loved it. Hopefully, I can recapture that feeling. Hopefully, I can start wanting to expend effort on doing things outside the home again.

Okay, I’m mostly over myself

The catastrophizing and black-and-white thinking are finally starting to subside. I am no longer interpreting a single mistake in a single relationship to mean that I have failed utterly in all relationships. It’s taken a full week, but I’m finally being rational: accepting that I have these feelings of hurt and loss and confusion, but not giving in to those feelings.

I think it was wise for me to pull back and focus on some of my closest friends during this time. It’s probably wise for me to focus on my closest friends all the time, honestly. But I think it will be okay in the future for me to also interact with other people.

I need to learn from this, and not in a self-deprecating or self-blaming way. I need to recognize that I am going to misinterpret things and that that is normal and okay. I need to remember that I did not respond to this situation by telling everyone that somebody hurt me, and I did not even tell anyone who my unhappy feelings were about. I started to try and write explanations for why I was on hiatus a few times, but each time I recognized that I was making myself sound like some kind of victim, and I deleted without posting. I think I did the right thing here. I should remember this.

I’m not perfect, but I’m not a horrible human being who doesn’t deserve to exist either.

It’s still going to be awkward existing in a space where I feel like I don’t quite fit, but I’m starting to think I will be able to handle it. I’m starting to think I can still interact and enjoy the good parts of fandom, so long as I temper my expectations about the relationships there.

I may take the approach of only logging in at certain times instead of leaving myself logged in, because being logged in makes it easy to check Twitter constantly throughout the day. If I turn it into a purposeful action, one that I have to take additional steps for, maybe that will help reinforce the boundary between that space and the space where real relationships exist.

Still ruminating

I’m just so frustrated.

I have never been great with relationships of any kind, but I thought I had gotten better. I thought I could tell when people were just being polite and when they actually liked me. But apparently I was totally, utterly wrong.

I feel like I have wasted my life trying to get along with people and not actually forging true connections.

I want to be valued and respected, but how do I ask for those things if I don’t even know who is willing to give them to me?

I don’t know where to go from here.

It’s bad, y’all

Until today, I hadn’t updated since October. There just hasn’t seemed to be much to update about. Sure, I’ve done things, but they aren’t particularly exciting. I’ve posted a few photos on social media here and there when I’ve done things like redecorate the dining room. But posting on my blog seems more “official” than social media, like I need to craft something rather than just sharing. My previous post is probably a reaction to that.

It’s also a reaction to the fact that the pandemic is still happening.

This whole situation has been wearing on me so much. I’m just tired. I want to be able to do things again. I want to see my family. I want to spend time with friends.

I’ve been spending a lot of time on Twitter, tweeting with lots of people and having fun. It’s not the same as seeing people in person, but it at least felt like being with others. I have grown to really like and care about many people there. It turns out, though, that Twitter is not a substitute for real interpersonal relationships.

A new name for pseudotumor cerebri; plus, old statuses

I have a friend who is concerned they might have pseudotumor cerebri, except when they told me about it they called it “idiopathic intracranial hypertension,” and that’s how I learned it has a new name! I suffered from this in 2010 and 2011 (and it possibly actually started all the way back in 2007; it’s unclear due to heart medication side effects) and it’s the ultimate reason I got weight loss surgery.

In looking back on my posts on this subject, I discovered that there seem to be a lot of gaps. I didn’t write about the diagnosis at all, as far as I can tell. Blog posts for September, October, and November 2010, the months when I first noticed the problem and started seeing doctors about it, are extremely sparse. So I went back through my oldest Twitter account and my exported posts from my now-deleted Facebook account and pulled together some statuses about my eye. I figured I’d archive them here for my (and my biographers’) convenience. You can check out the pseudotumor cerebi tag for more context.

A vacation!

I took a few days off work and Sean and I went to a cabin in Ellijay, the north Georgia town that hosts the apple festival I go to every year. Not sure if I’ll make it this year, given, you know, coronavirus, so it’s nice to be up here now. The cabin is lovely, just the right size for two, well appointed and cozy. We honestly haven’t done much besides lounge around. Each day has had one “event”: the first day we got hibachi takeout for dinner, the second day we picked up groceries, the third day we took a bath in the big tub, and today I went on a walk around the (very hilly) neighborhood. We leave tomorrow; I wish I’d made this a longer vacation, because I’m finally starting to feel like doing things. I had thought I would at least do some writing, and possibly some photo editing. Oh well! Ultimately the point was to get a break from everything, and I think we’ve accomplished that, at least.

There are more photos at my SmugMug.

The back deck of our rental cabin in Ellijay, from which you can hear the soothing sound of the rushing river hidden beyond the trees

Shelter-in-Place: Day 157

I wish I had posted on Saturday, because I was in a decent mood then. I baked some fig thumbprint cookies using a bunch of figs I got from an online friend who has a huge fig tree in her yard, and they came out pretty well. But I just didn’t get around to posting, and then yesterday I woke up at 4:45 due to anxiety about the situation the US is currently in, and from there I plummeted into a deep depression. I hate to only write when I feel terrible. I need to think to do it more when I’m happy.

Anyway I spent the day watching stuff on Disney+: Treasure Planet, The Mighty Ducks (first film), and DuckTales (2017). I forgot to take my antidepressant at lunchtime, which may have been a factor in my feeling awful all day. However, I am attributing this particular low to stress and anxiety and fear, about basically everything.

I took today off because I’m in no state to accomplish anything.