Yeah: getting out from in front of the computer

So, I ended up signing up for an LIS class, for Summer.  There’s a weird story behind it, but basically…I found out at 2 AM last night that I could register at 7 AM, and picked out a class.  When I got up…whenever I did (?) I was able to grab one of the three seats (out of 30-something) left in it.

DID I SAY “SERENDIPITY” LAST NIGHT, OR…

This class is on User Experience, which I hope will be engaging.  It’s also a 10-week class, so it shouldn’t be too compressed.  Why am I taking it?  Web Development is my aim after and if I attain the Master’s.  At least now, that much is clear; and UX should help with that aim.  At least, I’m hoping.  I don’t know the intricacies of the different job titles surrounding Web Publishing, yet.

In other arenas, I also forgot to take medication until 2 AM last night (I was reminded at 9 PM, but forgot), so I was fairly wiped out, today.  I did listen to two lectures today — er, yesterday — anyhow, and got a good survey of what needs to be done before next Monday (it just keeps coming).  The major problem is that I have days when I do a lot of schoolwork, and then days following where I don’t want to even think about schoolwork.  The dynamic then states that the work gets backed up and the cycle repeats (when, that is, I don’t miss an assignment entirely because I stubbornly refuse to acknowledge college at all — it wouldn’t be as possible at a traditional school).

It’s magnified as things are now because I do have one significant assignment to do (I can’t just let it slide like the Discussion post; it’s worth 15% of my grade), the material for which I’ve forgotten:  so I’ve just got to re-do some readings (these were readings I did in Hawaii, and I was so burnt out from Hawaii after getting back, that I couldn’t do the corresponding work on time [my brain was not functioning adequately.  I guess you could say it was off-balance]).

So today has mostly been spent in front of the computer — like yesterday — and I know that’s a recipe for depression.  I probably shouldn’t even be awake now; it will soon be 1 AM.  Because I seem to have cheated myself out of the relaxing art class I wanted to take during the Summer, I’m also now a little irritated with myself.  I have a couple of weeks to back out; but it was necessary to reserve a space in this class, if I wanted to take it.

My major issue is that on one hand, I have a limited amount of time to fit all this training in; on the other hand, I’m a bit…angry that I have to grow up?  Finishing the Art AA did give me a sense of completion; on the other hand, if I had dropped everything to re-enter the MLIS program as soon as I thought of it, I’d have a bit more wiggle room.  Right now I should be taking three classes per semester until graduation.  If I had started a semester prior, and worked through Summer Session, I would only have to take two.

I’m also a bit irritated that the Art degree seems relatively worthless, although I obviously invested in it and enjoyed it, and respected it.  I still respect it.  It’s just really…it feels not-right that Art can’t be a way of life.  My valuations and broader society’s valuations do not match; I might be wrong, but it seems like, at least in the U.S. — and at this point in history — the only thing that’s important is money.

Tonight I did do some reading in the book on mokuhanga — which might be interesting even if I don’t intend to make woodblock prints.  It’s much more specialized knowledge than I got from either of the books from the Honolulu Art Museum.  One of them in particular…it’s kind of like, “Japanese Art for People Who Know Nothing About Japan.”  But I didn’t have time to read that deeply into it, at the Museum.  It’s just weird that there’s this cultural divide where I can’t really see how a lot of the information in that book would be new to anyone.  But then, there are people who think that the only kind of ramen that exists, comes out of a $0.90 package.

Anyhow:  mokuhanga.  I’m not sure if the book is topical enough to my interests to buy (although it is indeed beautiful), but it would make a nice companion to Shin Hanga, depending on the content.  But then, why would I have it, if I wouldn’t use it?  (or is it just that I don’t actually want to mix rice-starch paste?)

Yeah…I’m a bit concerned about bugs eating the colors…

Right.  Anyway, I also did go looking through my (art) archives, if they can be called that — they haven’t really been organized.  I found my good markers, as well (the Copics, along with some Staedtler Lumocolor drawing pens).

So I was looking through that stuff and thinking back on what drew me away from fantasy storytelling:  there is a lot of work building up to a graphic novel project there, which was abandoned at one point or another, for reasons I can guess at, but which I don’t fully recall.  Chances are that I was thinking about it too much, or it was getting too real for me…or I realized just how big a workload it would be to write and draw a comic.  Or, it could be, I began medication and it quieted all of that.

I did want to say something about how I don’t know how learning works.  Particularly, reading.  I know that my life is a lot better in quality because I read, but that doesn’t mean that I know how information gets into my brain and stays there.  That, though…could just be me tripping out, like I trip out over being embodied, and why anything exists, and this.  I just don’t entirely “get” why or how language works.  I’m sure that studying XML may do that to a person, though.

So now I have some old drawings to work through — I’m not starting from zero, I had to remind myself.  Particularly interesting to me are the possibilities in abstraction, and what might happen if I use full value ranges (almost possible with markers, but not quite:  it’s hard to get a very “black” black, but I do have some jarred ink which may work…it’s also possible to use a carbon black watercolor, which I might try on hot-press watercolor paper and/or Bristol board).

I decided to hang back from the sumi ink and watercolors, for now…I’m going to try drawing again.  At least, that’s the plan.  (Even my Neocolor II and Prang drawings looked nicer than I remember them, but I’ll try and stick with dry media, for now.)  After that, I’ll work back into sumi and the soft-hair brushes, and then try watercolor again…maybe.

Maybe something will strike me, in the next two weeks…and cause me to maybe drop UX…it’s just that it seems so much like it was meant to be, though…

Yeah: getting out from in front of the computer

More acrylic inks, you say?

There is a lot which has happened between my last post, and now.  Significantly, everything which was not already late was turned in on time.  I got the technical exercises out of the way first (including a botched Cataloging quiz — I’m not sure to what extent I’m concerned about this, anymore), then spent all of Sunday on my Literature Review for Research Methodologies.  The day after was mostly spent asleep (I felt like I earned it), though toward the end (my memory is fuzzy, but I think this is right), I started experimenting with the FW Acrylic Inks, again.  I think that’s what this was:

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From 3-13-2017, lest I forget.

This was just mostly playing around with color.  I meant to post about it yesterday (Monday the 13th, I mean), but I didn’t have the energy.

You can see that I had started to make marks over the top of the acrylic inks with the colored pencils.  Those are my Progresso Woodless colored pencils…where the marks are bold, I was pressing pretty hard.  Anyhow, this was just me messing around with four to five colors.  (Crimson, Purple Lake, whatever they call Phthalo Green [I think it’s “Marine Blue”], Rowney Blue [Phthalo Blue] and a yellow which looks like Hansa Deep…I just checked, it’s called “Brilliant Yellow.”)

Of note, I have seen no evidence of an Ultramarine equivalent in the FW Acrylic ink line (which would make more vibrant violets) — and I just went to the art store, today.  It’s very probable that it isn’t made because they want all the colors to harmonize, and the palette of the FW inks leans toward warm tones.  (It’s really easy to make clashing colors when the original colors are not well-coordinated…)

This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it causes the color mixing range to be limited.  With Daler-Rowney making so many of these colors, though, I can see where they would like to limit their financial risk in color production.  Especially since it seems like many have trouble mixing colors as it is, without venturing into “mud” territory (I may have said this before, but I think mud — dull color perceived as “lifeless” — can be rescued).  But maybe I’m just spoiled on the good stuff…

I have gotten pretty tired color out of Prangs (note that some people can make gorgeous art with Prangs — and they aren’t really bad for what they are — nontoxic, inexpensive colors that flow well and wet easily and have comparatively good color strength for the price range), but that just caused me to stop using Prangs for colors that Prangs aren’t strong in (for example, cool red).  The problem is that when one starts out with a dull color, it isn’t necessarily going to get stronger with other colors added to it, unless those other colors (or hidden hues in those other colors) dominate the first, or can mute a dominant hue and support a hidden hue.  (I can expect someone to ask me what I mean by this, and the truth is that my left brain [words] doesn’t necessarily know how my right brain [art] does what it does.)

Let me get off of that.  Anyway,  😉  playing around with this stuff caused me to go out to an art supply store and replace my two broken Progresso pencils — which, finally, they had.  $0.74 each.  While I was there (first time to the art store in a couple of months), I picked up some hot-press watercolor paper (I have been after this for ages, but this is the first time I actually bought any:  it requires a special trip, as I haven’t seen Blick to carry many inexpensive [read:  not Arches] hot-press watercolor pads or blocks), and I also picked up a variety of earth-tone FW inks, because I may be using these for cartooning, and in that case, I’ll want consistent color and color that doesn’t move when it’s re-wet.

Neither of these things are going to happen with watercolors, unless I mix large batches of skin tones and let them dry in a palette.  Even then, there is the risk of movement when subsequent layers of color are added, though I’ve heard this can be mitigated with the addition of clear acrylic glazing medium at the time of painting.  (I haven’t tried it, yet — but be aware, addition of acrylic medium will make anything mixed with it not able to be reused, after it has dried.)  The FW inks don’t seem as intense as artist-grade tube watercolors, but they feel more controllable, and more suited to reproduction work.

(I go back and forth as to whether these inks or watercolors are more intense…after some experience, I’ve got to say that it depends on how much you thin them!  When I first used these inks, I was thinning them way out because I didn’t want to waste them.  In short, I was skimping on them [you basically have to lay out all your colors before painting in order to have them quickly available for mixing and altering other colors — and you have to say goodbye to all of what you’ve laid out at the end of a painting session, with acrylics], and it is obvious when I look at my first attempts at using these.)

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On cold-press Canson Montval paper.  Ink is from a Pentel Pocket Brush Pen.

The above image is something I was messing around with…as I realized at home that two of my colors (Yellow Ochre and Red Earth — neither of which are constituted as one would think they would be) were both rated as opaque.  Obviously, though, this is relative.  For example, with Payne’s Grey (though it may be due to the fact that it is blue-grey), you can’t really tell that it’s overlaying the black, here.  Pure Burnt Umber, as well, goes on and does not mask the underlying black drawing at all — you can see at center right.

However, you can see a tiny bit of overlap in the foreground here with the Red Earth (the only red used here) and Yellow Ochre overflowing their lines in the center swirl.  It also happened in the thing that looks like a tree trunk to the left, which I am fairly sure was a mixture of multiple colors, including red and yellow earth tones.  Possibly also white.  (I’m not sure, but I should add that last bit.  White is obviously not transparent, though be aware that the FW acrylic white, isn’t a dense white.  Daler-Rowney Pro[cess] White, though?  I’m not sure about that — I’ve seen it used as correction fluid and for highlights.  If I ever reach the finishing stages of a piece of art with this stuff and actually use the Pro White, I’ll let you know.)

What this means is that I will have to go back in and touch up areas where I have painted over lines which I need — if I use heavy coats of color.  (The colors being bound by acrylic resin, helps ease my concern of clogging nibs, in this regard.)  Pale washes, on the other hand, don’t really fade the linework noticeably (to me, at least).  One of the things I did realize, though, is that it is WAY easier to work with these super-fast drying acrylic inks on a small scale.  If I had wanted to, I could have avoided overpainting these lines, because my brush was that small and the shape was that small…but this was a test.

I’m not sure if it is the fact that I can see the colors of these inks through the bottles that makes me want to use them, but I’m sure it’s related to that.  I’m thinking of clearing out one or two of my small palettes to use for everyday watercolors (that is, not the specialty ones which I have to think about including, like freakin’ Aureolin).

Freaking Aureolin.

Okay, I’ll stop.

Oh, right.  I also have been trying to work on drawing people again, though they’re imaginary people.  I do have some photos of these, but to be honest, they’re pretty horrible (middle-of-the-night) photos, and I’m not even altogether that proud of the work anymore.  It was fun last night, then I looked at it again today and realized my character had Vegeta proportions, so…

Right.  I think I know what’s wrong, and it should be easily fixed.  It’s what happens when you draw the head before the body.  Still, though:  I would really like to photograph this in daylight, rather than releasing it to the wild and *cough* messing up my *cough* reputation *cough* 😉  Hehe.

We all screw up sometimes, it’s part of being human — and being an artist means you screw up OFTEN and REPEATEDLY until you can learn other ways.  😉  So the best thing to do is be gentle on yourself, and maybe not even call it “screwing up,” but “having a learning experience”.

(When is the Internet ever gentle, though?  SHUT UP ANXIETY BRAIN.)

Okay, I’m being told to get some rest now.  I do have to get up in six hours.  JOY.  JOY OF JOYS.

Eh, at least I should be able to get some (home)work done at lunch…

More acrylic inks, you say?

Compromise in light of a need for self-care.

If I think back on it, it was really the stress of my Cataloging course which likely triggered this episode.  Given that…it’s predictable that worrying about my other classes, now, will result in further difficulty getting anything done in the near future.  My illness has been causing oversleeping, lack of motivation, lethargy, and inability to concentrate.

In this case, it actually is a good thing that I’ve been keeping a record for myself via this blog…I have a record of worry and preoccupation (anxiety) which led to mania which led to depression; which led to diminished capacity to get work done, and disordered sleep.  Which has started to lead to more anxiety.  And I can see where this is going.

I have some major work to do for Metadata in the coming days:  two readings, two lectures, and a Discussion question, due by Sunday night.  I’m not really impressed with the quality of the xeroxed readings…that is, the bottom of every page is cut off and it’s difficult to make out the words near the spine.  Is it THAT UNIMPORTANT???

However, I was able to complete a certification, tonight, for a different class.  There are a few short readings for that one, a relatively short lecture, and I can start going over my research printouts.

I’ve also got the next two lectures for the…Cataloging class, recorded, and the address of the tool we’re supposed to use, copied over.

Right now, I’m getting pretty tired, probably due to the fact that I took medication on time, tonight, and it’s been two-and-a-half hours since that time.  I usually become nonfunctional after about one-and-a-half hours.

I’m also thinking that maybe for the next week, I shouldn’t worry about due dates…or working when I’m having resistance to it…so much.  This means not stressing myself about turning in the Discussion post for Metadata, but continuing to work on Research Methodologies, the additional work for Metadata, and what I can of Cataloging.  And I just shouldn’t stress about the 1.5 points I’m missing, right?

And…when I can’t focus and don’t want to get out of bed…beads.  Totally go for the beads.

Compromise in light of a need for self-care.

Kind of down…but I have been doing something.

It’s been kind of an off day (though I have been having more of those than usual, recently)…though it got better when I stopped even trying to concentrate.

I lay down around 7 PM last night, fell asleep, then my alarm went off at 9 PM (medication time).  I got up at 10:30 PM, took medication, then couldn’t fall back asleep until at least 1-2 AM.  Then someone woke me in the morning to let me know they were leaving, and I fell back asleep.  I got out of bed exactly 12 hours from the time I lay down the second — no, third time (I got up and ate something at around 1 AM).  So I was out of bed at about 1:30 PM.  Then I tried to read again and found the cataloging textbook to be so incredibly boring (it’s an instruction manual more than a textbook) that I went back to bed…(it doesn’t help that the Cataloging professor still hasn’t let me know if I’m reading the correct chapter).

After people returned home, I got out of bed and started studying someplace which was not my bedroom…still couldn’t concentrate.  Watched one and a half episodes of African history, during which time I decided just to stop trying to concentrate, and started in on beadwork (which is what I actually wanted to be doing).  I have a photo of how far I’ve gotten, tonight (note that the ladder-stitched sections that trail off the right side of the photo are nearly long enough for my wrist, in themselves):

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Inspired by Beaded collars by Julia Pretl.

I cannot totally claim credit for this design; it was inspired by projects in a book of M’s:  Beaded collars, by Julia Pretl.  Though I found the collar patterns in that book to be a bit large for my taste, the basic idea of rows of ladder stitch joined with netting, and using picots on the turns, comes from that book.  However, as I’ve mentioned, these rows of ladder stitch aren’t joined by netting, but rather peyote stitch.  (The joining rows are so short that it disallows netting.)

The entire thing is also rather small — something that doesn’t quite show up, here, except in the relative enormity of the weave in the tablecloth.  The entire thing is narrower than the diameter of a quarter, I think.  The copper-colored glass bugle beads are less than ¼” long each (I think they are Size 1), with most of the other beads being Japanese size 15ºs.  The larger beads are Japanese size 11ºs, which are still pretty small.

I still have trouble deciding which beads to use in combination; the matte 11ºs are “raku”, a relatively expensive finish.  On the other hand, the teal fringe beads are colorlined (that is, there is a color lining the holes), and as such are prone to fading on exposure to the elements (particularly, I am guessing, light).  However, the beads don’t tie together as well when I use my teal silverlined 15ºs.  This is a bracelet which is made to go with another one which I haven’t made, yet…same color palette, but different color placement.

I wish I could tell you the thread path I was using to get the little peyote joins lined up and also the edge picots (I’m using double needles, which is as much as I can coherently say)…but the thread path is so complicated and haphazard that I don’t think I could give directions for it, at this time.

And…I’m either really tired or really low-energy, right now; I can’t think really well.  I’m probably just in a depression.

What I can say is that I averted a minor disaster by taking the time to untangle at least two or three large snarls (which required close work with needles and awl)…and have remembered the trick of storing presently unused needles in my clothing (pant leg, shirt), to avoid the lines of thread being tangled.

I don’t know how long this episode is going to last.  I’m not even sure I’m cut out for Master’s work in this field (right; for those of you new to this blog, I’m studying Library and Information Science)…I mean, I’m 35; I should be moving ahead in the job market rather than in grad school, I feel like.  But I only have a limited amount of years in which I’ll have the luxury of being able to do grad school and still have help from parents.

Which, then, calls in the mortality bit, and maybe I should stop thinking about that, right now.  I’d make an appointment with Psych, but I’m fairly certain all they’re going to tell me is to increase my medication and eat well and sleep…and the medication is sedating (and causes weight gain), so it’s like either sleep 14+ hours a day from the depression or sleep 16+ hours a day from the medications.

It wouldn’t be so bad, but I have deadlines to meet…and I hate having to actually use accommodations…

Kind of down…but I have been doing something.

This is definitely a depressive episode.

I’m trying to decide whether to write, or read, right now.  It’s pretty clear to me that I am in a depression, at this point:  sleeping for 14 hours and then having to decide to get up (or bribe myself into getting up by telling myself I’ll play with my beads) isn’t normal.

I’m thinking that maybe I need to change my vocabulary around when I say I feel “tired.”  There is actually being tired, when I really need sleep; and then there is being low-energy and lethargic and not seeing anything more interesting to do than stay in bed — but not necessarily needing sleep.  (Which reminds me that exercise, though painful, should help me get through this state.)  Though…I do wonder if I actually need the sleep, or not.

I know I need about 8-10 hours of sleep to be OK, but 14 is a bit much (it’s like I’m making up for that 4-6 hours of sleep I got a night in high school).  Right now, I’ve only been out of bed for about eight hours.  It seems that it would be OK to stay up because of that, but throwing off my sleep schedule will only make the depression worse.  It’s really better to go to bed early and wake up at 5:30 in the morning, like I did today…just not to go back to sleep for another eight hours.

Also, where it comes to judgment — sometimes I think I don’t need B vitamins and then I slip into a place like this and use up a megadose.  (I can tell if I use them all up because excess B-complex…well, it’s obvious…I won’t say what I’m thinking because I don’t want this post indexed with those words, but if you take B-complex megadoses both when you do and don’t need them, it’s obvious when the excess passes through.)

Which makes me think:  hmm.  B vitamins.  Maybe I need some of those…

I just found a bottle of B-12 sublingual (megadose), which should help for tonight.  Maybe I can get up around 10 AM tomorrow and get some B-complex and check out the art store.  I’ve been studying in my office, and as such, have been looking at the drawings I made in marker on the giant pad of sketch paper on my altar table.  Well, actually, I threw them aside to get a fresh (non-dusty) surface, and then started looking at them (when they were on the floor).

(Yeah, I kind of have papers thrown all over the place, right now…)

I can actually see some things going on there that I hadn’t noticed, before.  For one thing, there is the inference of a dragon or gryphon in the focal point of one of my images, which was entirely unconscious.  For another thing, I’m appreciating the bold colors and large strokes on the other image.  These were the two images I was talking about a while ago, which I decided not to put online because they were just for me, and I didn’t want to deal with the psychic interference of potential (positive or negative) judgment, in my process.

I recall…in the book, The artist’s way, which I started using some years ago and then left off of (it’s kind of like a creativity-nurturing program), there was an exercise called “The Morning Pages,” where someone writes for maybe half an hour to 45 minutes every day right after they wake up, and then move on with their day.  You’re not supposed to look back over these writings for a while, just do them and move on.  I’m wondering if that would work with visual art.  My folks say it should.

I mean, that could be something to get up for, right?  It also sounds like a good way to generate a lot of ideas for artworks — or even just “flex those creative muscles.”  (Yeah, I don’t like that phraseology…my brain is not a muscle…)

Right now, I’ve just finished listening to a fairly long lecture.  I’ll listen to the next one tomorrow, then try and crank out the graded homework I missed…I don’t think my brain can take another hour of needing to pay rapt attention.  But I’m getting to the point where I’ve realized just how much work I’ve got ahead of me.

I’ll need to submit a Discussion Board post by Thursday in Research Methodologies, meaning that I’ll want to have gotten the assigned readings and lectures out of the way before then.  In addition, I’ll need to have done enough initial research to have dug into a bit of a Literature Review.  I have a lot of sources already (I was searching “minority librarians” under a large database — after I found that this was the preferred term under the controlled vocabulary), but I’ll need to sort through them and read the most promising ones.

And the Cataloging homework is relatively steady.  I haven’t read Lecture 4 yet, so I don’t know if this will have me working online again — but the Cataloging Professor gives out written lectures, not audio ones, and I can easily map out what needs to be done soonest.  (I think there may be practice sheets for Week 4, too…gah.)

So I basically got two weeks behind on everything while I was trying to figure out Dewey and freaking out and getting anxious and depressed and trying to put together a fall-back position.  Was it worth it?  I’m not sure — I haven’t checked my grades, yet, but I don’t think this Professor is one to give a student an F because they were off (even slightly off) on two out of six questions.  Although a 60% is an F, in my system.

And yes, the B12 tablet is still under my tongue…how long is this thing supposed to take to dissolve???

Better yet, no one knew this was a sublingual tablet but me?  Did they just swallow the things without reading the bottle???

Okay, it’s gone.  I feel better now.  🙂

This is definitely a depressive episode.

I’m really so tired that I can’t think, right now.

But writing is better than staring vacuously at the screen.  And I won’t remember anything tomorrow that I read for content, now.  I really should just go to bed…

Okay, compromise.  I just took my medication, which will ensure that I’ll only be functional until about 11:10, giving me an hour and a half to …probably either get ready for bed, or do something besides study, eat, or sleep.  I’m pretty sure that the difficulty in Cataloging has me somewhat depressed, because I slept over 12 hours last night and then lay down for an additional two, today, and I’m still tired.

It’s probably not fighting off whatever virus is going around at my work:  I’ve been staying hydrated (to prevent my membranes [e.g. throat, sinuses] from cracking) and washing up before eating…though the virus could be part of it, actually.  Depression increases vulnerability to infection.  Then there’s the regular biology stuff, which…could be playing a part, too.  And, well, I have a tendency to this.

I did do the graded exercise on Dewey Decimal Categorization.  I either missed two questions or got partial credit on two questions, but there were only six questions to speak of.  I’m just glad (and surprised) I got the correct answer on four of them.  I’ve had the idea of putting Dewey numbers on all of my personal library books (that is, the books I own which make up my “library”) as practice, but who would tell me if I was right?  I guess I could go to WorldCAT and try and find answers that way…that is, my DDC education doesn’t have to stop here, and I don’t have to resign myself to “just not getting it.”

Hmm.  Going to WorldCAT and then bridging into SFPL did give me the Dewey number of The mentalist’s handbook:  An explorer’s guide to astral, spirit, and psychic worlds.  Amazingly.  This could be doable…so long as the cataloging isn’t messed up on the other end(s).  Though I suppose I could always cross-reference the individual Dewey entries.  (Hey!  Now that I look on the inside of the front of the book, there is a number which matched SFPL’s Dewey number!  It just isn’t as elaborate…and it has a note, “–dc22” at the end, which may indicate the version of DDC used…)

I had planned on completing the work for Metadata today, but I just wasn’t up to it.  I did make it through three chapters, but I still have (most of) one more reading, and two lectures to listen to.  Good part?  I have two days off of work to help me catch up (although I didn’t realize that tomorrow was a holiday until sometime last week — that is, no one’s going in to work, as versus just me).  And then after Wednesday, I have another two days to work.

I severely need to do research for my Research Methodologies class, which I’ve done no work for, for too long (about a week and a half).  Then I can work on catching up with my lectures and readings for Cataloging (I’m two weeks behind).

Gah.

At least I won’t have to worry about going to work on Mondays, now.

As regards my state:  I’m a bit better now after listening to a bunch of music and browsing bead catalogs.  I should get ready for bed before I become entirely nonfunctional…

I’m really so tired that I can’t think, right now.

gender stuff.

I am feeling a bit tired and worn right now:  just to let you know, before I get into any of this.  What is happening with me right now is…something which often happens around the holidays.  Without the focus of school, I have a tendency to slide a bit into depression.  This is both a function of fewer daylight hours (I keep waking up with about three of these left), and of my long-standing gender issues.

I seem to slip in and out of periods when I’ll consider myself either genderqueer, or both genderqueer and transgender.  Tonight I had the ability to give voice to some of my concerns about my future…and it was fairly tough.  Something about being a 30-something Millennial, not having yet built a new family around myself…being unable to father children myself, and not wanting to carry a baby…plus the difficulty of finding someone who can both love me and respect my own view of who I am at the same time (that is, not imposing “woman” or “wife” expectations on me because I happen to be female — INCLUDING “you must agree that I’m right about everything if you’re attracted to me”)…

I tend to be a loner, though.  It can be difficult to be around people when they don’t know who I am…which is most of the time.  Recently, my social circle has receded back to my nuclear family, both because school is out and because I haven’t made any special efforts to have a social life.  At present, though, what I’m experiencing seems like it may develop into agoraphobia if left unchecked.

Anyhow, I do have the opportunity to work on things that I couldn’t work on while school was in.  It’s very apparent that I need to avoid making any large life decisions while I’m depressed, so I’m thinking I may try and channel this energy into something other than my embodiment.  Right now I’m listening to music, which is helping, although it’s also disrupting my thought pattern and making it harder to put to words what I’m feeling.

It is apparent to me that I am female-identified, though not woman-identified.  I don’t feel that I am clearly man-identified, though, either…I exist in some kind of liminal space where on the inside I’m a very femme bisexual guy, while on the outside I appear as a slightly butch female.  (I’m sure that trying to write out some of these feelings in fictive format has not helped.)  The discrepancy falls in when trying to physically “harden up” in order to appear more masculine, and on the interior not being a gay butch woman (as I’m seen) but a femme (albeit tough femme) bi male.

I suppose that if I did want to work on my embodiment, I actually do have the time (and food money) to physically harden up a bit.  The difficulty (well, one of them) in having the body I do is that when I…am looking a way that I accept best, I kind of look like a cholo — which is not the greatest position to be in where it comes to my safety.  But when I have long hair, especially on top of big muscles…I can (easily) look like a young male gangster, and in fact that seems preferable to coming off as a girl.

At this point, I’m unsure as to whether I’ve let the weight and acne issues go as far as they have because I look more masculine to myself at a heavier weight and with more acne.  Apparently this doesn’t hold for my facial hair, though I really don’t know what I would do if I could actually grow a goatee, or hair on — whoa! both sides of my face! — right.  I’m sure it would be some kind of social statement if I grew half a beard, but…somehow, I don’t think the world is ready for that, yet.  😉

Especially as I haven’t had top surgery yet…and the only reason to do so would be to blend in as male, so I wouldn’t be harassed as trans* every time I left the house.  (It isn’t a good idea for me to bind my chest long-term…it has to do with the way I’m built, encouraging pain.  Though there is a fix I can think of, I should really talk to my OB/GYN about it first.)

Anyway…I’m tired…and should probably sign off for tonight, now that I see what time it is.  I mistakenly double-booked the day after tomorrow for two separate purposes…and I’m kind of upset about this, because that is the time in which I intended to make up tomorrow’s absence from work.  Either I’ll have to go in late, or not go in at all, which will be a further out-of-pocket expense, in addition to the holidays and getting sick…

Of course, I could work a couple of days in a row, but I was pretty exhausted last time I went in (remnants of whatever got me sick in the first place), and that was after only six hours.

Maybe…I should just give myself permission to take care of myself…

gender stuff.