Wednesday, February 3, 2016

The life of an extroverted introvert.

I am an introvert. When I declare this to people who've gotten to know me a bit, they furrow their brow as if I'm declaring my conversion to religion. It's just hard to believe. In social situations, I can't shut the fuck up. I talk all the time. It's really annoying, even to me. I look at that kind of behaviour as my frantic thrashing to keep myself from drowning. It's the only way I can describe it. Internally, I'm telling myself to shut up, shut up, shut up! It's a hell of a dichotomoy to cope with.

Introversion comes in so many shades, it's crazy. There's the full on hermit, then there's the kind like me, who enjoys social interaction, but only for a certain amount of time before I'm done.  Every time I have social interaction, I need recovery time. Even if it's just making a phone call.  Having this anxiety thing added on makes it even more impossible, and adds a sense of growing panic doing things that are just ordinary to other people.

I've been having a rough time of it these past few months. I think it's a cruel machine of perpetual motion; staying home makes me even more hermit like, and more anxious, but being out drives me home again, and there you go. Anyway... I'll try not to make every post these days be about the stupid anxiety and such. But it's so much of my life I need to chill about it.

I am going to focus on some projects. I have comic con to deal with this month, plus the dreaded birthday--you all know how much I despise the birthday. Anyway, I am gonig to repaint a Monster High doll and try to costume her up too. I'm not great at sewing in miniature, but I'll give it a try. It could be a fail or a win. We shall see! I also have some gorgeous merino wool for the hair.

I've been a little 'off' on the regency thing lately. My interest levels in costuming have been Merh at best, possibly even a Gargh. But my interests wax and wane. And I just read a study that creativity is paramount to beating depression, so being creative is a great way to counteract my blahs. Now to just get the blahs out of the way enough to get motivated,

No more grumpies today! I promise. Hopefuly I'll have some fun creative posts in the next weeks or so. Happy Valentine's to all, and come by my table at Comic Con to see me if you're in Portland on the 19th, 20th and 21st of Feb.  Miranda Mayer is me. I'll be hiding behind the safety of my table, schmoozing people and hawking my pulp.

Friday, January 29, 2016

Wrapping up 2015's Project 365.

341/365 -  In a box
343/365 -  Bubble bath again
344/365 - Candle light

345/365 - Silhouettes

346/365 - Pineapple
347/365 - Our tree

348/365 - Pop tart

349/365 - A visit to the local fire station to drop off Giving Tree gifts.

350/365 - Santa's been kind. :)

351/365 - KC Kitten making herself at home.

352/365 - Condensation

353/365 - Chocolate gold

354/365 - Star Wars, man!

355/365 - Greens

356/365 - Christmas Bounty

357/365 - My sister's dog Daisy

358/365 - My sister's cat (now our cat)
-- Can you find her?

359/365 - Simon loves snow

360/365 - Alex and KC in the snow.
KC was befuddled by the snow,
but she loved it.

361/365 - Ironwork at Timberline Lodge

362/365 - Portland in movement

363/365 - A seaside trimming

364/365 - Light and Shadow

365/365 - Icicles
That's 2015. Yay! What's new? Nothing much. My sister got a job as corporate environmental manager at Intel, and was moving back to Oregon, but that might not be the case anymore. We shall see. She is leaving her cat with us. KC *was* supposed to be a bratty, scatchy, anti-social cat, but she seems to have taken a liking to my son, and the amount of harassing she takes from him is unbelievable. She loves him. So my sister doesn't want to take her away from her kid.

I've been sick most of January, so I have not been up to much. Just preparing my authory stuff for the upcoming Wizard World Portland Comic Con. Nothing special! But I'm hoping that 2016 will bring some creative things for me.  I hope to post again soon with one of my projects. I'm currently taking up tatting to give it a try. But I have some other projects in mind. Some miniatures, a couple of doll remodelings, some nesting dolls and more. I just need to kick this damned endless cold and get my energy back.

Happy new year. Here's a movie of the full 365 project that I made to sum up the whole year. Enjoy!

Monday, December 14, 2015

Project 365; 321 - 340 ... Almost there!

Happy Holidays folks! It's been a strange year. Most years are strange, but it's been a particularly interesting one. I perused the pics in the past 11 months and it tells an abstract story, at least to me. It talks about a year of highs and a year of lows. I see the loss of my mom in a photo of an elegantly curved tulip; a change of focus towards my authoring and slightly away from my other pasttimes. I see despairing moments and moments of joy. I see the comforts of my home and my life, and the discomforts of an imbalanced brain chemistry. I see friends who are there for me, and I see family drama. But most of all, I see my life, in 347 pictures so far. I will post the final batch in one lot.

In the meantime, my household has been increased by one person, two dogs and another cat. My sister secured a position at Intel and is moving back to Oregon. While she seeks a place to live, she is staying with us.

I am awaiting edits on my latest strange book, and it will be up for publication in January or so. For those of you who are curious about what I write and such, you can click through here to my author page. Other than that, besides a lovely ball for the ORS, there hasn't been too much going on. It was organized by S2 so I didn't have to do much for it, which was nice. It was really nice to just show up. I'd like to do more of that and less of the stress. And I would like to eliminate the drama 100%. At the retreat I had to calm a frenetic soul who was devastated for not winning a prize. I'm tired of mommying adults. I have a toddler now, a defiant, obstinate kid, who uses up all that spare energy for that sort of crap.  So it's time someone else dealt with the woes and whines of the drama queens. I just want to show up and enjoy like everyone else. It's time.

Here are the next twenty days in the project 365 collection.

321/365 - IKEA meatballs nom

322/365 - The Johanesen household in one picture.

323/365 - My sister's cat. She's adorable to look at. She's flat out crazy and evil.

324/365 - Alex cuddles with his Neenee

325/365 - Things like this make me feel less saddened for not having a girl.
How does one battle this hyper-pink-sparkly feminized crap? Yeurgh.

326/365 - A benefit of having my sister around is to have a Dim Sum enabler.
It is one of my favourite things besides sushi. This is at Pure Spice in Portland.
It's the best Dim Sum I've had since Mary Chung's in Cambradge, near MIT

327/365 - It's not the holiday season for me
until I have a bowl of nuts to munch on
through the New Year.

328/365 - Schmear

329/365 - The turkey taking an overnight
soak in a briny bath.

330/365 - I got to host Thanksgiving dinner this year. Such a rarity. Such fun!
Three guests was plenty for our little table. I made enough for an army,
naturally. But it was pretty damned good if I may say.

331/365 - Some black friday lazing.

332/365 - House hunting with my sister, I stumbled upon this
miniature landscape on top of a gatepost.

333/365 - Trivet

334/365 - This is my entourage during the day. Simon mostly doesn't know
what to make of the two ladies that are dominating his household.
But I think it's good for his depression about losing Flower.

335/365 -Alex and 'My Kiyee' cuddling in bed. OC might be rough around
the edges, but 
he likes his child.

336/365 - Ominous Bot

337/365 - That face. ::sigh::

338/365 - Coziness at home.

339/365 - Time for the annual santa
pics with Alex. This was at Macy's.
Alex's newest pic will be posted below.

340/365 - Sewing for a while again. 
Alex's santa pics for this year:

Santa gets a big hug from Alex, and he also gave him almonds and a tangerine.

Wow. He's growing WAY. TOO. FAST.

Merry Christmas/Happy Holidays to all!

Saturday, November 21, 2015

A real post for a change but still with 365s

I’m not going to minced words—I’ve been struggling with keeping my eyes and nose above the water level this past year. I hate that I now sound like one of those people who annoyed me to no end talking about their medical issues; “Oh, my sciatica is just killing me these days….” And “The migraines are just incapacitating…”

I’ve developed a bit of a soul over the past having been humbled by the development of my own medical issues. The anxiety has become a part of my life I can no longer ignore and it has made my already hermity and anti-social nature even worse. I’m on medication, naturally, it’s now a regular part of my routine. It has helped normalize me as far as it can. But it does not stop the insomnia, the constant self-censure, the insecurity, the sense of helplessness and it has made my RLS so bad at night that sometimes I cannot sleep at all because my legs feel like they want to run off the bed. Anxiety sucks balls. I have been working to be better; forcing myself out of the house, and all those things. I’m getting better, but it’s up and down.

I have little to no interest in the regency stuff right now. I love being around my ‘peeps’ when I’m with them, but revving up my motivation to even participate is so hard. I try. I go to things, but honestly, most of the time I just don’t want to. I hope that passion comes back. It was awesome and I miss it. I am also pushing myself to finish my newest book and get it to the editing process. It’s easier to focus on that because it’s part of being creative and I’ve been missing that very much since Alex was born. I think the inability to use the creative outlets I have has probably contributed to my anxiety and depression issues. I have been ruminating on how little I’ve posted on my blog these past months besides my 365s. I’m amazed I’ve kept up with them as long as I have. I think I might make the full year! I confess the weeks after my trip to Florida, I did flag a bit, but I was overcome with a hideous case of giardia (NEVER.AGAIN.OMG), and I wasn’t in any shape to do anything, so a few photos were taken on the same day or many over a few days to catch up. Some are also out of sequence.

In the meantime, I decided I need to write something serious. I’m not quite back to my snarky self yet, she’s coming, I’m sure, but since I do go just about everywhere in this blog, I figured my next rant will fit right in. My rant is about the state of the world right now. About terrorism and refugees. It’s about the privilege of being a detached and indifferent American. Privilege comes in many forms. In the United States, especially. And there is an additional privilege that I think (and this is my own conjecture alone) is part of the reason why Americans are so quick to jump into war.

You see, the USA has enjoyed a charmed existence compared to Europe and other parts of the world; at least when it comes to war. That doesn’t mean I’m in any way diminishing the losses from either world wars, the Korean war, Vietnam etc. What I mean is that the USA has frequently found itself sending its sons and daughters overseas to fight on foreign soil, but with the exception of Pearl Harbour, the USA has seen little to no really intense war action on its own soil -- since the civil war.

Why this is relevant is because, for example, in Europe, especially the UK, France etc, there is a very fresh, short memory of the last war that ravaged the countryside. World War I and World War II were devastating. Landmarks decimated, millions killed and injured, cities bombarded continuously. The US arrived late into both of these fracases, and they sustained comparably fewer losses than most of the world-war countries. It took the direct engagement of American interests to even get them fully involved.

But war is profitable, and the US has since been at war almost continuously ever since; but American civilians have never experienced a blitz in their back yards. They aren’t still digging up live ordnance from the soil. They don’t have graveyards upon graveyards laid out like a quilt of nations, filled with the bodies of the dead taken down in their towns and villages.

The atrocities of war are a real thing for most of Europe still, and for many countries, they are a thing people are living with every day. And it’s our privilege as Americans to dismiss this because we don’t have any recent experience that can help us empathize and relate to what other people might be enduring. We have become a nation of insensitive fools because of it.’

9/11 only took 3000 lives, and yet it hit such a raw nerve, the country went into a collective state of shock, and turned to fear and xenophobia instead of defiance; as the countries who understand conflict directly do. We sent out our sons and daughters to fight on our behalf on the soil of countries not even related to the acts performed on that day, but somehow it soothed our collective fears to know someone was dying for what happened to us.

Imagine, if you will, how the US would react if it was pummeled like France or Britain in WWII. Imagine what real conflict would be like. Most Americans cannot. Their lawns remained meticulously pruned and their daily lives were largely unaffected by the succession of wars since the Civil War. The loss of their sons was a sufficient price to pay for this peace; while their children wreaked havoc on foreign soil on behalf of our government. We are attacked and we send a couple of massive thermo-nuclear devices and watch it from afar. We have grown arrogant and cocky because of this. We believe ourselves untouchable; while realizing deep down that we aren't, and feeling the fear of that bubbling up.

The Syrian refugees are fleeing violence that most American people cannot even begin to relate to. They don’t want to. They’ve never had their homes mortared. Their grandparents haven’t sat with them to recount how their homes were taken over by invading forces, and how certain people were taken away for their beliefs and killed in massive death camps. Americans were rationing stockings. That was the hardship the home-front suffered—while the eastern hemisphere literally burned.

So privilege it is. Even if we lost sons for the sense of near arrogance; the lack of humility and the zest for confrontation, as long as it’s not on American soil.

The attacks in Paris only made France more defiant. There is an element of fear, don’t get me wrong, but the predominant response in the country is FUCK YOU TERRORISTS you are not going to change our way of life. In the US, the mere whisper of terrorism means shouts to close borders and to turn away refugees; it means brown people being persecuted for being brown, and people buying more guns and bigger cars. The privilege of fear.

It’s upsetting to me how the USA has turned from a country of greatness and goodness to one of fear and paranoia. I can see where it happened, and where it continues to happen, and as long as we foster this culture of fear, we have allowed the terrorists (note how 'terror’ is part of this word)  to achieve their ends. A small faction of extremists, having such a powerful effect that it stuns an entire nation into fear… crazy isn’t it?  Americans merely wash the muslims with a sweeping generalized term of terrorists, and imagine millions of brown skinned people hoping to destroy the west—instead of even opening their ears to the fact that ISIS is about the same threat as the next five or six mass shooters that have attempted to enact their own terror in this country, but somehow not instilled that same level of fear.

Here is what’s true: You are more likely to be shot by a police officer than you are being harmed by a muslim extremist.  You are WAY more likely to be shot by your OWN gun in your OWN home (or someone in your household) than you are being harmed by a muslim extremist. That is just the truth. And fearing the Syrian refugees… well, that’s like fearing meteors falling on your head. With the intensive vetting process, no self-respecting extremist would bother. It’s easier to just hop on a plane and come as a tourist. And heck, it’s easy enough for them to get a gun here, so there you go.

You can crow until the cows come home about your security but you don’t know what being in danger is. Not compared to the Syrians. Even the French can claim the privilege of far better security than that of the truly afflicted nations like Syria and Lebanon.

And finally, a salient point here... We built this. As much as many Americans like to avoid responsibility for the consequences of our global actions, we have to face it; as a nation we have a duty to start fixing the disasters our policies and war mongering have caused. And if that means finding ways to support the hundreds of thousands of people fleeing their war-torn homes, then that is what we should do. If we risk a terrorist event in our country doing it, then so be it. Honestly, it’s not like we don’t already have our own home-grown terrorists who do much greater damage. Between the mass shootings and the church burnings and all the other crap going on, why are we focusing on ISIS? Is it that we fear that they will bring war to our back yards? Imagine that.

This is my next set of 365s for you. Enjoy.





305/365 - I got this cat in 1984 for my birthday.
He's one of the few things I have from my
childhood. Alex is giving this old dude
a run for his money.

306/365 - I took this pic with my husband's phone. It's Halloween.









315/365 - Happy third birthday baby boy,






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