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the love song of j. aimee prufrocke
31 December 2011 @ 11:21 pm

it’s been a year.

my years tend to clatter to an exhausted finish, unruly and bristling with loose ends. my prayer for the next one usually goes something like, “God, please let this year be better.” but for once, at the end of a year, the feeling of utter exhaustion is missing. parts of this year were hell, and parts of it were glory, which is the usual mix, really, each so intense in its part that taking stock of a year overall can be difficult: but I feel strangely and newly happy in my skin right now. I don’t know what it is — the confidence boost of having managed to get a job even if it only lasted a few months, the ways I’ve learnt in the last year to better cope with and understand my mental illness, the ways I’ve become more confident and more fully and widely myself. I feel like I’m in a better place than I used to be. (ridiculously, I think writing Marwick has a fair amount to do with this — I’ve always struggled with actually writing the stories in my head, and suddenly this entire trilogy, with a plotted first book and fairly clear arc for the second two, topples headlong into my lap and I’m still so ridiculously in love with it and getting to play with tropes I love and address things I’ve always wanted to address and write the kinds of characters I’ve always wished someone would write, and I feel like I’m doing something, maybe I’m turning into a Real Writer instead of a daydreamy girl with a lot of good ideas. I am creating something, and it’s a big something, and it’s a something I’m proud of. I can hang my hat on that, at least.) I have brilliant, beautiful people around me to love and, astonishingly, be loved by, and I know how to scrape bits of marvel out of the world if I have to.

so here’s to the old year — the year I cut off my hair, learned how to drink, composed a trilogy, travelled by bus and train and aeroplane to Philadelphia and Alaska and back again without accidentally dying, survived three months without medication, read a lot of good books and saw a lot of good films and had my heart broken by a lot of mostly good television, had a few picnics, was part of an impromptu band, recorded an EP, worked hard at a job, became closer to so many dear people, came another step closer to understand how I work, wore a lot of hats, explored an abandoned barracks, danced a few times, made some stuff I feel good about.

maybe 2012 will finally be the year I get it together. for once, this seems like more than a worn-out unlikely hope. goodnight, trouble.

♥: hopefulhopeful
♫: "i'm gonna deal with you someday", linford detweiler
the love song of j. aimee prufrocke
  • Woke up slowly, poured a mug of coffee, internetted to Laura Gibson.
  • Donned favourite dress, which of course is the plain, strangely flattering dress of unknown vintage I snagged for twenty-nine cents at Goodwill last autumn, and suits me in both my weird gothy moods and my wild woodsy ones. I like it even more with a crocheted skirt underneath it fluttering like a petticoat.
  • Went to the coffeeshop for lunch and HARDCORE NANOWRIMO TIME. (Hey, if you've noticed the lack of updates? My words have had other places they have needed to go.) Wrote about six hundred words, very slowly and painstakingly, in between bites of bacon, egg, and cheese sandwich, and told Tumblr about it a lot because that is productive, yeah? Chair-danced to Florence + the Machine a bit (...a lot), and doesn't lip-synching count as writing? Pre-writing? IT COUNTS FOR SOMETHING, DAMMIT. (I'm very glad they know me at the coffeeshop, because what with the grooving and the silly beaming I am sure I looked a right lunatic.) Caro wore Naomi's beret, Lottie and Kat talked about magic and stole food off each other's plates, and Mal's existence just kind of lurked in the background of Lottie's thoughts the whole time, because he does that.
  • Then attempted to make italics, hit something weird when trying to do ctrl+i, and somehow lost my document and about a thousand words I'd written a) just then b) last night. THIS IS NOT A THING THAT HAS EVER HAPPENED TO ME BEFORE IN ANY CAPACITY. EVER. I HAVE BEEN WRITING ON A COMPUTER FOR, WHAT, TEN YEARS? TWELVE YEARS. I HAVE NEVER LOST ANYTHING BEFORE. So was actually too shocked to even be properly upset about it, just sort of stared at the screen for a while waiting for the words to come back and trying to remember exactly what I had been writing, especially last night. Fortunately very little of what I'd written was anything I was especially proud of -- ohhhhh are my NaNo drafts ever a tangle of awful and bad my poor lovely stories stained with such ghastly prose and me trying to make sense of my own ideas -- but I was just about to get to a part I was excited about writing that would finally kickstart the story proper into motion. BAH. Finally forced myself into action with the help of a salted caramel latte (OMGNOMNOM) and, forbidding myself from CHECKING ALL OF THE INTERNET EVERY TWO MINUTES, made back my wordcount in a race against my dying battery and my willpower.
  • After hunching over a coffeeshop table, albeit a lovely one by the large front windows, for several hours, I decided that being inside was a terrible idea -- especially considering that the temperature magically rocketed up to seventy degrees at some point today. I had on a jacket (a long dark red one that Sarah once dubbed my Drusilla coat), and got hot in it; it was madness. Good madness. Walked to the grocery store for some NaNo reward incentive chocolate (Christmas candies are in, which means CANDY CANE KISSES, NECTAR TO MY SOUL), sun in my eyes, belting Florence + the Machine, as one does. YOU WANT A REVELATION! YOU WANT TO GET RIGHT! BUT IT'S A CONVERSATION! I JUST CAN'T HAVE TONIGHT! (My situation over this song is a bad one, let me tell you.)
  • Stopped at home to change into more practical shoes, as I... kind of put on my red velvet heels to go to the coffeeshop, because why not, but my feet were not really enthusiastic about this plan anymore after walking to the grocery store and back. Brown brogues still shy away from the strictly prosaic and also flat.
  • Anyway, betook myself and my sensibler shoes to the park with my notebook and my favourite pen for REALLY SUPER HARDCORE NANOWRIMO TIME. First, though: the swings. Look, I accidentally invented Marwick on the swings at this park. It was only fitting.(I thought I might have some kind of mad perfect revelation about the whole plot, but alas. It was still nice, though -- warm air laced with just an edge of November wind, one great tree behind the swingset still lit up warm orange and brown, the sharp heavy golden light of late afternoon illuminating everything, making the world cinematic and lovely. And I daresay my flying skirts and stockings and old-fashioned shoes were a bit picturesque.
  • Situated myself under the ancient willow tree where Sarah and I once failed to summon Apollo -- it overlooks the pond, and, as it turned out, the sunset (I have no sense of direction; I wouldn't know beforehand!). Sun through danging willow branches: magic. And it's a bit startling how much one can write when one has removed most of the potential serious distractions! Also like magic! Handwrote five pages, in which the common room is very interesting and aesthetically self-indulgent and Lottie gets angry and sets things on fire with her mind -- not yet sure how many words that is, but actually liked most of said words, for once. Stopped writing because it was getting too dark to write. Was going to go home (after gleefully scaring a flock of ducks back into the water, because who doesn't love that (not counting the ducks)), but the swings were calling me, and there was such a moon -- there has been such a moon, these last few nights, so high and bright I had a bit of trouble sleeping last night and kept thinking the hallway light was on. The moon and one beacon-bright star and the swings and the tree and the gloaming chill and fluttering skirts and me maybe singing Flo and Mumford & Sons and the Civil Wars because MARWICK FEELINGS and remembering the afternoon in June I sat on this same swing and accidentally dreamt up something out of my absurd Hex feelings that had to do with demons' marks and a savvy heroine and how I said "naaah, self, that is a terrible idea, that is very silly, and you cannot just watch terrible television shows with unfairly attractive antagonists and then WRITE NOVELS THAT GINGERLY RESEMBLE IT IN SPECIFIC POINTS" and wow summer self you were painfully naive right there weren't you o sweet summer child you didn't believe those who came before you and warned you what Hex had the power to do to people. (Evil parasitic show that infects you with YA novels. Better than demon babies I suppose. Though terrible show has yet to make me ginger tea or give me kisses on the forehead so I feel mildly thwarted.)
  • Home now, relaxing a little before I type up what I wrote under the willow tree, waiting for dinner, and holding the promise of chocolates over my own head in case I find I still have a lot more words to write. (Today and tomorrow, am off work and thus must write like the wind as I work all day Thursday.) (Tomorrow may involve writing in the graveyard. I have been writing about a graveyard so it is THEMATICALLY APPROPRIATE.) (SCHOOLS WITH THEIR OWN GRAVEYARDS ARE A LITTLE SUSPICIOUS.)
♥: accomplishedaccomplished
♫: "awake my soul", mumford & sons
the love song of j. aimee prufrocke
30 October 2011 @ 12:11 am
  • woke a little early, couldn't go back to sleep, so pulled laptop into bed and internetted under the covers. also there was snow?! it was a little storybookish really.
  • could barely swallow my banana and only just managed to down a cup of coffee -- the nausea's been coming and going all day; I think I'm finally fine and then fifteen minutes later WHOA VERTIGO. but thanks to OCEANS OF CAFFEINE and possibly my brain wires beginning to reconnect in important places was creepily cheerful at work. in fact, felt rather more like proper self than I have in some weeks -- talking companionably to the vegetables (much easier than co-workers) and not being too tired to sing the songs stuck in my head. also I had STORYFEELINGS about something -- I remember having to bite back my wild absurd grin over it -- but now I can't remember the details; this will bother me. (COME BACK. PLEASE COME BACK.)
  • got off shift the first at two, came home, immediately flung on jeans and stripey blouse and cosy red sweater; hurtled to library in tall boots and a bowler. the snow was very cosy -- I keep waffling on whether I feel grown-upedly bleak about it (SO INCONVENIENT AND WET) or childishly delighted, because snow is so beautiful and there's something close and warm about the way the world is when it's snowing. at least until after the first week of January, when cold wet nonsense from the sky ceases to be anything but an abomination.
  • also the masquerade mask I impulse-ordered (well... it was a long-brewing impulse) was in the mail basket for me this afternoon. O DELIGHT. it is gorgeous. also a wee bit sparkly!
  • danced to Glen Miller with my baby sister. :)
  • scrambled to second shift. was, again, weirdly cheerful for me-at-work. was I still counting down the hours from the moment I clocked in? yes. was every second a shackle around my soul? not as much. (still want to quit and DYE MY HAIR TURQUOISE, though. it's just... been less awful today. I feel terrible that I feel so terrible at work, though! it's not a bad job! my co-workers are no better or worse than the average jumble of normal humans! I just... do not belong there?)
  • also got off forty-five minutes early. WHOO. detoured to buy a bottle of wine and still got home far and away before I would have even left normally. (I LOVE BEING ABLE TO BUY WINE. CAN WE TALK ABOUT HOW MUCH I LOVE BEING ABLE TO BUY WINE? both legally and monetarily. also have now been carded... twice? maybe three times? out of the rather-more-times-than-that I have bought alcohol. this intrigues me. do I exude ~responsibility~? I'm often mistaken for older than I am, but I do not look out-of-carding-range age. I mean, they carded Dad at the Irish Festival, and he's past fifty and has a greying beard. maybe they thought it was a disguise.)
  • had wine and toast and telly in bed. am cosy. strangely good day, by the reckonings of such things.
♥: goodgood
♫: "hardest of hearts", florence + the machine
the love song of j. aimee prufrocke
O internet! Work has been eating me alive. I am not in the jauntiest of moods tonight, but I have wine, so that's nice.

Run-down of the latest events!:
  • Came home from work Tuesday to a phone call from the free clinic: "oh the doctor you were going to talk to cancelled for today, no appointment for you". Hung up phone. Burst into tears. While I was upstairs falling apart my infinitely more pragmatic mother called them back and told them about my medication situation and wrangled out a deal for me: if I showed up at 5:45 and waited, I might be able to talk to a nurse who might be able to get me medication. Now. And, miracle of miracles, it worked. I am now back on Zoloft. It... well, we'll talk about that in a minute. It's only been two days, and the first days are... not indicators of goodness, whatever comes after.
  • Irksomely, the nurse also wants me to a) get a blood test (she wanted me to get it done this week, but HA HA HA, NOT LOOKING LIKELY, SORRY frak you, job), and because my heartbeat was slightly irregular the first time she listened to it she wants me to wear a halter monitor thing that I have to go to the hospital to get fitted for on Tuesday and then wear for twenty-four hours and then go back, to the hospital to get removed and I am not freaking out about the possibility of SOMETHING BEING WRONG WITH MY HEART AUGH very much because WHAT DO YOU EXPECT WHEN YOU LISTEN TO THE HEARTBEAT OF SOMEONE BATTLING PHYSICAL ANXIETY ON A REGULAR BASIS also when people ask me to breathe I totally forget how I normally breathe and it's awkward but I am really freaked out because, hi, stress, scheduling, my job is about to strangle me to death and now on my day off they want me to go to the hospital? Also I have a meeting with the proper doctor that day and it is the first day of NaNoWriMo and. Help.
  • Alllllso, first few days on medication = I feel like I have the flu and it's horrible and I have now worked three shifts while wanting very badly to lay down and die instead. Was in tears this morning because I could barely get out of bed but I just called in sick last Saturday and calling in sick is complicated and I'm not contagious and I hate my job.
  • Am working all day tomorrow, closing Sunday (long shift, lots of mopping, THE WORST), and working all day Halloween, because everything is GREAT these days, whee.
  • Had day off Wednesday, at least, during which I was a) sick and panicky from medication, b) too physically and emotionally exhausted to do more than lie in bed and read. I baked? I wanted to go to the park or the graveyard but I didn't want to put effort into anything. On the other hand, lying in bed with books was vastly theraputic, even if I was having to calm my heartbeat constantly. Made a lot of tea, et cetera.
  • I just... I keep trying to face every day as it comes but there are so many of them piling up and no window for me to look forward to -- oh, once I get past this hard bit, I have this waiting for me. Because I've mostly spent days off recovering. And then I have to go back to work. And all week I have been either limping or profoundly sick and disoriented but because I am stupidly terrified of disappointing people I just keep working and even when I'm very clear about how awful I feel nobody says "you look like death, maybe you should go home".
  • Dear places to which I have applied: please start calling back before I go mad. (I did a personality survey at one place on Wednesday and haven't heard back yet. I hate those things and am simply sure all of my answers were the worst possible ones aside from "do you like to steal stuff" (no) and "do you enjoy committing crimes" (rarely). So. Want me. Please.)
  • I just want someone to come and make it stop. :(
  • I am really sick of crying and I would get angry instead except anger takes energy.
  • Good things: it was coffeeshop night and my voice was in unexpectedly fine form and Dad, who is usually busy being on call for the crisis hotline on Friday nights, came to see me play, and that was a bit lovely.
♥: exhaustedweary
♫: "amaranth", the weather station
the love song of j. aimee prufrocke
22 October 2011 @ 11:45 pm
Today was... drastically unplanned. Actually, that is the story of the last two days, really, I think -- last night I had to choose (with a gross amount of emotion that I hope I can ascribe to spiritual exhaustion + lack of meds) between going to a mall in another town with my mother and sister, going to my weekly coffeeshop open mic night, or taking the only chance I had to see the community theatre's production of Into the Woods (Hannah was in it and I promised to go!; also, I heart our community theatre). I chose the theatre and I am pretty glad I did, especially as it meant I didn't have to socialise very much -- I am so worn out from work that people are making my skin crawl most of the time. Not their fault! I am just... not good at dealing with them right now. Also plays are always lovely (well, I mean, in theory; there are many bad plays in the world; and o! how I long to be in a proper city where I can go see proper plays instead of watching people talk about them and being sad that I can't join in their enjoyment! the idea that one can reinterpret the same story over and over and over THRILLS ME TO THE BONES, okay; I want to see multiple versions of plays and see what the actors can make me think about the characters THAT IS ENDLESSLY DELICIOUS TO ME). Also also I got to dress up -- fab twenty-nine cent black dress with handkerchief hem I'd never had a chance to wear, my favourite black bodice, little fur collar, ribbed stockings, glorious velvet and ribbon red heels, houndstooth cape, Halloween-store clearance bowler nobody knew wasn't proper. I miss heels.

Ended up bicycling madly through the rain after buying my ticket in fancy dress, heels, bowler, and cape, because I wanted to get Hannah a muffin. (It was her birthday the other day and nearly the end of her show, and I can't afford roses! Anyway muffins are better.) This was unplanned and I found it completely hilarious after the fact, because: of course that happened. OF COURSE. Anyway, exchanged muffin for hugs and good conversation while kicking our legs on the edge of the stage. Huzzah!

Came home, sat about in finery with candles burning and a glass of wine, felt delightfully ridiculous.

(Also before that and directly after work I went to the mall and picked up a lot of job applications. And socks, the bowler, and earrings. So.)


Then! woke up this morning to find that… I couldn’t walk. Uh. Last night I remember my left foot felt a little strained, but I didn’t think much of it. Woke up, tried to get out of bed, muscle in foot so strained I couldn't put weight on it. Could sort of lurch about the house with a great deal of shouting and grunting, if I am stubborn about it (and we know I am). Called in sick to work after trying to make my foot better for half an hour, only to discover that I cannot just call in sick. I have to call everybody else who works at the Garden Bar and get one of them to take my shift(s), and it was kind of horrible. (This seems like a terrible policy. What if I were rushed to the hospital this morning? The only other time I’ve ever called in sick to work — three years ago — was when I felt ill, tried to get up and get dressed for work anyway, and blacked out and woke on the other side of the room covered in bruises. So. Being sick is not always conducive to making multiple phone calls!)

Only two other people work the Garden Bar, and one of them couldn’t take my shifts. (I was meant to have two today.) The other said he could, but then the manager told me he was already scheduled to work something else this evening, so I needed to wrangle it out with a different manager. (I DON’T SEE WHAT I CAN DO HERE FROM MY POSITION OF BEING UNABLE TO WALK, GUYS.) Basically: it was stressful and horrible and I almost wanted to throw up from stress and guilt. (Was informed by parents I didn't need to feel guilty, which is true; it's not my fault I can't work, and I'd be no use to them lurching about spilling salad everywhere and yelping. But guilt is always my default reaction and I had to inconvenience a lot of people!)

Also to make up to the fellow who’s filling in for me I am taking his evening shift on Monday. Which was my day off. It’s fair, and I know it’s fair, but it still hurts a little. (It’s my… least least favourite shift, and today is now a day off, so I still get one -- but still. I wanted to go to the graveyard and read, or something -- and o, how necessary was today's accidental holiday, I know, and I'm kind of looking up at God going, this is the wackiest and awkward-angledest blessing in disguise I've had in a while but THANK YOU, I AM VERY GRATEFUL, but not having Monday any more is a bit of a blow, stupid as it sounds. (It's only a three hour shift! BUT I DON'T KNOW WHEN I GET A DAY OFF AGAIN YET.)

Anyway, swallowed guilt and bad feeling HARD, painted nails a glorious dark green, and swathed myself in my favourite over-sized knit sweater (bulky sweaters do not usually flatter curvy girls like me in that shabby chic sort of way but THIS ONE IS MAGIC and makes me feel like an English country gentleman who sometimes likes to shoot things), and then was helped along in the EXORCISE FEELINGS OF PANIC motion by Dad initiating a beer tasting of very many autumnal beers (three Octoberfests, two pumpkin ales) whilst watching a concert of one of his favourite bands back in the seventies (Gentle Giant; delightfully eclectic English probably-categorised-as-rock with occasional cello and violin and vibraphone and influences ranging from ancient tradfolk and classical/baroque to reggae and punk; also adorable burly v. English working class lead singer with a mass of curls and a lovely beard and a very earnest voice). Have otherwise spent much of day curled up with book -- HAVE ALMOST FORGOT HOW TO READ OF LATE -- with a hasty rush to the library before it closed (in car; could limp through library but not three blocks to it), where none of my loans had come in but two books on my to-read list turned up in the new arrivals list and were so newly arrived they weren't shelved yet so are on reserve for me when they're ready. (Our YA section is the only bit of the library that's really thriving. As this is my section of most feeling, I am glad about this, but sometimes I wish we could direct  little more attention to the adult fantasy section, which is really dreary and mostly painfully basic pulp by white men, BLAH. Also as much as I love high fantasy I'm very picky about it and we have almost nothing else on the shelves. There's so much going on in fantasy right now, library! GET ON IT. Anyway we are getting a startling amount of excellent and sometimes obscure-ish YA -- along with the usual fury-making rot -- so I have that to be grateful and pleased about.)

Tomorrow I've got to work my almost-least favourite shift -- closing is bad, and one of the reasons I most want to quit, but at least it is Sunday, when we close at ten and I get out at elevenish, and not Saturday, when we close at midnight and I get out at one am. Also work twice the amount of hours as usual in a single shift, without a break. Humbug. At least picked-up shift on Monday does not start till five in the evening. And I finally get to see a doctor on Tuesday; must somehow keep my brain on straight till then. (HA HA not trying to be defeatist but am not optimistic about tomorrow night. Have not had a single closing shift yet that did not end with me sobbing hysterically with stress the minute I got away from my co-workers, despite telling myself every time that I have done this before and it has to get easier at some point. (Spoiler: NOT YET, APPARENTLY). Ugh. Will plead with Dad to save me an Octoberfest.)

Foot is feeling moderately better fourteen hours later; shall probably still be limping tomorrow but can walk, I hope. Also spent some quality desk-dancing time with Florence + the Machine, who has graciously condescended to make an album that is secretly all about my Marwick Trilogy; how dear of her. (Mostly about. Have discovered "No Light, No Light" is a) giving me Mal/Lottie feelings, b) WILL MAKE ME THRASH AROUND BECAUSE IT IS SUCH A DELIGHTFULLY LOUD SHOUTY SONG, and also there is "Seven Devils" which O PERFECTION IN EVERY WAY COULD YOU CATER TO ME MORE BLATANTLY, and "Shake It Out" -- the videoooo; I had such a SITUATION over it STOP PRYING INTO MY STORYBRAIN, FLO except don't. And the songs that aren't about have such perfectly attuned aesthetic that they can stay anyway. How do I love the epic choral vibe of this album, let me count the ways!)

Should go to bed. By which I mean "read or fill out a job application". Goodnight, loveliests!
♥: tiredtired
♫: "no light, no light", florence + the machine
the love song of j. aimee prufrocke
21 October 2011 @ 10:34 am
I am quitting my job.

This isn't healthy and while I need to work, it shouldn't be like this.

I won't give my notice until I have a new prospect lined up, but directly after work today I am going across the street to the mall and looking. (Things I am looking for: probably retail; smaller; ability to sit down occasionally; ability to work alone; no dishes; minimal mopping; closes at nine or ten and never, ever midnight.)

So there's that.
♥: relievedrelieved
♫: "knots", lisa hannigan
the love song of j. aimee prufrocke
Wow. Um. Today was worse than expected.

Last night: came home, was tired, especially as the winds were out in full force battering my poor bicycle back down the road -- o, how I love the howling of the wind! O HOW I DO NOT LOVE IT ANYMORE WHEN I AM TRYING TO BICYCLE HOME STRAIGHT INTO IT. The first time it happened was also the time I'd forgotten my iPod, so I was struggling along a dark street with nothing to distract me from cold and pain, and I pretended I was in a ballad and the wind was some force trying to turn me home and there was a very nice refrain I have now forgotten, but this method only works so many times, especially when you are already ~heart-weary and soul-withered~1 and just want to go home. Anyway, last night I bought a bottle of wine on the way home and ended my night by lighting up a new set of crimson candles in my candelabra and dancing around the room with my wineglass to Florence + the Machine, which was good! Quite! And then I woke in the morning very unready to be on my bicycle by nine thirty and very hazy in the brain even after coffee (this has become a running theme: not sleepy, but I still can't think straight) and I ended up toppling back onto the bed and crying briefly because that was how much I did not want to go to work? Not a good start. About an hour into my work day, I knocked a large stack of plastic containers directly onto my own skull (is this better or worse than cutting myself on the fridge yesterday, I wonder?) and was in much pain and very dizzy for a minute and that shock undid a very careful self-composure knot I'd been clenching together all morning and the first moment I could I fled into the bathroom and sobbed.

No, first there was a person in the bathroom with whom I had to exchange polite small talk! Then she left and I sat down heavily on a toilet and my whole body crumpled and it was very, very bad. (Never have I so potently physically felt a mask go on and come off.) (And then I thought of the bit in War for the Oaks when Eddi says she always cries when she's frustrated and then I started sobbing anew -- I haven't even got any phoukas to hold my hand.) Felt terrible and sore all day, got off work, could barely talk or react as Mum drove me home; fell back into bed coat and shoes and all and started crying again. I've cried more in the last two weeks than I have all year. Which is the upsettingest thing in all of this, and perhaps the most telling of my emotional state: I am not, by nature, especially weepy. Mostly I cry during large, shouty arguments, and occasionally at two in the morning when I hate myself and my brain won't let me be. I yell when I get hurt, and make a lot of snarling noises until the pain dulls, but I don't shed any more tears than the requisite eyes-sting-when-body-is-in-pain-and-thus-moisture ones.

Spent entire break in a state of exhausted numbness (after the infernal weeping subsided), managed somehow to go across the street and get my paycheck deposited, was hungry but couldn't expend the energy to eat anything besides stale baguette and some caramels that were lying about. Second shift was... less hellish, by a long road, though perhaps due to the mercy of it being an hour shorter. Do wish that the Kitchen Manager would stop asking me if I am okay, though, because a) he nearly only ever seems to do it when I'm fine (for a given value of fine) and then I start freaking out about what I may have been projecting, b) I don't really know how much is politic to tell him, especially as c) the few times I've hinted at being stressed/overwhelmed with my job, he's blown me off, all "pssh, it's not that bad! you worked, what, seven hours? what could be stressful about the garden bar?" Yes, let's add to my shame and embarrassment about not being able to handle far less work than most of my co-workers are doing, shall we? That's bound to make me perk right up!

(Also I have lost a small amount of respect for him as a) he hates his wife and makes sure we all know it, b) he watches Jersey Shore at length and on purpose. He is easy-going and easy to ask for help so at first I really liked him but being around him is starting to make me feel really off-kilter. And weird.)

Anyway, got through evening shift without doing anything drastic. I count shifts I do not come out of in tears as good! Which... frightens me a little. O heavens I want a job where I can sit at a desk and do something useful and interesting and when it's hard it still feels good afterwards, like my body after a really long and strenuous bicycle trip -- I wish I hadn't had to do it and it wasn't especially fun while it lasted but I feel better for it, not beaten down. (The SATs, surprisingly, were like that! My brain felt SO GREAT when I was finished; it was better than drugs. Or... so I imagine.) And where I can dye my hair unnatural colours and wear my own clothes, even if there's a dress code (I could rock businesswear if I had to; that would be an entertaining challenge).

The more other jobs I work, the more I know that I need to spend the rest of my life being a librarian. Which, unfortunately, requires a specific degree. (Our library is so small I couldn't even get unpaid work as a page there. I don't... think the staff has even changed since I moved here.) (Ugh I would be so good in a library or a bookstore. If I had to manage the YA section of a library or bookstore I WOULD ROCK MY BOSS' SOCKS OFF. I'd be fab at maintaining a collection and finding new books to order, and helping people find specific types of books and/or recommending books to people, and even brainstorming about potential events or contests! WHY AM I WORKING IN A RESTAURANT AND CRYING ALL THE TIME. WHY DO WE ONLY HAVE ONE BOOKSTORE NOW AND IT ONLY SELLS LOCALLY DONATED USED BOOKS AND IS RUN BY ONE CURMUDGEON AND HIS WIFE WHO DON'T EVEN NEED ANY HELPERS.)

At least Dad and I are having a beer tasting tonight. And I don't have to be at work until eleven tomorrow. But still -- possibly the worst of it is that I don't have a respite in sight. I can't tell myself, just get through this week, this fortnight, and you'll be okay,. Because the next week will be just like it. (I will have had THREE DOUBLE SHIFTS ere this week is over.) I can hardly catch my breath, and a day off is mostly -- well, that's mostly all it is. And everyone around me expects/wants me to be fine, and I can't be, and I'm ashamed and heartsick over it, and I don't know what I am going to do if this keeps going on, and on, and on.

1 I have taken to quoting Rochester's melodramatic speeches to myself when I am feeling dire but not so dire I haven't lost my ability to laugh at myself or make my circumstances silly by slight removal. Unfortunately this is getting rather more difficult.
♥: depressedawful
♫: "shake it out", florence + the machine
the love song of j. aimee prufrocke
I mean, I've nearly always known: Jo's brain does not work like the standard brain, for good or for ill (a heavy dose of both really). But I thought I had it mostly under control, and I thought it was mostly None Of My Interests Are Entirely Normal and I Am An Introvert And Need To Recharge and Sometimes My Brain Turns Inside-Out And Everything Is Bad But This Rarely Happens In Public So That's Okay.

At work -- well, first off, much has been made of the fact that I don't talk much. (I know, you all find that hilarious.) I don't have anything to say! I am talkative with people I like and am comfortable with, to the point of embarrassing myself sometimes, but my life is kind of weird and I don't really have any especial inclination to hand over bits of it for people to pick over and be confused by just because they happen to be working behind me. Also it is really hard for me to talk and work at the same time. I can kind of stir things and talk at the same time, but then I get confused and can't remember what to do next because following the conversation and saying the right things at the right time is taking up all of my brain energy. And everyone in the kitchen is super normal and also male and every time I have talked about something pertaining to me I have had to do a lot of explaining and it's just exhausting. (The only non-awkward conversation I've had thus far was about beer and wine we like.)

ALSO I COME TO WORK TO DO MY WORK AND NOT TO MAKE FRIENDS. I am friendly! I am cheerful! If a friendship develops I am not going to reject it! It is not something I am especially interested in at the moment nor do I really have the time or energy for it! Bah. Stop teasing me all the time for not talking enough when there are tons of other people to talk to in the kitchen and I am, as far as I know, getting my work done well and efficiently.

That's not the bit that's making me feel wildly, unfamiliarly non-neurotypical, however. I mean, yes, it's a little draining to realise that other people apparently make friends really easily and I... do not. (For me, friendships are committed relationships and I am extremely close to the people I count as my friends. There's a lot of effort and emotional intimacy involved, so I don't have room for everyone. In general I will probably like you and smile at you, but mutual cheerfulness does not equal friendship for me, and I can't make it be that way.) The thing is, since I started working I feel extra weird in the brain, extra stupid and naive, extra alien. Like... sometimes I am focused on my work and I don't even notice when people are near me or set down large objects on my workspace or take them away. Or people talk to me and my ears hear it vaguely but my brain doesn't even register that someone is directing speech me-wards. I get extra confused about social cues (HOW DO YOU SAY HI TO PEOPLE?!), and suddenly I... keep missing sarcasm.

No, seriously. People are sarcastic and I completely miss it.

I'm just as baffled as you are. I thought I was good at sarcasm! I have got into trouble because I will be sarcastic and melodramatic and people think I am genuinely complaining about something silly! I love sarcasm! Why am I suddenly unable to detect it in others? Is my brain energy just too worn out from existing with other people and concentrating on Getting Stuff Done that it doesn't have time to also interpret facial/vocal subtleties? Is it that off medication nothing works at all? I don't understand and I don't bloody like it.
♥: confusedconfused
♫: "ten men", david mallett
the love song of j. aimee prufrocke
19 October 2011 @ 10:44 am
  • Went to: family reunion (surprisingly fab in parts, partly because all of the weird members of the family hung out together at our campsite), the Dublin Irish Festival (Ohio, not Ireland, alas -- but much in the way of marvels though cut short by a rainstorm, and also I tripped on nothing and strained my knee for two weeks), and a cabin in West Virginia for a week (where I drank a lot of tea, had bad times with my brain, and stumbled into an antique store that also offered WINE TASTINGS and thus fell in love with pomegranate wine WHICH I CANNOT GET AT HOME BAH).
  • Lost Medical Assistance upon turning twenty-one and have been off depression medication for over two months now. It... has not been a picnic. (And my period, which has never really been much of a problem -- I get a little extra cranky but who wouldn't when you feel gross and have cramps and worry about ruining sheets and skirts -- has suddenly turned into WEEK EVERYTHING IS HELL.)
  • Went job-hunting so I could present proof of employment to the free clinic and get medication that way. Got a job at local ice cream parlour, yay! Oops, except they un-hired me before I ever even came into work. Thanks, guys. Got a job at Ruby Tuesday as a salad bar attendant. Started out a bit stressful, got better at it, but... job did not get better. Am suddenly facing the reality that I really, really don't like my job, it makes me feel claustrophobic and panicked, I don't want to be there, and I can't even offer any really concrete and convincing reasons why, except that apparently the restaurant business is NOT FOR ME. (I like cutting vegetables -- I mean, I don't look forward to it, but I can enjoy it when it's in front of me because whee, tactile, and KNIVES!, but there's nothing that really makes me want to come to work, I don't get to make anybody's day, and the three times I've ended up on a weekend closing shift I have come home crying hysterically half out of my mind from stress. Even though I can't point to any really good reason why I would be so stressed out, except that the closing shift is super long and often ends really late at night and it just keeps going on and on and I never know exactly when I get to go home.)
  • Am seriously considering praying about whether I should start looking for a different job, but... how do I know which jobs will be better? Can I even expect to find another job? (You have no idea how badly I miss working at Waldenbooks. I genuinely loved what I did, even if I hated the company and the upper management -- my manager was fine, if kind of unexpectedly passive-agressive sometimes, but BORDERS WAS EVIL AND THAT IS WHY THEY ARE DEAD NOW, okay. And now we don't even HAVE A REAL BOOKSTORE IN OR NEAR TOWN. Which, when I think about it, my head reels a little. Yikes.) Also I don't know what the Next Step is. I'm making money for... what, exactly, aside from books and wine and baguettes and a new laptop? Should I go back to the college hunt? I need to get my degree so I can be a librarian and make money doing something that makes me happy. But... that ended so discouragingly last time! I can't just ~move out~ without some kind of extra support -- like, if I had a friend who wanted to get a flat in Boston or even Pittsburgh, and I could share with them, but I don't think I could handle figuring out rent and stuff alone without panicking and ruining everything. (I could totally handle grocery shopping, cleaning my own house, living alone, et cetera... it's the Big Adult Responsibility part that I'm afraid to do without someone to have my back.)
  • In less dire news, accidentally gave birth to a YA paranormal boarding school trilogy (TRILOGY) (TRILOGY) (what is this help this has never happened before) (I KNOW HOW THE FIRST BOOK ENDS I KNOW EXACTLY HOW IT ENDS THIS IS KIND OF TERRIFYING BUT ALSO KIND OF GLORIOUS) (the second book is hazier but it has parallel magical dimensions and roadtrip shenanigans) (the third book is... really hazy, but I have time) thanks to a truly terrible television show and Michael Fassbender's stupid face. Yeah. It happens. (No, it does. I'm not the only one to whom this has happened.) My Tumblr has a tag for it. Anyway, NaNoWriMo will be fun this year. (If I can... manage NaNo mostly-good stress atop work stress? I really hope so. I crashed and burned last year and that made me sad, but that novel was not plotted out very well beforehand and I started off behind and I was off medication then, too, and so circumstances were against me.)
  • Do finally have an appointment to see a doctor at the free clinic in a week, so I can... eventually... get back on medication. I don't know how long it will take, though.
  • Work tonight, but only a three-hour shift, and get out before the stores close, and pick up paycheck today (I could have got it yesterday but: day off, and I really wanted to have one day where I'm not inside of the restaurant, especially as I only just consciously realised that I really, really do not like my job). So: stopping, it is to be hoped, on my way home to pick up red wine and base for my peroxide so I can bleach bits of my hair. (Can no longer dye hair unnatural colours. Sad. Open bathroom cupboard to see bottles of blue and purple and pink and get stupidly emotional about it. Bah.)
  • Am attempting to actually read flist! Have "only friends, no communities or icon/writing journals" filter on for now, but there's... a lot I've missed, so if there's anything I should really know, please tell me! I miss you lot! <3
♥: moodymoody
♫: "rest in the bed", laura marling
the love song of j. aimee prufrocke
27 August 2011 @ 01:16 am
hello livejournal.

it is the middle of the night and i am holidaying in west virginia and full of wine and stars.

it's okay, i am coming back to you soon.

i have been in a deeply deeply terrible headspace for some time (gueeeeess who lost insurance and therefore medication when she turned twenty-one? NO, YOU SHOULD GUESS; can get free clinic when I have a job; have acquired job but have not yet worked said job so that's a thing that is ongoing) and livejournal kind of means INTROSPECTION which is bad when introspection is the thing you least want to do in all of the world after the dishes and killing in cold blood.

and then stories build up and i get all guilt-complexy and then i realise i don't have as many stories as i thought i did and my life is in the same stagnant place it was when i was eighteen so. that. um.

anyway i will tell you all about my goings-on soon when it is not the middle of the night, and try to be a real blogger again because i miss you lot. and your lives. and intersecting. i will tell you about the duck, and the ya fantasy trilogy that has possessed me (and its dubious origins), and my new job (if i ever get to go to it), and well i cannot think of much else really because as i said everything is kind of upsettingly uneventful but i can make stuff up, because i am good at that.

(aaaaack my paid account needs renewing what is all this nonsense about ads get off my screen i am trying to type.)

anyway. hi. i'm definitely not dead.
♥: mellowmellow
♫: "i'll return as waterbird", petracovich
the love song of j. aimee prufrocke
20 June 2011 @ 01:59 pm
I'm off to... a family reunion. Yikes. It is suddenly hitting me that this is a fairly extensive reunion and a lot of people I have never met or haven't seen since I was a wee lassie are going to be there, probably telling me how much I've grown. (You think? Please pass the merlot.) Ach, well, it shouldn't be too tragic: I have six or seven books. Also, to my delight and amusement, I've just found out that we're camping on a lot with my aunt Amy (Dad's favourite sister) and Tom and Linda, Dad's cousin and her husband. Which is to say: all of the really weird geeky Robbinses will be segregated in one place. I find this arrangement very suitable.

Anyway, I do like most of my relatives, even if they are at times pathologically normal and tend to look at my area of the family a little funny (if rarely meanly). And I am not looking forward to coming up with exciting new variations on the So Why Is Jolene Not In College speech. (I'm trying to think of relatives that actually know about my depression, and aside from my aunt, I... can't? And it's just such an awkward thing to 'come out', especially in casual conversation. But if I say 'I've been sick' it'll lead to more questions.) Buuuut I should be able to diffuse every situation with my amazing charm, right? (...Um.) 

Whatever, there will be food and sunshine and a family talent show (?!?!), and I will get to see the relatives I do like rather considerably. We shall be back Wednesday evening, and all manner of things shall be well.

Though prayers would be welcome, as Tom and Linda are the (seriously awesome) relatives who once offered to let me live with them (in the Boston area) if ever I needed to, and with whom I hope to bring up the possibility again, since we'll be face-to-face and all. That's mildly terrifying. So. Yes. Prayers.

And adieu!
♥: busybusy
♫: "soon", over the rhine
the love song of j. aimee prufrocke
19 June 2011 @ 09:42 pm
I should talk about my birthday, yes? (Especially now when slightly tipsy on wine and far more tipsy on The Demon's Surrender. I am sure this is precisely the sort of mindset everybody wants to listen to me ramble in.) 

Let's see -- I rang in the hour of midnight taking cinnamon streusel muffins out of the oven, and both cats slept in my bedroom, and then I rather idiotically woke up at five in the morning because I am still seven years old, actually, and lay in bed for a really long time without actually falling asleep again, and seven o'clock seemed as good a time as any to get up and tear into the gigantic and tempting packages from barefoottomboy and trollywoodqueen that have been sitting in front of my dresser for a week (usually with a fluffy cat on top -- she's devastated now that they're gone). Oh, but I spent a merry hour opening those packages -- yes, really, at least forty-five minutes, because they were ridiculously large packages full of lots of dear things large and small. Molly has been teasing me excitedly about her package for over a month, actually. Anna had wrapped up twenty-one things in brown paper and tied them up with string and put little tags on them with symbols that I could look up in the table of contents she included and see little notes on each item, which especially helped me to linger over each thing as it deserved. And every single thing was lovely and thought-full, and made me feel incredibly loved and known in a way I don't often feel, or used not to feel, back in my lonely adolescence, and still sometimes forget I don't need to feel any more. Everything from beautiful jewellery (typewriter necklace with a wee sheet of paper!!) to perfume (verbena/vervain: VAMPIRE PROOF) to false moustaches and bottles of glitter -- because she understands about being a grown-up. (Also books! tea stickers! cake decorating bits! a tea t-shirt! yellow shoes! pens! marvels!)

Molly's package was also a delightful mixture of Very Grown Up (so many teas omg; all the books; pretty notebooks; mugs) and childish (TANGLED STICKERS). Also a beautiful quill pen which made me gasp when I saw it. Also a cameo mug that turns into a werewolf gentlemen when hot liquid is added. (She sent me a skeleton lady one back in October!) I just. I know the greatest people and I love them a lot. And as much as I love getting things, just in general, even more do I love getting immensely thoughtful things that remind me that people love me and are interested in me and think my interests and sillinesses and passions are nifty and important.

Then I had bacon (BACONNN) and fresh cinnamon streusel muffins and rose tea and Mumford & Sons for breakfast. It was extremely nice. I spent much of the rest of the afternoon revelling in my presents, revelling in the internet, briefly napping, and then made myself a really nice lunch -- bacon and cheddar on garlic bread, sugar snap peas, the mint chocolates my sister got me from the local family-run candy shop, and a glass of red wine -- and took it outside under the apple tree, along with a Linford Detweiler album, Jane Eyre, and two purrasites, who were very intrigued by the bacon.

Here I am in post-lunch raptures.

Also Dad slipped home from work briefly to bring me a bottle of the amazing plum wine we had at the Dublin Irish Festival last year. I'm really more of a red wine girl, but this stuff is the greatest -- sweet and fruity and a little tingly without feeling sticky or cloying, and with a faint almondy aftertaste. It tastes like summer. It also makes me incredibly mellow and boneless -- unless I am at that moment engaged in media that makes me emotional I will probably just sprawl everywhere and bask like a cat. If I am reading Jane Eyre in the book closet, however, I will chortle to myself constantly and talk very loudly to the characters. Whoops. (Okay, I actually do that without the aid of wine. It just gets slightly worse.) Anyway it was extremely nice. Dad was at work mostly, but when he came home there was time enough between him working on a paper and me getting ready to go to the coffeeshop for me to OPEN PRESENTS -- lots of lovely little things from Mum, like owl earrings and paper mache earrings and Once on DVD and an owl-shaped ocarina, and a very large box of Nutty Bars from my brother, a mug and chocolates and a belt from my sister, and from Dad/both parents an iPod dock/clock radio -- exactly as I've longed for, not least because the clock radio I have been using was purchased for me when I was, um, maybe six. Fortunately it is a very basic radio -- black -- and doesn't look babyish, and mostly even works, but it is still Very Old. And I had no proper iPod speakers at all. This present is fun and practical! It will make dishes-doing slightly less of an agony!

It being Friday night, I went off to the coffeeshop for open mic night, as usual, because why would I miss out on my favourite thing on my birthday? I had a chocolate muffin and an Orange Crème Dream, and then Sarah showed up and sang to me in front of humans, the wretch, and also she does a cover of Over the Rhine's "All My Favourite People" that is perfectly heartrending. (It is also one of my personal anthems. So.) And I played stuff. It was mostly just us and some regulars, but hey, my voice is a mess from my cold and I sprained my forefinger a week ago. And music felt good. Hannah showed up a little later and after the musical extravaganza we trooped back to my house for a slightly late-planned Epic Sleepover, which led to going out to the grocery store at ten-thirty at night to buy sour cream and Reese's peanut butter cups wearing hats and false moustaches.

We made guacamole and curled up on my bed (it's very large) and watched Truly Madly Deeply, which is one of my favourite films in the entire world and heartbreakingly impossible to find. (I couldn't get a widescreen copy, but otherwise. MISSED YOU, CELLO-PLAYING ALAN RICKMAN GHOST AND JULIET STEVENSON AND HER FACE.) We also ate all of the things and discussed the impracticalities of marrying demons and how hilarious Norse mythology is, like that time Loki couldn't cook this one piece of meat and Odin was all HAHAHA. Among other things. Then we had tea (non-caffeinated) and went to sleep. At two in the morning. You know.

We woke to Hannah killing all of the flies viciously -- they eventually began to flee in her wake. She and my father must be kindred spirits.

I can't remember how we wiled away the rest of the afternoon, aside from lying in bed and talking blearily and laughing an awful lot, and eventually we went to buy bread and salami, because we had a picnic to attend. It was in the graveyard. I suggested picnicking in the graveyard a while back as a ridiculously fabulous way to spend a birthday that I could totally never do, and then a bunch of people were like "are you kidding? that would be the best thing; you should do it!", so I did. I was a little worried somebody might make us leave, but there was a gardener fifty feet away and he didn't even acknowledge us. (We were very respectful and cleaned up and everything.) Mum made my cake -- chocolate peppermint -- and we put all of our delicious things in a picnic basket and in Leandra's wagon and pulled it all the way up to the graveyard and found a nice shady spot by the grave of a Mr Harry Spencer, his wife Ollie, and their daughter Matilda, and spread out our blanket, and ate them. (Our lovely foodstuffs, not the dead Spencer family. Yuck. We did share some of our crumbs, and ate some of their wild strawberries.)

Here I am drinking wine from a wineskin. My face says Charles Xavier because we were playing our favourite game.

Here is the wagon full of picnickery.

Here are our gracious hosts.

Here are my shoes, which were very nice.

It was the very best picnic of all the picnics. And my cake had a sparkler on it it. Then, alas, it was time to part, but as we'd been hobnobbing for twenty-four hours by then it wasn't so bad. I was extremely exhausted, but in that rare, thorough, warm way that I love, when everything is good and quiet (so long as people leave you be). So! It was a good birthday. And hi, you, and you, and you: I love you lots. (That isn't the wine talking; I had that glass at least two hours ago. It's taken me some time to write this entry, see.)
♥: happyhappy
♫: "roll away your stone", mumford & sons
the love song of j. aimee prufrocke
swim naked in the ocean under the stars
watch a thunderstorm
find a strange, magical new place
explore an abandoned building
listen to street musicians
ride around and around on the subway going to no particular place
eat sushi
try several different kinds of wine
watch a real play in a real theatre
find a portal to a netherrealm
read an exquisite new book that transports me utterly
see the Northern Lights
dance with someone
explore a large bookstore
explore a city
explore wild, overgrown woods
explore catacombs
attend a rave in the Paris catacombs
with Mae Crawford?
see a symphony
ride a motorbike
go on a treasure hunt
be in Boston, Alaska, or Nova Scotia
acquire magical powers
dance around a bonfire
somehow solve all of the plotholes in my novels (it would be the best present ever)
ride a carousel
ride a wooden roller coaster
in a dress
go skydiving
or parachuting
see real proper stars unstained by city lights

mostly these things are, for various reasons, impossible or unlikely.

but a girl can dream.
♥: pensivewistful
♫: "hopeful hearts", sarah slean
the love song of j. aimee prufrocke
Here is a picture that aptly summarises my pre-weekend.

This is a legitimately candid photograph of my impression of Erik Lensherr, a.k.a. Magneto, reluctantly offering someone a tray of cupcakes. (My resemblance to Michael Fassbender is indeed astonshing.) I promise you that there was context for this.

P.S.: X-Men: First Class made me emotional. (But the tissue box was because of my cold, okay?)
♥: giddygiddy
♫: "the call", regina spektor
the love song of j. aimee prufrocke
The annual philosophical moanings notwithstanding (they'll come soon enough, I am sure; I am still getting used to time passing in the regular order, as when one is on holiday one's understanding of one's placement in time sort of stops), I am seeking ideas as to what to do.

For a birthday party I am considering having a picnic in the graveyard, although my parents will give me funny looks. But that can be done at any time, not necessarily on the day itself, and hey: I like celebration. Also I would like to do something with my family, or at least my father (I was born on Father's Day, so we often celebrate together). I live in a small town and am too picky to see a film for my birthday (90% of films I would otherwise love are just not Appropriately Perfect For Jo Day). I do drink (and will more frequently when it's properly legal, hooray), but am thoroughly uninterested in the bar scene and/or drunken partying and/or Stereotypical Ways To Spend One's Twenty-First Birthday. (I am going to make Dad get me plum wine for dinner, though. He bought some for a music festival we went to last summer and it was a delight unto my soul.) (Also later I will get absolutely smashed on Earl Grey. Don't tell me that's impossible, because I have done it.) I live only a couple of hours from Pittsburgh, though, so if we really wanted to do something special it isn't impossible that we could make the drive. Several years ago Dad and I drove out to visit the art museum for the day, so. Ideas?

p.s. also I wrote a thing and I am kind of excited about it/hoping to whip my subconscious into shape to write more of it. YOU SHOULD READ IT BECAUSE IT WOULD MAKE ME HAPPY.
♥: pensivepensive
♫: "city of refuge", abigail washburn
the love song of j. aimee prufrocke
Oh, Livejournal, I have been lax, and for that I am terrifically sorry! When I finally got home I was much too exhausted to tell all of my adventures, and everything keeps getting bigger and more detailed and I can never tell all of it, which is what usually happens, and why I forget to tell anything at all.

But first, since they're worth a thousand words:

Me and barefoottomboy.
Me and lady_moriel.
Basically: the month of May was a month of incandescent happiness. And tea. And video games. 

Man, I have so many pictures but I do not know what might be the best format in which to upload them en masse. I do have a few especially awesome ones on Tumblr under the tag trip photos. Not many of the abandoned barracks we explored, but... there are so many. Why yes, you did read correctly: Kyra and her friend Calli (who is awesome) and I explored an abandoned barracks a little ways out of Anchorage. Urban exploration has been a huge aspiration of Kyra's and mine for years (even when I was little, I used to be fascinated by "broken houses" -- my family still jokes about it), and she started researching my last week and found several explorable sites nearby. We also visited a very small half-sunken ghost town populated largely by mosquitos: I found a bird skull and nearly lost my favourite scarf. Then it was off to the abandoned barracks!

Here is me inside of a half-sunken house.


Here is a picture of me writing CTHULHU FHTAGN on the outside wall of the barracks.

Here is a picture of me twirling inside.

Basically, it was the greatest day ever. And then we made up a disturbing narrative about a man being tormented by cats who literally stole his literal heart on the way home and Calli bought me a surprise milkshake because she is awesome.

Also, if you recall, I wished really, really hard that I didn't have to go home yet, and as it turns out I am probably possessed of latent magical power because I kind of proceeded to miss my flight.


So: one more day in Alaska for me! Fortunately we got everything sorted pretty quickly -- I flew home at the same time on the same itinerary,, only twenty-four hours later, and negotiating the buses turned out to be utterly lacking in problems. (Regardless, I panicked to one degree or another until I actually got onto a bus. Then I was safe, barring demonic bus hijackers or something.) We spent most of my last afternoon watching Tangled, as one does, and then it was a drive to the airport singing loudly along to the radio: which magically played several good songs in a row, as a sort of goodbye present.

Saying goodbye was extremely upsetting. But it was probably unpleasanter for Kyra, who had to go home and back to everyday things, when at least I had the excitement of travel ahead of me. Um. Twenty-five straight hours of travel, so it's a good thing I like it as it got just a bit wearying by the end.. Two planes (actually, no, one plane -- but we still had to get off for an hour when we touched down in Seattle), two trains, two buses, and home -- that's all. There was a little girl about my sister's age just ahead of me in the line for security, and she was wearing a princess-themed dress that was basically a t-shirt sewn to a tutu (all a lovely shade of turquoise), and she was fiercely interested in everything.

Oh, and I totally got my first ever pat-down!!!!!! IT WAS EXCITING. Actually, no, it wasn't really terrible at all -- the woman doing it couldn't have been very much older than me, with curly hair and freckles and great hazel eyes (sort of like my baby sister twenty years in the future), and was extremely sweet and apologetic the whole time, explaining every step and making sure I was comfortable with what was happening. (Weirdly, I am way more comfortable with being searched than with being hugged by church ladies -- maybe because while it's physically invasive, it isn't presuming intimacy.) After that everything went by and large as planned, although I'm still really unused to sitting three to a row on planes. (Sometimes my seatmates talk to each other and ignore me, though, which is really nice. No, that's not sarcasm!) It was a while before I got properly sleepy, and I don't think I really did more than doze on the first plane, but I spent half of the second leg sleeping with my head on the tray and woke up very stiff. I'll never forget coming in for the landing and seeing the cityscape ghosting through the bright morning fog.

Then: fetch suitcase, take one of those strange bubbles on tracks to the Amtrak station, get into a lot of irritating trouble with the ticket machine not being able to print tickets for my route, talk to a lovely woman from Israel who was just as lost as I was, wait on a sunny platform, watch a lot of exploring birds, and want to fall asleep, listen to a lot of Belleville Outfit on the train, get to the Philadelphia station -- hooray I am in my state! -- and in the process of trying to find out how to get to the bus station, learn that my ticket stub gets me a free ride on a train going to all the major stops in town. Huzzah! Scariest part of the trip totally handled! Finding things in an unfamiliar city: not my strongest talent.

There was a lost pigeon in the bus station who kept pecking around the floor and flew a foot over my head, although it's possible he just wanted to go to New Jersey.

Then I got on a bus and could finally relax, because I knew every step and everything I was supposed to do and how it was meant to go from then on. Which meant that I slept a lot. Jet-lag wasn't really much of a thing -- I was fine the next day after a good night's rest -- but two days sort of existed as one very long day during which I got very little sleep and only a few hours of actual night.

The other good thing about buses is that I could sit all by myself and spread out everywhere. Strangely, the closer we got to DuBois the fewer people remained on the bus. (BITTER LAUGHTER.) I read a lot but mostly listened to music and slept. Honestly, now I can hardly remember the bus ride at all, only the last fifteen minutes before we arrived, when we rode straight into a black and terrible thunderstorm -- and by terrible I do of course mean magnificent. The air was lashed with rain! The sky was black and green! I think my town was attempting to woo me back -- 'oh, you've been to Alaska -- well, look, I can be impressive, too!' Nice try, dear, and I did appreciate it, even if you made me fifteen minutes late.

My mother and siblings were waiting for me -- Dad was at work -- and Leandra wouldn't stop looking at me and grinning the whole ride home. Mum made Hungarian goulash -- the first proper meal I'd had in two days; I probably ate a pound of it -- and bought Italian bread and a Sara Lee Andes Mint ice cream pie. It was a good homecoming.

And now I really ought to stop typing before I break something.
♥: goodgood
♫: "blue shoes", colm mac con iomaire
the love song of j. aimee prufrocke
I am covered in sawdust and hummus because I just got back from a party. The party was in a rackety gallery in a deconstructed building that's scheduled to be demolished in the next few days, as the art gallery is moving to a new location, so they were taking advantage of this by doing things such as launching paintballs at the wall with a trebuchet and creating art that involved carving through the wall. I danced to a jazz quartet in a strange room with glowing rocks and old film reels flickering on the ceiling and a woman painting a boy's body with violins, and Kyra and I watched little girls in magnificent wellies scoop and kick sawdust into great piles which they bannered with leafy branches.

There was sundried tomato hummus which somehow I managed to get all over myself, including on the buttons of my jacket and in my eyebrow. I am a disgrace to society and should not be allowed out.

Before that we went to the Saturday market, where I saw a trio of buskers playing slide guitar, banjo, and accordion; the guitarist had a beard and a pirate hat, the accordionist had dreadlocks and a lovely skirt and coat and a British accent, and the banjo player had a goldenrod sweater and a regal wolfy dog called Tobias. Kyra and I bought tiny pottery beads for a dollar (hers: a dolphin; mine: an owl) and I talked the history of tea with fabulous ladies in a loose leaf tea booth and tried genmaicha and green tea breathmints.

Yesterday Kyra and I went to see Marian Call in concert, and got in free by volunteering. Kyra worked in the ticket stand and at the merch table and I took tickets at the door and pictures all evening with Marian's enviable camera. Marian sings about marvels and Alaska and fandom and wore various things on stage such as a Cunning Hat and a feather boa and she is funny and sweet and One Of Us (most of the volunteers were Twitter acquaintances of hers) and I said "shiny" and "frak" as I usually do without suddenly feeling self-conscious about my incomprehensible geekspeak. I wore my ruffled green skirt and a vest over my River Tam & The Fireflies t-shirt and the skeleton key hat charismitaine made me held in place with a feathered clip, and a cute bearded bespectacled Scottish boy in a flat cap and a sweater told me that I looked like I belonged in a Scott Pilgrim comic.

(Marian Call makes me feel like less of an unmarketable freak for having songs about things like vampires trying to lure one of their own back into the fold.)

Thursday we went shopping (a lot), and I played at an open mic at the Indigo Teahouse here in Anchorage, because it's been nearly a month since I've been to my coffeeshop and I miss playing terribly. This venue was a little terrifying because at my coffeeshop I sit in a chair in the corner and pitch my voice to carry through the room; here there was a stage and a sound system. I was very nervous but was apparently endearingly so and people liked what I played even though two of my songs were about vampires. (Starting off with Mumford & Sons is always a good bet, though.) Okay, I guess they liked me a lot, because I originally played four songs and they asked me to play a couple more which apparently meant "three". And two different people at the party remembered me from the teahouse and said hello, which was... strange. (Four different people recognised me at the party and greeted me -- Marian Call, a bloke whose secret-pocket-tastic leather jacket I'd commented on at the concert, and two people from the Indigo Teahouse. I DON'T EVEN LIVE IN THIS STATE. WHY AND HOW IS THIS A THING. (Okay, blue-haired chick with weird clothes... easily recogniseable, I suppose. Also, Kyra and I kept ending up in the places where the freaks of Anchorage congregate -- shocking, I know.)

Also fate ended up luring us to a sale at Hot Topic today. WHOOPS.

Wednesday Kyra took me to the library. WHERE THE BOOKS LIVE. And as a true friend does, she let me check out several books on her card, one and a half of which I have now read.

And I have drunk so much rose tea the last several days that the blood in my veins has become tea and I a completely useless to vampires.

Right now I think all of the world is beautiful and glorious.
♥: giddygiddy
♫: "it's all right ma (i'm only bleeding)", the duhks
the love song of j. aimee prufrocke
Hello, internet! I have been busy and distracted with AWESOMENESS and have not been telling you about it! This should be remedied posthaste! (I have been telling Twitter and Tumblr and my mother in spurts because there I can narrate in little bursts as things happen and needn't settle down to describe everything, and since everything has been happening that can be overwhelming!)

So: hanging out with Anna was glorious and delightfully un-weird; possibly talking via webcam a few times had given her enough of a physicality that I wasn't constantly confused by her existence as a body, which is a thing that tends to happen the first time I meet internet folk. I can't judge height and proportion to my body from pictures! Finding that people are taller or shorter than me and do unexpected things with their hands or their movements is surreal. Not bad surreal, sort of nice surreal, but perplexing nonetheless. I was immediately comfortable with Anna, though, who seemed exactly familiar but now FANTASTICALLY CLOSER. We spent a good deal of time talking about everything (fandom and folklore and childhood and religion and tea and history and ridiculous old video games and food!) and wandering around Philadelphia, as previously described. It all happened in rather a blur, or so it seems now, at least, but it was an extremely marvellous blur, and I felt very grown-up and capable -- being on my own! Staying in a hostel! Travelling! Doing grown-up things and silly things with Anna! Free wine! (FREE WINE! Man, this trip has has had three instances of free wine thus far: I approve. A note: red wine is my favourite of all the things. Excepting only tea.) Meeting Anna's friends and relations and not feeling twelve! Eating sushi and French food! (Orange creme brulee is a thing that can kill you with its goodness.) All goodness.

Foods I have discovered I love:
  • sushi, at least vegetable sushi (avocado! zomgnomnom)
  • soy beans in salted pods
  • chickpeas (chana masala!)
Thursday Anna and I got up bright and early to head to the train station and fumble for some sort of breakfast. Happily our trains left not far apart from the same general place -- Anna left first, me trying to figure out how to work hugging (ARMS! TORSOS! WHERE DO YOU GO?), and then I sat down and waited and... missed my train. Because I am really thick sometimes. Fortunately some panic and judiciously applied (and thoroughly sincere) weeping resulted in the very kind clerk doing her best to find me a new train that wouldn't result in me also missing my flight -- and she did, and I got on it, and then I got on a bus, and then I arrived at Newark Airport and could finally stop imploding with tension and panic because everything that was meant to happen was spelled out in detail after this. It went completely smoothly from then on! I did not do any more stupid things and I listened to a lot of music and slept a little and only had to deal with the awkwardness of sitting next to two very talkative, intelligent, and well-travelled people with lives infinitely better and less pathetic than mine on my second flight. They were nice and friendly and warm and all I could think was I am only a few years younger than you, a decade at most, and I live with my parents and am still not in school and do not have a nifty job and have never been outside of the U.S. except Canada twice and I have nothing impressive to show oh dear.

But oh, how I love travelling! I don't think you understand, dear readers. I do not think that you do. I love every particle and happenstance. I love being the next-to-last person to board the plane because I am waiting for my laptop to charge. I love curling into airplane seats. I love arriving in strange places and finding ways to pass the time (two different bookstores and the rare commodity of FREE WIRELESS at the Seattle airport helped considerably) until my next flight. I love watching the world go by from different kinds of windows. I love spying on my fellow passengers and wondering about their lives. I love that weird little weightless lift in the stomach when the plane leaves the ground. I love the surreality of the miniature world below, the shadows cast by clouds, the glint and glimmer of vehicles, the strange patchwork country, the firefly gleam of tiny night cities. I love eating peculiar tiny snack foods and packing munchable things. I love coming to a destination.

So, you know. Then there was more hugging. And even after two years Kyra feels thoroughly familiar, though I suppose half a lifetime of friendship sort of takes care of that.

We have been doing all the things! I still feel vaguely disoriented when I try to catalogue the things neatly or in any order except for 'THERE WAS STUFF; I LIKED IT'. But we spent a lot of time at Kyra's friend Calli's house, indoctrinating me into a sordid new life -- I mean, uh, video games. And watching things. Like Doctor Who. (PIRATES. NEIL GAIMAN. I LOVE THE WHOLE WORLD.) Later we went up to a cabin in Talkeetna that Calli's uncle owns -- her family goes up there a lot; it's in the woods and there are fourwheelers which are such fun. I drove a fourwheeler a little bit but it was more fun to sit behind Kyra because then I could go really fast and not be nervous about crashing and dying. Especially since I ran it off the road and got stuck. Twice. We wore great massive helmets that made me feel as though we were going into space instead of just for a drive, so clearly the only thing to do was pretend to be Kara Thrace the entire time. We also watched some horror films. At night, In a rural cabin. In the woods. With wind chimes hanging everywhere and gently rattling in the wind. As this was clearly the smart thing to do. (omg The Others; I am ridiculously entranced with Taciturn Soldier Christopher Eccleston.) 

There was talk of life, the universe, and everything. I like good hearty talk with people who can go from discussing our own difficult neuroses to hilarious folklore factoids in mere breaths.

And then Calli installed Baldur's Gate II on my computer and destroyed my life forever.

I love Baldur's Gate; it is fabulous. I will never stop playing it until my arms come off. RPGs are fun! It's like reading a story you get to be part of and also video game logic amuses me a lot and the storyline is rather well-written and the fact that people can and do write mods for video games excites and fascinates me on a fandom level (imagine grafting one's personal canon onto the source! imagine being able to do that!), and oh hai, new facet of geekery with which to play.

Yeah. Life ruined. Sorry, ladies and gentlemen.

SPEAKING OF MEDIA KYRA AND I WENT TO SEE JANE EYRE TO WHICH I HAD ABOUT THIRTY-SEVEN EXTREMELY VISCERAL REACTIONS AND PROMPTLY GOT VERY DRUNK ON MICHAEL FASSBENDER'S EXISTENCE. ALSO MIA WASIKOWSKA'S FACE IS ALL KINDS OF BRILLIANT. (Actually now that I am more coherent about the whole thing I have to say that Mia Wasikowska reminds me a bit of Matt Smith? Or at least her performance in Jane Eyre did -- there was a lot of that odd, brilliant balance of young and old -- I don't know how she did it, but she kept changing the shape of her face -- and serious and silly, and I loved her stubborn, small, fierce Jane so much. Also: folklore flirting. Things that win my heart every time.)

The last few days Kyra and I have been doing bargain shopping in between Kyra thesising and me playing Baldur's Gate a lot. Things I have acquired:
  • an extremely nice paperback copy of American Gods for two dollars.
  • this t-shirt, which I have loved for a very long time but it's no longer for sale except secondhand. GUESS WHAT.
  • a black octopus necklace (Kyra bought a silver one).
  • dollar-fifty necklaces from Forever 21, which had whole racks of dear quirky inexpensive jewellery -- I bought a wee pair of spectacles and a wooden matryoshka doll and will probably go back for more (teapot? bicycle? also there was a slightly more expensive simple wooden cross necklace that was the perfect vampire-hunter accessory).
  • Kathy Tyers' Crystal Witness, a.k.a. obscure out-of-print sci-fi of which I am extremely fond.
In general I am much too full of good things and can barely even keep enough space in my brain to catalogue them all. I am forgetting marvels, I am sure! But you are probably all reeling from information overload if you have read through this far, so I shall leave you to your proper lives and go back to infiltrating thieves' guilds and killing vampires.
♥: happyhappy
♫: "the crook of my good arm", pale young gentlemen
the love song of j. aimee prufrocke

HIIII INTERNET. I MISS YOU A LOT BUT I AM HAVING AN AWESOME TIME DOING AWESOME THINGS like following pigeons around SHUT UP I MAKE MY OWN FUN. Am perhaps slightly high on travel because I bloody love flying and airports and everything that goes with them, especially when something seems to have dissuaded the TSA Goon Squad from coming in today.

NOT SO AWESOME: saying goodbye to Anna. AWESOME: SAYING HELLO TO KYRA IN A FEW SHORT HOURS. (I say "short" because four hours has nothing on two years oh lordy how has it ever been that long.) ALSO AWESOME: well-cooked vegetables, international food (in the last several days have had Japanese, Indian -- I LOVE CHICKPEAS WHO KNEW -- and French (THERE WAS WIIIINE and creme brulee and bread and I had rabbit and I nearly died)), exploring a Philadelphia market and having tea and pastries at a place with the infinitely delightful name of Flying Monkey Patisserie (we bought some of their pins because SO CUTE), trawling through two bookstores wherein I sort of kind of bought five books (most of them were $1.50 okay and now I have a replacement pocket Eliot to carry everywhere since my dad's old one disintegrated), free wine at the hostel, playing Bananagrams and having hilarious discussions of folklore and how sometimes people in folktales are REALLY DUMB (everyone involved in the death of my boyfriend Baldr I AM LOOKING AT YOU), quoting the beginning of "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock" as we left the hostel -- "Let us go then, you and I when the morning is spread against the sky like a patient etherised upon a table!", TEN THOUSAND OTHER THINGS I HAVE FORGOTTEN AT THE MOMENT BECAUSE I AM ADDLED WITH CAFFEINE AND TRAVEL ADRENALINE AND HUNGER.

Magical things: mountains like the hand of a god had crumpled the earth; a bird flying past our plane; a lost pigeon in the train station; seeing the shadow of our plane on the clouds, ringed in iridescent light!; a mountaintop penetrating the clouds; cities that look like you could scoop them up in your palm -- the world below you somehow never looks far away, only miniature and intricate -- smiling at people and being smiled at in return; the great window full of clouds and airplanes taking off in the Seattle airport food court; playing Owl City as I left the plane; making mental notes of fellow travellers with particularly fab shoes; seeing humans who aren't solely uber-normal-white-umpteenth-generation-Slavic-descended-Northwestern-Pennsylvania-folk-who-never-leave-the-gorram-area; the sudden jolt of weightlessness when the airplane leaves the ground; SEEING MY BEST FRIEND AND ONE OF MY FAVOURITE PLACES IN a FEW HOURS. Yeah, you know what, I am good.

♥: giddygiddy
♫: "hello seattle", owl city
the love song of j. aimee prufrocke
03 May 2011 @ 09:14 am

I am cosied up in a very lovely hostel in Philadelphia right now, eating the baguette my mother sent me off with. THINGS I HAVE DONE RECENTLY INCLUDE:

  • Discovered a new favourite band with a musical saw.
  • Had my socks rocked off by Robert Plant & the Band of Joy (and fifteen or so other acts but as they were the final act they sort of got top socks-rocking).
  • (Also incredible: the Wailin' Jennys, Sarah Jarosz, Lyle Lovett, Crooked Still (OF COURSE), Alison Brown Quartet -- too many good people; canna name them all!)
  • Was home for all of five hours, during which I packed up a storm and napped for an hour with my cat curled up against my chest.
  • Traded face-making with my mother on either side of the bus window, because we are mature adults.
  • Rode on three buses: slept on two of them.
  • Hugged Anna! (Who brought tea.)
  • Had lovely lovely Japanese food with Anna and her friends Laura and Stefan (not a vampire). EVERYTHING WAS SO DELICIOUS I NEARLY DIED. (Anna's friends were pretty fab also.)
  • Watched Doctor Who. (Of course.)
  • Slept with extreme soundness.
  • And here I am! *waves* Miss you lot. Adventures ahead!
♥: happyhappy
♫: "i was thinking the same thing", linford detweiler