At least I tried?
Well, November's almost over.
And today has nothing to show for it.
At least I tried?
Well I've been productive!
Just not quite as productive as I need to be. I finished my crossover exchange pic recently. I also have been writing for two days straight now on my novel. (Albeit less than needed to complete on time--750 a day or so, rather than the needed...oh, you know. 15,000 or so.) I haven't been working on my webcomic, though, and that's a bit of a problem--I promised Red Hood Rider would return December 3rd, which is also an all-staff meeting.
I didn't waste time on games, though! Or reading! Or anything, really. Just the essentials. I have spent time on ComicFury, I suppose, and that was time well spent, but it was time that I was doing stuff on ComicFury and it did not feel like a chore.
The 'highlight' for today would have to be sparring at Tae Kwon Do, though. We had six sparring. Half of them ended up not in the best of conditions. One has medical reasons for this. The other two were thanks to a knee-to-shin collision. I was the shin.
Honestly, you'd think in knee vs. shin, the knee would win. We preeeeeeeeetty much both lost, given we were out of commission for more than half the remaining class, but of the two, the knee actually ended up better. Maybe that's because I'm naturally tough, maybe it was the luck of where we got hit, it's hard to be certain. But I did feel a little guilty. It was neither of ours' fault, yet my opponent clearly got a bad wound from it and my wound was in comparison, just a minor inconvenience.
I mean, I have been limping, but rather than being an, "ow. ow. ow. ow." limp, that's a precautionary, "Okay, so I don't want to experience a big ow, so I'll walk this way to be cautious". Which, mind you. Doesn't always stop the pain. I still got plenty of ows. I needed ice, after all. And sat down. It was an actual injury. But all things considered, that...could have been much, much worse.
So that's my day, basically.
I also managed to do my ponytail in a super-interesting way. I don't think I'll be able to replicate it, though. Basically, I took the hair style I've been wearing, and applied my ponytail using it. I had already been wearing my ponytail on the left, but this ponytail is really on the left. Doesn't capture too well on a webcam, but it looks great in the mirror.
I suppose you'll just have to take my word on that one. Sorry.
I may have heard another.
I say heard, rather than found, because unfortunately, I was driving on the freeway at the time the song was on, so the sounds of the road muffled the lyrics (which I think weren't that clear anyway) enough that I couldn't pick up on them enough to remember them clearly, thus I have no way of searching for the song.
Butyeah. Same station. I heard another song, which I believe was a Staind song. If my hunch is correct (and my musical ear is very rarely wrong), then it was indeed fulfilling my prediction: another song by them that I enjoyed. Not one I was familiar with, mind you. That was as far as I know the first time I heard the song. But one which I was enjoying all the same.
It's a shame I couldn't hear it more clearly.
In a small way, I made up my mind.
It's not much.
But something which recently came up made me thoroughly resolve something. Basically, a while back, you may or may not recall how I said I was losing touch with ComicFury. Yet a subject which was discussed today has reinvigorated me.
It made me resolve: I may need time off from the site every once and a while. It happens. Stuff comes up. Sometimes I crack under pressure. I sometimes need to distance myself from things, even things I cherish and love. But I will never. Never. ever, for as long as I live. Permanently leave ComicFury. I will always come back.
Always. Not because of an addiction. Not even because of a sense of belonging, though that has slightly been rekindled as well. Simply because I feel like I have a vital place on there. The site can and has gone on without me. So it's not like my absence would be particularly devastating. All the same. While everyone brings something to the site. While everyone has a valuable, unique contribution to give, which makes their presence worth it.
I feel like, in spite of my insistence to the contrary, that perhaps, maybe, my presence does hold some level of importance beyond the normal, beyond the standard. That sounds dangerously close to arrogance, as it is essentially saying I hold more importance than many others. Which is one reason why I deny it publicly. I'll insist I am everyone's equal on there. And I actually believe that in a certain way. I really, truly do feel as if everyone is an equal on there, with nobody superior to another in any way shape or form, myself included. Everyone there is important. Everyone there is valuable, everyone there is a person worthy of attention and affection.
...Yet at the same time. I have to say. Sometimes, I feel like I'm the only one who says certain things. Sometimes, I feel like I'm the only one who holds some beliefs. Sometimes, I feel like the ComicFury I dream about, that I preach about, that I say is there, is just that, a dream and something that isn't a reality.
...Yet I keep saying it anyway, and I want to stay on ComicFury and continue saying it regardless, and I'll tell you why: because it is a place worth fighting for. It is a place worth striving to be. The place I preach about being there is a place I think is worth it.
Simply put...by saying it exists. I am hoping to make it exist. It might give me some selfish benefit, as that place I talk about by its very nature, the definition I give it, would by necessity grant me some of its rewards. But it's not for that reason that I am going to always be on ComicFury.
It's because if I can make it a reality, then I'll have helped create essentially a haven. The community on ComicFury is great, stellar even. Yet it is always brittle. People come and people go. People, however, are far more likely to go, people are far more likely to distance themselves, if they don't feel welcome.
And I feel like I can make people feel welcome. I'm not the only one. And I'm not perfect. I can fail. I can probably even make people feel worse, and likely have, if for no other reason being: "Ranger is a great person. She showers so many people with love and affection. I see this everywhere I go...yet she hasn't given me any." I'm not a goddess. I'm not omnipotent, not omniscient, not omnipresent. Omnipresence in particular would be of extreme use, yet like anyone else, I am sadly, just another human. So I can't help everyone. I can't make everyone feel welcome.
But if I spread that welcome. If I continue to make people feel welcome, and maybe spread my idealistic philosophies to other people...that maybe, just maybe, it can become a much stronger bond, growing far beyond what it is now. I really do see ComicFury as a family. (Refer to my previous blog entry for how exactly important I see that word and how I choose to use it.) I really see ComicFury as my home. (I have blogged about that multiple times, too.)
And basically, I suppose what I'm saying here is that my dream is to have others share that same vision. I think that's a place which would be the best possible dream to turn into reality. I'm imperfect, so I don't really know quite how I'll be able to see this come true, or even if it's possible to come true.
But a girl can dream.
I rediscovered another song.
And sure enough, it's another Staind song. Same station: 98.9. (Which is quickly eclipsing The End for being my favorite station, though The End still has two times I'll listen: Sunday mornings, for resurrection Sunday and The End Unplugged--or whatever name it goes by now--and Sunday evenings, mostly for Locals Only with an occasional delve into passport approved.)
Incidentally, 98.9 was doing something The End used to do but I don't think they do anymore: as a special for Thanksgiving weekend (though they do this at other times on occasion), they put two songs of the same artist back to back. So when Outside came on, I knew I was in for a treat in regards to the next song they'd have playing. Sure enough, I found...
It's Been A While.
It's another song that The End used to play a fair amount back in the day, and I probably could tell you that I can relate to it, too, more now than ever, and that it was always a great song for me. It does leave me wondering: just how many Staind songs have I heard before, in my past? Without even knowing the name of the band or the song. How many of them did I thoroughly enjoy?
'Cause yeah. Two songs, both very strong hits for me which I have re-fallen in love with, by the same band. That's generally a good endorsement. (Of course, there's plenty of bands I don't know too many songs to that I love anyway. For instance, I'm only intimately familiar with two Bravery songs, yet I do love them both.)
I'm sure if I bought albums by the band, I'd find a lot of music that didn't resonate with me as well as the songs I know. I'm also sure if I bought albums by the band, I'd find out that many of them sound similar, and perhaps they share some themes. (I could sense some strong similarities thematically between It's Been A While and Outside.) But I'm also sure that if so much as half their songs were so much as half as good as the ones I know, it would be worth it all the same.
Mind you, would likely get old if I listened to exclusively it pretty quickly. Bands which you can listen to the same album to on endless repeat are few and far between. (To date, the only ones I have done are a few Muse ones and Coldplay's Viva la Vida. The passion may have faded for the bands, but the ability to listen to their music has not, and the fade wasn't from oversaturation, simply passage of time.)
All the same, it'd definitely be something that'd be a worthy investment to listen to every once and a while. (Both Staind songs have earned themselves spots on my plug dj primary playlist.)
Anyway. That was something which happened on the ride home. But prior to that, there was something I wanted to talk about, the intended ramble for today. More specifically, what I had in mind for my blog post today was talking a bit about something philosophical, so I hope you can bear with me for a bit.
Basically, for some random reason (might be caused by a webcomic, dunno for sure), an old adage has been on my mind. I can't remember the exact quote, but I believe the expression more or less goes, "You can't choose who your family is".
It's a nice enough thought in theory, more or less conveying a harsh reality lesson, but with a usually-optimistic spin: you're born into what you're born into, and you'll have to make the most out of what you have because it's all that you have. Love is essential, so cherish your family while you have them.
That sounds reasonably enough, I suppose. Yet of course, I cannot help but to fundamentally disagree about such a narrow-minded ideal. It's true enough on the surface--you cannot control who your flesh-and-blood relatives are. Nor can you control them, what they do, what they say, etc., as those are their choices and not yours. You also can't change the environment you were born into. And for the first 10-21+ years of your life (circumstances depending), there will be very little you can do to alter said environment and you'll mostly (key word, mostly; not entirely) be at the mercy of it.
...However, that doesn't mean you have no choice at all. Especially not in who your family is. No, that you control, for one reason and one simple reason ONLY: family isn't genetic. Screw most dictionary definitions. (Except the ones dealing with "[a group] united by a significant shared characteristic" and/or "[a group] of peoples from a common stock".)
Family is who you are at home with. (Not who lives in your house. There's a distinction between HOME and HOUSE.) Family is comfort. Family is support. Family is love. Family is, in a single word: a bond. (Shut up, yes I know technically that's two.) A strong, nigh-unbreakable, bond.
And make no mistake: the majority of families are flesh-and-blood, and the majority of people who are flesh-and-blood are indeed families. Yet the two, in spite of their vast overlap, are NOT in fact, actually synonymous. They are two very different things, just like house and home are. Because families are safety.
You get to choose your family. If you choose to accept your blood relatives as family (as most of us do), that is your choice. It can sometimes be difficult. And if they prove to be toxic to you, you have the right, the choice, to deem them not a part of your family.
After all...if you treat them with respect and understanding, but they fail to reciprocate...that's on them. That's their choice. And you hold the power to let them know their choice is not without consequence. If they cannot accept you, then that is not your problem--it's theirs.
So if you hold the power to remove family...it figures you also therefore hold the power to add to your own. When you meet someone, you hold the power of choice to invite them into your family. If you have a really close bond with what most people would call friends, then perhaps, just perhaps, that's more than just friendship. If they are 'true companions', if they are truly bonded with you, then I'd call that family.
There's a reason that many, many, many shows (and films, and books, and whatnot) will have it so that multiple members of the show refer to each other as "part of the family", even if, saaaaay, they're simply part of a team, or coworkers, or close friends, rather than actually related. It's because it's understood: they may lack the blood relationship, but they are as good as together with one another.
And, hey. When you think about it. If you have a significant other. They started at some point in your life as someone you didn't know. (Even if that was waaaaaay back in your childhood.) That blossoms into friendship, and then into something more. If you decide to raise children by any method (be it biological or legal adaption), then you are by definition starting a family of your own!
That person, who started out a stranger, blossoms into being an inseparable part of your life. And that was something you chose. That was something that you made a decision on. You started a family. Maybe you didn't plan for it. Maybe you did. But when it happened, you went along with it. You held love for this other person, and through this, something special formed.
If it can happen romantically, why not platonically?
...Exactly. So if you ever feel down, ever feel depressed about those around you, ever feel this frustration, ever feel this strain, no matter how hard it may be, and no matter what you go through, remember that. Family is defined by a love and acceptance of one another, with mutual understanding. As a result, you hold the power to select, to choose, those you call your family.
I had a tarot card reading done today.
I certainly found it interesting, to say the least. Of course, some people are skeptics, some people are true believers, and most in both camps believe that if you're not in one you must be in the other. I on the other hand fall squarely in the middle: I recognize there are certain psychological aspects to the broad technique. There are certain techniques which make the reading look scarily accurate. Generalizations, and whatnot. So there's some hard science entirely unrelated to the tarot reading.
I also feel that even so, what that shows isn't worthless. Quite the opposite. It can actually reveal rather a lot, and bring forward some things which you wouldn't ordinarily think about, but when you reflect on them, are accurate all the same--the magic behind the cards, you could say. There's a method behind the magic, but there's a magic inside the method. So that's why I appreciated the reading.
It highlighted a few things, so I thought I'd share. I basically put forward the options of novel, Red Hood Rider, Descended, and life. For novel, I got ambition, a deep connection to it. But that there'd be the risk of getting overwhelmed by it. I got a normally negative thing for positive, which basically amounted to perception: that I have a negative one.
It also gave, via the negative, a perception of me. Obsession. There's the burden. The feeling that pursuing the novel is greedy, and there's frustration within. It did have a bit about being annoyed at how cheerful others are, and a feeling of guilt about that and keeping it a secret--believe it or not, that hit really home. Also included: alone, different, and depression, along with a potential feeling of being ignored.
For Red Hood Rider, I got success, failure, and ambitions. Focused around getting things done and reaching ambitions. Basically, it'd be something rich and full of ambition and curiosity and energy, exploring new paths. There's a path moving forward, with satisfaction: pride in my unique work. But it also represents some isolation. Also some stubbornness in ignoring advice. There's also a frustration in feeling a lack of feedback, which I admit...has happened.
For The Descended, the card basically said I would be getting away from depression--which is mind you, exactly what happened a while back if you'll recall. There'd be a better feeling of control when working on it, though it'd be tough: I'd be working to overcome exhaustion and emotional turbulence, for the feeling of calm. I would, however, feel isolated, with a feeling of being different. Empty, alone, but at peace.
And for life, what I got was again, negatives for the positives: pursuit of life would represent overcoming burdens, and as a result, feel like I belong. But if I try to stand up for my beliefs, I'll not deal with it well. It'd also be sacrificing all my projects, leaving me feeling a lack of control. It also represents a bitter reliance on money, which could NOT be more true for me. It'd be a rather sad existence, where I'd be calling out for help.
I rather enjoy the reflection it brought.
Today was my grandfather's birthday
So we had family night, immediately after Thanksgiving, just minus my younger sister who had to work.
Unfortunately, his stomach's still weak enough that we aren't having his cake tonight.
I'm surviving right now.
Not doing particularly well, but...I'm surviving.
Some extra Thanksgiving fun
Some details are just icky (we're talking, the things you use a chemical compound to clean up, icky--I'll leave it at that and not go into details), but suffice to say, things haven't been the best. One thing which was at least somewhat humorous (albeit in a grim way) is that we had the TV volume at 68. (Normal is 42 on average--that effectively means, double the normal.) We started our film, Star Wars (the original and best even with George Lucas screwing with each release more and more), and as the noise came BLARING out...
...He said, "You can unmute the TV now."
Double the normal volume.
So loud it was deafening.
And he couldn't hear it.
So up to 86, and that's where we had to bear with it. Basically four times normal volume. (Volume does not increase linearly.) That...was rather the experience.
He went to bed midway through, and instantly, we dropped the volume down to the normal level, where we'd be fine. Suffice to say: my grandfather is basically as close to deaf as you can be without being deaf. He mishears things all the time, and is a royal pain to work with.
Unfortunately, it is very much genetic. My dad is 66. (My grandfather is in his 90s. I forget how old exactly.) He...has the exact same problem. And the trigger for my misophonia that my dad does when he eats...well, that's genetic too. Because my grandfather is actually worse, making that noise all. the. time. Like, basically every couple of minutes, he'll...I'm not sure how to explain it, other than "smack his lips", and it makes that noise. The one, and as far as I know, ONLY noise which triggers the misophonia.
I'm not looking forward to being that way when I age, though unlike both of them, at least I'd admit I'd need a hearing aid. I mean, sure. I wouldn't notice at first. It'd have to be pointed out to me. But when it was, I'd instantly at least consult with a doctor, to see about how bad it is and when I'd need to treat it. Fear of losing said hearing aid is ridiculous, so I wouldn't let that stop me.
Basically, there are a lot of genetics very strong in our family, unfortunately. And whether they're nature or nurture, you can find a bunch in me even now. A defining trait, basically the defining trait, of both my grandfather and my father, is stubbornness. Did you know you could inherit stubbornness? I know I did, and anyone who has interacted with me knows that much! (Especially in mafia games.)
There's a bunch of other stuff, too. Like, the same hesitations in speech, the low speaking tone, face being basically a permanent frown unless it's laughing and/or smiling (basically, a default "guard face" as it'd be diplomatically called in my profession), lots of stuff for better or worse.
Suffice to say there's a lot of reasons I hate what I've inherited. One generation perfectly mimicking and following the habits of the previous. My dad is basically worse than my grandfather was fifteen years ago. (My grandfather managed to, for the longest time, stay in better shape than my dad did, so my dad's accelerated decay is probably because he's not in as good of shape as my grandfather was at his age.)
I won't inherit some problems--I will always watch my weight to make sure I don't suddenly gain 30 pounds, for instance. But to be fully honest, the opposite is what I'm more concerned about. (I'm 6'2" and weigh 137.5 as of a couple days ago: healthy enough, and within my 140 +/- 10 range. On the lower end of things and technically underweight, but not dangerously so. My critical zones as I define them are below 130 and above 152. If I reach either, I'm in need of a serious change in lifestyle.)
But even if I have transitioned, biology is a very strong factor, so it's something I'll be forced to live with later in life. Of course, that's a cross-bridge-come-to-it thing. Even if my health decays, the earliest I could possibly show symptoms would be ten to fifteen years from now, late thirties to early forties.
It will happen eventually though.
Hopefully by then I'll be in a much better position than I am now.
Well, some Thanksgiving.
My mom and my grandfather both have the flu.
My dad's not doing great either.
So half the family's basically sick.
Went to Denny's tonight
Was with our square dance group and their friends/family. Nineteen showed up. I ate a chocolate peanut butter milkshake, two or three strawberry lemonades, and the classical sampler with marinara and barbecue sauces: onion rings, mozzarella cheese sticks, and chicken strips. The outside of the onion rings were browned (apparently the person who cleans the oil no longer works there, so they'd have it fixed by the end of the night but not in time to give me a fix), but they tasted fine anyway.
Didn't quite get to finish them, though if I had, that'd have been a 3,000 calorie meal. I needed that, though--other than coffee, I skipped breakfast in order to leave room for that meal.
It was a great social event though (the true purpose of eating there), and at the end, we got a pleasant surprise! We managed to encounter a couple of old square dance colleagues we competed with, who were coming in with a few of their (college?) friends. It was a nice encounter, and completely by chance--they had no idea their old club was meeting there, and we had no clue they would be there.
Another thing which was nice is that my hair got complimented on. See, when I took a shower this morning, there was a happy accident with my hair. I didn't even notice it until three or so hours later: somehow, all my hair basically ended up on my left side, and my hair dried that way. So I had this look, which I really like actually, that was a complete and total accident, and I kept it going in, and multiple people complimented me on it.
Now if I could only learn how to do this consistently. It does have some minor inconveniences to it (namely, half the time, it partially covers my left eye), but otherwise it's a look I rather love.
I won't post pictures of it here on my blog, but on other places (such as ComicFury and the site I play mafia on), I'll see if I can get a photo up for ya.