My Pet Project – Diary of a Space Bum

Last year, I joined a site called WritScrib with the hopes that it would really just take off. I donated $5 for a beta key to get early access to the site as it was still being built. It did not disappoint… with the sole exception that it didn’t succeed and closed down. But it did present a unique opportunity for me. You see, the proposed format of the site was perfect for a project I wanted to do where I did creative writing every day for a year. The particular type of audience on the site were a grab-bag mix of creative types. Everything from traditional art to digital. Painters, writers, hell even throat singers and basket weavers. It was a microcosm of only content creators rather than the general public. A perfect place to shape what I wanted this project to be, and what I wanted it all to encompass. It also provided a perfect place for critique, ideas, collaboration, and resources.

Unfortunately it ultimately failed. Despite this, my desire to continue my writing project persisted. I just had to decide the right… place to put it. And so I really gave it thought. I examined places I already had accounts. The ability to make sub-domains, alternate blogs, etc.

While one would THINK Tumblr would be ideal, given it’s flexibility and endless customization…. It’s also a very polarizing and divisive webspace. One where a person can get locked out of their account and lose years worth of content just because one person didn’t like a cat picture you posted and got everyone they knew to harass and report you for it. Seriously, this kind of thing happens there all the time. So, while Tumblr would be perfect – I wouldn’t trust its reliability with a hardboiled egg let alone my pet project.

Ultimately I decided to do it here on WordPress. The reason being I have the app on my phone and on my other laptop so there’s literally no excuse not to do my daily posts. I have some of the originals from WritScrib which I’ve posted already. You can read them here, on Diary of a Space Bum.

I hope you enjoy it.

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Peanut Butter, Apple Jelly, I like bread.

I’ve written before, ages ago now, that my son is autistic. We played hell getting him his disability as well as various services and programs he needs. Well, I’m happy to say that next year he will no longer be receiving PT services at school! What little he needed help with, the PT specialist is confident he’s got down and mastered. So, milestone hit!

He’s speaking more, and finally – FINALLY – is saying what he actually wants! Usually. Half his spoken vocabulary is still hard to understand. But this last weekend I think I might have hit a solution. Unfortunately for those around me who can’t appreciate my off-key and tone-deaf singing, it’s going to be quite painful to listen to all the time.

My son loves music. Like any child his age, he loves to dance and move around to music. He likes to try and sing along with songs.

But he also responds to it faster and easier than the spoken word. I made this discovery last Friday evening while making him dinner. He’s a very picky eater, and has never had apple jelly before. He specifically requested apple jelly on his sandwich (unfortunately we didn’t have any. All we had was grape, and my husband’s strawberry preserves). I was goofing off and sing-songing everything, as I do when the Lego Movie is on because honestly, I’m not ashamed to say that “Everything is Awesome” is one of my favorite songs and is actually on most of my playlists on my other laptop. It’s a really great song and my son, of course, LOVES IT.

So, I was singing at him during a commercial break the words “peanut butter jelly bread peaches”. He responded with “apple jelly”. Now, he loves apples. He can clearly say the word apple. And banana. And sometimes pear. When he is requesting a specific food, it is nearly always last in what he is saying. I say nearly because in the last month he’s taken to saying “please” after the object or snack he wants. So, at first I thought he meant he wanted an apple with his peanut butter and jelly sandwich instead of peaches. So I asked him “Do you want an apple?” of course that time I didn’t sing it at him. When I realized he wasn’t going to respond, I thought “what the hell why not?” and sang the question at him. His response? A very firm and very no-nonsense “Apple Jelly”. This went on for a few more minutes until I said “We don’t have apple jelly. We have purple jelly.” And he pouted and said “purple jelly.”

Yesterday, I went to the store to get a few things for the house and while I was there decided to grab a jar of apple jelly. When it was dinner time and it was time to make his sandwich I looked at him and I sang “I bought apple jelly. Do you want apple jelly?” And he very enthusiastically shouted back at me “Apple jelly!”

You know when kids take apart an Oreo or other similar cookie to get the cream out of the center and eat it first? Well that’s exactly what happened with the apple jelly on this kid’s sandwich. He pulled it apart like an Oreo and started licking the crap out of that apple jelly. I have never seen him attack a food so enthusiastically before. Not even a McDonald’s french fry, which are his absolute favorite of all the fast foods out there.

So of course after making this monumental discovery of the singing rather than speaking to him and the apple jelly, I immediately messaged his special ed Pre-K teacher and told her about it. (There’s an app called Seesaw that the teachers encourage parents to download and use so we can see pictures of our kids doing fun stuff at school, or the teachers can message us directly if there’s a problem or concern. It’s so freaking helpful.)

So that’s been my weekend so far. Pretty good, considering school is closed today and tomorrow for some ungodly reason. Winter Break, they call it. I call it any excuse to get more time off from classes.

So I had this pack of canvases just laying around, as you do…

So. It’s cold as hell and I got bored. I had this 6 pack of 8″x10″ canvases and was wondering… “What’s my name look like in Gallifreyan?” This was the result.

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My name in Gallifreyan.

So then I said, “Well, that barely fits the canvas all by itself. Best add some lines. Make it look funky.” So I did that and moved onto another picture.

And with the new picture I said to myself, “Wonder what my husband’s name looks like in Gallifreyan?” and so I plugged his first name into the generator and copied it out onto another canvas. But then I looked at it and went “There’s all this white space off to the side. Best add some lines like I id to mine and make it look funky. And after I did that I still was not satisfied. It looked… off. So then I thought, “Hey, he likes Iron Man. Let’s give him some Iron Man.” Because at some point while drawing I subconsciously decided this was going to be a gift for my husband apparently. And after doing a bit of Googling on the old Google I found some arc reactor clip-art that was easy to draw out. And so this final product was born.

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Husband’s name n Gallifreyan.

But then I looked at mine and went…. “Now that’s just bland as hell.” And added in two things from stuff I enjoy. The Deathly Hallows symbol from Harry Potter, and the Dragon Power Coin from Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers. And then just for shits and giggles, I added the number 42 (Not pictured in my picture above though because I added it after the picture was taken.

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Left to right/bottom: Dot Guy (H2G2G), TARDIS (Doctor Who), The Guide (H2G2G), A Scutter (Red Dwarf)

Well, then since I was on a roll, I decided to keep drawing. I mean, I had 4 more canvases left over and these things have been sitting in my house for about 5 months or so now. I did two more. The first is another fandom one that focuses primarily on the sci-fi things I enjoy. Doctor Who, Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, and Red Dwarf.

The second one was inspired by a series of videos by Youtube personality Markiplier. The videos were a 4 part story called “Who Killed Markiplier?” and were shot in First Person perspective. It’s really cool and gives some origins of 2 of the characters that he plays in different spoofs, skits, and such.

These are all rough sketches on canvas at the moment, but will be finished off over the next week or two. I want to do all of them as mixed media using yarn, paint (both acrylic and watercolor), embroidery thread, and tissue paper. Its been a long time since I’ve done actual art stuff and with my birthday coming up next week I really want to get SOMETHING done as a sort-of gift to myself. The one with my name in Gallifreyan will be going on my awesome stuff wall behind my desk, while the others… who knows. Maybe I’ll find a way to ship off my Markiplier one to the man himself once it’s finished and dried. I hope to post pictures of the finished products before the last day of the month, but don’t hold me to that!

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Who Killed Markiplier? – I call them Warfball and Darkball

Two posts in the same month and within days of one another?

By the gods, it’s a mid-winter miracle!

Actually, not really. I’m just feeling very…. contemplative I guess. Then again that always happens when I listen to Nate Ruess on repeat in my Youtube playlist. I find myself staring at folder upon folder on my laptop and wondering when I gathered so many unfinished writing projects and stories.

And then I find myself drawn back to Space Bum. Or rather, my writing project that I had developed for Writscrib. It has promise, it really does. But I just need to get myself on a strict “I do this every day” schedule. I get distracted easily which is a rather big problem.

Anyway, so I find myself reading through all these old unfinished fanfics and stories with nothing to show for them. Until now. I started a “series” or somesuch on Archive of our Own where I’m going to be putting all my utter crack stories and unfinished stories. This gets them off my laptops and my portable drives, but also allows me to see if there is any interest in a particular idea that I might want to develop if I see people actually respond well to it.

Anyway, that’s pretty much all that’s on my mind at the moment.

It’s a post!

Hark! I have returned to make a post!

Not like many care, but those of you who do, then I thank you.

These days I’ve been in a slump. Not exactly a writer’s block, not exactly a depression, and not exactly a health related issue either. Though all three are certainly components of my lack of posting and interacting these days. Those who’ve known me in my offline life know I’m prone to going long periods of being incommunicado. It’s not that I don’t see messages, emails, texts, calls, etc. It’s just that for some reason I can’t work up the personal motivation to respond or reach out. Sometimes I’m literally just too busy. Other times I just… don’t. I’ve always been this way and will likely always be this way.

That said, I’ve been rather active on Tumblr more and more recently. It’s mainly due to the failure of Writscrib, which I adored. It was a nice alternative to Tumblr but due to poor money management or whatever, it spiraled straight down the drain. That’s alright, I was only out $5 I donated to the kickstarter so I’m not too terribly upset about that. It was months and months ago that it flopped anyway.

I’m likely to change over my Tumblr URL soon actually, just to preserve the one I use most. See, there’s this problem – Tumblr for some ungodly reason (Apple kicking it from the App store) has decided to go off on the deep end and start banning all NSFW stuff. Now, while I appreciate the sentiment as it gets rid of a very big problem involving porn bot blogs randomly messaging me and following me to entice me to open myself up for hacks and viruses with their erotic goodies and pictures of big round titties, it does pose a serious issue with what exactly constitutes NSFW.

For example, I had exactly ONE post flagged. It was a post that contained one single image, and was tagged with “artist resource”. It was a blank body model. No nipples. No overly detailed genitals. As a matter of fact, it was a featureless, faceless, genderless white generic figure in a generic super hero pose. Not even a sexy super hero pose. Rather than appeal it, I deleted it altogether. No big deal. Right?

Wrong.

See, even if I had appealed the flagging of the post, the mere fact that the single post was flagged at all immediately marked my Tumblr blog as “explicit”. I mean, I’m no saint. I’ve got lots of other stuff on that particular blog that could very well fall under the new NSFW policy guidelines. But with over 15,000 posts and reblogs to my name I’m not going to sit there and go through each individual post to make sure my blog meets the SFW criteria before appealing to get the explicit label removed.

So instead, I’m going to back-up all my blogs (since it’s the main blog, the primary, that is in hot water at the moment) and shuffle URLs around to my back-up account. That way my URL doesn’t get permanently removed and unusable. Unfortunately this means I have to update some other stuff on my backup account, which is annoying. And copy all of my code for my main blog theme. But it’s totally worth it to not lose my URL. The posts I can deal with, but the URL is basically my “brand” so to speak.

Anyway, things are generally good and my back hurts like a bitch. But that’s life.

Not dead (well, not yet anyway)

So….. Wow. Not a single post since April! Bet people forgot I’m even bloody here. But that’s alright! I write here mostly for myself anyway.

So the goings on in my life are thusly – medically I’m still in the same boat so no updates there other than “hey, pain! all i know is pain!” so that’s nothing new. My son’s doing quite well with school and has been saying A LOT of things now! Still barely recognizable as actual words, but he’s now trying to establish a base for communication with repetitive words and actions and that’s taken AGES.

Mom’s doing alright. Her health has gotten worse, but that’s expected with her age and different conditions.

Husband found out he’s got a slip disk. His L5 on his S1. And it’s been causing him issues for a long time but no one’s been able to catch it till now.

It’s his birthday. He’s 45 years old today.

Dealing With Myelf

I’ve been rediscovering my love of Power Rangers these last few weeks and trying to decide if my body is fighting with me or not. Some days are better than others, and I can do a bit more than usual. Other days, I have to drag myself out of bed because if I don’t I’d spend all day in it.

My pain these days has made me quicker to anger than usual, in some cases to an extreme that frightens me. I haven’t harmed anyone – but with my particular set of anger issues it can be a possibility. Unfortunately I take after my dad in that respect. Part of why I’m in therapy, and will likely stay in therapy till the day I die. Unlike my dad, I do have a brief few moments before I fly into the Rage where I’m still aware, lucid, and can redirect or leave the room before I cause true harm. The fact that I am this way scares the shit out of me, and I don’t have episodes often but when they happen… holy crap.

Part of good coping skills is changing your “self-talk”. That’s what I’ve been doing the last few weeks, and my therapist has been really helpful and supportive in helping me figure out a good language for me to use for talking myself down and referring to my “episodes”. Part of my problem is that certain terminology I’ve used my whole life is also negatively associated with my dad – specifically our very similar anger and rage issues. Thinks like “seeing red” I’ve switched to “seeing green”. Instead of “raging” I’m “Hulking out”. This removes the mental association I have with my dad which makes me feel even worse than I normally would after an episode. It also reminds me that I’m not, and never will be my father. By using terminology reminiscent of The Hulk, it tells me that there are times when I can’t control my anger, but that I am not always like this. Whereas my dad WAS always like this. He chose not to do anything about his problems, but I choose to work on them and improve them. It’s slow going, but I haven’t had a full Hulking Out since right before I met my husband. So about five years. I had an episode a few weeks ago, and I’ve been dealing with that and developing more coping skills as a result.

Which brings me back to Power Rangers, surprisingly enough. See, as I said before my pain levels have been causing me to be quicker to anger. I’ve got a shorter fuse than normal while I learn to re-adjust around the increased chronic pain and the shifting stresses in my life. So I’ve been re-watching Power Rangers, all the way from the very first ever episode, as part of my cool-down/wind-down time. It’s soothing to me and comforting because it’s something I associate fondly with from my otherwise turbulent childhood. Plus it’s so poorly made, and ridiculous that when I’ve had a harder than normal day, or had an angrier than normal day, it helps pull me out of myself while I ridicule specific plots or monsters in the series. Such as the lead up infamous Peace Conference from MMPR season 2 where they got rid of the original Red, Yellow, and Black Rangers. The body doubles were ridiculous but nowhere near as horrid as the voice double for the Red Ranger. My gods that was… painful to hear.

Anyway, that’s been it. Just me dealing with myself the last few weeks.