Before anyone goes off on the usual Jedi propaganda rant, I'd like to point out that the whole damn Jedi order presided over a 5-millenium "republic" with zero innovation, and rather a lot of slavery. The Sith by contrast - an organization consisting of two people - pushed massive technological leaps in one generation. Of course the only ones you hear about are clone troopers, star destroyers and death star(s), and lightsabres other than a single blade, but which side is writing those movies? Also: think of the peacetime applications! Cloned organs, cities in space reducing ecological footprints (do you want your planet to turn into another Coruscant?), and the ability to supply the entire galaxy with its mining needs with just one planet blown up every decade or so! Oh, and lightsaber-based food processors and lawnmowers.

And you can join at any age, and are allowed to love.

_________

 
Actually, the non-satirical reason is that I can project myself onto a fictional character who is moved by her shadow, in touch with her id. Playing KOTOR, I realized that Lucas's good vs. evil barely holds up if you take long enough to think about it, and the Jedi are better at looking good than doing good. They are incapable of making real change. They are feel-good in-activism presented as glory. They are the state's dictum that legitimate agency in opposition to injustice starts at calm dialogue, moves into sign-carrying, and stops at passive resistance. All other forms of making change have been ruled out, cast into the shadow.

From there, both personally and politically, in projecting myself onto the "bad guy" within this narrative context, I can enter into dialogue with the parts of myself forced out of conscious acceptance (i.e. into the shadow), weigh them and give the parts that I like time to develop within a safe fictional shell. I do this with larp characters, and can separate those impulses which I fear into those I have and can/should use, those that I have and should only direct outwards when in a safe place while keeping in compassionate awareness for when I see other people living them, and those which I merely fear that I have. From this, I have learned: I can present in a dorky feminine fashion without the world ending; had, in the past, survivor guilt that I needed to acknowledge; I intuitively understand why people would submit to a tyrannical regeime but should only exercise that in my actual politics so as to fight that impulse in real life; and am basically, even when playing an awful person, motivated by fixing the world. 

Boxes

Apr. 16th, 2015 01:25 am
Two characters, both near and dear to me. Chris and Emily. A scruffy, ethical contract-killer and staunch defender of friends, even when they barely understand human beings. And a chirpy, energetic science nerd, full of optimism. One masculine; one feminine. One is an established character for a TV show. The other is a larp character who I want to do cool things with.

I had a box set aside for Emily's things, but I started taking them out to wear day-to-day. Her black, sequinned skirt. Her purple hoody.

As for Chris, today I took the lat of zer masculine, military things, packed them into a box today and took them to set. They are moving into fiction now.

Chris has reached zer jumping off point, has waited, and can now serves purpose greater than just 'being.' But ze can also be aside from my daily life. I'm just not that butch anymore.

Emily, on the other hand, I think we'll be seeing a lot more of her - or at least her elements.

Woke up in the middle of the night. Whenever I closed my eyes, I would lose all sense of scale. A hand as big as a mountain floats in a bed unimaginably vast, like my senses encompass the whole of space. That and a sinking feeling in my throat. While reminiscent of unpleasant experiences I've had on morphine, it was disturbingly similar to night terrors I had as a child. 

Prayer and visualization provided little comfort in this underworld-like space. Opening my eyes provided some relief at first, but this waned and I was left in a vast cavern. I turned the lights on and, even looking around my room, it seemed as large as a dyson sphere.

Focusing on action seemed to help. I got up and took a shower. This helped. Journaling now. This feeling is still there in the background.

 

It seems that my sleep apnea is very much reduced. However, vivid and emotionally intense dreams wake me up due to their intensity.

A bunch of goals. In no particular order. With externally-imposed deadlines noted

1. Finance The Switch (March 31st 2014)

2. Finance The Vegan Roadshow (April 30th 2014)

3. Finance Monsterhearts (January 2015)

4. Actualize Project Basilisk (August 2014)

5. Run for city council (September 20th-November 20th ish 2014)

6. File for court with Greg Hughes (December 15th, 2013)

7. Find stable LTR (October 15th, 2014)

8. Prep Elchis Network (...???)

9. Exchange "Studio" for "Roommate," "Shed" for "Studio" (January 1st)

10. Develop Art Plan (...???)

11. Get up at 7-8:30 with a full night's rest. (...???)

12. Investigate investing (...??? - but the sooner, the more effective)

13. Employ skin-care regimen  (...??? - but the sooner, the more effective)

14. Take  multi-vitamin  (...??? - but the sooner, the more effective)

15. Meditate (...??? - but the sooner, the more effective)


 

Top Goals

1. Finance The Switch (March 31st)

2. Move studio to shed, find roommate

3. Meditate

4. Finance The Vegan Roadshow

5. Recoup money for robbery of phone


 

Obstacles to #1

A. Trans people are marginalized, broke and small in number.

B. Executives don't get trans people or geek content.

C. We want to be The First Series With A Trans Lead and the CW and BBC and who knows what else are coming up on us.

D. We're a little green.


 

Knowledge and Skills Needed

1. See financing plan.

Specifically:
- bridge and gap financing
- tax credits
- merch strategy,
- solicitation



Whose help I will need.

Co-workers
- JF
- HG

Community

Family

Government agencies

Finance people.

- SP

 

The plan is to do something every day to get this to happen. Failure is not an option.

From an email:

"My mouth tastes like a mix of pop rocks, iron and salt but my sleep apnea has cleared up, which is cool."

"I’ve been having vivid dreams - dreams in which I was thinking “is this a dream?” and settling on “well, no.” Just to be on the safe side, I’m reading text several times to see if it changes. So all signs point to “awake. I'm told this is normal and should pass.”

It's been around six and a half years since I went on blockers and hormones.

And fuck, do I ever miss rectifying biochemical imbalances via well-tested pharmaceuticals with pleiopsychotropic (i.e. not-really-understood and numerous mental) effects .

Of late, I'd been having short, intense spells of falling down a mental hole. And no amount of mindfulness could take the edge off. Of course, I had trouble with the mindfulness - but was the determining variable situational or neurochemical? Well, no matter how awesome my life was, I still felt kinda crap. So if it's situational, it's complicated.

So, after talking to and getting support from three friends of mine with related problems, I did the smart thing and phoned the mental health line. They gathered that I wasn't about to off myself, so they put me on a list. Days later, I got a call back from a staffer. She mentioned a program that my friends have been through. This required a referral.

I saw the doctor on Wednesday. He recommended a combination of drugs and therapy.

I had a very bad experience with Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRI's) as a youth. They muffled my emotions and my feelings of body and sex which made it hard to figure out I was trans - and the stress from being closeted was the lead direct and indirect cause for the mental ill health for which I was prescribed said SSRIs. They also made it impossible to orgasm and landed me in the hospital with severe stomach pains.

Not realizing that they were a problem, I was on them from shortly after puberty until I was 22. Fuck SSRI's. Right.

Here's the thing. My mum has anxiety issues. And my father had a fatal case of depression. And my grandfather died of complications after a decade-long decline into Parkinson's - that was a shitty way to go. When you have one parent with a moderate neurochemical imbalance, and one parent and one grandparent who died from them, maybe it's a bit fool to think that you can game your way out of the depression.

I'd had some experiences with other medication that left me feeling rather good for a week as a side-effect. I mentioned this to my doctor.

"That's dopamine."

Now, a dopamine deficiency is what causes Parkinson's.

So when he suggested that I instead take a dopamine reuptake inhibitor, one that wouldn't cause sexual side-effects and which might, in the long term, avert a slow decline into what's basically a whole-body paralysis (eventually you can't swallow or talk) I said yes.

Side effects are most intense for the first two weeks. And apparently, the stronger the side-effects, the greater the indication that it's doing something that your body needs.

Well, the inside of my nose is as dry as waking up from anesthesia, my dreams are even more wild and vivid than usual and most of the time, my mouth feels... weird and I feel like I just drank two cups of coffee. And it seems to be getting more intense. I am looking forward to this wearing off, but the ride is interesting.

This is in theory a good sign. But it scares me a bit. A friend of mine (her initials are not "RL," so let's use that handle) started on Adderall. I remember saying that she seemed weird, but she swore by it.

Adderall is a drug for attention deficit. And it also contains an amphetamine-analogue.


This marked the beginning of a two-year decline. As with many Adderall users, RL got a lot done - but like the college student who drops some pills the night before an exam, then stays up all night organizing her record collection, she lost all sense of task priority. This made employment impossible. Paranoia. Hostility. Almost total social withdrawal. I miss her. I'm also very angry at her. It's hard to bridge these with mental illness and addiction.

I have explained to her that I think the drug is fucking her up. But when she misses a few doses, she gets so addled and depressed that she goes back on. She believes that this is her natural state without the drug. I remember her from before, and I believe that this is her state in withdrawal from it.

                 I want to have a word with whomever is prescribing her the shit.

So I have a lot of reasons to be skittish.


What can I tell? I'm getting a lot of work done. I think I'm prioritizing well. Not great, but maybe better than I was a week ago. It may also be that I'm more aware of not prioritizing. Of course, I have a new productivity program, so that may be a factor. And I feel better. Now, the latter may be situational rather than neurochemical. Wellbutrin generally doesn't work this fast, so it may be optimism over my mental health, getting home after a long trip followed by illness, or it may feel like I have some space at work. And my clitoris got at least semi-repaired. On the other hand, things in my small business are something like "possible hope in the face of possible total catastrophe," my financial situation is the worst it's been since my early twenties, and I rarely see people outside of work.

But one thing is clear - the irrational one-hour period around sunset of horrible mood and feelings of futility? Diminished on some days; gone on others. Let's hope it stays like that.

It's only thee days so far. That's a small sample set.

If you see me in person, feel free to analyze my behaviour and speak to me.


Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to prioritize myself into bed. I have an early call to set tomorrow.

        Where I will be playing a dude.

             In a lead role.

                And that is another story.

 

 


Tyler had some good advice for people in a bleak mood. Sort of an alterative to shrinks and counselling.

It was something to the effect of:
        Sort out what you do that makes you happy. Do more of it. Do less of the things that make you unhappy.

Smart guy. I adopt this as my strategy.

The Federation flew in a couple dozen people, and campus is swarming. Many of them don't have a clue what's going on in BC. It's poster-and-flyer time. All day. Every day.

Eight more work-days of this CFS shit. Then the gruelling time-consuming part is done. The last fifteen months of work is done. Then things look up a bit. Things look up a lot. I'll even have a chance to pursue some of my pet administrative projects (i.e. accessible washrooms!). Or take some time off and get knee-deep into research.

But there is a slog between now and then.

Will we win? What if we lose?

I have an inkling of how to handle it if we lose. Namely, it would be a hard lesson in democracy, and why going off and doing your own thing might be a better idea than trying to convince everyone to do it with you.

This said, I don't think that will be necessary. I really do think that we can win, and that we are going to win. We're down volunteer numbers relative to them, but I think that we have skill, a strong argument, and the sentiment of campus leans in our favour. Plus I don't think that the CFS volunteers will hold up well. Whereas ours seem to get more enthused as time goes on.

After this. Nevermind "after this." I'm having trouble thinking about "after this." Howabout This will end. Soon. Then there will be other things that are more enjoyable.

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August 2017

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