I mostly post under lock these days; I'm just a bit skittish of having anything free-floating on the internet. But! If you'd like access, please do ask and ye shall almost certainly receive.
being approximately a smush of Fluxx, Mao, and Calvinball.
- 1 (or more) deck(s) playing cards
- Writing instrument
- Players more interested in having a good time than munchkining.
- who knows???
At the beginning of play, shuffle the cards and deal five to each player. Each player, on their turn, plays one card. If the effect of the card has not yet been declared, the player makes it up; this should be recorded. If the effect of a card has been declared, it is activated. At the end of a player's turn, they draw one card.
A friend and I made this up tonight and these are the rules we ended up with:
( Read more... )
- 1 tbsp. yeast
- 1/4 cup warm (~100F) water
- 1 cup milk
- 3/4 cup oats
- 1 1/2 cups rye flour
- 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 tbsp. molasses
- 2 tbsp. butter
- 1/4 cup almond meal
- 1 cup milk
- 1 tbsp. salt
Combine yeast and warm water, set aside. Combine oats and one cup of milk, microwave for two minutes and let cool. Once oats and milk are at a non-yeast-murdering temperature (sub-100F, ideally closer to 80F), combine everything in a big fat mixing bowl (a stand mixer will make your life easier!) Knead until elastic - don't be shy - adjusting consistency with more water/flour as necessary. Grease a bowl. Turn your dough onto a floured surface and form into a smooth ball. Dump that ball of dough into your bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and let rise a bit past doubled.
Deflate. Chop into two loaf-size pieces, maybe some extra little rolls. Form loaves by your preferred method, stick in greased loaf pans (they should be about half-full.) Let rise above the tops of the pans until they look like comically rectangular mushrooms. Bake at 375F for 50 minutes. Let cool. Om nom nom.
I said Yellow would be about social plans, but I lied. Instead it's about my relationship with holidays.
My dad's side of the family knows how to do Christmas right. My grandma used to mail out big tubs of Pfefferkuchen topped with chocolate and a few sprinkles a couple weeks before the day. Christmas Eve dinner is usually something simple but nice, maybe cheese fondue or roasted duck legs. There's presents to unwrap and actually classy Christmas music playing. They polish the actually-silver-silverware and have a great fancy dinner, ending in a big, boozy trifle.
I don't have any of that this year. It's important for me to remember that that was my choice: the reasons I'm not there are awful and unfair, but I could have gone. It's hard not to be wistful, all the same.
Instead, I'm doing dinner with a couple friends, and I am going all-out, within the allowances of my budget. I have made cookies and acquired a duck and they're bringing the sides and dessert. It still feels strange to be the one hosting. I am confronting the question of what my own traditions are going to be, much earlier than I thought I would need to.
The quarter finished! I am now on winter break. My intrepid and long-suffering readers may remember that I was just taking an English class this quarter. I, uh, actually haven't finished it.
I mean, I did the paperwork so that this is actually fine and I can turn in the two essays I need to write (and haven't even slightly started) after winter break, but uuuuuuggggghhhh. I feel terrible/worried about taking one class and not even being able to finish on time.
The kinds of essays the class wants from me are very hard for my brain to do. I can do creative writing just fine, even on a deadline to some extent, because I can virtually always turn an assignment into something I actually want to write, and I'm familiar with various tricks for generating material even when it's going to suck. Similarly, I think I could do more technical writing alright, because that's more like "convert this idea to words in the clearest way possible", it doesn't require creative input in remotely the same way. All this nonfiction analysis/persuasive whatever demands that I apply my creativity to stuff that I would never voluntarily write, and I've literally never had to or tried to write in an academic style before, and I am absurdly perfectionistic and work too hard at having ideas that are actually interesting.
One thing I'm specifically struggling with in regards to one of my essays is that it is way too open-ended for me to cope with. I am supposed to write a "researched persuasive essay" about... literally anything.
Next quarter, though! Next quarter I'm taking intro to theater and an anthropology class. I hope it will be an easy quarter, but it also puts me at 10 credits, so I can hopefully join student senate! And my schedule is M-W-F only, with nothing in the wee hours of the morning, so yay to that.
I'll start writing in order of comments: that puts green first!
While I'm working on that: I have 8 more holiday cards to send, and I would like to send one to you. Yes, you! Comment below with your address, and I will happily send one your way.
Additionally! If you'd like a poem or some other piece of writing from me, leave me a prompt/word! No cap on writing requests. I should be able to get cards out fairly quickly; writing-not-for-cards may happen more slowly.
Holiday cards remaining: 8
each sealed with a different color of ribbon. "I think these are related to your research," she says. "Go on, open them. As many as you like."
Which do you want to read first?
- The scroll with the dark blue ribbon. Something about the Battle of West Doroway. [I'll post about finishing up my English class and my plans for next quarter.]
- The scroll with the emerald green ribbon, about the Order of the Carnation and the Order of the Inkpot. [I'll post about club stuff and my experiences with organization/leadership.]
- The scroll with the red velvet ribbon. Something about the Count's affair with the Earl of Birnwood. [I'll post about new boyfriend eee.]
- The scroll with the yellow ribbon, about the city's Festival of Longnight celebrations. [I'll post about my social plans for December.]
- The scroll with the black ribbon, about the Battle of Silvermount. [I'll post about job stuff, namely, not having one and not knowing what to look for.]
- The scroll with the multicolored ribbon, written in an indecipherable script. "Oh, that one's special," says the wizard. "It'll tell you anything you want to know, if you ask the right questions." [I'll post about anything you tell me to!]
I'm trying to establish residency to get in-state tuition next year, so for this first year I can't exceed 6 credits at a time. For this first quarter, I'm taking English 101, which is 5 credits. So far I am very glad to be starting at community college. My class only has 20-something people in it, and it's taught by an actual professor, whom I so far like a lot. (She is also an advisor for the Queer-Straight Alliance!) Class is Monday-Thursday in the afternoons, so uh, it is very good that I do not have to deal with getting up early consistently on top of generally readjusting to school.
I've joined the aforementioned QSA (which is full of ridiculously lovely people), the anime club, and the writers club; I have something going on on-campus every weekday. I am consistently astonished by how many people seem to want to be my friend, and by my newfound powers of fearlessly talking to people.
I'm currently working on my first essay. It is... very hard. I only need a thousand words, but they are trickling out of me so slowly. It's like... it's not just procrastination and perfectionism, though it is that. It feels like my brain discards bad sentences before they even reach consciousness. Turns out, it's pretty difficult to write a thousand words that are actually pretty and fit together in two days!
I think it's possible that I would have an easier time with more research- or opinion-based papers, rather than the wibbly "reflective description" I'm meant to be doing, because then it's easier for me to know what I mean to say before I say it. When I'm supposed to be talking about myself and my internal mental state, I can try to plan things, but I don't really know what I think until it's out there, and then the piece leads me somewhere I couldn't have planned.
Emily and I threw a housewarming party on Saturday! (yeah, it ate into essay time a bit.) Around 15 people came, mostly QSA people and others around the college, plus my sister. We spent most of the evening in a tangled heap on the floor, playing card games and petting each other's hair. It was exactly as fabulous as it sounds.
Today I am sick. I continue essaying. Wish me luck.
I have been SO BUSY for obvious reasons. Quick bullet points so I feel less awkward when I talk about other things:
- Met up with assorted Seattle people: you know who you are! Good times were had. Also, ridiculously good ice cream. Also, ridiculously good chocolate. I shall return someday, time and money permitting.
- Arrived in Bellingham, moved my stuff into house-of-the-month. Have not passively imploded with housemate conflicts! That is just about a first.
- I was working on a post in Notepad, to the tune of 1,500 words. Some updates insisted upon installing themselves. I hadn't saved. AAAAAAAAAAA. I will attempt to rescue it later.
- Change of plans: Proooobably going to be attempting to college in the fall (i.e. in a few days), not the winter. I am so tired of putting off school, it is going to happen now.
- I looked at an apartment, and I made the mistake of falling madly in love with it. Emily and I applied, with some trepidation as to whether or not we would get it. I was waiting to be denied and feel my heart break.
- Picked a big sack of blackberries and baked a pie, and it was good.
- AAAA WE GOT THE APARTMENT and there was much rejoicing. It's ours on Friday!
- I will have the same address for more than two months. It has been so long! It'll make sense for me to try to make my life nice and not just... vaguely functional!
- Cousin the Middler and Cousin the Elder have entered the Circle of Trust. I can facebook properly. (if I decide to give you this link, thanks in advance for being cool.)
- I have an Emily with me right now. And she's not even leaving in two weeks!
Emily arrived just last night. Having her, here, still feels a little unreal, like, surely she'll have to go away again soon? Surely we must scramble to fit in everything we want to do together, surely we can't just go about our lives? How can it be true that her home is with me, now? How can it be true that I'm the person she comes back to, not the person she's just visiting? I still catch myself thinking like she's going to leave, and then I realize she won't, and I smile. And hug her.
(as I was writing this post, this transpired:
"Are you typing up a storm?"
"Not that much of a storm."
"Oh, are you typing up a drizzle?"
I will likely continue to be too busy to write the kinds of posts I would like to write for some time. Are frequent short posts a thing that would be appreciated while that's going on? I worry that random life-updates are boring, but currently the alternative is silence.
So, Seattle people: if you would like to meet up on Aug. 5th before 4:00 PM, please let me know and we can try to work something out! Anon comments screened if you'd rather talk privately.
(hsgfgahhhh one of these days I really will move with more than a couple days notice.)
- I returned from the Canadas. That was a while ago, whoops.
- I am two decades old as of yesterday! Le Dad and I went canoeing in the Kankakee River and had sushi, and this morning I had the taaaastiest mushroom+asparagus crepe. No longer am I technically a teenager!1 I can feel less awkward about revealing my age!
- I seem to be on track to move in the beginning of August. I finally got the right documents together to open a bank account, I'm in talks with a couple of people about rooms for August, and I haven't got too much packing to do.
- Kinda stressed. Definitely under time pressure. Waiting for a bunch of stuff I can't control to come together.
- I will now pack a box. Packing a box is a thing I can control.
- I wish the weather was cool enough for me to want tea.
1 In base 10. Fuck, in dozenal I've got four more years to go.
- I have successfully arrived on Vancouver Island! Flying was excellently uneventful. Cousin the Elder drove me to my grandparents' place; tomorrow I'm being switched over to my aunt and uncle's place, where my sister, Cousin the Elder, and Cousin the Younger will also be. Cousin the Middler, tragically, will not be here until after I've left.
- The power came back on sometime during Wednesday night, and lo, there was water! and the dishes did sparkle, and would not be engulfed in mold. The false prophecy was revealed, and the people didst cleanse themselves in running water, and don their dry, fresh-smelling raiments.
- Newly enwheelchaired grandpa saying "Vroom! vroom!"
- I stumbled upon the PDF of Metaprogramming Ruby and started reading. I understand all the concepts just fine, but I still have no ability to actually write nontrivial working code, so I'm trying RubyMonk again in conjunction with some other reading. I have stuck this in HabitRPG, here's hoping I end up with usable skills this time.1
- One particular brainweasel is rearing its head. I am actually not particularly good at teaching myself things. (you may be inclined to assert that this is untrue. I am very good at absorbing ambient facts and will seek them by the pound, but I am very rarely successful at developing skills and depth-knowledge on my own.) I often feel like struggling with self-teaching makes me a terrible person, or I must be unmotivated or I'd learn the thing I want to.2
- I think people who are good at self-teaching have had more practice with being taught. I have had nothing taught to me in an organized way since I was 14. I don't know how to continually work on something that challenges me. My frustration tolerance is almost nonexistent. I have rarely been pushed in healthy ways - been pushed to do something I can do that stretches me. I've mostly been pushed off of cliffs - pushed to do things I know I can't do, without help, or else. The latter is not actually that great for developing one's capabilities. Highly successful method for developing panic disorder though!
- I have stayed up entirely too late. Whoops. Now I sleep.
1. context I forgot: I've tried to learn various programming languages several times with a variety of approaches.
2. Most brainweasels of this ilk manifest as me having extended angry arguments in my head. It's not exactly a thing I believe, but a broken belief that I'm dignifying with way too much brainspace.
My flight to Vancouver Island is tomorrow. The power being out meant I couldn't dry all the laundry I did or get to my to-do list, so that's been annoying! The house will be no fun to come back to if we can't do some dishes, and all the food in the fridge will have to be thrown out if the power doesn't come back on. Auggghhh.
Right now I have internet and devices are charging up and I have books and coffee. Right now is pretty okay; it can stay.
EDIT: WHOO there is now a generator! With luck we shall not return to fuzzy dishes!
On the first day of hiatusmas, my true love gave to me: one email I (actually) had to send, and >60 unread taunting me until I broke down and read them all, then shut the laptop in guilt and buried my nose in a book. On the second day of hiatusmas, my true love gave to me: >60 taunting emails, reading page temptation, and a kick in the teeth for earworming you all with a Christmas song in June. Journal quote: "It no longer makes sense to call this an internet hiatus, I have decided. It is more of an internet-group-interaction and content-seeking hiatus." I'm a little disappointed with myself, but ultimately, I'm not surprised. I was letting myself do basically every step in checking my email/reading page except actually opening the mail client/browser tab, so I had few opportunities to resist those very ingrained habits. I could probably avoid the internet more successfully if I ignored my computer completely, but I'm not particularly willing to do that when my time is so unstructured and I spend so much of it alone.
After some more guitar practice and transcription, I got the whole song figured out! Just need to write it down and bludgeon some software into cooperating so I can share. From then I was Very Bad and read a bunch of blog posts and reread a Phoenix Wright fanfic. (Phoenix/Edgeworth OTP. Don't fight me on this.)
While my hiatus was more internetty than I would have liked, I did a lot of reading (11 books/4,000 pages) and traipsing around outside. Meditating happened a few times; I'm going to keep working at it. I'm trying to continue acting as I did on hiatus as much as possible, but resume socializing. The specific things I'm trying not to do are checking things obsessively, going on wiki walks and archive binges, and reading argumentative content. I do not appreciate feeling compelled to form my beliefs in reaction to what I'm being told to believe. Over the past two days of not-hiatus, I've been doing more of those things than I would like. I think I'm going to try banning myself from internet before lunch, or some other stretch of time.
I am enjoying foraging in the yard. A little ways off, we have a totally ridiculous mulberry tree. I get a few good handfuls every couple days, which are delicious in my oatmeal. Some blackberries are trailing on the ground and should ripen sometime in July. Also, daylilies. We are covered in daylilies. I still want to make a salad with the flowers, and try the tubers sometime.
A storm happened, and the front yard has been replaced by a lake. Le dad realized he neglected to bring home a vegetable for dinner tonight. I suggested I go pluck daylily buds, and did so - while the rain continued to hammer down. My feet were covered over with water while I snapped buds into a sieve.
I ducked inside, raindrops dripping from my hair, my leather sandals thoroughly muddied. I sat back down and continued reading, waiting to cook the buds until the rest of dinner was further along. I sauteed them in butter over low heat, with a good dash of salt, and had them next to salmon and rice. They were delicious, like if summer squash and asparagus had little flowery babies. Le Dad concurred.
As for the herb garden, my cilantro has tragically bolted. I'm hoping it'll reseed itself in time to produce a second crop, but I at least ought to get some coriander seeds out of it. The parsley and basil are looking fine, even if they're not as big as I might like. Meanwhile, the mint is sprawling. Good experience; I know for whenever I'm growing herbs again that I ought to plant a lot more.
I did indeed finish transcribing That One Song. Achievement Unlocked! I'm starting to really struggle with practicing, though. There are some problems I'm having that are related to not being able to use a metronome - I can't hear it while I'm playing, and even when I pump it to ridiculous levels, it doesn't really compute in my brain as a beat. It's hard for me to play along with it instead of after it with a variable time lag while I strain to hear it. I don't really know what to do about this. I'm also struggling to find songs to play. A preponderance of music I like is far too technical to even approach, but searching for "easy songs" brings up a bunch of mainstream junk I would never be motivated to polish, or worse still, easy versions of mainstream songs that sound terrible and have nothing for me to reference. Playing three chords with an extremely basic strumming pattern along with a song I dislike does not motivate me to hone my accuracy and articulation. Also ASCII tabs are terrible and has no explicit rhythm notation and are usually inaccurate as all get-out. I am resigned to transcribing for myself anything I want to play in Special Snowflake notation; I'm working on Cloud Cult's "Transistor Radio" now.
In other news, I'll be visiting family on Vancouver Island in early July (I am ambivalently looking forward to most of this, and terrified of one particular element of it.) I am playing lots of interactive fiction games, which you might hear more about soon. I have a functioning tablet pen again, which I have Plans for. I am now going to read a book (hiatusmas is a way of life)
I will be taking a break from the vast majority of the internet for an unspecified amount of time, starting tomorrow morning. Computery things I will let myself do if I want to:
- Talk to Emily
- Write my 750words
- Reply to the two letterlike emails I'm sitting on
- Tick stuff off in HabitRPG
- Listen to That One Song I'm transcribing
- Watch Crest of the Stars with Emily
- Things not on this list that are obviously necessary for and not distracting from the non-internet things I am trying to do.
Computery things I will not be doing:
- Checking email
- Doing anything ambiently or unfocusedly
- Anything not listed
Other stuff I will be trying to do:
- Read at least two books
- Random guitar flailing
- Poking at plants
- Hopefully other stuff. Maybe even drawing????
It is much too easy for me to waste oodles of time reading blog posts and wiki articles that I'm not going to remember for long anyway. I also have a bad habit of quashing my own beliefs and intuitions when people tell me to. This is a bad combination. Some memetic isolation will be good for me.
1I have tried to "meditate" properly many times before, proper posture trying not to think etc. I realize that non-judgment and self-kindness are the entire point, but trying to meditate "properly" gets me very distracted and frustrated because I'm trying too hard at not thinking. What I do instead is sit however I feel like sitting and just... let thoughts happen without letting them take on a life of their own? Kind of just, experiencing the soup my brain brews up when I'm not letting it get new inputs or stuck in feedback loops. Also I constructed an entity that watches my thoughts with me and kindly tells me to stfu and focus on my breath again when I get distracted.
If you try to tell me you love me more, you should know what you're getting yourself into.
So that last entry. Sounded kinda depressing, huh? I even tagged it "happier than my tone suggests".
I have been having a growing realization that while I do not struggle with experiencing happiness, I think, when my life is such that that's a reasonable way to be feeling about it, I am absolutely dreadful at remembering it, seeking it, and communicating it. This is far from the first time that I've written something, my global mood being pretty happy, maybe mentioning one or two less happy events - and come across as sad as hell, often not even recognizing it until someone points it out. More dramatically, Emily showed me a video she had taken of us during my last visit, and I could hardly remember being the person in it. I can reassemble what the experience must have been like, but watching it was like seeing someone else wearing my face and speaking with my voice.
How godawful would it be to have a happy life but only be able to remember the worst parts of it?
So I've started attempting to record the times when I'm happy, why I'm happy, and what that feels like. It's... hard. I keep putting in stylistic bullshit that turns my attempts at happy sentiment to bittersweetness, or making hilariously sad comments like "wow, this thing happened, and it so totally didn't replicate an anxiety-nightmare! My belief in my worthlessness was so unconfirmed!" Nice try, sad-brain, but we're aiming a little higher than that.
Today my brain had a hilarious little objection as I was examining my reasons for doing this. "Wait a minute," (it seemed to say) "I'm doing this to try to write happy things, but I don't actually like happy writing. As far as emotional content goes, I pretty much just like angst, or happiness-as-angst-counterpoint. I mean, I'll keep doing the journaling anyway, because I want to remember this stuff, but why should I have to write in a tone I don't even like? oh noes inauthenticity" I quickly realized that this sentiment is both absurd and false. Absurd, in that even if I don't want happiness to even be a thing in my tonal palette for creative writing, I of course want to be able to communicate my actual mood in my journalblogging in ways that sound sincere and descriptive. False, in that I very much value and enjoy reading my friends' description of their happiness. Writing is for communication and not just aesthetics, doncha know.
Other assorted things:
- Guitar continues apace! Yesterday I watched a video of someone introduced as an "amazing musician", and realized the guitar part of the song was easy enough that I could probably play it without inaccuracies within a month. I quickly set about transcribing it - I'm pretty sure it's the same strumming pattern and three one- and two-finger chords the whole way through. It would probably be good for me to listen to less Leo Kottke and more regular people.
- I am going to try to find myself a song that I really want to play that is well-outside my current abilities, but near enough that I can figure out how to approach it.
- Herb garden continues to be an herb garden. The parsley and mint have been producing pretty well, though those are the ones I use the least of. The cilantro has just gotten over transplant shock, and is now exploding with feathery new leaves. The basil is the newest addition and seems to be in transplant shock still - which is odd, because it was in a biodegradable pot. Soon! Soon I shall nom all the tasty basil.
- Started writing fanfiction that must never leave my hard drive. It's so reassuring, though, to be able to work on plot and prose without the pressure of original characters and worldbuilding. And if I do decide to post it (behind about fifty layers of security and obfuscation) I know I'm already above average just by having reasonable grammar most of the time. The certainty of non-ridicule is comforting, even if it stays private.
- Burritos are delicious. Green habanero hot sauce is delicious. It is making me want to cook with hotter peppers than serranos. This is probably a bad idea.
I have lots of time alone in the house. This is good. I need time alone (or only with people I'm very, very close to) in mass quantities, and I haven't had nearly as much as I need for the past two years and especially the past year. I'm focusing a lot on just resting and establishing routines. I was genuinely surprised to discover that when I can establish routines and not have them broken down immediately, and when I'm not constantly faced with needing to do things I know I simply can't, I don't burst into tears all the time! That probably sounds sarcastic, but I was really expecting to have more baggage of some kind to work through.
I am an awful lot less anxious overall, but worry-fuel is never scarce. I've never had the greatest relationship with my dad, and things are getting better, but there's so much that I know I can't say to him. I hate lying, and I hate hiding, and I keep catching myself wanting to relate some anecdote about Emily, and stopping. Wanting to talk about some news in her life - and news in her life is news in my life - and stopping. Saying something about having been to Texas - and stopping. I don't know what he'd do or what I'd do if I let something slip. Plus, being able to work on the things I need to do to move and start school, for instance, really snaps all the anxiety about it into focus.
In indubitably happy news, I got a guitar! It's an Alvarez Artist Series AC65CE, a classical electric-acoustic. I have been practicing just about every day, and I can pretty well stumble through "Anyone Else But You" (moldy peaches, the song at the end of Juno) and twelve-bar blues, and do a couple classical strumming patterns? So that seems to be going well, though yesterday my hand was going "AUGH WHAT DID YOU DO TO ME".
I wanted to track habits like guitar practice, and some lovely person introduced me to HabitRPG, which is working really well for me. It essentially gamifies habit-formation and getting stuff done like an old-school RPG. Other gamification tools I've seen haven't really had any added value to me because they basically just use the words for game concepts, putting a game-like veneer over things. HabitRPG is an actual game - not a very deep one, but a game no less - that forces you to do real-life productive things to progress. You add different kinds of tasks (habits, to-dos, dailies), and whenever you check them off, you get gold and experience. When you do a bad habit or miss a daily, you lose health. Experience lets you level up, unlocking new features, and gold lets you buy new equipment to increase your stats. It's the first thing I've experienced that makes me want to go to bed early for more sweet loot. I'll probably write a post sometime on how and why I think it's so helpful. I highly recommend checking it out.
The plan is still to move to Bellingham in September. I'm figuring out what I need to do to make that happen. A lot of it depends on auxiliatrix. Some of it, I'm not sure how I'm going to do without my dad figuring out that we mean to live together. I largely couldn't care less how he reacts once I'm there and I have my stuff, but I'm rather concerned about how I'll be able to convince anyone to rent me a place without a cosigner (and I'm not sure who else to ask). Talking with my sister has been helpful.
I think that basically sums it up for now, but how are you?