Introvert/Silen Depression

Should I try to sell my art online? Finished pieces, color, black and white, quick(ish) sketches like this?


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K. so I'm not that sick. I don't even think I'm contagious anymore, but damn if my throat won't clear up and stop making me sound like I've the proverbial frog in it, or that I'm actually 70-something and still clinging to a 50+ year habit of booze and cigars.

The sneezing, I think, is mainly allergies, but mixed with this cold/cough bug I've been fighting all week, the allergy medicine wasn't doing much to stop it. Thankfully my nose stopped rebelling yesterday, so I'm not walking around today with "Sneezy Pooofs" crammed up my nostrils.

And to be honest, I don't particularly feel very sick. A minor headache, an overall sort of yuck-ish feeling, and a throat that demands a constant supply of cough drops, but otherwise, I'm just dandy. I actually just wanted to post something - anything - and came across this picture of Ewegene that I drew for my previous co-worker, Sarah, when she was really sick once. It's cute. And no matter how mainly well I feel, I am sick, so it works.

So then, Ewegene's Advice for the Day: Take lots of vitamins and stock up on Airborne, and be sure to never mistake a sheep for a convenient Sneezy Pooof - it could get you brutally killed, with only a few scattered hoofprints in the snow and on your forehead to tell the tragic tale.

(What? You don't believe him? Look at those eyes. Just look at 'em. He's dangerous, I tell you.)

I'm grounding me

My inner child is being a brat today. A whiny, snively, mewling, foot-stomping brat. Six-year-old-me-spirit refuses to "get with the program," i.e., do my schoolwork. I've been sick for the past few days, and so took today and yesterday off of work, and still haven't even started on the two assignments I have due tonight at 10 p.m. See? Right now, I'm blogging rather than researching such things as segmenting, targeting, positioning and differentiation.

Bad six-year-old-me-spirit. Go sit in the corner. (Wait. The computer is in the corner ...)

I feel rebellious this term. To date, I've bitched and frowned about every chat and assignment right up till the day it's due, then bitched and frowned till I had only hours left to do everything and get it turned in on time. Granted, I'm still getting fantastic grades despite this, but I think that's only because these classes are so very easy. If they were more challenging, I'd be failing.

And it would be my own damned fault.

I keep thinking about the future - what kind of job I want, what kind of house I want, where I want to live, etc. - and bemoaning the fact that I can't have any of that until I get my bachelor's degree. So, here I am, working on my bachelor's degree, and I'm completely fucking off this term.

The problem is, I'm mad.

I'm mad that until I get that degree, I'm stuck right where I am, which works but is very definately not desirable. I'm mad that the rent for this tiny, shitty, crappy, ass of an apartment with thin-paned, leaky windows and a screen door that's shorter than the real door, is being raised, starting next month. There have been no improvements, so why the fuck is rent going up? Oh wait. That's right - they re-did the tiny, crappy, open a whopping three months out of the year, swimming pool over the summer. No that we needed that. I'd be happy with better windows, really. Thrilled even.

I'm mad (still) that unless I do what I've been doing this term and blow off school till the last minute, I can't spend time with the boy. I'm mad that it's come down to doing my best in school or sitting on the couch and talking to the man I love. Or just sitting there, because all the words we have to say are bitching about work and we don't want to depress one another any more than we already are.

I'm mad that, knowing full well I'm being irresponsible, I still find myself mad at school and unwilling to read or reasearch or write any sooner than the day an assignment is due. I'm mad that no matter how mad I get at myself over this, it makes no difference. Oh, I'll sit there at the computer, logged into the virtual campus, staring at the task list. I'll even jot down a few notes on what to research and how to go about writing whatever paper is due. But that's it.

When it comes time to actually buckle down and do the work - in a timely manner, anyway - I just sit there. Stare at the screen. Grumble angrily. Visit Visit mom's blog, my blog, your blog. Look at my school notes and get angrier. Get up, leave the room even though there's nothing else to do (because up till now I've blown off school by at least doing usefull things like washing dishes and doing laundry). Stalk the seven feet and back from hallway to kitchen (stopping to look in the fridge even though I'm not hungry, because eating isn't doing schoolwork) and plop down at the computer again.

And stare at the screen and cuss. Again.

And I'm mad on a purely prideful level, that despite this I'm getting great grades, so I can't even tell myself I'm messing up my GPA, in an attempt to get myself to just fucking do the work, now instead of later. At least if I were getting bad grades I'd feel the sting of my brattiness and quit it. As it is, I can bitch myself out over it all I want, but I have a bad habit of not listening to myself when I most need to, especially when I'm seeing A's. Worse - I know this but that doesn't change the fact. And that just makes me angrier.

I'm being entirely selfish. I know it, I hate it, I want to change it. But six-year-old-me-spirit knows just what to say to make me enjoy the selfishness.

"Just one more story in that book of short ghost stories, then we can get back to school work."

"Take a nap (you're sick, for goodness sake) for an hour or three, then you'll feel better, revived, ready for school stuff."

"One hour - just one hour! - of playing Sacred isn't that bad. Go ahead- get it out of your system. Then you'll be better able to concentrate on school stuff."

"What's on cuteoverload now? Have they added any photos? Have they posted that photo of Pib you submitted?" (So far the answer to that is no.)

"You need a snack. Make nachos. Then you'll know where to start on this project."

"Shave your legs. They feel like sandpaper. Who cares that no one but us knows this? WE know it, and we don't like it. Shave them now."

"Scrubs is on. It's a new episode! Come on - it's only half an hour ..."

I think I need to ground six-year-old-me-spirit.

Sigh. And, now that I once again have mere hours left before two assignments are due, I'll go on to the freaking-out-because-I-didn't-do-this-earlier stage. Pardon me while I go and create two more really undeserved A-papers.

Someone tell me I'm grounded. No more Sacred till the term is over. No cuteoverload or I Can Has Cheezburger till assignments are done (before they're due). And no more bitching, period.

Possibly, maybe

Demon Looking Over Shoulder

The thought of creating a comic-book story for this demon of mine is intriguing. It keeps sneaking up behind me when I'm least expecting it, tapping me on the shoulder with one icy claw, and begging to be drawn. I may very well give in, though it would be a slow undertaking, what with school and all ...

Here's a fifteen minute sketch I scribbled out at work this morning, when the brain-nagging got to me. Hope he's satisfied. I'm still working on the red pattern over the shoulders, and considering having it only go down the one arm (the left one), not both.

Sigh. Choices, choices, and no time to play.

I love him

Once again, the boy made dinner. Since I have school from the time I get home from work till I go to bed, I rarely get the time to cook anything myself, or even to quickly toss together a salad or sandwich. So, the boy has been making dinner a good 95% of the time. Without complaint.

Yes, that's right ladies - without complaint. And - although it has taken a reasonable amount of loving nagging on my part - this is what he makes now, instead of mac n' cheese with hamburger, or pizza. And you see that pile of green things? Green beans. Of his own free will, without me saying a word about how we really need to eat healthier, so let's eat some veggies too with our chunk of cow. And - he ate some of them himself.

I love this man. He cooks, he cleans, he turns the TV really low or wears headphones so he doesn't disturb me while I'm doing school work. Even when he's watching football! Yes, he does give in to the occasional outburst of "whooohoooooo!" or "No! Nonononono! RUN! Run, fucker!!! Nooooooo!!!" when the Falcons are playing, but he generally blushes and grins and apologizes when I stick my head out of the room to see what the fuss is. Not that I get upset at such outbursts - I just find it amusing that he gets so into it. This, from the man who'll cook me a deeeelicious steak, baked potato, green beans with no nagging, and toast, and quietly bring it in to me at the computer with a kiss and the understanding that I'll probably not even eat everything he's given me because I'll be eating slowly - a bite here, a slurp there - and will feel full before I'm even halfway through the plate of food.

And he never complains that I spend all my home-time locked in the bedroom at the computer, away from him. He doesn't get upset when I have to work on school stuff all day Friday - our one day off together. He just encourages me, and tells me he's proud of me.

I love this man.

Hey Mom, how about this?

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Ooo it's so pretty!

I think I've outdone myself on the look of my blog this time, if I do say so myself. It's so, so ... animated-film-like, and stuff. And the red makes me think of Japanimation, which I'm a bit fond of. I may just have to make up a story to go with the demon-drawing. Maybe make a comic of it? Hmmmm ...

And to help celebrate the new look in style, here's a bird that dances better than I do (and is, coincidentally, the funniest damn thing I've seen in a long time; dude's so into it, it's cute!):

Snatched from Cute, of course.

Name this blog - revised

K. so I decided on "Dream of the Dragon" for the new - and yes, final - blog name. I even have a banner for it.


My stooopid POS computer at work (which notoriously hates blogger) will not allow me to properly edit the header at the top ofmy blog. Oh, I can upload the new banner, but the option to use the banner "instead of title" doesn't show up until I clcik on save, and no matter how quickly I check it then, it's too late. There is no possible way - with any of the three different internet navigators I have on this computer - for me to have the uber-spiffy banner show up instead of the plain, boring title you see now. So, I have to wait till I get home to fix it, and it's gonna bug the living shit out of me all damn day because it really is an uber-spiffy banner. Truly.

Stooopid computer.

Here's what the banner will look like, only bigger:

Halloween Nightmare

And yes, that's my artwork again. A section of a demon I drew several years ago and colored in Photoshop. The coloring and shading is what made it take years; it's a pretty damn big file. I'll have to post the full picture on here sometime ...


Halloween Nightmare

Only two weeks till' Halloween. Here's a fun little spook for you - my version of the beast of legend, the Nightmare.

Sweet dreams, kiddies ...

Inside-out Skeleton

Inside-out skeleton beckons, then speaks:
A dry rasp of sanity reaching for decency,
Reaching for something not known but needed.

“These bones are shivering, hard and too long-
All jutting angles and crossed lines, and
This skin stretched thin rips
With each shudder and readjustment,
Crumbles with each heaving of a sigh.
Don’t let it all fall away;
I’m not ready to bare my soul just yet,
But I need something to hold me in,
So stretch it.

Stretch it thin,
Shake it,
Make it rattle, dry and cold:
This is the last of my toughened skin
So make of it something stronger to hold
All those things that
I’ve been told I need,
Make of it something sacred-
A vessel, a cup, a heart or womb-
Make something I can keep with me.

Too many moronic voices
Idiot vices
Blind aces held in slippery fingers,
And I want to scream,
Just make the sanity in me go away.

‘Can’t stand it,’ I shudder.
‘Can’t do this
Won’t do this
Why must I do this all again?’
I shiver,
Rip the skin.

These bones are turning to stone, and
In the shadows, cool and dry,
I struggle to find just one ray of light
To warm me.

Damn the things that need flesh
The things that need to be held -
Damn them for making me shiver so, clinging
To this last bit of cover against the cold.
Damn this ache in me for decency and secrecy -
I cannot banish it;
It is now too much a part of me.
Damn it all.

If I could stretch it,
Stretch it all
Into some cloak to fit me,
Some bag to hold me in again -
If I could wrap this all tight around me,
Cover the bones again -
If I could bear the burden of flesh
Just one more time, I think
I’d find that ray of light
And dance
And dance
And succumb to the fire.”

Inside-out skeleton turns, and,
Crumbling, sifting, sinks down into the shadows,
Silent and stretched too thin,
Shuddering and reaching for
To hold her in.

Yes, both drawing and poem are my own creations.

Cursing the abyss

Thank god for Melatonin. Really.

Despite an angry/depressed fit of unrest yesterday evening about work and school and how I'm pretty much trapped into working a good 13 out of 24 hours of the day and how this consequently gives me little time to spend with the boy or even just relax on my own, I slept well. Depsite feeling hopeless and helpless and like I was chasing my own tail, I was not troubled with strange bad dreams.

Of course, crying to the boy about it all before bed helped too, but it was the Melatonin that kept me (mostly) blissfuly asleep through the night to wake relatively refreshed and over it today.

Sometimes I hate being a Cancer. Or rather, a smart Cancer. See, I know damn well that everything will be ok - hell, more than ok - in the end, and that while things seem to be going slower than a stoned slug in winter right now, once I do graduate a little over a year from now I'll look back and wonder just where the hell that year went. And I'll wonder what I was bitching about.

I know this. My emotions just like to conveniently ignore or refuse to accept it at times. Those times usually don't last long - an hour, two hours - but they leave me shaken and angry and feeling disgusted with myself for once again falling into a black hole of despair despite allll my firm logical reasoning with myself. This means that even once I'm over whatever dragged me down, I'm still feeling a bit ... yucky, and embarassed. So today I'm a wee bit disgusted at myself, but it's ok, because it will be ok.

I'm completely level-headed in so many areas of life. Why can't I be level-headed when it comes to stuff like this? Yeah, work sucks (really, really badly lately, so that even hours after I've been at home I'm still in a foul-ish mood) and school demands most of the time I'm not at work, but it's not that bad, and it's for a damn good cause.

I have a job. I have a place to live, and someone who loves me very, very much (did I mention we are talking about marriage, and have tentatively planned it to coincide with the break I'll be taking between graduating with my Bachelor's and going for my Master's degree? I'm excited!!!) I have amazing support for school from family, friends, and this man who will be my husband in a little over a year. I'm healthier than a damn good amount of the general population, despite arthritis, gastritis and a lack of physical fitness. I have a (mostly) level head on my shoulders, a pretty good grasp of financial matters, and aside from the rare Cancerian-nature-induced psychotic feeling, I'm usually a damn nice person no matter how much people may piss me off, disgust me, etc.

Life is good. It's jus really, really hard to see that sometimes, when the same nature that makes me so damn friendly gets in the way and makes me despair. I get over it, but it leaves me a little older and a little more worn each time.

I'm feeling kinda tattered, but I'm still in one piece. I just need to remember that when that yawning abyss of anger and helplessness opens up and beckons. The abyss will always be there and I need to learn how to get past it, or one day I'll fall too far and find I've lost my way back again. I don't intend to let that happen, so damn you, moodiness, and thank you friends, family, blogosphere and Melatonin.

Another reason to love October

Hampster 'Tocks

At (my favoritest site) the month of October is lovingly referred to as 'Tocktober, 'tocks being short for buttocks, of course. This means there is at least one photo per day of some cute animal's 'tocks, and this one just about did me in. It's a hampster butt, fer goodness sakes. Who'd ever think to notice - much less take a photo of - a hampster butt???

I love it. It's so ... so ... hampster-like. Very prosh (another C.O. term).

Photo submitted to by Vivian W. Too friggin' cute, and there's a side-view, too, if you go to the site yourself.

Happy 'Tocktober, peoples.

Good God. It's morning.

It's 7:01 on a monday morning, second day of my third term in college. I'm eating cooling peaches and cream oatmeal and my hair is the longest it's been in upwards of seven years. I'm calming (slowly, in my own time and way) because I know that with our next check each, the boy and I will be able to pay off the bills we had to let sit this time around as well as a few we let slide a month or two, becuase we couldn't pay them. And, we'll have enough money leftover to make it through to the paycheck after that fairly easily. (Not and have play-money for junk and fun and stuff, but that's ok. That will come.)

I'm uneasy despite the calming because I took a look at all the reading I'll have to do just for phase one of my two new classes and, well, it's a whole friggin' lot of reading. Unless I'm routinely stayong up till midnight or later, I don't know how I'll read it all and research and attend four-days-a-week, hour-long chats and pull all the information read and researched into any semblance of A-worthy assignments, and not fall asleep or go on a rampage at work.

I'm a little curious, a little cautious, a little nervous, and at the same time I know damn well that this is how each term starts and everything will be ok, as it always is. Which makes me fell a bit overdramatic with the worrying, but as Mama Wren reminded me not too long ago, I've always been a worrier, even when I was a wee one who "woowied" about a gift for my grandfather (was it father's day? his birthday? I don't know; I was like, four or something.)

It's 7:10 on a monday morning, and I'm a bit exasperated that, yes, I'm your typical Cancer, moods and worries and all.

But, it will be ok. It always is. (See? Typical.) Thirty minutes from now I'll be sipping hot coffee (thank you mom!!!) and will probably be engrossed in some other wild mood than this, happy or sad or angry or giggly or actively non-chalant. And no, I'm not really a pessimist, Or at least not always. Just usually in the mornings.

It's all in a day's work, I suppose. Good morning, all.

When the optimist wakes up, they smile and say, "Good morning, God!" When the pessimist wakes up, they grumble, "Good God. It's morning."

Introducing Ewegene


Meet Ewegene the sheep. Don't let his beady eyes and cute poofiness fool you; he's no simple creature. He lives a very important and thrilling life, dutifully holding down grassy hills and imitating clouds. He's good at what he does.

When properly sheared, he's a world reknown ballerina, opera singer and special agent.

But, he's humble. Yes he is. Just look at those beady little eyes - they say it all.

"I'm good, but I don't have a big head over it."

Welcome to October

October Country

The first day of October always brings with it a sense of excitement, of wonderment. I feel a crispness in the air, a spice of adventures waiting in piles of leaves and cobbwebby forgotten places full of dust and shadow. I want to wrap up in warm clothes and go running out into the cooling air, whoop with glee in the random gusts of wind that shake dying leaves from branches. I want to wander through falling forests till my toes and fingers are almost too cold to move anymore, then return home to a hot cup of cocoa or tea, nose and cheeks red and eyes shining bright - a preview of jack-o-lanterns grinning right around the corner.

I want to stuff gloved hands into deep warm pockets and hunch my shoulders against that constant chilling breeze that slips below the collar of coat and shirt. I want to breathe out and see that breath steam, misty white, in a fading smoke-life puff in front of me.

I'm not ready for snow yet, or heavy hurried rains and thunder. I'm not ready for woodstoves and heaters and storing away the flip flops for next year. I'm not ready for no-sun, for no-more-warm-days. I'm not ready for winter, per se. I'm ready for October, that cooling darkening deepening snuggling-in - that sneaky uneasy beautiful calm before the storm.

Ray Bradbury, one of my most favoritest authors, described it well in the introduction to his collection of short stories, The October Country:

"... that country where the hills are fog and the rivers are mist; where noons go quickly, dusks and twilights linger, and midnights stay. That country composed in the main of cellars, sub-cellars, coal-bins, closets, attics, and pantries faced away from the sun. That country whose people are autumn people, thinking only autumn thoughts. Whose poeple passing at night on the empty walks sounds like rain ..."

He was describing his own world of stories and thoughts; the place he goes to or that comes to him where all those wonderful tales and characters are alive and well and bidding him come out to play. It's the October Country, and on the first day of October of each year, I find myself wondering if maybe that's where I really came from, and if Mama Wren simply took me in when I wandered a bit too far from those foggy hills and misty rivers, into the world of here and now. Because I am an autumn person, and I think autumn thoughts. Or maybe, just maybe, Mama Wren's from there too; October always seems to get under her skin as well.

It's a good time for long walks and hot drinks and cats and books and - yes - kites, too, to shiver and dance in the misty wind. It's a time for photographs and family and grandfather clocks chiming in shadows that have more substance - more life - now than at any other time of year. It's a time for remembering, and discovering.

It's a time for sneaking away - from work, from school, from chores and errands - just to get out for a minute and see, and breathe.

Welcome to October, friends, and to the October Country. May your journey be a long one, a good and spice-edged, warm in the chilliness, wind-racing one, and may you find in hills of fog a bit of childhood and memory.