6 more weeks of winter, but not 6 more weeks of us half-commonlawing it

That is a very awkward blog post title and I DO NOT APOLOGIZE because I am tired and on a deadline.

Tonight we get the keys to our new place! This means I don’t care if there are six more weeks of winter; Mr. Katje and I will be starting the move-in process tonight. In an hour and a half.

I have been so ready for this moment for so long. We’ve been earnestly looking for a place since July, but before that I was searching Craigslist weekly. I am so happy we finally found a place — and so close to his work!

So I am about to leave the house to go pick up the keys and move in some kitchen items, and then I will probably spend the night at Mr. Katje’s place before coming back here tomorrow morning. Tuesday I’ll bring some more stuff over, and so on and so forth.

Within a few weeks, we’ll be full-commonlawing it. Yeah, that’s right, I’m making commonlaw a verb.

I am incredibly excited. I’m sure Mr. Katje would be showing outward signs of excitement if he were not currently engrossed in a certain Superb Owl.

So, I will see you tomorrow, with a  better post title. Hopefully.

Bell Let’s Talk day and Mental Illness

I have depression, anxiety, eating disorders, and PTSD. On any given day you might think I’m doing just fine by looking at my outside — but inside, I’m telling myself it’s okay, I deserve to eat food. I’m telling myself I’m worthy of love. I’m trying to calm the rising storm of panic, at least long enough so I can get to my closet to hide. I’m screaming against the noise of my illness, trying to be as loud as the ocean, trying to drown the voices once and for all.

I ended up blogging about this on my profile at Google+ — it’s public, so anyone can read it. I figured I’d quote a bit from it, and if you want you can read the whole thing.

Amoeba Kat Style

Describe your personal style, however you’d like to interpret that — your clothing style, your communication style, your hair style, your eating style, anything.

The Daily Post

I’m at a bit of a loss as to what to write about today, so I thought I’d take a stab at the Daily Prompt. Of course, now I’m sitting here thinking “Uhhhhhhhhh. What on earth IS my style?”

If I were to describe my fashion style it would be “has-been goth who can’t afford new clothing, avoids laundry, and doesn’t GAF if you think zir pyjamas and slippers are inappropriate for class”. I really just DGAF, or at least put out the front of not caring. Which is kind of funny, because I have a lot of depression and anxiety surrounding my dysphoria, how I present, and whether people will read how I’m presenting accurately.

I think my brain deals with this anxiety by making me not GAF/pretend that I don’t most of the time. But then there are days where I spend 2 hours changing clothing because nothing is right. Before I realized I was genderqueer I called those days my “fat days”, because I thought I was just hating myself for being fat. I eventually realized those are the days when I feel ugly and wrong because my body doesn’t fit the gender I am and want to present as, and I can’t seem to make my clothing work with it.

Those days it’s very difficult for me to leave the house, because I feel wrong and don’t want anyone to see me.

On days when I feel less dysphoria, however, I wear whatever. I mean, people are going to make comments — either behind my back to directly to my face — no matter what I wear, because I’m fat. People think they have the right to tell me just how wrong I am for existing unapologetically. Unless I wear what’s “acceptable” for fat people to wear, ie what works to hide all my adipose tissue, I am Doing It Wrong and deserve to be chastised. (If I’m wearing “acceptable” clothing, preferably in leopard print or covered in hideous sequins and embroidery with massive shoulder-pads because apparently there are no fat people with broad shoulders, I deserve to be “rewarded” with a “Wow, you look great, have you lost weight?” Pro-tip, folks: asking someone if they’ve lost weight is rude, not polite. My life is more than a number on a scale. You could ask me how my latest book is doing, instead, and show that you actually care about me as a person and not as the horrible bundle of fat cells you are being forced to share the planet with.)

So I suppose my bottom line fashion style is “I’m fat and genderqueer, I will wear whatever I want, it will probably be in need of mending, and you can fuck right off if you have an issue with how I dress.”

The other styles are a bit easier to describe. My hair style is “wash, condition, towel-dry, comb, tie back with scrunchy for entire day”. I very rarely do more than that. If going out, I might spend an hour curling some parts of my hair — but to do the entire thing takes far too long. I have very thick hair.

My communication style is “bad”. I mean, when speaking; I’m a lot better when writing. When speaking I always put my foot in my mouth or inadvertently insult people or say the wrong thing.

My eating style is…well, often would be the simplest way of putting it, but it’s super complicated because of my eating disorders. I’ve gone into those before; don’t need to go into them again. Besides the emotional and physical minefield that eating is for me, however, I love food, and I like to eat.

My interior decorating style is hippy/bohemian/hoarder pack-rat/fire hazard. I’m trying to pare down quite a bit to reduce a lot of the last two things, but I’ll always be pretty hippy/boho, which drives Ogre nuts.

Basically, if we were to boil down my overall style into a few words description, it would be “free spirit”. That’s the only term that’s ever come close to encompassing my weird, wacky self.

I am Amoeba Cat; wuh’eva, wuh’eva, I do what I want.

How not to be a dick to your friend/loved one/relative with eating disorders

Content warning: disordered eating, fatphobia, misogynistic language, description of child abuse

Note: this is written based on my own personal experience with relatives, friends, loved ones, and my eating disorders. Other people may have different eating disorders and different experiences, and my post is in now way trying to speak for them. It’s just me venting about stuff that I go through every day.

My eating disorders are, for clarity, binge/emotional eating and anorexia. Eating is a complete MINEFIELD for me before we even factor in other people’s comments, reactions, etc, because I am constantly fighting a battle with myself about what food I “should” or “shouldn’t” eat. If I binge eat because I’m upset, I then spend several days starving myself because I’m full of self-loathing. But as I know stopping myself from eating is bad, I then force myself to eat, and feel horrible about it.

So here are the things that are said/done, quite often, either to or around me that DON’T HELP AT ALL.

Continue reading How not to be a dick to your friend/loved one/relative with eating disorders

Mercury, You Are Drunk. Give Me Your Keys.

Mercury does this thing about three times a year. Well, actually, it doesn’t really do anything; it just looks like it’s doing something. From Earth it looks like Mercury is moving backwards. They call it retrograde.

And dammit if it doesn’t just fuck everything up.

I  mean, yeah, sure, it’s just a planet and it’s probably not really affecting you, Katje. Sheesh. Crazy pagan, thinking planets do stuff.

And, you know, I know people for whom Mercury going retrograde is nothing. Just another week, or three.

But that’s not true for me. Something in my life always goes wrong when Mercury is retrograde. And Mercury don’t fuck around.

Today I had errands; no big deal, except, you know, they were, but whatever. Get in the car, head up the mountain. This is after spending all morning working. Get caught in traffic. Finally make it to the SFU visitor parking lot aaaaatttttt…3:38pm. I need to get a print out from the registration office and then go to the bookstore to return books that I’ve been trying to return for a month before four o’clock.

So naturally, Galactica dies on me.

Right there in the middle of the parking lot.

A few months ago she was doing this thing, I’m not really sure what it was, but I know it was making her stall out and then not start again for hours, if at all. We took her to the mechanic and got ‘er fixed, for no small amount of money (around 400 dollars).

So she’s doing it again. Wouldn’t start, not even with a jump. Or ten. I had to call a tow truck, and no, I didn’t get to the bookstore to return the books. I also didn’t get to downtown to pick up a proof from the printer’s, nor to my old landlady’s house to get my mail from my last place. Or grocery shopping. Ie, the rest of my errands. None of those happened.

Had to wait a long time for the tow truck to come. Apparently they had to build the truck for him first, or something. Anyway, he was a nice guy; took me to my fiance’s place, where I sit now, writing this for you. Couldn’t take me home, because Galactica needs to get parked in the parkade and the tow truck wouldn’t fit, and couldn’t take me to the mechanic because it would be pointless. They were closed and I would have had to wait outside in the rain for someone to maybe pick me up; more likely, I’d have to be lucky and catch the right bus — that is, if I still had enough money for transit after towing costs — and my luck with transit is…iffy? Definitely NOT something to be gambled with when Mercury is wandering around all over the cosmos like a drunken frat boy.

Towing cost me all of my grocery money. So. That was nice.

On the plus side, my fiance’s house is full of food. So I shall eat it until I’m full.

It is also full of Netflix. I drowned my sorrows in The Hunger Games.

Anyway, you didn’t come here to hear me whine. Wait, actually, I’m not sure why you came here if that’s the case. Whining is pretty much all I do.

So! The Jade Star of Athering. Yes. That thing.

Been working on it every day this month. Working hard. I set myself a deadline of finishing it by…um…tomorrow, but seeing as today’s events kind of borked the fuck out of everything, that may not happen. If I don’t finish the book tomorrow, my stretch deadline is March 8th.

Ran into a couple of problems the past few days that left me frustrated enough to screw up the progress I was making, unfortunately. Nothing like writing a continuity error into the plot of a sequel. Easily fixable, luckily — well, relatively easily — and all done now; really you’ll never notice where I grafted in the fix. And then I had to spend a morning figuring out troop deployments, marching orders, etc. There may have been some maps involved. Maps that are now sitting on my desk, at home.

Tonight’s writing and tomorrow morning’s scribblings are doing to be done sans guidance. Whatever; that’s fine. Nothing will stop me from writing this book.

Regardless the problems, the book has been pretty exciting the past few weeks. New things have cropped up, old storylines are being wrapped up, things I gave clues for in Bellica will be revealed. As well, the plot for a third book is revealing itself to me, so gods willing I’ll have the first draft of another book [in what is apparently turning into a series] started before the end of the year. (Maybe I can make it my November project.)

March project is revisions and story bibles! That’s a lot of work, and I’m hoping it’ll help me lay out the rest of the groundwork I need for Camp NaNoWriMo and my April novel project, the next book in the Stranger Skies series, currently untitled.

I don’t yet have a release date for any of these books. I’m hoping to have a clearer picture of when that will be next month. Before the first round of revisions is done, however, I have no way to safely gauge. Suffice it to say — you will see both The Jade Star of Athering and Stranger Skies out this year. And I daresay I’ll do a better job of releasing them than I did Bellica. (Eeesh, what a trainwreck.)

On that note, I’m off to eat the rest of my fiance’s food. I’ll see you next month.

The Saga Continues: Katje is still persona non laundra.

It’s the end of the month and yet again, I’m standing (well, sitting) here wondering what the hell just happened.

I’ve spent maybe a week, tops, at my new place — I’ve spent so much time running around between Coquitlam, Nanaimo, and Powell River — not to mention Ogre’s house — that I really haven’t had a chance to be at my new home. My herbs are suffering.

I’ve gotten very little writing done, and none of it on The Jade Star of Athering. I’ve worked very few hours. I haven’t the faintest clue what I’m writing for NaNoWriMo (because, let’s face it, I’m going to be participating — the event is a damn drug) and October, or NaNoPlanMo, is starting tomorrow.

I’ve done no Autumn Equinox celebration, and the full moon has passed me by (not to mention the rest of the moon cycle for the past month and a half, if not longer). Bad witch! No gingerbread cookie.

Oh, and yes — I still don’t have a working washer and dryer.

I’d had high hopes of having a working washer and dryer by the end of September. That was the plan — to have it all done by the 27th or 28th. But, as we know, plans just sort of roll off me like chicken crap off an armadillo.

The guys came over on Friday. By now we’re on a first name basis with each other. I offered them tea, because good hospitality is sort of a genetic imperative for Dutch folk. (At least it is for Frieslanders. Or maybe just van Loons. I admit to not visiting many other Dutchies at their homes; mainly we go clubbing, because we also have a genetic imperative to p-a-r-t-Y? I just told you; it’s genetic.)

They looked everything over and got to work…and it quickly became apparent that they didn’t have all the parts. The vent kit, yes. The clamp-thingamajigger, no.

They called the Brick and it turns out the clamp hasn’t been delivered yet. So when it does show up, they’ll come and finish hooking things up. So for another week, probably, I have no working washer and dryer.

I’m not at the freaking out and calling mom stage yet. Mostly because she’s in Nicaragua and is not only hard to reach but also can not do much from there. I’ll keep her apprised of the recent developments via email, and for now I’ll just keep on going. I’ll try to make October a far more productive month than September was. I’m also going to try to make it last longer, because it is my favorite month. Mind you, making it last longer may require far more knowledge of quantum physics and sorcery than I have, so I’ll probably just settle for it being more productive.

Happy end of September, everyone. Pray to whatever gods you follow, though preferably the gods of clean clothing, for working laundry for me by the end of this week.

The Joys of a Summer Birthday

When I turned 14, we tried to organize a party for me. My birthday is August 14th, and even though school started the last week of August in Hawaii, most people were still on vacation for my actual birthday.

Regardless, we kept trying, but every date fell apart. Every time mom put off the ordering of the cake, until finally in September, on the 25th, she came home with this gorgeous chocolate number with a marzipan lion on the top and said “Happy birthday.”

Best. dessert and breakfast. ever.

When I turned 15, my mom planned a surprise party for me.

I had no idea. She’d kept it a complete secret.

She’d invited my Aunty Marsha and my friend Noelle and, because she didn’t know people in the drama program at my high school very well, she’d asked a friend of mine there if he would invite the people there that he thought would want to come. She reserved a lunch-time table at Koho’s, which was the fancy restaurant for the middle class in Maui, and then kept completely silent until my birthday.

My birthday arrives, and after a really awesome wake-up that probably involved opening presents from her and having chocolate-chip pancakes I got dressed and we headed out to Koho’s.

We walked in to find a table with 16 empty spaces and Aunty Marsha and Noelle taking up the other two.

I was really surprised.

Apparently the above-unnamed friend in the drama program had totally bailed on inviting anyone to the party or even showing up himself, and hadn’t bothered to tell my mom. (That, or no one in the drama program wanted to come to my birthday — while either is likely, I’m betting on the first one. I did have some friends in high school.) Hence: a party with four people.

In the end it wasn’t bad. I honestly was just happy that two people had showed. We had a great lunch and afterwards Noelle and I got to be mall rats for a few hours — I bought the game Legend of Dragoon for the PlayStation One and maybe some other things, but Legend of Dragoon is what stands out in my memory. Then we decided to go to the top of Haleakala to watch the sunset. We got up there, saw the sunset, and then in the freezing cold that is 10,000 feet above sea level with the sun below the horizon, our car broke down.

We managed to catch a ride down the mountain with some nice dudes in a truck, and when we got back down we dropped Noelle off at her house, where her dog bit me.

At this point I had to start laughing, because the whole day had been such a comedy of errors.

When I turned 18 I had to work on my birthday. It was tech week for the show I was assistant-stage-managing, and we were doing a cue to cue and light refocusing.

I was determined to be optimistic about having to work on my birthday because I was turning 18 and could visit the porn shops and get a tattoo, both of which were really important things to me. I did actually end up getting that tattoo during my break — an Eye of Horus on my right inner wrist.

However, when I got back the director and the stage manager decided to have a screaming fight over half the theatre, the stage manager using the PA system (or “Voice of God”) to make his point. Shakily, upset by all the yelling, I went outside to stand with the actors having a smoke. Dale, that fabulous man, put his arm around me and said in his wonderfully scratchy voice, “Welcome to birthday hell, darlin.”

Continue reading The Joys of a Summer Birthday

When did I become old?

I’m sitting at home eating dinner at a quarter to 11pm (which actually seems a reasonable time to eat dinner during summer; the sun just set) and wanting to go to the bar. Instead I’m eating salad. Salad of mixed baby greens and spinach with some bell peppers, and some of my Four Thieves’ Vinegar drizzled on top. (So, you know, not an “American Salad” that’s so covered in meat and thick dressing and croutons and cheese that it’s not really salad anymore, it’s a sandwich that tried to run away and was beaten for its transgression.) My drink is water (and some tea later). This whole meal is about 100 calories.

Mmmm, fibre.

Meanwhile I’ve got friends in Vegas drinking a bottle of $800 Cristal, and a friend in the UK who would gladly go to the bar with me if it weren’t for that damn geography. I’m 25; I’m supposed to be a hip jet-setter, going out with friends and traveling and hitting the bars and dancing my arse to pieces.

Instead I’m a shut-in. You know, being a shut-in means never having to wear pants, but killing means never having to say you’re sorry. Wait, no. That analogy got away from me.

My point is, I’m okay with being a shut-in, largely, because I prefer to be alone most of the time. But it’s becoming too much. I’m no longer the party animal I once was; hells I’m not even going out for coffee with friends as often as I used to.

This is what an injury can do to you. It can completely overturn your life to the point where you don’t recognize yourself when you look in the mirror anymore.

And yeah, I suppose a healthier lifestyle is, well, healthier, but it’s not that I’ve gone healthy but I still occasionally hit the bars or whatever. It’s that I’ve jumped from age 25 to age 95 in the past few months. Basic tasks exhaust me; I’m literally afraid of going out-of-doors; I shake my cane at kids and scream Damn youngsters, get off my lawn! when I’m at the mall.

I just got this new phone — the Samsung Galaxy Note. And it makes me feel so alive! This is the phone for my age, this is what I should be using while I’m out hitting the bars and dancing oh wait….

I just want to go to a bar so I have an embarrassing photo to take and upload drunkenly to Twitter. Let me be 25, oh gods of bodily health. Let this pain end.

PS: On the ‘being proactive’ front, I’m wrestling myself a physiotherapy appointment tomorrow. I’m not just bitching and whining to WordPress. I am trying.

PPS: I sort of can’t see because I spent all afternoon looking at a small screen. I may have an addiction.

Depression (trigger warning: suicide, self-harm, ableism)

There’s something quite insidious about depression. It prevents me from doing anything I want to quite often. In fact, it is only by forcing myself quite strenuously that I am writing this at all, and the fact that I misspelled strenuously and had to use the spell-check in Firefox to fix it made me almost upset enough to want to stop writing altogether, curl up into a little ball, and die.

Depression has no reason. I should be friggin ecstatic right now, but instead about 2 hours ago my boyfriend had to talk me down from a pill overdose.

I don’t say this for attention. I don’t normally tell people these things at all. But something occurred to me, in the murky depths of how shitty I’m feeling at the moment, and it’s this: there are other people in the same state out there. Other people who may read my blog. Who may not talk about it either. And who may, like I have tried to do so many times, finally succeed at leaving this boa constrictor we call the mortal coil.

Please don’t.

Continue reading Depression (trigger warning: suicide, self-harm, ableism)

Upon the Leaving of the Boyfriend: it is sad times

(at the bus stop)

Me: I don’t want you to go. It is sad times when you go.

Him: You’ll be busy! Doing stuff. Won’t even notice I’m gone.

Me: NO. I WILL DO NOTHING BUT WATCH FUTURAMA AND DRINK WHISKEY.

Him: …instead of watching Futurama and drinking vodka?

Me: Totally different. Whiskey is sad drink. Vodka is happy drink.

Him: ……

Me: Ok, I lied. They’re both sad drinks. I AM A SAD PERSON.

Him: *hugs me, and then gets on the bus to leave me for a long sad time*