I might have too many books.

I only say that because today was spent cataloguing and packing them. There are a lot.

The book situ when I started this morning.
The book situ when I started this morning.

That picture doesn’t show the coffee table and the couch, but they’ve also got books on them — the coffee table, a lot; the couch, not so much.

By midpoint it looked like this:

bookpacking2You can see my laptop open because of the ongoing cataloguing work. I’ve now got 717 books in my library on LibraryThing (796 in all collections, which includes books I’ve borrowed and still want to read and my wishlist).

The couch is covered in books that have been inputted into my LibraryThing catalogue, the coffee table in stacks of books yet to be put in.

You can’t see the piles I added to the coffee table today, because they’re balanced on the edge behind the four boxes of books.

Note: this does not include all the books that were not on the shelves because I’ve been reading them or they’ve been travelling with me — they will be packed, but not in boxes. Nor does this include my own books, of which I have several copies lying around — they will get their own box.

I just finished about 15 minutes ago, and now the living room looks like this:

bookpacking3

Yeah, I took down all those bookcases. Only one double-stack remains, just off camera. That bookcase contains my notebooks and journals and such on the top, and my late Oma’s books on the bottom. Oma’s books are going into storage — we’re keeping them, because they’re family heirlooms, but neither mom nor I have any room for them in our personal libraries right now.

I think the couch now has more books on it than the coffee table does, which means the more tedious part of my job has been lessened. Packing boxes of books is not, actually, tedious, but adding them to my catalogue is.

You can see my dinner in the last photo. I am eating it right now, at 11pm, because it’s been that sort of day. I’m exhausted and thinking I have too many books.

You know it’s bad when you think you have too many books. (Hint: the correct paradigm is never enough books!)

Tomorrow, up bright and early to pack up the couch-books and input the table-books and then take down the last bookcase.

The Last Bookcase. Sounds like it could be a fantasy/horror novel.

And that’s the sign I should go to bed.

Yeah, I’m going to do that now. See you all tomorrow.

Moving

So, you are probably aware we’re in the middle of moving.

Of what you may not be aware is that it is tiring as hell.

I woke up this morning feeling like I’d been beaten with sticks, and the feeling didn’t go away. I have accomplished very little today because I’ve just lacked the energy. The spoons. I am very low on spoons.

After getting the keys to our new place I moved in some kitchen boxes and then went and spent the night at Mr. Katje’s house. I was so exhausted yesterday that I didn’t have energy for a real blog post, which is why I showed you a picture of my degree. (It didn’t help that yesterday itself was exhausting both physically and emotionally.)

Now, I’m working on filling the car to the gills so I can make another trip down with stuff. The car has to be that full, because I have to take the long way to our new place to avoid the toll bridge, and I don’t want to make a trip that long for a half-full car. Also, I have to unload in one go, because the trip between Mr. Katje’s place and the new place is far enough that I don’t want to make it twice for one load. (The long way from my place to the new place goes right past Mr. Katje’s place.)

Luckily, we will be getting help for the big stuff — furniture — because we can’t handle it ourselves. The small stuff, however, is all on me (Mr. Katje works full-time during the week; he’ll be able to help on weekends, but I’m still doing the majority of the moving work, especially as most of our stuff is coming from my place).

And I don’t move as fast or with as much energy as I used to.

So it’s slow going, and it’s very tiring, and my blogging may suffer for the next few weeks. I’m sorry about that. I will be keeping to my postaday habit, but those posts may just be photos of things.

It’s all worth it, though. We’re moving into a great place, and we’re going to have a great time living there.

We just need to get through this bit. The boxes and driving and going up and down stairs a lot and arg! bit.

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.