Saturday, December 2, 2017

Things and Happenings

Things are looking up, overall.
I did get to 50,000 words in my NaNoWriMo manuscript, though around 5,000 of that is blog posts. Still, spending more than 40,000 words with Turing and Tesla was kind of awesome. There are some great scenes in there I think, though I am entirely unsure about my characterizations right now.
Also, I would like to further condemn my high school physics teacher for being slightly pervy and scaring me away from physics as a subject. Now I feel really stupid trying to write about two geniuses explaining the mechanics of time travel to each other when I barely have a grasp of a lot of the basics there, but I think it's okay. I did NOT do the stupid make-a-loop-with-paper-to-show-overlapping-timelines thing, which has just been overused in scifi. None of that crap at least.

Honestly, I am kind of proud of it, and I think it is the most editable of my manuscripts.
That also means that I need to get on that soon if I am going to and turn it around while I still care.

I might do it that way-- work backward from this year, doing each NaNo novel until I get back to Occupational Hazard and finally get it sorted. Next November, that unedited manuscript will be a decade old.

I made a self-promotion post in a facebook group and wanted to share it here, in case anyone is asking themselves what I am up to when I am not teaching.

Want a care package of weirdness from Japan on a monthly basis? I've got a Patreon for that, starting from just $10, shipping included:

Want the chance to win a creature-of-the-month that I make myself? Check out my other Patreon! One patron a couple months back won a sock-cloth-geisha. I'm actually super proud of that one.

My mom has some cool Stranger-Things themed Christmas things, as a printable from her patreon:
They are also available on some website, but I forgot the address. Message me or her for details.

Also, I blog about my life in Japan here:
And my normal whine-of-the-month posts wind up here:

Follow me wherever! And if things are sucking for you right now and you would like a holiday card from a random stranger abroad (me),PM me an address and I will make it happen.
The card offer stands for anyone who wants one, not just the random people I don't know in that Facebook group. Anyway, in other excitement, each of my patreons gained at least one patron last month, which is nice after I had lost a few and was starting to feel like I wasn't doing anything too productive.

This month's goals include getting all the holiday stuff for people outside of Japan done and sent before the 14th, taking out the fake tree on the 10th, taking a holiday trip with husband and child at some point when each of them have a 2 day vacay (which happens twice but we lack the funds for 2 trips, and honestly the energy), getting ready for Julia's 2 week holiday from school, writing around 14 blog posts on my other blog, and figuring out what to get my husband. Also figuring out one of a number of fairly complex card games that I am excited to play and finding a way onto one of Tohoku's Joyful Trains. Alas, my husband and I still have to go and get our anniversary present, which may well wait for the New Year's Sales.
What is it supposed to be, for your 6th wedding anniversary and your 9th year together? I don't care. We're buying a washing machine and going halfsies.

I might have married a man who went to boarding school in England, but his wife and budget are firmly middle class or below, so we're sticking with the basics this year.

But we are making it work.
And I am writing.
But for now I am watching old episodes of QI. Old for anyone in the UK. New to me as I only discovered the quiz show a few weeks ago. Sometimes, one needs the joy of randomness and comedy presented in a quiz-style series.

Also, FIGHT THE FCC! Net Neutrality must be a thing! I need to call my senators and everyone I am supposed to call, like the chairman of the FCC. Also, if you're out there and reading this and can find a way to do it, lodge complaints with your congress people over the ridiculous budget they concocted. Somehow in the year since the election, I have managed to stop fighting fascism and started instead to just get by. I also had a tough couple of months in there, so it is what it is. Now it's winter, and I am going to fight my hatred of everything due to cold by actively fighting the crap going down in Washington and sending out holiday cards and packages.

Whatever you are out there doing, do it well.
Adios Muchachos.
(my daughter thinks muchacho = "cho cho s" with chocho being the Japanese word for butterfly, with English pluralization rules.)

Saturday, November 25, 2017

NaNoWriMo and Such

I am so very tired.

Yesterday was my birthday and things went well. I didn't do anything big but I did meet up on Thursday with some friends in Sendai for cake at a new place that I thought would have nice cakes. They did. We had fun.
I got spoiled with gifts even though people did not have to do so. Even my daughter gave me a little letter saying the Japanese version of Happy Birthday, love Julia, which she wrote herself (no doubt at the behest/coaching of my mother-in-law). It was kind of magical.

My husband managed to freak out a bunch on the one day off he had before my birthday, going back and forth about what we should do and where we should go until it was too late to do anything but go to Sendai and check out the Pokemon store, which we did. He did later figure his stuff out and get me an electric blanket (my first ever) so that I can stay cozy and warm while writing, which I will admit was a thoughtful gift.

NaNoWriMo is going well. Not as well as years past, most of which I won before this point in the month where today I am limping along at 41,700, not sure where that extra 9 thousand is going to come from but determined to put it into the current story somewhere.

Other than that I have small whining that should not be necessary yet kind of is. The morning of my birthday included classes at the kindergarten where I teach a few weeks a year. It is seriously like 9 lessons a year or something similar. Not a lot. There is a Japanese teacher who picks me up and drives me there. Then we go in and use whatever materials she brought. We differ on a few points but usually get along well enough. After the last class before this (2 weeks ago), she told me that we were getting there too early and should meet at 10:10 instead of 10:00. I agreed and set my scheduled alarms accordingly. This week a wander around an extra five minutes before going out to meet her right around 10:07. She gets us there, saying that we will get there just barely on time, but when we get there, she still sits in the car and chats with me instead of charging into the school, so I am completely confused. I don't really know what she wants and Japan does not lend itself well to being understood in this way, so I am just going to show up at 10:00 from now on. We only have a few classes left for the year anyway.

I also was annoyed about trying to have a meetup with my fellow NaNoWriMo writers in this area. I wasn't going to do anything because I've tried a few times over the years (before Julia) to hold write-ins and I can honestly say that I have had 2 that went moderately well. My last one had a group of 4ish people as I recall at a Starbucks in Sendai. The last successful one before that was when one preacher-guy showed up at a different Starbucks in Sendai a year or two before. That said, I have held a couple of "events" where literally no one showed up and it bothers me a lot to put time and energy into trying to see people who aren't going to be there anyway. So I don't just post on the NaNo forums that I will have an event, because I cannot personally handle the stress of waiting in a public space with my daughter for hours on people who will never arrive. I need assurance that people are genuinely interested and willing to come to the event.
Apparently, all the people doing this in major urban areas just make events and hope for the best, so when I posted to see if anyone could do anything on the last 2 Sundays of the month, the mod for the area posts that I need to put my event in the proper format, indicating factors she thinks are key so she can share them easily. She doesn't know me, or that I've done this before, or that I have been doing this in this area for 7 years, or that I have just enough social anxiety that even posting the suggestion that a meetup might be possible feels like a taxing commitment. All she knows is that she needs facts and figures, which I deliver to her when two other people say they will come and we have a time and date nailed down.
And she shortens the meeting time and location, which probably wouldn't suck in other metropolitan areas, but means something to me. Saying to meet at Shibuya station-- everyone knows you mean to meet at Hachiko, the dog statue. If that is Shibuya? Like I would know. I do not live near Tokyo and never have, but if you're meeting at the station with the dog statue, that's where you meet people.
If you're in Nagoya, you meet at the big golden clock, but if you have only been living in the central Japanese countryside for a year and don't usually meet people in Nagoya, how would you know?
You wouldn't. And this woman is taking for granted that of course everyone in the surrounding area totally knows where to meet in Sendai, which is a smaller station, but not so small that you are likely to know all of the foreigners in the station at any given time. So instead of "Meet at the stained glass windows in Sendai Station and move to the AER building" we get "Sendai Station and AER" which basically means "Good luck, idiots in Tohoku. You don't matter enough. Other cities can have half a sentence for their locations. More than a sentence sometimes. They deserve it. They're in 'real' Japan. You're not."

And the day after I got all of that as sorted as it would go on Monday, my husband freaked out on Tuesday over having Sunday off, so I canceled all the plans including that on Wednesday, only for his Sunday off to be canceled that evening upon his return.
So here we are. I could go to the thing tomorrow, but I will not go to the thing. It is not worth my energy at this point. It would not be bad to meet other writers in the area, but they aren't really in the area. They both have to drive or ride in from other towns, not too close to Sendai. Further from Sendai than I am. Maybe I would like them, and we would get along and be friends, or maybe they would see me for the slightly off-kilter weirdo that I am and reject me outright. Or maybe they would latch on and get clingy and scare me half to death.

I don't care. I mean, obviously I do care or I wouldn't be whining about it, and I feel bad about letting them down in a way, but I cannot do this thing now. And I am unlikely to bother attempting to host another one again.

Oh, also, this is likely the most homesick I have felt on Thanksgiving. I bought frozen ground turkey meat on Amazon and made a meat loaf. It was alright. We had it Friday as on Thursday we had retained an extra pizza from the night before.

So that's most of what's happening with me.
Now back to writing my increasingly wacky science history fan fiction adventure!

Saturday, October 21, 2017

My Vague-ish #MeToo Response

Lots of little things have happened and I legitimately did not write anything longer than an email, paid or unpaid, in the better part of a month. now I am back into it though, churning out content on city-cost and gearing up for NaNoWriMo. This year, for the first time ever, I am using actual historical figures instead of people I make up. It's essentially science-history-fan-fiction and I am excited about starting this bizarre journey. Let's see where November takes us!

In the meantime, the #MeToo thing happened, and I found it awe-inspiring to see so many people coming out of the woodwork and sharing stories, bringing light to the fact that these things are a problem and far too frequent occurrence, but I also think it's hard to find a grown woman who has never been sexually harassed or never had an experience that anyone else might classify as harassment even if the would-be victim may not see it that way.
That said, shit has gone down in my life by more hands than I want to count, and while it sucks that those thing happened, and I wouldn't wish them on people, I'm still alive, and that's pretty awesome.

But when I shared my #MeToo tweet, it was only that, the hashtag, because there are stories, plural, more horrific than the asshole on the train in Nagoya who shoved his hand onto my upper thigh while feigning sleep and did not move it or "wake up"even when I shoved a cold soda can on top of his hand and pushed down with significant weight. A woman sitting across from me looked at me with disgust, which I still don't need to understand. The best thing that happened was that I got to steal her seat when she left and Mr. Grabby McAsshole was left alone. I stopped exploring Nagoya as much after that, staying in my little mountain town where no one tried to touch me. I took a sharpie with me so the next time something like that happened, I could draw on the face of the fucker, telling all the world what a dickhead he was. I never had to use it, though, which is probably good because I imagine the train-cops would probably have fined me for assault and told the asshole in question that groping is totally okay and would he like to press charges to send me packing. These things are different when you're an immigrant in a politely xenophobic country.

That story alone is hard to describe in 140 characters or less. The public is not owed more of my horror stories than that.

But I do want to add, just as a side-point for other survivors of serious shit, that there is a special hellish quality to abuse at the hands of people with whom you share a family resemblance. What do you do when your mirror is a trigger, eh? Well, if you're like me, you apparently get fat and keep your hair long to distinguish the reflection from anything that might repulse you. You wear glasses even though your eyesight isn't that bad. You pledge to dye the living shit out of your hair the moment it starts going patchy gray because fuck off are you not going to look like someone who doesn't understand how to not traumatize others with their libido.

And then you swear a lot and rejoice in the fact that you found someone with whom you actually want an intimate physical relationship, and that they felt the same, and that they married you.
And despite your partner and your adorable offspring and your fancy digs (that you've hoarded into chaos), you battle depression, which isn't new and didn't start with being slightly destroyed by a person sharing a significant part of your genetic structure, but still. It didn't help.
And you move on. And you don't. And it comes back to you.
And it's been more than a decade. And it wasn't the first or last fucked up thing to occur, but to this day I can't stand anyone breathing on my neck. It brings it all back, and I have to force my mind clear of the physical sensation of revulsion.

These experiences are extremely awful and unfortunately not rare, not even in the alleged land of the free. I don't know that Japan is better. In fact, I know in a lot of ways it is more backward and strange about the progress of women's roles. But at least here I am 6,000 miles away from the only person to cause me that much trauma whom I still have to know.
That's not why I stay here, mind you. It's also got free healthcare for my kid till she's 12 and a number of jobs I can do with skills I've already acquired and without the desire to set my workplace on fire.
I cannot say the same for Linens N Things, which of course no longer exists, but when it was not an awesome place to work.

But really the point is that finding solidarity with the MeToo thing was cathartic in a way, and I needed to share part of that. Maybe it's a weird thing, but I needed it out.

I also really thought Jim Beaver (Uncle Bobby from Supernatural) had a great response, which was to share his own story but alter the tag. I think anyone could be sexually harassed or assaulted and limiting it to women isn't necessary. Limiting perpetrators to men is also unfair.

There's also a meme going around about that scene at the end of Moana that makes basically a lot of people cry, including me, when the heroine brings the heart of Te Fiti to the island only to find that the island turned into the lava monster when its heart was stolen, so calming the lava monster, saying basically, "I see you. Your pain does not define you." allows her to get close enough to put the small stone heart back in its place and restore things to their natural order.
The meme says that the important part was the genders of those involved-- that only a woman like Moana could understand a fellow female's suffering and help them overcome. If that works for you, awesome. Good for you. Happy to hear it.
But it doesn't work for me at all. Every time shit has hit the fan with these fucked up situations in my life, it's been the men in my life I could turn to, even if it was just the fellow weird kid who happened to have the only phone number I knew at the time, or a family friend and counselor, or whatever. For me, getting help had less to do with the gender of the person and more to do with their ability to listen and attempt to help.
That's not to say that those traumatized by men must seek male assistance. Hell no. Seek the assistance that works for you, whatever that looks like, but telling me that only a woman can help heal a woman is garbage.

And honestly, in the end, you have to choose to heal yourself, and take the steps to make that happen, no matter who is around you.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Today's Little Weirdnesses (and then I swear a lot)

Today was my kid's second day off from school due to illness. As of right now, I am not sure if she's going to the kindergarten tomorrow either, even for the special parents-and-grandparents observation day which I have been somewhat afraid of, mostly because I'm not fluent and don't always know what's going on and my husband/translator will be working at the time.

Many good things happened today. We talked for a bit to a couple of my longest-lasting friends (and their adorable offspring) before I got lunch together for everyone, gave the kid her medicine, and went shopping for dinner stuff. I also scoured all nearby potential sources for eco-safe water-based textile ink, as I REALLLLLLLY want to print stuff from Japanese grating, in the style of the pirate printer of Europe. So damn cool! But alas, no ink. Instead, I ran into a former student from back when  I worked in Sendai. This one took exactly one trial lesson post-baby from me and told me she had some other family medical trouble that she needed to spend her time on at the time. She stopped me to ask if my family was okay in Kentucky. So far as I know, I don't have any family whatsoever in Kentucky. "Actually, it's Texas, but yeah, they're all fine. We're far from the water," I said. She said she had to run as she was on her way to her English class now. We parted ways.

And part of my wonders if I could have done something to make her choose me as her English teacher, but the rest of me is so damned tired that it cannot fathom why that would matter. I haven't been able to keep any pre-baby students because my mind post-baby is not as dedicated to the art of teaching. I still care a lot, but not to the same extent. She would have inevitably been disappointed by this. Good that she didn't lead me on.

I took over a Pokemon Go gym, which got retaken, so I retook it again and put an even-higher-level creature in it. I also managed to smash 5 guys out of another gym and plant one of mine in their place with seconds left before a legendary raid began at that location. That was pretty exciting for me.

I came home to a husband playing video games and a daughter napping on the couch, so I put away the groceries and started again into Fallout New Vegas, which I have been playing for too long and am really ready to get to the end of. I'm in the Dead Money expansion, almost at the end. I die a lot. Oh well.

Then, after about a week's worth of thought, I un-followed a friend on Facebook. It was the least harmful (also least interactive) of potential options. Part of me had wanted to talk to her about a recent share-- a declaration of mental health awareness. It was basically a memo stating the half a dozen reasonable reasons she would cancel plans with people she otherwise enjoys the company of. This isn't a bad thing to let people know-- I'm over-peopled, exhausted, whatever today. Sorry I can't meetup.

Here's the thing though. We've known each other for almost 20 years. I can probably count the number of times we have seen each other since starting college on one hand. That was more than a decade ago. The last time I saw her was at my wedding, where we didn't have time to speak. I've been stateside since then, and even bought tickets to a play she had interest in (I had a group of friends going) when she went suddenly incommunicado. Never had an explanation for that. I don't know if there was an apology because after not getting to see her or talk to her at all the one week I was in Texas for likely a decade, I was too disappointed to notice. I do know that she never paid me back for the non-refundable ticket to the play (that she didn't ask me to buy, but fell off the face of the Earth instead of telling me she couldn't go, so it's a small thing and on me, but still shitty...)

Most of our communication in the last 6 years has been her occasionally posting "Let's Skype soon!" as a comment and then never getting online or arranging anything. I can keep asking, inquiring, giving times and options, but it's just me talking to myself. She will just ignore me until I go away.

At one point (pre-2011) she actually gave her cell phone (that I had arranged to call her on at a certain time) to a random friend who apparently had no phone at some point when they had to be apart or some crap. It doesn't matter if their weird story was accurate or utter shit. No apologies. No re-working of times. Nothing but "Oh, I'm girl-you-met-once, not the person you were intending on speaking to, and she isn't anywhere near me..."
And it's just such crap.

The bottom line here is that there are limits to my patience with long-distance, low-interaction relationships. I accept that anxiety problems may get in the way of maintaining contact. That buys you six months of 0 contact, no questions asked. After that, assuming you're not in a mental hospital, I expect a few words of "Hey, sorry talking sucks for me, but I give a shit!" or it isn't really a friendship. I also get that there is some issue with her manipulative roommate, which is part of something completely different and beyond my need to explain to the internet. As an adult above 30, that gets you a few missed chats and forgotten responses, but not 6 years worth of goddamn silence. That's not a friendship.

If it's been 6 years and we have had fewer than 3 conversations outside of "Let's chat!" "When?" "..........." it isn't a friendship anymore.

I hate that this kind of thing is painful and I hate that I am whining about it on my blog. Makes me feel like I'm back on livejournal, being a whiny film-major.

But I think college is part of it. I think she is likely re-initiating her narrative, telling her life story from a happier beginning, which I can't blame her for. I know enough of what went on under the roof of her childhood home to know that shutting that door may well be necessary for sustained happiness or even just non-despair.

The shitty thing is that her narrative seems to now begin after she moved away to college. After we stopped being close. It erases one of the most important early friendships of my life.
And that fucking sucks.

But I guess that's life.

Hell, I'm lucky to have the friends I do, because the ones who do think I am worth more than 12 seconds of their time every couple of years? They are amazing.

If you read this, you're probably one of them.

So thank you for being you.

The other major thing on my mind these days is a few frustrations with an employer that doesn't seem to share my concept of professional behavior. If things don't work out, that's that. We won't starve for it, but I also can't bend over backward to please people who seem to think that I am a simple, uneducated and unskilled house-woman with all the free time and nothing to do but wait for them to summon me on an hour-long journey each way in the hopes that perhaps this time they will elect to be present for the agreed-upon meeting time. This summons also came with no apologies or mentions of our previous (missed) meeting time, for which I scheduled and emailed and prepared and arrived to find no managers present.

I don't think it's professional to whine about this shit on a blog either, or to swear so much when you do, but fuck it man. I worked for GEOS, which gave us a bullshit video-chat-meeting where the woman talking to us couldn't remember what camera we were on and wound up showing us her butt for 20 minutes. This was a day before the meeting where they told us that we didn't have jobs anymore and our last paychecks were toast, eaten by the great corporate machine.

When people can't be bothered to treat me with respect, I start looking for the door. I've been through too many eikaiwa gigs to do otherwise.

Also, as of last month I've been teaching for 10 years. That's right. A decade ago I walked into several classrooms at Southwest High School as Ms. Fleming, the SAT prep teacher, 6 periods a day. I worked my ass off, and every once in a while, I miss those kids. I am happy that I came to Japan and have had the ensuing adventures, but there was something particularly bad ass about teaching kids at my high school. So weird, but pretty damn cool.

Glad I don't have to wear suits anymore though.

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Belated High School Drama in Houston

GISHWHES was amazing, as usual, though even this morning I was reminded that I am kind of glad that this was the last big thing. I need these to be smaller more frequent events. That's what I am hoping for anyway.

In other and more current news, Hurricane Harvey (which downgraded and dissipated and disappeared, leaving flooding and off-shot tornadoes in its wake) struck the Gulf Coast region of Texas this week and I was reminded of 2011. Pretty strongly.

While I have lots of sympathy for those who lacked the means to evacuate and will be giving a fair sum of my Patreon money for the month to whatever charity in the affected areas I can find that accepts Paypal, I find my emotions turning in a less altruistic perspective.

In March of 2011, a friend from high school was taking a vacation with his then-boyfriend now-husband to Las Vegas. When news of the shit going down in the country where I'd been residing for several years at that point came to light and made international headlines, I do not know how he felt or what he did. All I do know is that he never contacted me. Not that weekend. Not the week after. At no point did he even give my potential destruction at the hands of something unfathomable more attention than a like on a facebook post. Literally. That is all he did. No comment. No message.

People I hadn't seen in over a decade were finding me on facebook and messaging me to see if I was okay. My mom's boyfriend sent me almost harassing emails, encouraging my communication with her as if I were some wayward teen and not a grown ass woman in an area that just lost all access to electricity and phone lines.

People I hardly knew were coming out of the woodwork to ask if I was okay or say they were happy to hear I hadn't died.

Yet an uncaring jackass with whom I shared my first non-familial home couldn't give me more than a thumbs up. I did hear that at some point he texted a mutual friend for news. Does anyone else get how weird that is as for communication? He did the same thing a few months later when he decided 2 weeks before my wedding that he no longer wanted to play to role of groomsman even though he had agreed to it 6 months previous. Again, he could not bring himself to contact me but instead whined at a mutual friend. Was this for hope of her brokering a better deal? No idea.

I came up with 2 answers for this scenario. Either he cared but was afraid to show me that he cared so he used the intermediary to be able to pretend to be aloof or he never cared in the first place and was using the intermediary to make sure our mutual friends still believed him to be something other than an unfeeling jackass. Option 1 is more likely I believe, even now, but kit doesn't matter. We're grown ass adults. If you need an intermediary to communicate with me, we aren't friends. We may never have been.

Well, the shoe is on the other foot now, Jeffery. Shit's going down in H-town and I've got to say, even now, 6 years after I blocked you from my Facebook and stopped having any kind of contact with you, I give more of a shit about your survival than you may have ever given about mine.

Because I'm fucking writing about it, even though I should really not even care. If anyone who knows him is reading this, know that I still hope he and his people are okay, though I know they all have connections to other folks further north. I do hope they got out okay.

Which is more than they ever said to me.

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

What I learned This Week

This week has had some ups and downs.

Ups like my slight bout of insomnia the other day combined with some awesome Facebook friends helped get all my mom's cats re-homed in the nick of time. I also reconnected with a bunch of awesome people in the Metroplex while searching for someone who could help with the cats. I may have alienated some people who don't want that level of interaction with me, but that's alright with me overall really.

But the downs, oh man.

Given how things have gone, I am a bit relieved that this year is the last big GISHWHES. I don't think I want to try to make 15 person teams anymore. Every year, every player has a friend or two they'd love to drag along. The problem is I don't know any of these new people. The problem is that a lot of the names on Facebook do not match the names on the GISHWHES site. The problem is I don't know anyone anymore and trying to untangle the mass of named from one site to the other bothers me.

In my attempt to be open and inviting, back when we had space on the team, I offered one of our remaining spaces to a woman I had just met online, named A for this retelling. She seemed really cool-- in her 40s, living in Canada, studying abroad in Japan but moving back to be with her family. She's excited and wants to participate. I give her the sign up info. Spaces get filled. Days pass.

2 hours before the end of registration, she informs me that she cannot participate this year. I spend 20 minutes scrambling to replace her only to find that no one has left the team. There are two people from the province she lives in that I don't know, X and Y. Y was the most recent signup, so I kick Y off the team and get on a friend I begged to join at the last minute.

Registration ends. I think everything is settled. Nothing really is.

A few hours later, one of my friends on the team asks why her friend was kicked off the team. I freak out, race home, email GISHWHES, and it takes us 2 days of email exchanges to boot X instead and get Y back on the list.

And I think it's settled. I breathe a sigh of relief. It isn't.

Days later, I get a message from X, who was actually a genuine member of the team and not A at all, saying that she doesn't get why she isn't on the team anymore.

I think other people are better at accepting failure than I am. That's a skill I need to learn. I suck at it.

So I explain so confused X about the whole A situation. I went nuts trying to replace someone who I had understood to be signed up when in reality apparently she had done nothing of the sort. I spazzed and freaked and alienated even more people searching for help before finding it when in reality, I did not need a damned thing.

And then I had to cancel an online pre-gish get-together, and by cancel I mean just not show up and feel like crap. Just getting my mojo back up after this is going to take more energy and time than I have before GISH starts. It's probably kinda screwed up that I get that much psychic pain from what many around me are calling an honest mistake.

Even X is saying that shit happens and it's okay.

Now do you see why I'm a Hufflepuff? I mean of course I am! When a mistake I make hurts anyone, especially by excluding them unjustly from something I love so much, I fucking ache.

I've gotta figure out how to bandage that shit up and get it healed before Saturday night, when the big event begins.

So what did we learn from this?

1) Do not trust people you just met on the internet.
2) Instead of guessing, ask what email they used to sign up with when people quit your GISHWHES team.
3) Get to know everyone on the team and double check before doing anything rash.
4) Forgive yourself. You are human. Get over it.
5) Watch for PMS. It's out there, waiting to screw with your hormones and make you crazier than normal.

So this week I used the internet for good and screwing things up.

But no one died. I didn't start any revolutions. I'm ready to do something different. Probably.

I don't think it helps that the next 2 days are crammed full of crap that needs to be done, including feeding a cat in Sendai and walking out to a school to change out books.

Somehow, Saturday afternoon, when the work week is done, I need to heal and recharge in like no time. Good luck, future self.

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Take A Cat PLEASE!

So today I did something crazy/brave for me.

I'm not actually good with people, as most people who know me probably know. I get anxious and awkward easily with people I don't have a chance to communicate with relatively frequently. I go quickly from just wanting to say hi to just wanting to run and hide for fear that I might bother them.

Today I shoved that all out the window and messaged literally every person I know in DFW on my Facebook friends list. Why? My mom has 2 cats that need homes right now as she is moving out of her current home TODAY and will leave the continental US in about a week. She's beeing using social media and I have shared her posts and ....not a lot of anything. One of her three has found a home with a friend and GISHWHES teammate. The others? Nada.

Is it the social networking algorithms, making the posts invisible to the people who might be able to help, or the apathy or inability of the people we connect with? Is it just that no one needs a cat right now?

I don't know, and the why is less important than the how, as in how do we fix this?

Of course, the back of my mind has been screaming that I must be alienating everyone I know and no one wants to help and no one cares and I'm just pissing them off and you know what? If my saying Hi and asking if you know anyone who could take in a cat is that offensive, I am so okay with being unfriended by you. I love having Facebook friends but what I love most is people who are more than acquaintances.

You can't help with the cat? No worries! Thanks for getting back to me and letting me know. Also, really, how are you?

You have a lead on another sheltering company or provider? Awesome! Maybe they can help and thanks!

Dead silence? Whatever! Maybe you didn't see it or know what to say. I've been there. I don't mind and it was worth a shot. Good day to you regardless!

And honestly, if you are that offended by my attempts to keep my mom from having to hand over her fur-babies to people who will kill them (or the elements, which in the Texas heat will do the same), then you should not be on my friend's list, in my news feed, or even kept at a base acquaintance level.

If I am offending you, I am sorry, but do delete me.

Honestly having 300 friend-links who aren't actually friends but someone I met once who doesn't know me or want to know me anymore isn't beneficial to me. Having 5 badasses who really try to help me? That is all I need in the world sometimes. Having all these connections can be helpful, especially for things like GISHWHES, but if I would offend someone so much with the messages I sent out today, they would never have been helpful for GISHWHES anyway. With this being the final year of the hunt, it really isn't worth it in my opinion to maintain hundreds of acquaintance-ships with folks who want nothing to do with me.

So I do apologize if my abrupt and strange message of the day disturbed anyone who doesn't usually chat with me, but it was for a good cause and I don't see myself needing to do that literally ever again. But if it really bugged you, make sure I can't bug you again.

The great thing that came out of this? A number of neat little conversations with people I haven't talked to in ages. Because that is why this is not spam. If you respond, we talk, and I'm not just a robot trying to sell you my mom's cat.

The squeamish part of me that's still a bit pretentious thinks that last sentence is in questionable sanity. The rest of me feels that people in my life know that I saw weird things when I'm sleep-deprived, but they are usually interesting/entertaining.

But the point is that I chatted with a bunch of people, all separately, all interestingly. Not all people I know that well or have seen in years. Some were even people I don't know if I would jump at the chance to talk to if I saw them on the street in DFW (because I'll talk to anyone I know when they're in Japan, but back home, that's not something I'd do), but still, conversations were had.

2 of the cats still need homes. They go wherever they go tomorrow.
It's super depressing.
I woke up at 2AM and spent 2.5 hours trying to track down new homes for them.
I have done my part. For now.

EDIT: Within a couple of hours of this post, thanks in no small part to the assistance of a friend and patron, the cats have been re-homed in foster care. All the cats have homes, at least for now, and we can all relax a bit more now.
Thank you, all and any of you.