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On July 3rd 20 years ago, my then-8-year-old little brother Addison was upstairs putting sheets on his bed before bedtime. He squeezed between his bunk bed and the open window. He reached for the sheet, missed, and fell backwards and out the window. He was hospitalized for a while, but survived with no lasting issues. So I threw him a 20 year celebration! :)

I printed out the skulls and wrote all the speech bubbles. I got eyepatch party favors because he had to wear an eyepatch for weeks after he was in the hospital (the head injury crossed his eyes for a while there) I googled a drink recipe called “Michael’s Downfall” (Addison’s first name is Michael… the drink turned out to be pretty tasty!)… my fiance-husband-thing made a “falling” themed playlist. I made cookies. I had the head wrap stuff ready with markers and people drew on it or signed it. We ended the night watching Big Hero 6 (he hadn’t seen it and, hell, the main song was sang by Fall Out Boy so it still fit the theme ;))

The shining moment, I think, is that I bought him a replacement stuffed cookie monster doll that was stolen in the hospital when he was eight years old. It was the necessary sappy moment of the night. :)

some of the pictures )
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It's been about four or five years since this happened but I literally just now realized that this one person who offered to hang out sometimes and go swimming together was actually hitting on me and not just offering a local workout buddy situation
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Finally got pest control. Have seen a few spiders and wasps keep sneaking into our bedroom. Some guy was going door to door and I was tired of not having it done so I signed up for a 12 month plan. It's pricy but we have a decently big house so I expected it, and I might poke Will and Roq for help with later payments (this first one was hugely discounted so I'm not as concerned with that)

Yay, adulting.


Tonight I'm having Will help me look up some good dirt/mulch options online. Get started on kicking those flowerbeds' asses. First things first, weed and grass kill the shit out of 'em. Let that sink in for a while. Then get some good soil and mulch in. Then first things first, the HOA-required amount of shrubbery for our sized lot (yeah yeah HOAs suck, I get it, but I like shrubbery so I don't care)... after all that, THEN I handle things like getting some pretty flowers in there like I've always wanted. And god help me we need to find a cheap option for rocks to surround the flowerbeds with... it's RIDICULOUS that those sized rocks can cost like 100 bucks a pop. Screw that. I've checked Craigslist before and they often have cheap/free options for that so I'd rather do that, but only when I can wrangle some able bodies and a car to transport everything. :P

So, yay. Adulting even when sick. Extra adult XP when you do that.
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I've been sick since... Friday? Friday sounds right. So it's only been a few days but I'm really frustrated. I'm feeling "better"... meaning just different and gotten to the point of my sickness (at least from what I've observed of the other times I've been sick) where I'm just freaking exhausted. I have been sleeping on and off all day long. It means I'm close to the end, but it's still annoying. I've been getting a whole lot of nothing done for days now. Can't draw, too lightheaded and shaky. Can't really clean very effectively if I'm just going to infect everything I'm touching (also the lightheaded thing doesn't help)... hell I've even been sucking at video games, I just don't have the mental capacity. Even easy shit like Sims is iffy.

I just want this to go away. Dishes are piling up. Laundry needs to be done. Decluttering needs to be kept up with.

Ugh. Now to go back to probably another nap despite JUST having coffee (which of course tastes weird because everything tastes off right now, even the shit I normally love)
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Looks like the record-breaking rain of May is gone, June looks pretty dry here so far.

I started a new commission special on Facebook and I'm kicking ass at it so far. I've stayed up stupid late working more than once. I have a feeling it's the new meds... it's kicking apathy out the door and letting my passion for work fire back up again. I'm hoping it stays this way.

So... I'm going good. Had one weird random crying spell a few days ago out of nowhere but otherwise I've not noticed too many weird stuff with the new meds.

Okay, back to work. Then therapy this afternoon, then party tonight. :)
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Please let the death cramps be over for this month. I'm still bleeding after *checks* 12 days but that's a pretty common long period for me so whatever. But today I'm cramp-free so far and I would REALLY APPRECIATE IT IF IT STAYED THAT WAY.

Took advantage of no-cramps and did the dishes and cleaned the cat litter. Got a headache I'm trying to kick down.

I'm out of coffee so that's frustrating. Ordered more but it won't be here until, like, June 6th.

Need to make a grocery list soon. And this might be an actual grocery trip I can manage to make!

I've been out a handful of times in the last month or so but it's not often and I'm usually in pain there too so I'm kind of... half-there. It's meant a hell of a lot of cabin fever and loneliness and frustration on my end. There's only so much video games can do to keep me sane, you know?

On the bright side, pain let up enough yesterday to finish a couple of late commissions. Gonna try to so more this week and catch up.

Here's hoping.
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Today I start on my new meds for depression and anxiety. Hopefully I rolled a nat 20 on this cocktail and soon I'll be consistently productive, confident, able to socialize more, able to talk openly with my partners more without crippling fear... all that good stuff.
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Chiropractor this morning. Covered by the VA, which is awesome. Massage this afternoon, done on a bartering system with the massage therapist (she massages me, I do art sometimes for her)

I should PROBABLY stop by the store sometime too. Need a couple of things.

Tonight, not sure what the plan is. If Will stays in, we might have a Star Wars date (been AGES since he and I ran around the galaxy as Sith together), if he goes out then I might be a different Sith all by myself... or a bounty hunter. Or Agent. We'll see what I'm feelin' by tonight, or if I'm even up for gaming.

Tomorrow is a dear friend's party. At least that's tomorrow evening, the day can be spent relaxing and doing some art or something. Maybe I'll try to get the comic done early so Sunday I can feel free to be hungover (assuming I drink enough at the party, I've been drunk only once in the last few months and it's just not been all that appealing to me lately so we'll see how I feel)

Supposed to rain here and there this weekend, but be clear skies next week. Apparently. I'm skeptical. Texas could always use the rain (not as much as poor California right now but still) but it'd be nice to have a break from the rain-related pain issues.

Will started his new job yesterday and seems very optimistic about it. And... get this... I'm being put on the insurance! YEAH! It's a decent-looking plan and we can actually afford to have me covered. This is ridiculous! And awesome! I haven't been on non-VA insurance since living on my own. I'll have a copay and can see civilian doctors and everything. Will's excited to find me a pain specialist in the area. I might still want to get meds through the VA since it'll probably be much more affordable that way but I wouldn't mind seeing some one who might know a bit better what they're doing. This could be exciting!

I'm still cautiously optimistic about the new job, it's been over a year of Will being jerked around by employers and left unemployed for way too long at a time and stressing us both out to the point of being sick. He seems optimistic so I'll go with his gut on this but I'm still holding back a bit. I want it to be as good as it sounds, but right now I'd settle for just... stability. Reliability. A job we can trust he won't be booted out of illegally or one he's under contract for and they cut him out early, etc etc. A paycheck that I'm not worried will be fucked with. Etc etc. It's not a dream job or anything and the drive is a tad much in my opinion, but I'm just wanting the benefits to outweigh the frustrations.

Fingers crossed.
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I'm going to kick ass and take names in my 30s.

I feel like my 20s were training, or some kind of test. 30s is where the real fun begins.
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I am 30 years old :)

It's 2am and I should go to bed, got a busy day tomorrow/today.
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Ten years. Ten years since I swore an oath and jumped on a plane and headed over to Fort Jackson, SC. Ten years since I met a man who would break my heart but still change and help so much. Ten years since I met friends I would lose to war. Ten years since I started down a road that would quickly lead to me being crippled for life. Ten years since I started down a road that would quickly make me stronger, louder, angrier, more passionate and sure of myself.

I was 19, days from being 20. My MEPS experience wasn't much different than the first 10 times or so that I went. The girl they put me up with in the hotel was going for her very first MEPS visit and was so nervous. I wasn't. I felt like I should have been, but it'd taken me a year to join and mentally I was mostly too impatient to feel properly nervous. She asked me what I was doing at MEPS this time, and seemed floored when I told her I was shipping out. I think my calmness threw her off... but helped, I hope.

They keep you at MEPS all damn day when you ship out. You do the usual cup-peeing, you sign a lot of things, you do the oath, then you just sit there for hours doing nothing. It's on purpose. The flight isn't until that evening and they want you exhausted when you get to reception. Hell the flight took forever and they still had us sit as the airport for ages.

I met some one at that airport who is still my friend despite us playing with that whole relationship thing for a while (it was a miserable failure)

Reception was quick, starting technically on the 26th in the wee hours of the morning when the bus took us there from the airport. Most people spend a week processing. You get all your clothes, your dog tags, do a lot of paperwork, get your shots, some MORE paperwork, blood drawn, they talk to you about so many things you'll forget in almost no time. Again, this normally is covered over the span of a week, we had two days.

We got on the bus to Basic on the 28th, my 20th birthday. I might talk more about that later. I just kind of wanted to talk about the very very beginning.

I was so different. I mean, duh... 30 and 20 are massively different ages, mentally, emotionally, socially. But I wouldn't recognize myself if 20-me met 30-me. Back then I was beaten down, underweight, quiet and shy, terrified of the world. But I was tired of being terrified. I was tired of being afraid and abused and manipulated. The military was an extreme form of escape, one that left me permanently scarred, but it did exactly what I wanted it to. I came out of the other end changed so much that my own family was shocked by the person I was by the time I got home. I had become so much stronger. I was bold, loud, angry, passionate. I didn't put up with the same shit I put up with before. I cut ties with people I needed to cut ties with, people who I'd been terrified to do that to before.

I wouldn't change it. I mean, sure, small things... there's always small things. But I learned a lot. And I didn't stop there, I've been growing so much in these 10 years and I'll do so for the next 10 years, and the 10 after that. I'll die of old age while smiling and saying I still don't understand a damn thing, and I'm still not done.

I'm never done. I could be bedridden with pain, breath caught in my throat because of it, brain screaming in terror from a dark memory... but none of that will beat me. Nothing ever has, nothing ever will. I'm not done. The Army broke me in so many ways and built me up in others. I don't regret it. Anything that can break any part of me is also something I can use to become something far more powerful than I was before.

Ten years... it's been a good ten years.
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Have a VA appointment tuesday that I probably need to reschedule because I started shark week in the middle of dinner last night. I've been MISERABLE all day. Sick, in pain, exhausted, cranky, sad, everything. It's been awful. Couldn't go out at all, can barely keep food down, couldn't go to a party tonight.

With the pain, menstrual cramps are harsh enough to pull at the surrounding muscles... meaning my hips get even crankier than usual. AND it might rain in the next couple of days so THAT'S not helping.

BUT. Yeah. Tuesday's appointment was in Dallas at the OBGYN for a pelvic exam. I don't know EXACTLY what they're needing to do so I'll call Monday for the details. Because if it involves a pap smear, then, well... the blood will fuck it up. It's... doable? But not overly recommended. Ugh. It took a while to get this appointment so waiting even longer will be irritating.

We'll see what happens.

On the bright side, that means no painful and awkward pelvic exam at that godawful hospital on the morning of my birthday. :P I can sleep in or something instead. Cool. OR still go if it turns out me being on my period is a non-issue for this exam (it's a pre-exam thing for the IUD, they might just be poking the cervix with a stick or something for all I know)

So, yeah. Been a frustrating day for all I was aware of it.

Luckily I have my birthday dinner balloons from last night and Dianakitty has been entertaining the HELL out of me all day with them. She is freaked out by balloons but wants to play with the balloon strings. So she bites on them, tries to run away with them, the balloon obviously follows along, it will catch up and bump her on the butt and she'll freak out and try to run away with the string still in her mouth. Rinse, repeat. (And no worries, I'm watching her to make sure she doesn't EAT the string)
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I'm very, very hard to surprise. Will's expressed frustration throughout our entire relationship about this. I've guessed presents, surprise parties, everything. After six years he's now managed two surprises* and he's been super proud of himself both times.
wink emoticon

*First was the proposal at Disneyworld - I knew it was coming, just not when exactly. :)

Second was tonight when my family came up from San Antonio to have a birthday dinner and give me presents and cupcakes. ^_^

Pics )
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Birthday's coming up. Wish list is up to date (even the old stuff is still stuff I want)

Yay.
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I took my nose ring out about 24 hours ago and had nothing plastic to put in in the meantime (MRI + metal in your face = NO)

Now I can’t get it back in and if I want that nose ring back I’ll probably have to go get it re-pierced.

I’m annoyed and frustrated. If I didn’t have all this neuropathy that’s worrying my doc I wouldn’t have to have a goddamn brain MRI and I wouldn’t have had to take it out in the first place.

I wouldn’t be so annoyed if this didn’t feel like a small “you’re crippled and your body isn’t under your own control” slap in the face. My nose ring was one of the small pieces of control I’ve had in the last few years. Something about my body that was 100% my choice. Now because of my health I can’t have it right now and it’s pissing me off.

Momentary setback, I know. Re-piercing is no big deal and I’ve had to do it before on my ears (and while I'm there getting it done I'll buy a plastic something so if I need another brain MRI this won't happen again). I’ll be okay. But right this second, I’m not.

I swear my next big move is going to be tattoos. I don’t have any yet. I know what I want, I just need to get it designed by some one whose style lines up better with it.

I just want my body to be mine, dammit.
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I had a brain MRI today and it took like almost an hour and I’m claustrophobic. I was FREAKING THE SHIT OUT but luckily in an extremely “so tense I cannot move” way so I was perfect still for them. The second I was out of that thing, though? The tech got seriously concerned that I was having a reaction to the contrast or something because of how badly I was shaking and trembling and foggy-brained so much I could barely communicate. The clinic I went to had a gift shop so I picked up some water to slowly sip on in the car ride home (I wasn’t driving - I can’t drive because of my hips anyway but even if I could I would have preferred some one else do that today)… lunch helped. The nap when I got home helped. But even after all of that, several hours later, I’m still tense and my chest is a little tight from the panic.

Claustrophobia is frustrating. It’s been a long while since it was this rough, I’m rarely in situations where it acts up these days because I know ways to get around in places that would otherwise push it (like dimly-lit restaurants - like making sure I’m not sitting directly under a low light, making sure I have a clear view of an open area and/or exit, etc)

There’s really no “escape” with the MRI. The only thing that kept me semi-sane in that thing was a number of mental exercises. And quietly planning a very violent escape plan… like “if I had to fight my way out of this room, what would I use” kind of thing (weird but as a coping mechanism for claustrophobic situations it helps a LOT… provides a brief illusion of control, which in general helps me calm down in MOST situations)

Sorry, getting this all out. It helps.
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Got out of the house today. Checked out this Swedish shop in Plano I'd never heard of called The Wooden Spoon. I will DEFINITELY need to go back. I loved it.

Pictures )

Also it was just... a really good time to get out of the house. I was tense and upset and lonely and frustrated with the VA and people and yeah. Getting out, geeking out with a friend for a while and getting some good talking time in, seeing new things, getting cool stuff... I needed the break. It calmed my head down a bit.

Hopefully it carries through for the rest of the night.
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I know it's not healthy, probably, but I'm finding myself wishing I could replace some of my emotions with anger. Anger is exhausting but it's a quick burn, it leads to action, it DOES SOMETHING. Things like insecurity, jealousy, fear... they run me in circles, slow me down, fill me with regret and doubt. I'm so exhausted by it. Constant anger would theoretically be worse, but I'm not looking for 100% rage all the time or anything. I just want... I don't know. Something else. Something that's not a constant low-key quietly throbbing gloominess. Anger might be something that's frequently used wrong, that can lead to destruction, but it's like fire. Fire, if wielded right, is incredibly useful and productive. It gets shit done.

Maybe I need more of it. So long as I keep it under control.

I don't know. I just want out of this self-locked cage. I want fire instead of ice. I feel so numb right now, even though there's things happening that should theoretically make me angry. And if I were in a healthier place, they WOULD make me angry. Instead it just makes the numbness worse. Instead I convince myself that it's not worth the energy.
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Had an urge today to look for a puppy to adopt. I know I'm being irrational right now. I'm lonely and my heart still hurts and I'm craving some kind of comfort. We're not ready for a puppy, Will's job is still unstable. My finances are okay right now but my situation is difficult to maintain/predict.

... I might still look at pictures of puppies. Because puppies are cute.
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I feel a bit bad. I've been working my ass off while I'm here and I'm burned the hell out. I only have... well, tonight... and I want to be relaxed and focused on important things. Work is going okay, next week's comic is already done, mortgage is paid, I can take a break without the guilt eating me alive. I can spend this time focusing on love and quality time and all that, rather than being tense and even staying awake too late at night going over scheduling and to-do lists in my head on repeat for hours, judging myself for not working harder even though every inch of my body aches with exhaustion.

Nothing will ever feel good enough even if I work myself to the death. I don't want to be dying and thinking "I was in his arms that night and all I can remember is how stressed I was"

Fuck that. I want to remember something else. <3

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