Wet Wash Cloths and Comforters– Sleepwalking ‘Pro’ Tip

So I’m an infrequent sleep-walker.

I’m a less infrequent sleep-TALKER, which Lexy updates me on the apparent hilarity my sleeping mind voices, but as I don’t have a “‘pro’ tip”  for that, I’m going to have to leave that topic alone for now.

As you may have guessed, I sleep walked–slept walked?– last night, and I almost made it past my door when a wet wash cloth stopped me.

It may sound a bit odd, but it’s actually pretty impressive. I’ve been rearranging and going through EVERYTHING in my room for roughly the past month (it hasn’t taken that long, the cleaning sessions have simply been spread out), and I’m nearly done but that means that stuff I’m planning on banishing entirely from my room are temporarily taking up floor space so the rest of my family don’t have to deal with it–

So the fact that I MADE it to my door is pretty darn impressive. Dreaming me didn’t even give me any bruises, so yay for that, but WOW. Boxes, laundry baskets, and some stacked other things between bed and door, and dreamer me made it!

Only to be stopped by a wash cloth.

A cold one.

See, being near the end of my cleaning rampage, and having already rearranged my room into something with hopefully less nooks for me to shove things into, I decided sheets were a thing that needed to be dealt with. Unlike Lexy, who has flannel sheets for winter and (I think) cotton ones for summer, I just have the same, super soft cotton ones year-round. I also have this HUGE down comforter that’s just amazing in the winter months–but obviously not so great in the summer.

I dunno if it’s just me, but the transition from Comforter-on-bed to no-comforter-on-bed is a weird one– For half the year you get used to the weight of many blankets, and then everything is too light to sleep once you take that away.

But I also find that when I finally DO remove my comforter, after shoving it aside to a still-giving-off-heat lump of fluff next to me in bed when it’s crazy hot at night, it inevitably turns into a cold snap the night of.

So last night was freezing.

Boxer-shorts and t-shirts are amazing pj wear when it’s hot, but otherwise it’s a no-no.

I think dreaming-me was trying to go in search of blankets.

But was stopped by a wet wash cloth.

If you are curious as to why there’s a wet wash cloth in my room, I will remind you that I’ve been cleaning up my room, moving things around–that means dusting, which translates to using a wet washcloth to wipe everything down. Why was it STILL in my room after I was done with it? Well I was a bit bored of cleaning and didn’t feel like bringing the cloth to the basement for it to be washed, so I just hung it to dry on the door handle to my room.

Yes I’m that lazy when I get bored with something, and hey, it stopped me sleep-walking outside of my room, so.

Sleep-walking me made it across the tripping-hazard that is my room’s floor, and made it to the door, tried to OPEN the door, and was startled by the feel of a cold-wet-something in hand to wake me up.

So.

Do YOU have a sleep-walking problem? Close the door to your room before you go to bed.

Can you open doors when sleep-walking? Well how about a damp wash cloth? Cheaper and safer than a lock on your door!

There’s my sleep-walking tip for you.

*jazzy hands*

Ta da!

Also when changing from winter-appropriate sheets to summer-appropriate sheets, have an extra blanket on hand.

Or make sure your window is closed.

I Am the One Who Knocks (And No One is Home)

oh god ali

So, I’m only now getting into Breaking Bad (I know, shut up, I am the one who knocks last apparently), and found this picture, and turned to show it to my much-farther-into-the-show-than-I-am sister.

She smiled, but looked a bit confused, so I said “It’s blue rock candy,” because that’s probably the only confusing part of the picture.

She gave me a look, and, still smiling, said,

“But why does the baby have a goatee?”

She thought the baby was supposed to be a leprechaun.

A leprechaun guys, a Leprechaun.

She says she worries that she’s living inside of a blonde joke sometimes.

To those in the know of my other blog posts, you can find my sister, Lexy, at the link in her name.

Tired

It’s very easy to wallow in the feeling of sadness and the lack of any urge to do something. 

Very. Very easy.

Especially if you’re experiencing a sudden change in your day-to-day life. You lose some part of the ritual of your 24hr day.

Your pet dies, you lose your job, you move someplace new, you’re removed from someplace you’re comfortable in, you finish a long-term goal… something you’ve been working on is no longer an option, and it’s a weird, sad sort of feeling. 

It makes me tired. 

It seems like suddenly everything on depression has been popping up in videos, has been coming up in articles, in every social media and blog-ish type thing, so in my infinite wisdom, and knowledge of the subject, after noticing this tiredness soon after… a big change in my life, that took away a portion of what I did every day, I’m not quite up to talking/writing about it now, I was like, Ah, Yes, Depression. Hmm

I think the start of depression is enforced stagnation. Except that doesn’t quite get the right idea across, I think. Stagnation in general sounds bad, and, ike flat soda or water that’s been left out too long, it leaves a bad taste in your mouth. Enforced stagnation sounds a lot like you have no choice but to stagnate. 

Not what I was trying to get across. 

Enforced stagnation is when you’re stuck in a rut, stuck in a divot in your life that so far, no matter how many times you try to pull yourself away from it, you end up rolling back to where you were before. I think some people don’t even notice that it’s happening, which must be even more upsetting as you can look around your divot, see nothing wrong, but still feel unhappy. 

And, seque of all segue’s, I think this is why tiredness goes hand in hand with depression. Because it is very, very easy to get tired of failing. 

Also failing is stressful, and wouldn’t you rather have a nap than deal with stress? I would. 

Because, as Lexy has so eloquently put it, my spirit animal is an ostrich. Avoidance is key. 

But I have a plan to get out of any kind of funk I may soon experience– because this change-in-life-and-daily-ritual of doom actually only happened earlier today, so kudos to myself for jumping on this writing opportunity while it’s still grumbly– but am feeling tired already. 

Like, I wanted to just go to sleep at 7pm. 

I’m 21, got up at about 9am, and was feeling exhausted enough to want to end the day at 7pm.

Fuck if I’m going to let that be my week. 

So, my game plan is to get the ball rolling again. Hard to do, as I think that just before The Change Of Doom the ball had been slowing down exponentially, but still doable. 

So I look at The Big Goal. 

What does it take to get there? Ah, yes, part A must first be completed. 

Want a certain job? What will it take to get there? Schooling? Need money first? Is there another job you can do to get money, or perhaps can you take a course or look for an apprenticeship program so that you can get yourself moving in the direction you want. 

The thing about having a Big Goal is that it’s a bit like a Gorgon. It’s the Medusa of your life. It’s much safer, less likely to freeze you to a standstill–less likely to turn you to stone–if you come at it sideways. Use a mirror and come at it from different angles. 

Or, if Greek Mythology isn’t your thing, how about mountain analogies? Everyone loves those. 

Big Goal is at the top. How do you get there? 

Well, you could climb straight up, but there’s no guarantee that you’ll have the right equipment for it. Much more dangerous, and what if you turn out to be afraid of heights? I’m not saying you shouldn’t face fears, or try something daring, but you should also be aware of your own limits. Push them, but don’t push yourself off the side of a cliff. Because you might just find  better path up the side of the mountain.

It may zig-zag, and hey–there might be parts where you can climb straight up to get to the next part of the path!–but you’ll find waypoints on the path up, you’ll build yourself up along the way, and should you slip…

well. Less of a drop straight down, and much less likely to cripple you. 

Wow I’m cheerful right now.

But now it’s 12 and I’ve challenged myself enough and NOW I can go to sleep.  

 

Waking Up

So I am not an easy person to wake up.

Or rather, I am, but I’m not an easy person to keep up.

I can make myself get up when I feel enough need for it, such as going to work or getting up to bring Gwynn on a walk (when Lexy has crossfit in the morning), but otherwise it’s very easy for me to sleep the day away.

I’m getting much better at getting a regular up-by-X-time sleep schedule, but still I have issues.

I like my sleep.

To give you an idea of what I do to myself to get up, and also what I can go back to sleep after, I illustrated this mornings’ waking.

Lexy has a system where she turns on my light a little while before she actually wants me to get up, which I’m thankful for, but today I had a little early wake-up call…

from my brain.

drawn by me, my brain is a paranoid SOB

drawn by me, my brain is a paranoid SOB

Anxiety over being late is usually what gets me up when I have things like work I absolutely have to go to during the day. If you know what I mean, you can laugh, and if you don’t know what I mean, do you at least know about those dreams you wake up gasping from? You shoot upright, chest tight, anxious… maybe from a dream where you’re falling?

Yeah, well, my brain does that to me with anxiety over being late.

Lexy then turned on my light, I hid from it for a while, and then she told me to get up… I did… and I am ashamed to admit it, but I basically got up, put on chapstick, and went back to my still warm bed.

I feel like I should tell you now that all of my clocks are set at slightly different times, mostly earlier than it actually is, like now where my watch says 11:18am, my phone says 11:15am, and I think my alarm clock upstairs is somewhere in the middle. I know that my watch, at least, is a few minutes ahead of the clock at my work so even when my watch says I’m a few minutes late I can reassure myself that I’m actually going to be exactly on time.

Maybe early.

Maybe within the 5 minute grace time given for when you can clock in.

But I digress.

Shameful but comfortable me of this morning knew I had to get up sooner rather than later, but I could languish a little bit longer.

Then, wake-up-attack #3 (though I think of it as #2, really, as Lexy’s approach is less of an attack and more like a peaceful take-over) starts up.

My phone is bubbly. Also named Dam. Because when I first got it it autocorrected "Damn Phone" Into "Dan Phone" And that's as close to an introduction as I think we'll ever get.

My phone is bubbly. Also named Dam. Because when I first got it it autocorrected “Damn Phone” Into “Dan Phone” And that’s as close to an introduction as I think we’ll ever get.

I have multiple alarms set on my phone, and most of them with different songs so I can’t get used to one sound and tune it out, and this usually works.

Not today.

The fumbling of trying to figure out how to snooze my new phone are done with, and now I know just where to swipe to snooze it, just how to flail to always reach it, and that alarm is silenced.

But there is still yet one more attack.

I’m going to pause here to say that I don’t think my alarm likes getting up any more than I do. The buttons are old and don’t really work that great–the snooze works fine, thank the gods, but if I want to change the hour I’m supposed to get up, instead of hitting it once, twice, 23x’s for earlier wake-ups, I have to keep on clicking at it until I find the right angle and the right pressure, otherwise it doesn’t change.

MY alarm is old, has room for a cassette tape, has stubborn buttons, and doesn’t like getting up any more than I do.

It must collect the souls in the dark of night, which is why it hates getting up so early

It must collect the souls in the dark of night, which is why it hates getting up so early

And also lets out a sound like the screams of the damned mixed with a fog horn.

Where my brain fails to scare me out of bed, my alarm always wins.

And that’s how I get up in the morning.

P.S. Lexy the walk went fine this morning, both dogs are passed out and slightly damp, but…

I went down to MC park and it was a slush field.

Still a good walk.

Calvin seems happy too :)

Gwynn: Orange Fluff Aussie Doodle Calvin: Sausage-y fluff Corgi

Gwynn: Orange Fluff Aussie Doodle
Calvin: Sausage-y fluff Corgi

Stress Direction and the Time I Have To Do Things

So I haven’t posted anything here very recently–hell, last thing I posted was a picture of a goat (which I swear is more impressive than it sounds) I drew for one of my sister’s stories.

I don’t think I have quite the steady readership here, but I do write elsewhere (fanfiction, mostly, on Archive Of Our Own, and Fanfiction.net), and I do actually have regular visitors to many of my stories.

Hell, in a world of usernames mostly made or kept from your tweens or drunken haha-this-is-obviously-the-best-idea‘s, I recognize a rather astonishing amount of usernames and profile pictures that aren’t actually of people. (Hahaha, yes, so sayeth Doodled93 with a Halloween costumed selfie to the one side and a picture of my dog on the other. But my username is an adaption of a childhood nickname and the creative use of my birth year, so.)

But the thing is, I have a pretty steady readership in my fanfiction plunges, people I’m surprised to see reviewing/commenting on one story or another because they’re usually commenting on other fandoms I’ve written in, and usually it’s pretty nice. The thing I like about Ao3 (archive of our own, for those not in the know) is how friendly everyone is, and while part of that, I think, is because you have to join a usually quick waiting list to even get an account (whereas there are many dud ffn.net accounts), but also because people looking into fanfiction are generally pretty nice.

Actually care about what you post, the quality you crank out, and people will respond.

I think the most negative comments I get nowadays is from people reviewing for the first time a story I wrote nearly, gosh, 8 years ago now(02/14), and it’s mostly about the overuse of some punctuation.

But the negative comments I get aren’t the annoying ones, not really, and I think I’ve mentioned this before, but berating and shouting at me for not having updated one story in a while gets me stressed and annoyed and a bit spiteful. 

It’s the stressed part of that mix that I’m going to be focusing on today, but you should really pay attention to the fact that when I get annoyed I get spiteful.

If you’ve read anything of mine before this, of the non-fiction side of things, you’ll know that I’ve had a lot to say about stress. I’ve written about stressful situations, I’ve written about what stress is really like for me, I’ve even just tagged posts as ‘stress’ or ‘stressful’ simply because writing about it gets my anxiety up.

I don’t deal with stress well.

I think I’ve gotten better, in that instead of bottling it up I let it out in bursts to Lexy and internet and real life friends in short bursts, but I still have the avoid-it instinct…

Do you see why it is doubly unwise to yell at me and snark about when I’ll likely update?

Because I’m NOT a writer that can work within a certain deadline, I am simply one that can work within parameters. Hmm, should this story be 10k/chapter, or maybe 5k, or should this be every 7 pages, or… hmm. When should I be updating this, because otherwise the chapter will either go on forever or else never get worked on due to its open-ended-ness.

When I was in a bad way after Ottawa-related failings, I was stressed and unhappy and trying my best to avoid real life and all that comes with that, and so I got quite a bit of writing done.

Because when you’re avoiding real life, fiction is where it’s at.

Or just the internet in general.

I read and wrote a hell of a lot, and was unemployed so I had all the time I could possibly want and/or need, and basically turned all my attention towards plot, character development, 10k long chapters, and taking breaks in-between to finish whole seasons of TV shows. As uncomfortable as it may seem to you, I wallowed in unemployment and a feeling of failure but was 80% oblivious to it because 80% of my day was turned towards fictional drama, and a large part of the remaining 20% was eating and sleeping in.

Now, however, I’m in a bit of a better place, and I have a job.

Full-time even, and for a while I had TWO jobs, at least until current job was like “What would it take for you to quit working other job and come here full-time?”

Kudos to past put-on-the-spot me, because I responded with ‘benefits’, because that seemed more likely than ‘more than minimum wage’.

And now while I have stressy bits of work (working in the produce section of an organic foods store means there’s ALWAYS SOMETHING TO BE DONE, and also manager issues but whatever), I am working full-time.

I can no longer utilize my best writing time (between 10pm and 2am) because I either have work to get to at 7am, or I’ve returned from an exhausting shift that ended at 9:30pm.

So no, my writing is not happening at quite the same pace as it was last year, or even over the summer, but you know what?

Stress is usually the thing that gets me writing, because it is an escape.

Sometimes more than reading, because I am quite literally feeling like I’m in my characters head.

When I haven’t written in a long while, or am blanking on what–or how–to write in a particular story I have yet to update for a while, I experience a bit of anxiety, because I do want to write. I enjoy it. But I stress myself out in a minimal way when I haven’t updated something in a while, because I’m disappointing myself. Not in a ‘you could do better’ kind of way, but more like making plans, looking forward to it, and then finding out that either you or the person(s) you were going to hang out with and do that thing with can’t make it.

Oh, ok. Next time then. 

But when I get passive aggressive remarks and pressure from people who, while it’s flattering that they’re enjoying what I’ve written that much, don’t give a f*** what else I’m doing or how much pressure they and their unknowing compadre’s are putting on me, who would very likely feel a bit of camaraderie with the others if they knew (Hah, the author will have to update sooner than expected if we’re ALL shouting at the same time), well.

Stressed.

Annoyed.

Spiteful.

Let’s work our way up, shall we?

Spite, a desire to hurt, annoy, or offend someone.

Leads up to Annoy, irritate (someone); make (someone) a little angry.

And though it’s not in there, anger is part of this too.

I don’t like being angry, I don’t like the way it makes me feel, I don’t like experiencing that boiling in my gut, and I especially don’t like how hard it is to keep it focused on the intended recipient/aggressor. It’s like the difference between being a little peeved and being actually angry is like using two different types of weapons. Being peeved is like your emotions are turned into a laser, easy to point it at the thing that’s causing it.

Being angry is like having that laser pointer turned into some kind of gun that lets out a poisonous miasma. It’s scary, there’s kickback that can injure you, and as soon as it’s out, it’s up in the air. It could affect anyone. Could hurt anyone.

And you know what? If you let me get to know you for 48 hours, within that 48 hours I will have figured out what sort of thing I would have to say to you to actually hurt your feelings, the way that shouldn’t hurt because it’s a relative stranger saying it to you, but hits deep anyways. But I don’t say it. Ever. Because if hearing that it’s that easy to figure out how to hurt a stranger verbally puts you off from ever wanting to interact or even meet me, then maybe it’ll change your mind to hear that I don’t say any of it because I find it very easy to empathize, and I’m selfish enough to not want the emotional backlash of hurting your feelings.

But being actually angry makes that wall in my head of ‘no, you do not say this ever’ seem more like a line, and hey, isn’t it closer than I thought it was, and I bet I could walk right over it, easy as pie.

And that is stressful.

Stress, a state of mental or emotional strain or tension resulting from adverse or very demanding circumstances, makes me want to escape. I don’t like being angry because I don’t like confrontation, and I don’t like actually feeling stressed out because I don’t like feeling like I need to escape.

And I really don’t like feeling like I need to escape from my escape.

There are a few situations that I get into that translate into me not being able to write coherently/well.

Alcohol. I will never be that writer who sits down to write with a bottle of wine (i don’t drink wine but that’s besides the point), or with a beer, and a masterpiece will never have its rough draft written in a drunken haze.

Exhaustion. I can write best when it’s late into the night, but I’m pretty antisocial, and interacting with people is exhausting. This is why I don’t really write well after work, because 1) I’m tired, and 2) writing how character a interacts with characters b-z around them is working socialization muscles that do not have the capabilities for this sort of work. I get steadily more anxiety ridden when I have to talk for a prolonged amount of time, and that makes me stressed, and makes me want to escape, and it’s hard to interact socially and also escape at the same time.

And I kind of just mentioned it within ‘exhaustion’, but Stress.

Because if you missed it,

It is hard to interact with anything when all you want to do is escape.

So yeah, this is 1700 words of unhappiness at how some strangers on the internet are making something I enjoy, something I like escaping to, into something I feel like I need to escape from.

Why Asking When Something’s Going to be Updated Isn’t Helpful

Just what it says on the tin.

Or, on the blog as it so happens…

One of the things I find… if not irritating, then at least disappointing, is when people comment on my ongoing stories and they don’t actually have anything to say.

And no, I’m not talking about the people who leave one worded things, like “Nice!” or any other bit of smallish feedback, because that’s actual feedback.

It’s when any of this happens that I get frustrated.

“Update!”

“Plz update!”

“When are you going to update?”

and even the occasional

“Have you forgotten about this story?”

No. No I haven’t.

I just haven’t had the chance, the inspiration, or the right mindset to write for this fandom, to write in this ‘verse, to write this particular fic.

And no, I don’t know when I”m going to update.

Some authors can do the scheduled update thing–and kudos to them.

But unless I have most of a chapter written out, the most I can give you is a rough estimation–and if I know that, I’ll mention it at the end of the last chapter I posted.

So why I appreciate the thought behind it, the implied “I like your story so much I’d like you to continue!”, there isn’t much I can say to that.

(and I do like talking, responding, to reviewers, so if I have ever not responded, either I’m late in replying, or I have nothing to say to your not-really-a-comment-on-my-story review.)

Again, I like the thought behind it, but it’s not really necessary to, oh, I dunno, remind me to continue the story.

If you want to say something about the story, you’re welcome to it… just please keep in mind that in most cases adding an “UPDATE!” at the end isn’t cute.

If you really feel the need, maybe try less of a demand and more of a “I hope you get a chance to update this soon,” or “Hope you get inspired!” or something positive and supportive. It may take a little bit longer to type out, but hey, you’re already taking time out to comment, so…. why not?

I dunno, I hope this doesn’t seem rant-ish, but it does get disappointing, for multiple reasons, when I see that I’ve gotten a new review, or a new comment, or any sort of feedback, and it’s one line demanding more… especially when I’ve just updated the story.

Honestly, if it’s really too much to write…

I’m going to put it out there that I’d even prefer a smiley face, or any sort of emoticon over an update demand.

Because even if you give me a

:\

or a

:|

or even a

:#

it’ll give me more feedback than “UPDATE!”, and won’t bring to mind a faceless being shouting at me, demanding for more.

I don’t get paid for this (oh, but what a world it would be if I were), and you aren’t my boss. Please stop shouting at me to get work done.