holly_evolving: (steampunk can can)
http://www.amazon.com/Pomes-Thought-Loretta-Kathleen-Scott/dp/1517183529/

You guys. You guys. A book. I wrote a book! Julie illustrated it and I wrote it and it's a book and it's real and omg you guys. You guys.

book

Sep. 3rd, 2015 08:36 am
holly_evolving: (steampunk can can)
You know what's helpful? If you put the title on the cover of your book.

Book update

Sep. 3rd, 2015 12:05 am
holly_evolving: (steampunk can can)
The cover is being reviewed for print readiness. The interior is done, you guys.
holly_evolving: (steampunk can can)
Well my friends - I am publishing a book of poetry via print-on-demand. It may be ready very soon. I will keep you posted.

Engage!

Aug. 31st, 2015 08:35 am
holly_evolving: (steampunk can can)
We've been having the "well, if we ever did want to get married - which of course we don't" conversation for over a year. What sort of ceremony would it be, what would we do for a reception...yeah. Really sounds like the sort of thing the unwilling do, doesn't it?

So a couple of awesome friends got married in June. Steve and I went and had a wonderful time with a lot of wonderful people. We sang, we danced, we felt that amazing feeling that happens when a community of people is connected and you get to be a part of it and feel that connection.

On the drive home, we talked lots and lots about how wonderful it was, and played happy music, and were happily silly and mushy together.

And then he asked me to marry him.

At the time, I was doing around 80 mph on 84 heading home out of CT. So I did not get to freak out on the spot, because that would have killed us.

But I was freaking out. I still am. I said yes.

Despite everything that I've tried and failed to get right in the past, despite the difficulties that he and I have encountered (and overcome!). I said yes. Of course I said yes.

God yes. I love him, I love him, god yes I do want to marry him. I want to spend the rest of my life with him. I want the whole world to see us and know our love. He is my rock and my anchor and the sweet fragile man I will protect with my life. I will love him with every breath.

holly_evolving: (card)
I used to use the name Platypus. I started in 2002, right after the movie Dogma came out. I viewed myself and my life as a big cosmic joke, and as Kevin Smith says, the platypus is proof that god has a sense of humor.

Well, no more of that. I'm not a joke. I can be very silly, and sometimes irrational, but I'm a human being and worth taking seriously.

I'm an atheist and a skeptic. I don't believe in astrology. Still, birth signs are useful shorthand for consciously forming identities. Holly is my Celtic birth tree. Holly people are supposed to be noble, high-minded, confident, generous, and affectionate. I'm happy to apply that particular inkblot to myself.

As for evolving - I've hit a point where I can see that I am good. I can also see that there is always more room to grow and do better, and I'm going to keep trying.
holly_evolving: (card)
A lot has changed.

I work for a new company now. I listen to rich people complain about their luxury cars for a living. Morally, I'm pretty much opposed to luxury brands even existing. But it pays more than I've ever made before - that is, I am finally earning enough to pay my bills. I may even get my credit card entirely paid off this year. That would be nice. So I suck it up.

I'm engaged. I honestly really wasn't expecting that. My last marriage was a disaster. I know nobody knew how bad it was. I didn't feel like I could talk to anyone about it. But like one of my friends said - when life without someone is just unthinkable, when it's not that you want marriage but that you want THEM so much...you marry them.

And on the possibility front, Steve got a new lawyer and will be sending his ex the divorce papers soon. His first lawyer...fell through. We'll put it nicely.

I am still working at the Renaissance Faire. It is still exhausting, but it's much easier than it was last year. The drama isn't about me, so I can easily avoid it. I'm 35 which is about 35 years too old for drama.

I've been up for an hour. Time for another coffee.

holly_evolving: (card)
I have trouble with the idea that either you honor yourself and only yourself, or you are lost among the faceless masses. Humans are tribal, like all other primates. We need each other. Humans who remove themselves from all other human contact go crazy.

Helping each other is a good thing. If you care for someone who needs care, that's a good thing.

Taking care of yourself is equally good. And not just food/shelter/clothing. But taking care of your mind. Pursuing subjects and activities that matter to you is necessary to your well-being.

If, however, you insist on doing everything for someone else, that's bad. You're taking away their identity. If you refuse to take care of yourself, that's also bad. You're an undue burden on the tribe.

But people don't live at those extremes. Most people are helping someone, while simlutaneously needing someone else's help. That's okay. That's how we're meant to work.

The idea that altruism is the death of the soul...just, what? Why? Why does anyone think you have to choose between caring for yourself and fulfilling a role in society?

Yes, you pay taxes on the money you earn. Taxes are the only source of funding for the government. Maybe corporate taxes would be enough, if they were paid honestly. But they aren't paid honestly, so they'll never be enough.

People need each other. They need themselves. These are truths about humanity. Also true is that there are always people who will get away with anything they think they can. Any system that relies on people to be honest and make choices that benefit society will fail. There will always be someone looking to abuse that trust. This is why regulation and organization are so important.

I understand that people don't agree on what unions are doing. But can we really not agree on what they are SUPPOSED to do? Guarantee a fair wage and a safe workplace? If unions were eliminated, that guarantee would go away. OSHA regulations are already flouted in many places. It would only get worse.

Compromise is not bad. You give up some of what you have to be a part of a system that protects you. But not all. Individualism is just as important. You don't pay your taxes with your soul. You don't sacrifice your identity when you skip the cigarette at the school crosswalk. Public schools, public hospitals, public libraries -- these things exist because they do matter.

Being rich does not entitle anyone to better early education or healthcare.

I am bothered by people who work hard for decades and then put their money into the hands of others, who then gamble with that money on garbage investments. I am bothered by a stock market that appears to be controlled by emotion instead of history and statistics. I am bothered by people who live beyond their means, and I am equally bothered by hard sellers who encourage them to do so.

I am bothered by padded spending, by $100 toilet seats. By cash that just goes missing in war zones. By government employees who don't do anything all day.

I'm also bothered by people who want to defund the public arts. These programs may be the only exposure to the world that some people ever have. PBS has value. The Smithsonian has value. Sesame Street and Nova are important.

My love of science and biology comes from watching Wild America on PBS. Art, science, music, history - fine gradients of topics that can't be covered in school because there just isn't enough time.

The P.T. Barnum model, that it is morally wrong not to part a fool from his money, is the true model of a parasite.

Everyone will try to cheat, sooner or later. There SHOULD be rules in place to keep that cheating from hurting everyone else.

We're becoming homogenized. Everyone is selling the same crap as everyone else, made ever more cheaply, because it SELLS and that's what matters. Eat the same food, watch the same shows, read the same books, listen to the same music, watch the same shows, play the same games. Because the purveyors of this crap can afford better advertising.

Whatever happened to patrons of the arts?

We need Carnegie and the Dollar-a-Year Men, and what we've got is E. H. Harriman and James J. Hill.

--------------

Also, Ayn Rand is pretty awful.
holly_evolving: (card)
I got a new job. It's a 6-12 month contract doing customer service for a fancy car company. 10:00 am - 6:30 pm Eastern, Mon-Fri, no weekends or holidays. $18.00/hour once I get out of training. I start 3/30.

Hopefully I can amaze them and get a permanent gig. And if I do that, then maybe I can earn my way up the ladder.

There is no future at my current gig.

I'm also leaving my resume out there and continuing to interview on the side.

----------------
I started therapy and things were pretty cool until this last session. She appears to think that polyamory is not a thing. If that's the case, I will be moving on. Next session I'm bringing it up right away. Having to explain and defend a part of my personal identity is not good for me and should never be required anyway.
---------------

I won the Bardic Championship for my SCA barony. So that's cool.

I've been sitting on my poetry collection and waiting to try to self publish until I had a hundred or so pages. But I know a guy who published with 24. Um, okay I'll take my 44 and get started. Now to figure out how.

--------------
My W4 still said I was married, so I was paying 5% tax instead of 10% and now I owe. Ouch. Let this serve as a reminder that your job is not responsible for keeping track of these things on your behalf.

Math

Feb. 8th, 2015 10:08 am
holly_evolving: (card)
Pre-decimalization, a pound was 240 pence. So 15 pence a week is 3.25 pounds a year. There were 20 pence in a shilling, so that's 3 shillings a month.

A 17th century sailor could reasonably expect 19 shillings a month. So 3 in the 16th is pretty reasonable for a poor sailor who can't afford to argue about it.
holly_evolving: (card)
You can choose to take responsibility and give compassion. You can choose to embrace the future. You can choose kindness, sharing, patience. You can choose to learn and to grow.

Or you can choose to cling to the past, to hold others back. You can choose cruelty and viciousness and fear. You can choose to remain ignorant.

But know this: you can only choose for so long. Eventually, you become the things that you have chosen. And then, the choice is lost.

2014

Dec. 31st, 2014 09:28 am
holly_evolving: (Default)
A list of things:

January: I won my unemployment tribunal. I officially entered into a relationship with Steve - my first really open relationship.

February: Oh, so that's jealousy.

March: Divorce went through. May it stay forever in the past. Steve and I moved to Chester together. It's a tiny place, but cozy. The work is keeping it clean and neat.

April: Attended my first SCA coronation. Saw many friends honored for being among the best at what they do, in a region where that is basically a Bachelor's to Master's degree worth of work.

May: Went to South Carolina to meet Steve's mother...which was also the first time they'd seen each other in 8 or 9 years. She cried. I like her a lot.

June: I scratched my sclera by wearing glittery eyeliner. Not worth it. Also, grew a vegetable garden. Ate salad I grew myself. It's much tastier that way.

July: Drove around Vermont for my birthday brewery tour. Also, hit 202 pounds, which did not feel good at all. Have determined to get the weight off. Was down to 184 or so in the fall, currently yo-yo-ed to 194. Weight loss is hard and it sucks, but I like when my knees don't hurt all the time.

August and September: worked the Renaissance Faire. I don't actually like to work it, but as long as I'm needed, I will.

October: carved my first Jack o Lantern. Informed by work that, provided I don't take any more time off between then and 12/31, I will be hired in the new year. Sounds good, but if I've learned anything in the last 20 years of working, it's not to trust my employer.

November: went to Storm King Art Center for the first time. It is nowhere near as good as Grounds for Sculpture, but the company was excellent.

December: an Xmas bonus from the temp agency made the holidays easier. Xmas day was spent between my mom's and Steve's dad's. Sadly, the next day I found out that someone I liked very much but had lost touch with died of pneumonia on Xmas day.

Like every year, it's been a year of growth, challenge, struggle, and healing. Like every year, I hope to do better next year.

Pictures

Dec. 1st, 2014 06:10 pm
holly_evolving: (Default)
2014-11-26 16.24.30
2014-11-30 16.03.19
2014-11-30 16.08.56

Winter in upstate New York. Also, when you don't have room for a Christmas tree, but you have a lemon tree, the lemon tree becomes the Christmas tree.
holly_evolving: (Default)
I make a lot of noise about my depression and anxiety, my joint pain and stomach troubles, not to elicit special treatment, but to bring it into light that these things are everywhere. Yes, I am suffering as I go about my daily life. I still work full time, I still pay my bills and do housework and pull my own weight. I'm lucky enough that I can. The tradeoff is that I need a lot more rest than I used to, and I miss out on a lot of fun with my friends because I'm so damn tired from just surviving the day.

I'm not going to shut up about what I go through, not ever, not until the people who don't have to go through this understand that we are everywhere. We are all around them. Until there is no one left in the world who says, "You're depressed? I never would have guessed. You don't seem anxious. You don't look sick."

Well I am sick. And so are a lot of other people. We're everywhere, all the time, doing things. And I'll tell you why you don't know:

You have told us to shut up. You have told us to stop complaining and suck it up and we are afraid of being fired and we are tired of our "friends" walking on us and we are tired of our families telling us to stop crying.

I hid my illness for most of my life. I smiled and sucked it up and made other people comfortable. Well, fuck that. It takes a heroic amount of effort for me to function like a normal person, and I won't stop putting that effort in, and I don't want a reward. But you will damn well recognize it. Not just for me. But for everyone around you that has been beaten and frightened into silence.

We are here, and we are sick, and we are sick and tired.
holly_evolving: (Default)
Le sigh. So horsie didn't work out. Damascus needs a pro trainer, and I am not one. He also needs someone who is already in shape, which I am not. I honestly doubt he'll ever be a joust horse. He's a draft horse, trained to walk in traces. He gets that, and it's a language I never learned.

Working at faire has been an education in a lot of things. I'm tired all the time and the house is nowhere near up to my normal standard of tidiness...and that's okay. The sky hasn't fallen. The people I work with are mostly nice but we are vastly different for 9 middle class white people.

Work isn't going how I want. I will probably only stay until I've gotten my bearings in life, and then I will look for something better. There's no hope for advancement at this company unless I move to Denver, and that's just not happening.

But things with Steve are really good. Like, amazing. Sing all the songs, ring all the bells, all that stuff. I wish I wasn't so tired; I can't adequately say how good he makes me feel.

Like right now, what would be perfect would be if we had like, two weeks to just cuddle up in our pjs and sleep as much a we want and game and go walking in the sun and make pumpkin stuff and just BE together. The world moves too fast and doesn't give us enough time to just enjoy each other. I catch myself just watching him.

I have a lot of regrets in life. But not Steve. Steve is all good.

Oh! Kitty. Flap seems just fine. The three cats mostly don't bother with each other. Sometimes when it's chilly I catch Flap and Booger getting along when they think no one's watching.

Work today was a beast. Some customers are so very nice, but they ask the most impossible shit.

Horsie!

Jun. 2nd, 2014 08:51 am
holly_evolving: (Default)
So my friend Dave has a horse named Damascus. Dave lives an hour away from me, but boards Damascus 15 minutes away from me. And Damascus needs lots of training. He's an adult who doesn't know any words.

Solution: I visit Damascus on every weekday that I can, with a lesson plan designed by my mom, who used to give riding lessons at a dude ranch when she was a kid. Dave has approved the plan.

First day is Wednesday, when I will fully tack him up and then just walk him around the ring, saying "Walk" over and over until he knows to walk when he hears that word. That will probably take at least a few lessons.

So what we have here is a horse that I can ride, for free, whenever I want, and it will be me doing his owner a favor, not the other way around.

I love my life here.
holly_evolving: (Default)
From newest to older. You know, just in case you enjoy this sort of thing:

Leave it to Stephen Brock to derail my snark train with an expertly chosen mushy jpeg.

Hello, internet. What did I miss?

....and yep, that was my heart exploding in a shower of glitter and rainbows. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vsPjwpuVzZQ

Not every water sign is a river, lake, or ocean. Me, I'm a supercell.

...and suddenly I'm the editor of the company newsletter.

Sigh. Car payments were a lot more comfortable when I made $13K more a year.

Brainweasels in a big, bad way.

Mr. Snaffleburger says: "CONFORM. CONSUME. OBEY." http://www.matazone.co.uk/animpages/mrsnaffleburger1.html

I am feeling pretty crappy. I have pms. It's physical: headache, neckache, fatigue, stomach...aches. Which honestly, I'll take. Since I came up here, I haven't had much of the pms craziness that I'd had in the past. And honestly, if I have to choose between feeling sick and in pain, or feeling constantly on the edge of a total breakdown, I'll take sickness and pain.

I was called a pit bull yesterday, and it was meant and taken as a compliment.

In South Carolina and completely in love with jasmine and Spanish moss.

Hooray for sweet wine. That is all.

Paging through old chat logs is the modern version of rereading love letters.
holly_evolving: (Default)
My paid account expired. I'll update that again at some point. I also want to change the name of this journal, which incurs another fee. Boo to that. But someday I will be Holly Evolving here as well as everywhere else. I took the name imaplatypus at a time when I thought my life was a joke:

The Platypus Disclaimer from Dogma
"Disclaimer: 1) a renunciation of any claim to or connection with; 2)a desavowal; 3) a statement made to save one's own ass.
Though it'll go without saying ten minutes or so into these proceedings, View Askew would like to state that this film is- from start to finish- a work of comedice fantasy, not to be taken seriously. To insist that any of what follows is incendiary or inflammatory is to miss our intention and pass undue judgment; and passing judgment is reserved for God and God alone (this goes for you film critics too... just kidding).
So please - before you think about hurting someone over this trifle of a film, remember: even God has a sense of humore. Just look at the platypus. Thank you and enjoy the show.
P.S. We sincerely apologize to all platypus enthusiasts out there who are offended by that thoughtless comment about the platypi. We at View Askew respect the noble platypus, and it is not our intention to slight these stupid creatures in any way.
Than you again and enjoy the show."

So that worldview is 13 years old now and I've outgrown it. I'm not a joke. I'm a person and I deserve to take myself, and my health and mental well being, seriously.

Platypodes are still awesome, though.

So what's going on?

Steve and I moved to Chester. It's a small apartment for us and 3 cats (who all get along, thank goodness) but with some serious organizing, it will work fine. The property is huge, and gorgeous, and huge, and magical, and huge. The apartment is upstairs from our friend's pewter foundry, behind his house. There's a meadow where Steve and I have made a garden, and woods, and a lake full of frogs. It's pretty freaking magical.

The move is technically still not done as Steve still has some stuff in Walden.

Still working from home for the same company, and still on temp assignment. They're dangling full time hire in front of me for "when we finish this conversion" but I know enough about rebuilding infrastructure to know that that will take at least 6 months longer than they thought it would. Meanwhile, I've been made editor of the company newsletter as well as a contributor and my boss encouraged me to apply for a slightly less peon-y position. So that's cool, I guess. More than $12 an hour would be cooler, but that's the struggle.

Been doing some writing, and some pewter casting, and getting lots more involved in the SCA. Have some pictures!

2014-04-09 14.08.54
2014-04-09 13.57.45

2014-04-11 20.29.33
2014-04-16 07.00.50
2014-04-17 16.52.09
2014-05-11 20.05.11
2014-05-20 18.59.01
coronation by jen l guyton
holly_evolving: (Belle)
Steve starts a new job on Monday, so he wants to start getting up early now, to keep it from being a shock. Pretty smart.

I went to wake him at 7:00 am, and what do I see? He's on "my" side, snuggling the spot where I sleep.

"Are you snuggling my spot?"
Sleepy little voice, "Mmhmmm."
"Did you miss me?"
"mmhmmm."

And then my heart swelled two sizes.

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