in my last post, i mentioned struggling to find the center when i'm dancing, and wondering if it wasn't in part because i was dancing a lot less. nope, apparently not, because for a few minutes at a time friday night i managed to find it before the pain broke through again. the music and my friends and everyone at mal(edcition society) were so on - it seemed like everyone was in a good mood/place. so even when i napped or people watched in 'my' chair or hung out talking i felt good, and my head was clearly focused on music/movement and i got over that edge. so much joy, endorphins that helped make it easier the next time i was dancing, and great energy from everyone on the dancefloor - i can't explain it even remotely. but i am ecstatic to have hit that sweet spot where the world falls away and the pain doesn't matter and it's just me in motion to the music. i felt whole and at peace and my face hurts from smiling so much. and after the club a half dozen or so of us went to the taco truck on the corner for munchies - and since they make everything including the tortillas there i was able to eat with my friends and not get sick - so i got an asada quesadilla and a bottle of 'mexican' coke (both of which i gave away half of) and went home and crashed.
i spent the day saturday doing approximately nothing (i had hoped to get up early enough to go to slutwalk, but i failed at that). i sat in the sun for about an hour, i added side slits to the dress i wore that night (an easy fix for the fact that it was too tight around the legs/ankles to dance in), and i napped for hours. in honor of slutwalk i did wear something that's been in my closet for years, but felt a bit naked even for me - a fishnet dress over lace lingerie. i even took and posted a selfie to the twitter tag (which of course elicited assholes suggesting i should be groped and assaulted for daring to wear it, thus proving the point that the protest is needed even if it's imperfect). then friends picked me up for mode:m, where everyone made me feel fine about my clothing choice, and no-one behaved badly all night (unless they had permission of course). i had a great time, although i was feeling a bit self-conscious about my dress so i failed at center most of the night but i was feeling the afterglow from friday at mal so it didn't really matter. it was also a reminder that i've been incredibly lucky on both coasts to have clubs where assholes are removed and i'm surrounded by friends (i miss people in baltimore/dc, but not much else).
today, in order to recover from going out two nights in a row (even with naps both friday and saturday) i spent most of the day in bed. i slept until pris kitty woke me for food around 10, then napped from 11-4:30, and i'm going to bed again after i do my dishes from dinner. but it was sooo worth it to have a weekend like this one.
First, I'm sorry I haven't been here much lately - I've had a ridiculous couple of months and my tablet is broken which makes getting on here to read/post hard. But I need to get back in the habit of checking in; I miss this place. And below is an apology to all those who've been seeing my venting f2f, on failbook or twitter this week - I'm working on it.
Hi all, I wanted to apologize for being off kilter, angry and talking too much about how rough my body was being all week. It's been a while since I've had a stretch quite this bad, where I hurt at such a high level for so much time and it's been really fucking with me. I have bad days all the time, but I usually get good for me days in between, which means I don't get into this loop of it hurts too much to push through like this week was.
At any rate, I'm feeling much more myself today (thank fuck), and I plan to try to be more aware of how often I'm venting in a non-productive way the next time it happens. Oh, and someone asked me to explain my pain scale last night, so here's one way to look at it: https://ssadisabilityandyou.wordpress.com/…/a-new-better-p…/
Or specifically for me, I start an excellent day at a 5, which is I hurt, but I can get some shit done. An 8 was when I fractured my hip as well as when they burned off the surface of my uterus with a laser - for me that's I'm nauseous and fucking fuck but I can deal. 9+ is I hurt so bad I'm throwing up from the pain, and I can't get it under control right now; I've had spikes to 11(that bar was set with an ovarian cyst the size of my fist - the only occasion pain drove me to an ER) a few times this week, and it broke my cope and push through ability for a little bit, but today I'm starting at a 6 and I am going to take it easy to give body a chance to recover.
Anyway, I'll try to do better and not get so swamped with my broken - I didn't realize I was being so weird until I woke up this morning remembering bits of last night. And thank you all for caring, making sure I'm okay, listening, giving me rides and all the other things you've done that helped me get through this week and life in general. My friends/chosen family are amazing and I'm ridiculously glad I've got you around.
edited to add (from failbook conversation):
an addendum: i didn't post this to make anyone feel bad for me, or think i'm brave or strong or whatever, and it's not about any particular interaction. just that i was off, out of it, and probably whiny which i don't like. also, the pain scale stuff is how i cope with my usual multiple daily doses of nsaid and muscle relaxer - even a 5 is rough without meds.
i don't feel bad sharing, more that i think i frightened/worried some folks this week who hadn't seen me like this - in all honesty (in hindsight) i shouldn't have gone out, but i needed the company. and then i was so fuzzy i wasn't myself, and unlike a 'normal' bad day i totally failed at covering/keeping it together.
I'd forgotten that I hadn't actually posted about this here, but I've been too busy trying to deal with stuff and/or being sick/in pain. T and M are engaged and now monogamous - I'm sad but surrounded by good people I love, and life goes on.
In other news, SSDI turned me down, so I need to file an appeal and find a new attorney - I got so frustrated with my last one that I asked WTF they were doing with my case (at 7 weeks into the 4-6 week period when I should have had an answer), and they decided to stop representing me when I was denied this round. This process is so fucked.
Staying with friends is mostly fine, but it's definitely fucking with my health further - I hurt more, I wake up most of the time with my eyes all sticky with sleep gunk (normal when I'm really sick at the old place), and in the last month and a half I've lost more weight - down to 105 at 5'7" - because my body seems to hate me/food even more. Plus I'm on either my second cold, or I'm getting thrush again. Yay auto-immune disease plus chronic fatigue, chronic pain, etc - I can't win.
That said, I may not have won yet, but I won't give up either, so back to the fight I go.
First full length photo courtesy of https://www.facebook.com/lou.capuano
. It was taken before the costume contest at Bent Con on Saturday; I'm hoping there will be more later as loads of people took pictures, including some with other cosplayers - the new Thor, an incredible Skeletor (he won the costume contest), and loads more I've already forgotten.
And I had multiple questions this weekend about how I made it so...
The sheer striped cotton and the velvet for the headpiece were some of the many remnants I've picked up over the years at the Lip Service warehouse sales - I rarely buy finished clothes from them, but the rolls of fabric leftovers are awesome. The gold was from the fabric district, it's specifically a shop that specializes in African sourced fabrics; I think from Kenya in this case, but I'm not sure. And the trim is leftover from another cosplay project - rounds of satiny cord with sequins which had to be hand-sewn (bleh - not my strong suit).
The headpiece was shaped of 1" foam with a bent coat-hanger inside to give it the curves, and gaff tape wrapping to reinforce the shape and stiffness. It's a bit tight around my head, but it also stays on no problem. After I got the shape, I covered it with the velvet, using some gathering in the center front to keep the valley between the curves sharp; there's also a layer of batting and velvet lining inside so the shape doesn't get wonky because my head is sticking through the frame. If I wear this again, I'll probably re-visit the headdress - I'm not entirely pleased with the way the form fits or it's smoothness under the velvet, and I'd like to be able to wear it longer without a headache.
The dress itself is a modified chiton - two pieces of full width material attached at the shoulders/arms and sewn up the sides: http://www.dl.ket.org/latin1/things/romanlife/greekdress.htm
. I wasn't happy with the way it was hanging around the waist and it didn't replicate the movie stills as well as I wanted so I nipped in the waist to under my arms, separating the sleeves from the body of the dress. The gold starts as an overlay, but once past my hips, it is used as a gore to widen the front lower portion of the dress, and at the bottom to lengthen it further. The train is gathered in the center back and runs about 5' from the bottom of the main dress. I'm really pleased with everything except the belt - I need to re-make that with real leather and add the tassels that were front and center in the film version, but I worked with what I had in the stash of pleathers we'd been gifted.
Overall, I really enjoyed making this and how the finished product turned out, even if there are things I would change. I'm not bad at this stuff, but I've had no training except occasional hints from friends which means all my cosplay (and clothing making in general) is of the try it, make it work, go back and re-do the things you want to later. Thank fuck I have a good eye for fabric and lines or none of my stuff would look okay.
Last year, a few of us were planning on costumes from David Lynch's film of Dune. They didn't get finished due to time and $. So my Jessica Atreides Bene Gesserit costume got finished this year. Here's a first look from the club on Halloween night; I'll get some full length pictures this weekend I hope.
And in case you haven't seen the film, one of the stills I pulled as reference for the cosplay:
I'm really happy with how it turned out, and the contacts showed up a lot better than I expected! Yay Hollywood for having them OTC the weekend before for only $30.
And thank you to http://www.violetphotography.com
for taking this shot!
Oops... I missed this Saturday. Not that I really have anything left to come out about, but from my point of view making myself visible is always good, and my thinking about who I am has definitely become clearer over the years.
Basically, I'm queer, bi/pansexual, genderqueer, hard femme, and polyamorous. But I didn't always know all of that - some of the terms weren't around when I was younger and trying to figure out who I was, and I've grown with time too.
Queer became a part of my life as a teen - when I started working with Act-Up and the gay community to fight for equal rights and proper treatment. At that point, I knew I liked girls but other than the occasional kiss I had only been involved with boys, so I was questioning but not yet bi/pansexual.
I knew I liked girls as well as boys when I was still in school, but I didn't identify as actively bi until my first relationship with a girl when I was in my 20s. And pansexual (which is a better definition), didn't come about until years later and is less known in the mainstream - but it means I'm attracted to people everywhere on the gender spectrum.
Genderqueer and hard femme came into my life in my 30s - I wasn't aware of them until then, but they are both excellent descriptors of who I've always been. Gender is very performative for me, and I deliberately chose to present myself in a way that fits those labels when I was 20 something. I strongly dislike pants (as in I have two pairs in my closet - for the motorcycle), so skirts and dresses with an edge are my daily wear, and I don't like makeup etc so I skip parts that are expected of women and girls even when I'm going out dressed up.
Polyamorous took the longest. I failed and failed at monogamy in my late 20s and early 30s, and then when my ex and I got involved we agreed on an open relationship. We had very few rules, the main ones being don't lie to me (including by omission) and always have safe sex. At first, it was very unbalanced in that he wasn't okay with me seeing other men, just women, which really limited me. Meanwhile, he was hetero and slept with whoever he wanted. Eventually, that changed in a few ways - I got involved with a great male friend, and I had a successful relationship with a stunning and smart woman like me, and somewhere in there I sorted out that I was polyamorous. That basically means multiple loves. In practice, I don't get involved with many people, but knowing that I can and dating someone who does the same is important for me. I'm currently involved with an amazing man who's also involved with a wonderful women with whom he has a newborn (and very cute) daughter. And there are friends who might become more to me - only time will tell. Sometimes poly is complicated, but I'd rather deal with that than fuck up every relationship I have - or not have at least one partner on a regular basis. But I also understand that poly/open relationships don't work for lots of people - this is how I'm wired, it has nothing to do with being queer/bi - and lots of people of all genders/sexualities are wired for monogamy. I thought I was monogamous for years, but as I grew up I realized that I don't do jealousy and I wasn't happy dating someone who acted as if they owned me (which caused friction and was part of the failing from 25ish on). I have too much room in my heart to only love one person and to have them think that loving others (sexual or not) isn't okay, so poly it is.
I just finished reading John Scalzi's excellent Lock In
which prompted me to re-read the preqel: http://www.tor.com/stories/2014/05/unlocked-an-oral-history-of-hadens-syndrome-john-scalzi
And at the end of the novella, he writes "The half-life between story of the century and not even the story of the day is quicker than you would ever guess.
But then I ask my students: does this mean that it stops being a story worth telling? And I say to them the real journalists among them know the answer even before I ask the question. And the answer is that the story is worth telling every day. The trick is not to find the story of the century. You won’t miss that story when it happens. No one will miss it. The trick is to find the story of the day and for that day make whoever reads it or hears it care about it so intensely that it doesn’t leave them. Then it becomes a story of their life. Maybe even the story of their life."
And it hit home for me that the media seems to fail at the long tail more often lately. We get one new story after another, but not the threads that tie past to present to potential future. They cover Ferguson (after we yell at them enough) but ignore systemic racism and fail to tie it to the other 4 deaths of unarmed black citizens at police hands in the same week. Gaza coverage ignores the history of virtual apatheid there. Sexual assault/rape is almost always treated as an isolated incident rather than a systemic problem that is deliberately underreported by many police to the tune of 1,000,000+rapes at a minimum since 1995 (http://www.thenation.com/article/180441/how-did-fbi-miss-over-1-million-rapes
). We need to demand better.
Also, you should read Lock In; it's a near-future detective novel with 'robots', viruses and amazing tech. Trust me, it's one of the best things I've read this year.