Pre-Birthday Melancholia

My last good birthday was when I turned 17. I felt like I was on top of the world, at the doorstep of adulthood; everything was bright and amazing and full of possibilities. I had a party and a big cake and friends and gifts, and I thought it was going to be the start of a great adventure. Yeah right. Biggest let-down of a lifetime.

Now I’m an adult, and every birthday is just the celebration of another year in which I have again done nothing noteworthy with my life. I’m already melancholic now, 2 weeks in advance, because based on statistics of previous birthdays, this is going to happen:

Things that generally happen on my birthday

  1. Being all alone during the day because everyone has to work/go to hobbies/see friends… except for me.
  2. Awkward gift from my parents that proves how out-of-touch they are with me.
  3. Nothing interesting at all.
  4. Awkwardly forced cheerfulness when cake is served in the evening.
  5. Scrolling through old friends’ FB pages and realizing that I’m the only one who isn’t traveling the world, going on exchanges, attending concerts, raving the night away, etcetera.
  6. A pity party for one. It potentially includes crying, lying on a ball on my bed, and wallowing in self-loathing. Also, passive aggressive tweets about how my life sucks and I hate everyone.
  7. Clicking from site to site and hoping someone online remembered it’s my birthday.
  8. Inspecting my reflection for signs of permanent frown lines and eye wrinkles.
  9. Checking my phone for texts of someone who remembered it’s my birthday.
  10. Being pathetically lonely.
  11. Pondering how all my opportunities are fading with the years and how I will soon be 45 and not have done anything worth mentioning.

Do I sound like the Birthday Grinch yet?


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Misery Business…

I hate my period.

No, hate is not strong enough a word. I loathe it. I abhor it. I detest it. My period is a monthly recurring onslaught of general mental instability, insomnia, paranoia, panic attacks and irrational anger. Not to mention that I bleed from my genitalia. To say I hate it simply does not cover it. It is a waking nightmare to me.

Whenever I read/hear people say that the stereotype of hysterical women on their period is completely false and ridiculous, I want to hit them. I AM hysterical when I have my period. I can’t sleep. I can’t think. I can’t focus on anything. I am raging angry at everyone. I think people are following/mocking me. My head is full of static and all I want to do is curl on a ball and scream at the same time. It comes back every single month, and it doesn’t matter that I know it’s all in my head. I simply cannot function when I have my period.

I am so tired, but I don’t manage to sleep. In my period week, I get 2h of sleep per night on average. After three nights of that, plus being in a state of near constant panic during the day, I’m just broken. I wish I didn’t have to do anything in this week, that someone would knock me out for the duration of it. I’m so fucking miserable.

And if you were put of by me constantly mentioning periods, please grow up.

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Shallow And Hypocrite: An Esthetic’s Worldview

I just realized that I’m incredibly shallow.
(Ok, fine, I already knew this. I only got reminded of the fact.)
There was this post on FB of a girl who had gotten horribly disfigured in a car accident, and she shared her story to warn people not to text and drive. And my first thought, literally my first thought, was: “I hope she can get reconstructive surgery. That looks nasty.”

And then I wondered at what I just thought and I was like… Wow. I am one miserable human being. That girl survived such a life-wrecking event, and she’s being incredibly brave by coming out in the world and trying to prevent the same thing from happening to others… and the only thing can I think of is that she needs to get her face fixed. Fuck that.

However, I do know that looking decent again would be my main concern if something like that happened to me. Isn’t that pretty hypocrite for someone who claims to appreciate the beauty of “ugly” and unusual things?

I’m all for a society where it doesn’t matter what you look like… but in the end, when given over to my first instincts, I will want to “fix” people, “make them pretty”, make them conform to this subconscious model I have of what a person should look like. It’s not just for big things like deformities. I sometimes catch myself thinking things like, “If only she would wear heels, her legs would look so much better.” Or, “If those pants were properly fitted, he’d look seriously fetching.” Or, “What an unfortunate nose.” It’s like an internal autocorrect for people; in my mind they automatically get a red line and a couple suggestions for correction. My own mirror image isn’t exempt from that, but that’s my business. Other people’s looks most definitely aren’t.

Isn’t it strange that my mind does this, without me even consciously thinking about it? Part of my brain is constantly judging and grading things and people around me, as if I have any right whatsoever to do that. (Hint: I don’t.)
It doesn’t matter that I’m totally ok with a lot of things other people are vocal about… In the end it’s still just my opinion. I don’t instinctively accept those things because I am really open-minded and free of prejudice, but because they happen to fit into what I think is pleasing to the senses. And that is… well, shallow and hypocrite.

The only way to go around this, is to be aware. I have a certain esthetic, and part of me would like the entire world to be filled with things and people that fit with this esthetic. It’s a fact I have to accept. If I give this part of me free reign, I become an obnoxious, judgmental and entitled person. I can only try to be better than that by forcing myself to accept that what offends my sense of esthetics, by calling myself out on judgmental thoughts like I have learned to call myself out on paranoid, irrational or anxious thoughts. If I do that, I can grow. And if I can grow… maybe one day I’ll be able to beat my subconscious at this game and become truly open-minded.

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#Cosplay: Alice’s Vorpal-ish Blade

The con has already passed, but before I post the pictures I took, I wanted to show you the last part of my costume, Alice’s Vorpal Blade. Originally I had planned to make it as accurate as possible from plywood, but lack of time forced my hand and I ended up buying a plastic blade in a costume store, which I customized into a Vorpal-ish Blade.

This is the actual Vorpal Blade as it appears in the game:


The Hysteria Alice Vorpal Blade is slightly different from this, as can be seen on the game’s concept art.


I wanted to customize a blade that at least had a similar shape to the Vorpal Blade… but of course, when I got to the costume store, they only had this type of machete-like blade:


But, being short on time I didn’t really have a choice, so I went with it. To make it more Vorpal-ish, I used Kikunai’s templates for the flowery design, printed and cut them out, and quite simply pasted them on the two sides of the blade. This created a bit of relief. (Kikunai has more templates and instructions to actually make a Vorpal Blade yourself, just in case you’re interested…)
Then I painted the blade with silver all-purpose paint, and wrapped the handle with paper tape and fabric scraps I had left over from the dress. It looked like this:

Foto op 13-10-14 om 17.32 #2 Foto op 13-10-14 om 17.34

(Yeah, I know, it’s not overly pretty. I worked with what I had, ok?)

Next (and last) step was the blood. I painted it on in acrylic, and then varnished the bloody spots so they’d remain shiny and fresh-looking. Also, bloodstains on the handle.

Foto op 14-10-14 om 23.29Foto op 14-10-14 om 23.23

The Vorpal-ish Blade did a good job at the con, and many Alice cosplayers (yes, there were a couple others!) didn’t even have a weapon to begin with, so I’d think I didn’t do so bad…

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True words…

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Thread Balls Galore! Temari by Patt Knorpp

Temari are, apparently, traditional Japanese children’s toys. They are balls made from embroidery thread and the remnants of old kimonos, and even though they went out of fashion as toys with the introduction of rubber in Japan, they are still made as art objects and symbolic gifts today. I had never heard of it, but then I encountered the beautiful exemplars made by Pat Knorpp, also known as p-e-a-k on deviantart, and well… now I want one. See for yourself!

07c543e565fe3360eedf870f92dd80b4 temari_79_by_p_e_a_k-d7jqs1a temari_54_by_p_e_a_k-d7gas4f temari_43_by_p_e_a_k-d7b03v0 summer_temari_no_11_by_p_e_a_k-d7slj2ntemari_80_by_p_e_a_k-d7jqsck temari_57_by_p_e_a_k-d7gasor temari_123_by_p_e_a_k-d81ik4u
(If I ever have an office, I want a bowl with a bunch of these, so I have something to play with in my breaks that isn’t the ridiculously addictive 2048-game)

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#LifeUnderTheDoom, Day 22: Cosplay And Compromise

FACTS (the largest geek convention in the Benelux) was last weekend, and I had a whole scheme worked out with Experiment No.7 and a couple other co-conspirators to get me there, in cosplay, without my parents knowing. It was a lot of ado, so it’s probably good to know that it wasn’t for nothing; the con was absolutely awesome and worth every cent/minute I spent on it. I can also report that my costume didn’t fall apart for the entirety of the event, so that’s a success as well… Photos will follow as soon as I get them uploaded.

A couple problems arose though, and they had nothing to do with me, my parents, or my cosplay. Experiment No.7 unexpectedly caught sight of an old acquaintance of his, namely the notorious Exhibit K., the ex-girlfriend who was the catalyst for his self-destructive behavior before we met. She was manning one of the booths on the con, and when No.7 saw her I almost feared the worst, aka total mental breakdown. After a moment of panic he managed to man up and throw it over his shoulder though, which was a surprise as unexpected as it was pleasant.
The uncomfortable feeling remained however, not in the least because one of the couples in our shared friend-group (who was also on the con) is pretty much a break-up waiting to happen. They had a long-distance relationship, but it went sour because they only saw each other every few months. With both of them there for the con, you can imagine it got a little bit awkward at times. I didn’t notice it much at the time (too busy gawking at things I couldn’t afford and having my picture taken with epic cosplayers) but in retrospect I can tell the situation was rather strained between them. No.7 is usually far more receptive to this kind of things than I am, so I’m sure he noticed.
There were a couple more small incidents (they usually ended with No.7 pouting for one reason or another), and together with the above, it made our great day out end in a bit of a false note.

No.7 thinks we don’t see each other often enough, and that I am more distant lately. Personally I think he feels threatened because it’s starting to look like I might finally be getting my shit together despite my diagnosis/prognosis, while he is still diploma-, job-, and qualification-less, almost three years after our stint in psychiatry. I’m not sure how I can help assuage this sense of threat, because in essence it’s true. At least, I think so.
He has nothing to fear though; so far he perfectly fulfills my needs as an amazing sex partner, amusing party companion, indulgent “nonsense therapist”, and all-around bestie. Not to mention, he is pretty. Given all that, I think I can deal with him being immature and unemployed. Life is all about compromise, isn’t it? I appreciate him for his strengths and forgive him his flaws, and I can only hope he does the same for me.

On another, highly painful and unpleasant note: I have pericoronitis. One of my wisdom teeth never broke through completely, and now I have an abscess under the flap of gum that still half covers the tooth. Half of my jaw is visibly swollen, I can’t properly open and close my mouth, even swallowing hurts, and they can’t drain the abscess unless I want a strep throat infection within a week after. All I can do now is suffer, hold a cold compress to my jaw, and hope the antibiotics will kick in soon. *sigh* Life’s tough.

Doom22Also: Day 22 Under The Doom! Last week I didn’t manage to cross off a lot of things from my weekly list of Doom, but I think the successful con and cosplay make up for that. It was a good week, with lots of interesting things happening.

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Hermès Diamond Whip Necklace

This is the Hermès “Fouet” necklace, a platinum whip set with a mind-boggling 3669 diamonds, designed by Pierre Hardy. It probably costs more than all the money I will ever possess in my life, but that’s of no importance. It is glorious.

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When You Realize Your Friend Resembles A Homicidal Robot

Remember my scientist friend V? I wrote about her here and here. Despite all my intentions to remain friends with her, I still broke contact eventually. Not because anything had changed about our situation, but rather because nothing ever changed at all. Maintaining our friendship was deeply exhausting, and the emotionally manipulative, immature way she treated me was actually kind of toxic. When the joy of one-upping her with kindness wore off, all what was left was that toxicity. It was an intriguing experiment, but I am happy it’s over.

tumblr_inline_mos0909KHW1qz4rgpWhy am I writing about her again? Well… lately I was going through some Portal stuff, and the more I saw and recalled of the game’s antagonist GlaDOS, a sort-of-evil AI obsessed with science, the more I felt like this was familiar to me. And suddenly I realized that V. was basically a human GlaDOS. I mean, seriously. Reading through our online conversations, the resemblance was uncanny. High intelligence, “science is all that matters” attitude, obsessive need to control everything, emotional manipulation of every living thing around her, self-loathing and insecurity hidden underneath the world’s largest ego, constant, paranoid fear of betrayal, inability to trust anyone, need to experiment and test every single hypothesis*…

*(Have I told you V. once ended up in the hospital because she was testing how long a human being can remain at maximum productivity without rest? And yes, that was how she put it.)

It was so striking that for a moment I wondered if she had been doing it on purpose, emulating this character’s behavior to see what it would do to the people around her… If this were the case, I sincerely applaud her for her dedication. It’s doubtful though.

I somehow don’t know if I should find it hilarious that I knew a person with such an extremely caricatural personality, or rather sad that such a person exists outside of video games. I think I’m just gonna stick with being disappointed that I only realized this uncanny resemblance after breaking contact. It would have made for a more interesting (and potentially amusing) experiment…

For those of you familiar with Portal: if she was GlaDOS… does that make me Chell? Or rather Doug Rattmann? (Or Wheatley, god forbid… Dammit, I might have been Wheatley to her. That’s just sad.)
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