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Today's my only day off in the past two weeks and it's just one of those days where everything I attempt to do brings me no joy whatsoever. I've tried to write a post, I've tried to sew, and I get to a point where I think what the hell am I doing?

I'm wasting my only day away. That's what I'm doing.

The past few days, I have not been happy. There are so many people out there who say that they have social anxiety and I see their pictures, with their friends as they go out to places. And I have to think, what's wrong with me? What is so wrong with me that I can't allow myself to have any friends? The thought of someone knowing intimately everything that's going on inside of me is so incredibly frightening.

I'm scared. I'm tired. And I get to a point where I don't care anymore. Or I say that I don't care anymore and I actually do because I'm shouting about it and using profanities, but I'm trying to convince myself that I so don't care anymore.

I don't know. I think sometimes that there is absolutely no place for me in this world. And it's my fault, not the world's fault.

EDIT: After listening to music that I discovered in my early years of college (or end of high school), I'm feeling better. Retreating to music, again.

I guess what's positive in my life is that I'm progressing with people. I can actually have a conversation that consists of small talk and not feel nauseous or like I'm going to panic. I've almost finished a first draft for M+I. And I think more and more and more that there's so much in M+I that I feel like I can't communicate to most people. Sometimes I even try to convince myself that there's nothing really out there quite like M+I. But the thought that nothing's original quickly quells that. I can have my two seconds with that thought, at least.

I've been thinking about how people say things like their mental illness steals them away or "I'm not my depression," etc. I believe I am my mental illnesses, whatever they may be. Diagnosis has not been the primary goal of my therapy. It's been way more about CBT and switching around my thoughts. I'm a trained optimist in some ways now. But whatever strange chemistry is going on up in my brain, it's me. Negatively and positively.

I just hope someone out there can accept that.
  • Current Music: Le Grand Secret - Indochine


-I was extremely excited when the Criterion Collection announced that Barnes and Noble was selling their editions of films for 50% off. I can't begin to tell you how excited I was to hear of Fantastic Planet's release. That was an immediate purchase. The other purchase was Solaris, because it's one of my favorite films and I can't say no to an article on it by Akira Kurosawa.

-I've been all over the place with books. Three Moments of an Explosion started to lose my interest, so I started The Shape of Water (found accidentally, another whim). It's interesting. Not perfect, but certainly better than most of the young adult books I've read lately. I also started Girl, Interrupted which drew me in immediately. I saw the film back in 1999 and I kind of have a feeling that I'll feel differently about it now. The book is fantastic. The writing style is so interesting and there is no chronology to it whatsoever. And Kaysen describes some things I've felt so perfectly. How faces start to become an object rather than a subject. And there's Lisa. "You schizophrenic bat!"

-I've seen many films lately but haven't been able to write about them yet. Spotlight is infuriating in the best possible way. I can understand why it won best picture. However, Carol is also an incredible film. Why it wasn't nominated . . . well, I've given up trying to figure out the academy. (It's okay, Todd Haynes, I think you're an important director) Brooklyn is quite good as well, though for different reasons. I own The Revenant and Chiraq due to work but I have yet to watch them. Joy is still waiting for me to watch it, and I have The Big Short, The Danish Girl, and Anomalisa on hold. I didn't get out into the theater too often in 2015, but it seems like it was a really incredible year for films.

-Still reading X. Still amused. Why does everyone's hair fly up in the wind when a revelation is revealed? I feel like this is the time to mention that I still own the TV series as well. Whether I can make it through one episode is another matter entirely.

-I've been working every single day lately which has been draining me a bit, but I think it's been a good decision. Going to work only means that I have even more crazy Pokemon Go stories. No seriously. What has this game done to people? (I knew Zooey would use it for evil and prank everyone, though, all while snickering skeevishly about his plans.)

-Finally, I own They Might Be Giants' The Else. I love everything by TMBG. Especially The Else. Zargon, Hammurabi, Ashurbanapal, and Gilgamesh.
  • Current Music: No One Knows My Plan - They Might Be Giants

X Volume 1 by CLAMP

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I've had a lot of surprises here on An Analogy is a Signpost. Revisiting works like RahXephon and Galaxy Express 999 to discover my love for them had strengthened over the years. Discovering works like Neon Genesis Evangelion and Xenosaga, ones that I had avoided and insisted I didn't like, to find that I adored them. Evangelion, in particular, has transformed me into a follower who now owns Hello Kitty keychains with said Sanrio mascot dressed up as Rei, Asuka, and Kaworu. But perhaps one of the biggest surprises for me was returning to the Tokyo Babylon OAV I owned and discovering that I liked it. But in some way, I felt like that was cheating - if there's anything I still love from CLAMP, it's Seishirou.

Well, what happened at work, we received a shipment of the entire X manga collection, republished in a 3-in-1 omnibus by Viz. You can guess what happened next. I've had problems with revisiting the X anime. Something keeps me back. I see the feathers, the sakura petals, the gears, and I think, I can't do this. There's something a little less paralyzing about a book. For one, you read it at your own pace, as opposed to the pace set by moving pictures.

The last ten years of my life have been spent making fun of X. You can imagine my surprise when I realized that I was reading this volume because I enjoyed it.

In the modern world, no one is untouched by computers.Collapse )
  • Current Music: No Conclusion - Of Montreal
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Ornamental Coping

So a while ago (not too long ago, actually) I had mentioned that I was working on a surprise of sorts. I guess it's not much of a surprise considering how much I sew and that I'm now reading as much as I can about textiles, embroidery, and professional sewing.

I'm starting a sewing blog, Ornamental Coping. About a few minutes after I chose the name and forever marked its existence as "ornamentalcoping.wordpress.com" I remembered that I had wanted to start a sewing blog titled "Very Mignon Sewing." But whatever, both are relevant. I'm still working on gathering up the courage to photograph myself in my garments and figuring out exactly how to do it - I bought a tripod and a remote simply for this - with my Nikon D3300.

But from now on, any reviews on books about sewing or fashion will be over there (including the last few books I've read, Zero Waste Fashion Design, Fairy Tale Fashion, and The Mood Guide to Fabric and Fashion) as well as all the things I sew. This is a secondary thing to An Analogy is a Signpost and more for when I find the time.

Until I start posting pictures of the things I've sewn, you can look at some of my past projects in my Burdastyle Studio, but be forewarned. These are old projects. Also, I didn't take very good pictures of my Misato costume other than a few decent selfies with my phone. Also, hi! My face! You should be scared.

So here's to beginnings.
  • Current Music: Daydream - Radiohead

M+I Thoughts

I've been thinking - and I know this has to be a sign that my mood must be better, seeing as I've actually been posting here - about the past. That's a redundant statement. When am I not thinking about the past? Isn't life just a perpetual reframing of events, of casting yourself as the director in your greatest and worst moments in life? This is a silly tangent to be on.

More accurately, I've been thinking about the past of M+I which strangely also means the future of M+I. As in the second book, and the characters that come along with that. I tell myself constantly that I need to finish a rough draft before I can seriously start writing the second book, but I find myself missing Suhayl, Moon, Kal, Tichy . . . Moon's presence drove me to write myself out of a rather despondent self. I have a whole journal that I consider the Moon journal. Sometimes I like to think that Moon saved M+I.

I write about Suhayl frequently as well. But that's probably because I love his personality so much. There's nothing better than having a character who comes so easily to you. But in denying myself these characters, I've had to spend more time with others, such as Jung-Yeol, Fritjof, Regina. I've really come around to Frit and Reg.

As much as I miss the characters I have already, it brings me back to the ones who were cut. For a while, I tried to find a way to fit Yami back into the story and realized it wasn't possible. It was a sad day when Briggy had to be cut, but I think that decision was for the better. And now Witha's on the cutting list which I avoid trying to think about. What I always try to ask myself is, "Does this character add anything special to the story? Is this the right place for them to be?" That's how I lost a good third of the characters I originally had in M+I. For the better, I say. Less time spent introducing people. More time spent developing. Although Sormr needs no introduction.

I can rest easy knowing that I still have D, Axle, Eel, Madison, Oscar, Nadia, Charlotte, Sormr, Bublos, Fritjof, Regina, Edouard, Malina, Jung-Yeol, Jae-Seul, Phaedra, Suhayl, Moon, Kal, Rem(brandt), Tichy, Saaia, Cecilia, and maybe Witha. I'm forgetting someone. I'm always forgetting someone.

I miss those who were cut along the way. And I miss that sick, darkly humorous mind I had back in college, too. There are some journals I have that I hope no one ever gets to see. For reasons.
  • Current Music: Girl Loves Me - David Bowie

China Mieville and Socializing

We have a list of books that are "not so new" at work. Returning them to the regular shelves includes peeling off stickers and tape, as well as changing their shelf location. This is often where I find books that I want to read, as there is so much work involved in processing that I often don't have time to look at the new books, other than to glance at a title and decide in a split second whether I'm interested or not.

Well, one day I saw the name "China Mieville" on the list and remembered that I had always intended to read his work but never got around to it for various reasons. This book of his, that was not so new, was Three Moments of an Explosion: Stories. Needless to say, it is now checked out to me. I don't know what I was expecting of Mieville's work, but whatever opinion I had of him before has been entirely flipped around.

The horror in these short stories is not in the strange environmental and biological changes that occur, its in the indifference of the narration by human characters. The horror is in how quickly the strange and bizarre becomes the new norm, the new mundane. In the second short story, Polynia, the narrator views the icebergs that grow above London with fascination as a child, obsessed with any new information that comes to him. By the time he's 26, they're just icebergs, hovering above ominously. Its in this blase reaction that Mieville's horror comes through.

I did take issue with one Goodreads review that said Mieville isn't particularly good at writing short stories because some of the ones included in Moments are thirty pages long. This is the wrong way to think about short stories. A short story is a short story until it's a novella, at 17,500 words. There are so many short stories out there that are longer than 30 pages. I write short stories longer than 30 pages. It doesn't mean that it isn't a good short story, it just means that some stories require a heftier word count.

Speaking of writing, I did something social.Collapse )
  • Current Music: Blackstar - David Bowie

City of Bones by Cassandra Clare

Every now and then, that little bug nips at my skin. A popular book that I can't stop hearing about, constantly being recommended to me. Popularity tends to rank on the "hit or miss" scale with me. For example, I loved The Secret History by Donna Tartt. I don't even remember how long that book was, only that I had to keep coming back to it. Featuring characters who were so incredibly unlikable that they were strangely likable and incredibly beautiful, lyrical prose that called to mind the very classics that these college students were studying. I loved Jeffrey Eugenides' The Virgin Suicides, with prose that infused the novel with an unsettling, eerie atmosphere. On the other hand, I kind of hated Will Grayson, Will Grayson, Her Fearful Symmetry, The Ocean at the End of the Lane, and A Darker Shade of Magic.

Thus, Cassandra Clare's City of Bones. Recommended to me by several people. Massively popular. Made into a movie franchise (that ultimately trickled away into the dark recesses of development hell). A TV show, even! I knew of Clare and her dealings on the internet, as well as the claims of plagiarism. But hey, I'm an adult. I can read a work without considering the dealings of an author. And initially, I thought, "I can do this! This isn't so bad! There's a light at the end of this tunnel!"

You see, for as much as I didn't like the previous popular novels mentioned above, the least I can say for them is that they were written professionally. Edited. Showcased sentences of varying length and word usage. And as much as I disliked how bisexuality was portrayed in A Darker Shade of Magic, well . . .

How can tangles be fragrant?Collapse )
  • Current Music: Burn the Witch - Radiohead
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Angel's Egg (1985)

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I never got around to talking about Mamoru Oshii's Angel's Egg and I don't feel as though I have the words to talk about it now (Oshii would later go on to direct Ghost in the Shell and Jin-Roh). I will say that I felt an eerie sense of familiarity while watching this film, that sense of, "I've seen this before." And I think it was due to my dad's love for obscure science-fiction films. Perhaps I was hiding behind the couch while he watched In the Aftermath. I'll never know.

Here are all the screen captures I took of Angel's Egg, as the strange beauty of this film (with designs by Yoshitaka Amano) needs to be seen.

They forgot where they were from . . .Collapse )
  • Current Music: Super Duper Rescue Heads! - Deerhoof
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The Noonday Demon: An Atlas of Depression by Andrew Solomon

"Depression is the flaw in love. To be creatures who love, we must be creatures who can despair at what we lose, and depression is the mechanism of that despair."

I can't even begin to tell you what it is like to suffer from depression. Only that there is an indescribable ache within you, the ache of alienation from your self, from others, the ache of detachment from life. Every conversation, plagued with thoughts denying that anyone could possibly like you. Every effort, being reminded that there is nothing you can do to stop the void that is mortality from claiming your weak, lazy body. Understanding is difficult to find, especially when you don't even know what it is you have.

The present tense of mild depression envisages no alleviation because it feels like knowledge.Collapse )
  • Current Music: Must Fight Current - Deerhoof

Plans + Music

In the past week, I've attempted to write two posts, but the language hasn't been satisfactory for me. This is a problem I'm trying to get over, that I should write even if I hate my words. I just had an increase in my medication as well, which is . . . I don't know how to feel about that. I'm glad that I'm not jumpy and panicking constantly at work while trying to hide it behind a nervous laugh, but there's the thought that I'm now fully committed to my medication than ever before. I don't know why taking a lower dosage felt as though I was taking a dip in the waters, though. It's also difficult to find the right words when it seems as though there's no logic in the world.

So I focus on flippant matters. That's the only thing that takes my mind off of life. I ordered an object to go with my camera, which is all for something I've been planning for a while. It's in the works.

I've also been focusing entirely on music. I purchased Deerhoof vs. Evil, which I forgot how much I loved it. Deerhoof is seriously incapable of producing a bad or mediocre album. I've also been considering purchasing The Shins' Port of Morrow, Elvis Costello's This Year's Model and Patti Smith's Horses. They're all $5 on Amazon Music, but then I remembered that I have Freegal, through my library. I used to listen to The Shins in my early years of college, until they released Wincing Away the Night. A friend (I'm afraid of using this term, but I think that's what he's honestly become) at work recommended it to me, saying that it's excellent with really depressing lyrics and happy music. Belle and Sebastian still wins in that category for me. No one can make failure as catchy as Belle and Sebastian. And I own practically half of This Year's Model. Lipstick Vogue is still one of my favorite songs. I love how Costello takes the nostalgic charm of 50's era sounds and turns it cynically onto itself.

But then I listened to samples from Radiohead's A Moon Shaped Pool and David Bowie's Blackstar and found myself emotionally moved. More on those as I listen to them further, but the fact that I'm swayed by only 30 seconds of sound is impressive.

More later, I guess.
  • Current Music: Behold, A Marvel in the Darkness - Deerhoof
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