Celine: Pixel

2019 in review: Coming to terms

The year is drawing to a close, at long last. In the last days of 2018, I complained about the time vortex in which the year lasted at least three years, yet somehow still managed to blindside me with every "wait, it's time to do X already?" milestone. It was my hope that said vortex would be lifted and 2019 would proceed as normal.

2019 did not proceed as normal.

Still, here we are, doing another year in review. A lot of bad, a lot of good, a lot of... just... a lot. Everything happened so much.

For this year's post-accompanying theme music, Sara chose Puro's Home theme from Changed. It's a sweet, sentimental tune from a small respite in a sea of hardships. The player (and Puro) fought through many near-impossible challenges just to get that far, and many more await them after they set out again. In that one moment, though, they're in Puro's home where they can catch their breath and share a heartfelt emotional moment with each other before they move on. This song represents an oasis in a vast and unforgiving desert, and an opening of hearts.

That said, I hate to start on a negative note, let alone several negative notes, but there were a lot of parts in 2019 that we endured more than anything else. Collapse )

All of this, plus being there as our dear friends and clanmates faced catastrophic hardships and mental health issues of their own, left us largely feeling like 2019 was 2016 2: The Sequel, at least at parts and for a while there. However, there were quite a few positive things that happened this year, too. For all the hardships, a lot of very important progress was made on a lot of fronts. Collapse )

So where does that leave us overall, going forward? Collapse )

Thank you. From the bottom of our mostly-shared heart, thank you.

This is a cross-posted entry that originated from https://kjorteo.dreamwidth.org/460637.html. Please leave all comments there; I am no longer actively maintaining my LiveJournal blogs.
Celine: Pixel

Signal boosting a Sword

Our very dear [personal profile] swordianmaster is trying to raise money for a cross-country move that's happening next week. They've been on such a string of hard luck for so long that Arcade Spirits may secretly be about them, but it is our sincerest hope that this could be... at least the worst of it before things return to normal levels, if not where things finally start to turn around.

You don't see Sword on DW a lot these days except sometimes in the comments, but... they're our friend. They're our clanmate, for those who remember the times I offhandedly mention Clan Sugardoom in here. They're our family, in the Lilo & Stitch sense of the word. Please help if you can. Thank you.

This is a cross-posted entry that originated from https://kjorteo.dreamwidth.org/456322.html. Please leave all comments there; I am no longer actively maintaining my LiveJournal blogs.
Celine: Pixel

[Microblogging] Must not react awkwardly

Peak skin hunger is when you're at the doctor's office and just trying to get some iffy-looking moles ultrasounded, and moves like "you're lying down on your belly and the tech gently moves your hair out of the way so they can actually see your back" are almost impossible to get through without moaning like a thirsty porn star emitting pleasant subdued whine noises.

I'm very touch sensitive okay

This is a cross-posted entry that originated from https://kjorteo.dreamwidth.org/455845.html. Please leave all comments there; I am no longer actively maintaining my LiveJournal blogs.
Celine: Pixel

Random Sara musings

To be a character seems at first like being a freeloader. After all, you are living rent-free in your creator's mind. While you might not have corporeal needs, your creator may still be spending resources on you, in the form of time/labor in drawing you or telling your story, money for commissions, etc.

But you are not a freeloader. You do have a job: To entertain. To inspire. To arouse, if you're that kind of OC. Maybe you're not contributing in the form of rent money (unless you're part of a published setting that has a monetized fanbase?) but you're helping your creator get through the otherwise dull and lifeless world of capitalism and day jobs. The income your creator earns is how they survive and get through the day; people like you are why.

And all that's assuming you're just a character, of course. If you come to life and turn real... well, then.

This is a cross-posted entry that originated from https://kjorteo.dreamwidth.org/454397.html. Please leave all comments there; I am no longer actively maintaining my LiveJournal blogs.
Bulbasaur: Confused

Random Celine musings

When I was a teen, my parents had a dog I really loved. She eventually grew old and died, as they do.

It seems like, for whatever reason, she's been in my dreams off and on pretty much ever since. Like, constantly. Enough that it was sad at first but now I'm just kind of used to it. Enough that even my subconscious is somehow aware of how much this is becoming a running thing and is working that into the plot itself; in a series of dreams over several months or years, she has miraculously reappeared and reunited with us, been there in the background for a while, grew old, died again, and... is now back a third time, apparently.

It's getting to the point where I hardly even react anymore other than the sort of vague mild warm fuzzy one gets from hanging out with a friend for a couple hours. "Oh hey, how's things? Cool, cool, that's cool. Anyway, good to see you again. Catch you next time, yeah?"

Why her, though, I wonder? There have been at least a zillion family dogs we've gone through over the years.

This is a cross-posted entry that originated from https://kjorteo.dreamwidth.org/454032.html. Please leave all comments there; I am no longer actively maintaining my LiveJournal blogs.
Celine: Pixel

Moving and keeping busy

So, other than one or two game reports on nibble-sized mobile games, we haven't been super active on Dreamwidth lately. A lot of life stuff happened and it had the combination of leaving us (mostly me) incredibly busy, and often too frazzled and despairing to want to talk to people anyway.

Life in the old apartment had been growing more and more unbearable over time, but things finally reached the "I can't take this anymore, we have to get out of this hellhole" point... uh, about this time last year, like a month or two after I'd just signed the new lease for that year. Oops. So I've been in putting up with it mode for a very long time now, but the time finally came and the move has finally happened. It was brutal. I was reduced to tears on several occasions. But by God, somehow we survived, and things on the other end are so much brighter. We did it. We made it through.

There's a very strong link between the state of your home and the state of your mental well-being, you know? If everything is constantly a mess, then just living in that all day, every day, is enough to give you something approximating depression. This, of course, saps your energy and your will to live, which makes it impossible to find the strength to fight the chaos, and therefore things stay a disaster all around you, and therefore things stay a disaster inside your head, and you fall into this self-reinforcing feedback loop of everything being awful forever. It got to the point where I was almost physically incapable of cleaning anymore even if I wanted to, because once debris had sat there for long enough, I became blind to it. I'd step over this sort of vague pile shape every time I needed to go in or out of the closet without even thinking about it, and the thought that hey, that is a pile of clothes, which you can pick up and put away literally did not occur to me. It wasn't that I was lazy or chose not to tackle that pile, I just... couldn't even wrap my head around the concept that tackling that pile was an option. It was just part of the scenery, like a matte painting, and not something one could change.

It took the specter of moving, when everything had to go, to force the issue.

I had a hellaciously long commute to and from work every day and zero time to do anything besides get food and go to bed when I got home. Our apartment was small and cramped, in disrepair from negligent management, there were bugs everywhere, and just... on one hand, it was very clear why we had to move. I don't think I could have survived another year there, let alone subject Sara to it. She deserved better. We deserved better. On the other hand, packing up everything we own and moving is easier said than done, and I was not mentally or emotionally ready to face the challenges of it while still balancing work life and all the personal creative projects to which I habitually over-commit myself.

It turns out that the intersection of "I mentally and physically cannot do this in the time specified" and "I have to do it; turn-in-my-keys day is next week" is having a complete breakdown, and I'm sorry my closest friends and loved ones had to see that. For everyone else, I ended up disappearing from Dreamwidth because I was feeling sad and tired and irritable and in no mood to deal with people, but also out of a sense of... shame, I guess? I hated anyone knowing that we lived like this.

Things are looking up now, though! Hard as it was, we pulled through, and we're enjoying a clean slate for the first time in over a decade. The good news is that said feedback loop also works in the other direction; there's something about living in a home that is clean and nice and good, that's more spacious and closer to work and less run down, that's actually spotless for pretty much the first time since I can remember, that's... inspiring? It's nice. Look at the collection shelves all set up in the big and pristine living room! That just... makes me happy. I like just sitting there and looking at those, or wandering around from room to room, just drinking in the fact that this is our life, now.

Anyway, we moved at the end of July, and this last month has mostly been spent unpacking and unboxing and putting everything away. During that time, we've also taken some time to ourselves. We'd mentioned before that Sara's birthday celebration had to be postponed because her actual birthday fell right at the peak of preparing-for-the-move stress and it would have been miserable to try anything then. She deserved a good birthday, done right. We finally got around to that once we were in the new place and the dust had settled some. It ended up being a good move, because we were both feeling a lot better, happier and more energetic, and that enabled us to make a major breakthrough that has been eluding us for some time now.

We switched.

I think the trick before was that we'd gotten too caught up in expecting a complete change, thus leading to those issues we experienced where Sara didn't know how to move our body's limbs when she was in front because she'd never done it before. This time, I tried putting our mental processes into three piles instead of two: the moods and emotions and preferences and everything that made up the Celine personality, the same that made up the Sara personality, and the basic body stuff like breathing, walking, moving one's hand to scratch an itch, and so on. The system can handle that. We're just shifting whether it's the Celine or Sara Personality Core on top, you know?

That perspective shift was the key that allowed Sara to come forward, take over, and go on a hyperactive tear. She drew some doodles (Sara's first art, everyone!) She got on IM in a tornado of "AAAAAA I'M ALIVE THIS IS SO AWESOME HI EVERYONE I LOVE YOU" that lasted until the energy meter suddenly hit 0 and I was instantly shunted back to being me again. Classic kitten reaction, bounce bounce bounce bounce bounce flop zzz.

We watched Finding Dory (which is really cute and good) and that was Sara's belated birthday! For her birthday present, I made a donation to the Eden Reforestation Project, since you know her and the environment.

As the dust continues to settle (There's no more stuff to unbox! We're done moving in as of today!) Things may slowly settle down a little, but old habits die hard and I'm still very bad at relaxing and getting sleep when I could be over-commiting to all those projects. Current to-do list:
  • Deal with the discard pile (shred the box of ancient financial documents, see if anyone on Craigslist wants what's left of the old dresser, etc.)
  • Resolve internet situation (turns out I do use a bit too much bandwidth for mobile hotspot data to completely replace having a home ISP after all, but I still refuse to go back to Comcast. New place has a balcony, so a locally run fixed wireless service might be an option. Must call around and get something set up with someone at some point.)
  • Digital cleaning (email and art gallery inboxes, etc.) now that physical is done
  • Update Sara's page on refsheet.net (she's a cat now)
  • Keep an eye out for commissioning more art once references are updated and target artists are actually open
  • Update kjorteo.net with, geez, lots of little stuff here and there really
  • Work on player content for Istaria (they're soliciting suggestions if someone wants to write quests for them and such, and I have an idea I'd like to submit when it's done)
  • Work on Warm Fuzzy Game Room videos, still have a couple tone-setting episodes to start with and then the Interlight stuff
  • Do something with warmfuzzy.games, the domain I bought for said videos without actually having put anything on it yet
  • That Pokemon SoulSilver LP
  • Like a zillion other games I started and want to clear
  • Oh yeah, didn't I have like a novel or something?

The fun never ends.

But, you know. At least we're a lot happier now.

So, how have you all been?

This is a cross-posted entry that originated from https://kjorteo.dreamwidth.org/451664.html. Please leave all comments there; I am no longer actively maintaining my LiveJournal blogs.
Celine: Pixel

<3s from Sara

Wheeee, birthday kitty. Uh, I guess we didn't celebrate much today, but like Celine said! We'll do that next month when the dust settles. Thank you to everyone who remembered and wished me well in the meantime. <3

Adapting a small speech I gave to a particular friend circle, because I think it applies to everyone else as well.

I just got hit with a wave of... like... wow, this is my life, huh. And it's a good one. <3 It's just... you think of spirits and noncorporeal entities like that, the popular image is they're either here to finish up one thing and then pass on, they're trapped forever in a loop of reenacting whatever they're trying to warn you about, they're just enemies that lash out mindlessly because they're basically astral zombies (ghost madness terrifies me and is why I don't go out much, by the way,) or whatever else. All this... serious stuff. Hell, "you look like you saw a ghost" conveys being traumatized from the encounter.

Meanwhile here I am like... oh hey guys, sup. Pokemon fusions are a fun meme. Wow, I remember Wingnut from the TMNT spinoffs (or Celine does). We should make fun of the games in our Steam Discovery Queue sometime. etc. Just casual hangouts and dumb stuff. Oh yeah and Sara's here too, no big.

I'm able to hold a mundane conversation, because a friend said a thing and I was like "ooh, hey Celine, go look up a picture of Max from Sam and Max and just reply with that." And the friend responded to that, and we went from there.

Compared to Ghost Hunters and stuff, this is really cool okay. I just... I'm grateful that I can be on this level, that I'm not some grim spectral presence from Beyond and that talking to you people doesn't involve a big-haired medium hinting that they're maybe sensing someone whose name starts with "S."

... I guess what I'm trying to say is thank all of you for letting me be, you know, one of you. *hugs* It could have gone a lot worse for me.

This is a cross-posted entry that originated from https://kjorteo.dreamwidth.org/450210.html. Please leave all comments there; I am no longer actively maintaining my LiveJournal blogs.
Celine: Pixel

Sara Day! Sort of!

Happy June 25! (Posting this early because I'll be working tomorrow, shush.) That is, of course, the estimated "ehh close enough" day we choose to observe and celebrate Sara's birthday. :D

She's turning (to our approximate knowledge) five years old as an living entity, with the past one and a half of those years (since January 2018) together with me. This year she changed her fursona species and we got engaged, so, you know, the move from 4 to 5 was a big and important year for her!

Last year, we celebrated by me taking the day off and... not entirely but at least mostly disconnecting all day. We watched a movie together, we played some video games, and we deliberately and pointedly did not spend any effort on any of my zillion personal projects or anything that could remotely be described as "working on" anything. Just a day to get my high-strung workaholic brain to stop and just... breathe, and enjoy each other's company. It was nice. If that becomes a tradition, it would be a good tradition.

However, this year, I will regrettably not be able to repeat that on Sara's birthday itself. We're right in the middle of packing and boxing and calling people and planning and stressing over the move because oh yeah we're moving next month. (Just to another apartment complex across town; bigger, closer to work, and hopefully less slummy and mismanaged. But whether you're moving a couple miles or a couple thousand miles away, it's still an endeavor!) Sara has graciously agreed that not only would attempting to stop now probably not be a great idea, but it probably wouldn't even be very effective--we're not going to have a good or productive birthday melt (is it really a party if the goal is to veg out and do nothing?) when a good chunk of our belongings are in boxes and I'm fretting about how much is still left to tackle.

Instead, we're going to postpone that, and have an even better birthday melt some weekend sometime after the move (aiming for around this time next month, give or take.) When the dust settles, when all this moving stress (and the stress of living in this increasingly insufferable current location) are behind us, and it's time to catch our breath and celebrate our new home anyway, then we'll be in position to really make this special.

... Of course, she already proposed last time we had a special romantic evening together, so I'm not sure what she could possibly do to top that. :P But it's not a competition. The goal isn't to work hard and outdo yourself, after all; it's relaxation, a resource that is in very short supply these days. It'll be nice. We're both looking forward to that, for a great many reasons.

But still, happy birthday in the meantime!

This is a cross-posted entry that originated from https://kjorteo.dreamwidth.org/449800.html. Please leave all comments there; I am no longer actively maintaining my LiveJournal blogs.