Definitely feeling better.

Since I went off the Geodon, I’ve signed up for a math class at the community college (for fun; I’ve always wanted to learn calculus and never got the chance) and submitted my resume to a local temp agency in hopes of finding a part-time job.  If I wind up having to withdraw from the class, or I get fired, it’s okay.  It’s trying that’s the important part.

Admittedly, the main reason for job-hunting is my teeth.  I need $2400 in dental work, and am still paying off $2700 from earlier this year.  Why Medicare doesn’t cover dental is beyond me…  It’ll still take a while to get the money saved up.  I’m only allowed to make $700 a month, and Social Security takes half of that because I’m on disability. But it’ll still be a little extra every month towards dental stuff.  And it’ll be a job, because working will make me feel useful.

Ideally I’d like to work at the library, but their part-time jobs are 20 hours a week and that’s too much for me to handle.  So I’m looking for back-office clerical work: data entry, filing, etc.  Wish me luck!

Overshot

I have recently discovered overshot weaving.  Overshot is a technique where you create images and designs on woven cloth by having some of the yarn go over the top of the fabric. Look down at the wall hanging below. See the cats at the top, the wave in the middle, and the chaostars on bottom? Those were done with overshot.

(The rest of the piece is various weaving techniques such as leno lace, Brooks bouquets, and Danish medallions.)

I’m doing this with a pick-up stick on a rigid heddle loom, and it’s quite easy as long as I design my pattern on a grid beforehand. I’m using StitchSketch on my iPad for that. There’s a lightweight free version, but I’m using it so much I bought the full version. It’s not as robust as a desktop app, but far more portable.

The above wall hanging was my first attempt at overshot and some of the other techniques. I’m getting much better. I’ve done a second wall hanging, which was a commission by a friend. (I can’t show it to you right now, as she hasn’t received it yet and wants it to be a surprise.). I’m working on a third one now, for my sweetheart. It’s more complicated, now that I have some idea what I’m doing. I charted some prehistoric border patterns and some images that mean things to her. I’m doing the entire piece in just overshot, no other techniques.

I enjoy tapestry, but it’s too freeform for my current skill set. Overshot images let me “draw”, but the restrictions of working on a grid somehow make it much easier for me. The piece I’m working on now only has two colors, red on a black background , but I intend to try adding a third color to my next piece.

Overshot is an ancient technique. There are existing fragments of cloth featuring it from many thousands of years ago, well before the advent of writing. Overshot designs were copied onto vases in Ancient Greece; we know this because there are stylistic elements that are part of this weaving technique that are put there to secure the yarn, and those elements show up on early pottery.

The way I’m weaving used a modern loom, but it’s the oldest way of doing overshot — pick up the warp threads by hand, then weave a plain row on top. Fancy looms let you do most of the work with multiple shafts. I like the connection to the ancient method, although I’m not willing to build a prehistoric loom to get really authentic. I do appreciate modern technology!

Anyway, I’ll post the other two pieces, once the commission reaches its owner and I finish the current project. I’m having a lot of fun, and if you own a rigid heddle loom I suggest trying overshot. There’s a three part series on YouTube that comes up if you search for “overshot rigid heddle.” The lady is making Christmas trees. I’ll try to remember to link it later, as I’m on my phone right now…

Sexuality

I’m not going into explicit details.  Sorry.

Another blog flashback, to the end of 2015.  I thought I was possibly asexual, as I was always anorgasmic with partners.  Back then I wrote this about sex:

 I… don’t want any.  At least, not the kind involving a partner.  My libido is higher than it was when I was married, but if my sex toys make me this happy I don’t want to bother with anyone else.  At least, not right now.  Someday (hopefully very very far in the future) I imagine I’ll have feelings for someone and want to share my body with them, but sex for the sake of sex?  Toys.  Hands down.  I don’t know how to have sex with a partner where I don’t feel I have to perform, even with people I’ve enjoyed sleeping with.  And, frankly, I’m not interested in learning right now.  I’m enjoying being self-contained.  (Well, I’m dependent on vibrating things, but you know what I mean.)  Also, I have a very active fantasy life, and fantasy is always better than reality.  For one thing, I get to have the body I want.  Including a fully functional, working cock.  That’s not going to happen in my lifetime.

It turns out I needed the right partner.  When my sweetheart and I first got involved, it was solely a BDSM relationship.  Then it turned into a sexual one.  Then, finally, an emotional one.  We liked each other as friends immediately, but it turned into feelings, which startled the hell out of both of us.  (I found it a little disturbing at first, actually, having not wanted a relationship.  But she’s so worth it.)

So I can say I’ve now had a sexual relationship that was, at least in the beginning, purely for the sake of sex (and kink; the two have always gone together for me).  And it’s amazing what can happen with a partner I trust.  I don’t come every time, but I do orgasm with her.  Fairly often!  And we do a lot of… things.  And are planning even more… things.  When I fantasize it’s about doing things with her.  (Okay, I’m the submissive, so mostly I’m imagining her doing things to me.)  She is remarkably good at making my fantasies come true, too.  Even the really kinky ones.

So yeah, I was wrong about being able to completely give in to pleasure with a partner.  It just took finding the right one.  I’m amazed that I feel this sexual with her.  Like my old self but better, and wanting things for the right reasons.  I’m so glad to have been wrong…

Oh, and I meant to add:  I’ve gotten more comfortable with my body, too.  I still have the wrong one, and I still get dysphoric, but I’m more accepting of what I have.  It’s a nice feeling.

Still a slob, sadly.

Blog throwback to this post from 2014. I’m still this bad about cleaning, although my personal hygiene has improved considerably. At least I’m no longer dealing with my ex-wife’s hoarding tendencies on top of it. I cleaned my room this afternoon and it’s sad how proud I am of it, considering that normal people can pick up after themselves with no problem. I’m going to pay my teenage nephew to clean my bathroom. It frightens me and I want to break down sobbing every time I think too hard about how awful it is…

Random stuff

Good news, all!  For months I was dealing with vomiting (well, dry heaving) every time my blood sugar got low.  With the reduction of my Geodon, it’s stopped.  I’m only getting nauseous if I start chain-smoking, which I’m trying not to do.

Quitting smoking was working great until the hallucinations started.  My psychiatrist told me it was a dumb idea to quit while in the middle of a medication change.  (I’m paraphrasing.  She’s much more polite than that.)  So I’m smoking until the switch to Abilify is complete.

I’m down to one Geodon a day, at night.  The first few days after the dose reduction on Friday were awful.  Like, I couldn’t drive after 2pm (my normal afternoon dose time, which was when I started feeling awful), and I felt suicidal one afternoon.  (Note: I knew I was feeling that way and told my sweetheart I shouldn’t be alone, rather than going home and hurting myself.  I’m quite proud of myself for that.)  But every day it’s been better, and yesterday I barely had any withdrawal symptoms.  So next week I’m going to tell my doctor I’m ready to get rid of the last dose and get off the med completely.  It’ll be another few days of hell, I’m sure, but it’s worth it.

I’m in the process of selling off about two-thirds of my fountain pen collection.  I just don’t use them.  I’m keeping several, but selling 19 of them.  Like, I love the idea of Pilot Vanishing Points, which are retractable at the click of a button.  But in practice they dry out way too quickly.  I own three.  I’m keeping one that was a gift, but selling the other two.  And I used to collect all the colors of Lamy Al-Stars, and some I’d never even inked.  I’m keeping a couple of favorites, but most of them have been posted for sale.

If I sell all the pens I’ll have a few hundred dollars to put towards my bills.  Yay!

Because of my brain weirdness, I’m not done with my commissioned art yet.  I’m hoping to wrap it up today.  I’ve been working on it a little, here and there, but my concentration was shot for a few days.

I had an idea for a tapestry.  Sweetheart has these earrings that are teardrop-shaped and have a design laced into them with thread.  I want to try doing an itty bitty tapestry on a weird metal shape like that.  Just for the experience.  I can’t see myself wanting to work on something that tiny very often, but it would be a fun experiment.

Knitting-wise, I’m almost finished with the second of a pair of dish towels for my sweetheart’s mother.  After that I’m going to whip up a couple more washcloths for my sweetie, then get to work on a sweater for myself.  I bought enough yarn to make myself a sweater a couple of years ago, and never got comfortable with the idea of knitting a whole cardigan in sport weight yarn for myself.  That’s a lot of knitting, and I never found a pattern I liked.  I realized something a couple of nights ago: I can knit it in the round and just steek it.  (Steeking, for those of you who don’t knit, is cutting a pullover sweater up the front to make it a cardigan.  Yes, it’s scary.  Yes, I’ve done it before, but only once.)  I own a sewing machine now.  I can sew two parallel rows of overlock stitching and then just cut between them.  Last time I steeked a sweater, I did it by hand and it was terrible.  I mean, it came out well, but the process was terrible.

Okay, done for the moment.  Later, y’all!

I’m lump, I’m lump, I might be dead

My evil ex used to say that the Presidents of the USA song “Lump” was written about me. I hate that band so much as a result. And then my ex-wife used to make me listen to them, because she was a fan and said I needed to get over it. Ugh. 

But anyway. 

I have a confession to make. I have done pretty much nothing today. Sleeping lots, mostly. I just attempted to go Out and realized that if I did I’d stop for cigarettes. Because I can’t go to the coffee shop alone and not smoke. So I turned my car back around. At least I took out the trash while I was leaving the house. So I can say I accomplished something today. 

I do have plans in a bit — my psychiatrist, and then a knitting group I’ve been trying to talk myself into going to for like a year now. Even though it’s people I used to knit with all the time. I’m making myself go today, though. Even if I can only stay 20 minutes at least I’ll have tried. 

(I feel bad for my sweetheart, who is very social and can’t take me anywhere because groups of people make me so uncomfortable. The only friend of hers I’ve gotten to spend quiet time talking with, just the three of us, is awesome.  I warmed up to him pretty quickly and now count him as a friend. But if I’d met him at a party I would have never struck up a conversation. Social anxiety sucks donkey balls.)

Did I mention I’m depressed today, too? Not the kind where I want to hurt myself. Just the kind where I wanna disappear into Fantasyland or else sleep for the next year. Much healthier. It occurs to me that my psychiatrist might be pissed at me for quitting smoking during a med change. If she tells me not to quit for another few weeks, I’m going to do as she says. Even though I cringe at the thought of spending more money on smokes. 

Ugh. Going back to bed until it’s time to leave for the doctor. Can’t function…

Bad blogger. No cookie.

I keep swearing I’ll do a better job of updating, but I never do…  Mostly I’m keeping a private journal these days, but some people actually read this blog, so here’s an update.

I’m still with my sweetheart, the woman I mentioned in this post.  It’s been 2.5 months now.  I’m in love with her, and have been for a while.  Weird, huh?  Here I was planning to never get involved with anyone for the rest of my life, and suddenly — love.  She makes me very happy.  I’m lucky she cares for me as much as I do her.

I still haven’t had the money to go back to school, so I’ve enrolled in a couple of Coursera classes.  Python Fundamentals (or something like that) and Mathematical Thinking.  I’m really just auditing the classes, because that’s free, but I’m committing to myself to do the work.  I’ve also started using online language software through the public library to work on my Spanish. My love is taking Spanish II this fall, but needs to brush up on Spanish I first.  So we’re doing it together.  Which is really nice.  She and I do all sorts of fun things together — art, hiking, traveling — and I’m excited to add “learning” to that list.

I’ve been iffy on my volunteer work lately.  I love it, and I want to be there every single week.  But.  I’ve been dealing with medication changes, and those never bode well for my mental stability.

It started with my Geodon addiction.  It’s not supposed to be addictive, but I was taking it three times a day and getting withdrawal symptoms from hell if I was even an hour late.  So I told my doctor I wanted off it.  I went into her office one day while in withdrawal.  It was unplanned, but she was horrified to see me like that and agreed to help me get off it.  So we started Abilify.  I’m going up on it every two weeks until I’m off the Geodon and am stable.  It’s… not easy.  Currently I’m at 5mg of Abilify in the mornings, and no longer take a morning Geodon.  Thursday we’ll go up a little more on Abilify and lose the second Geodon dose.  Which will make me weird for a couple of days.  It’s not an easy transition.  I’ve had stray hallucinations (minor ones, thankfully) and other little symptoms here and there.

And I quit smoking yesterday, so my poor brain is confused about that too.  Smoking is helpful for the schizophrenic brain, although it can cause the same lung damage as it would on a neurotypical.  The current theory is that it helps regulate dopamine in such a way as to help with focus.  Almost all schizophrenics smoke, for that reason.  (Although most people don’t know why it helps them feel better.  They just know it works.)  I wouldn’t quit, except I can’t afford to spend a couple hundred dollars a month on cigarettes…

I haven’t been exercising.  Or playing my cello.  Or drawing.  There’s only so many things I can do at once!  I am, however, knitting a lot.  I made my love a short-sleeved summer sweater, which she likes enough that she wore it to work the other day.  That made me feel really good, that I made something that wasn’t embarrassing to wear.  I mean, yes, I know I’m a good knitter, but it’s rare I make sweaters and it’s nice that they turn out that well.

I’ve also been weaving a lot.  I learned to do overshot on on my rigid heddle and started making weird wall hangings — overshot mixed with rows of leno lace, brooks bouquets, random designs… A friend has actually commissioned me to do one.  I started on it yesterday.  I should be finished within a couple of days.  Later today I need to go buy a few more dowels.  I’m painting them and using them to weigh down the hangings, because they’re made of fingering weight wool.  I’m thinking that for future ones I’m going to move up to DK weight.  10dpi instead of the 12 I’m doing now.  Then I can use my handspun, which is almost all sport/DK.  I have some cool ideas for future hangings.  They’re faster than tapestry, and I can grid out the overshot designs instead of having to freehand tapestry cartoons.  I’d like to sell some more.

I can’t believe I’m getting paid for my art.  And the hangings are art — I’m designing images for them.  It’s not like spinning that’s all about hand movements.  Yes, I’m a good fiber artist, but the textile art I’m doing feels like legit art.  It’s very satisfying.  I do want to get back to tapestry some, too.  I have one in progress that I haven’t touched in like a month.  I’m going to pick it back up when I get my commission done, while I wait until I can buy the DK warp yarns I need.

Speaking of money — I wish I could work.  Or magically win $3,000.  I need it.  Medical bills, mostly.  Still paying off my fucking root canals.  I hate being broke and not really being able to do anything about it…