Inktober52 – Week 23:

I misplaced my tablet so I had to use pencil and paper to do this prompt. It actually was really pleasant drawing by hand again so I’m glad it turned out this way.

It’s really easy to get away from the medium you started out with when digital is just so much easier to use and create things with on a mobile format. Pencils are harder to fox mistakes. Paint is messy and takes to dry. Etcetera.

It has been about 7 years since I moved here to Tennessee and I cannot imagine leaving the Appalachian mountains. This place is so beautiful compared to the flat spaces of my childhood hometown in Georgia. I want to try and paint a few pictures of the mountains when I have an art studio again.

Anywho, thanks for stopping by today!

June and Surviving It

Arts and Crafts I had to do during in-patient therapy after my 2013 Suicide Attempt

For whatever reason, summer has always been really hard for me. I always have mixed episodes. For someone with Bipolar Disorder, that means you experience Mania and Depression symptoms.

Manic Symptoms

The following are symptoms commonly associated with bipolar disorder manic episodes.

  • Euphoric or elated mood
  • Grandiosity or overinflated self-esteem
  • Irritability
  • Rapid, excessive, or pressured speech
  • Racing thoughts
  • Excessive energy
  • Decreased need for sleep
  • Distractibility
  • Working feverishly towards goals, even if the goals don’t make much sense
  • Engaging in risky behaviors and activities
  • Needing little sleep
  • Often needs to be hospitalized

Depressive Symptoms

These symptoms are common in bipolar disorder depressive episodes:

  • Sadness
  • Finding little or no pleasure in once enjoyed activities
  • Hopelessness
  • Weight loss/weight gain
  • Sleeping too much or too little
  • Feeling worthless
  • Feeling guilty for no real reason
  • Waking up too early
  • Trouble thinking or concentrating
  • Suicidal thoughts or thoughts of death
  • Symptoms must be present during the same two-week period

The mixture of the highs and lows can really be devastating. It was bad enough lately that my stepdaughter even noticed enough and was criticizing my mood. She asked her Dad why I was so angry and it just honestly broke me pretty badly. Even when I’m on my meds, being irritated and depressed and hopeless and suicidal just starts to drag me down.

This has pretty much been my entire month of June. One day at a time. One moment at a time. Just what I can get through as it comes. I hate the fact that I can’t be stronger. That I’m not doing amazing. I had been able to push my therapy appointments out to once a month and this month I’m having one every two weeks. I’m also trying to be my own therapist right now and take care of myself.

I need to make a new safety plan. I keep pushing it off. My dad used to be on my safety plan. And it feels like so many things changed during COVID. So part of me just doesn’t like the idea of change. My goals this week are a new safety plan, looking into self-care and how to make the rest of this month tolerable, and probably distracting myself as much as possible with coloring or other pleasurable activities. Like Pokémon Go. Haha, I’ll have to do a separate post on that insanity.

This month has been so busy, which has been a blessing and a curse all rolled into one. We had the seminar at the beginning of the month. And we’ve been planning/packing for my stepdaughter to go away for sleep-away camp for an entire week in another state. I’ve been primarily doing all the work for that so it’s been rough. And then I’m trying to clean our room, clean out the storage unit, and keep my sanity.

Oh, and I’m turning 38 next week. So that’s been great for my mentality. My SO asked me what I want for my birthday and it’s been one of those things where I just really honestly don’t know. I made myself an Amazon Wishlist, but maybe I’ll just request something sentimental and practical. Like this book wallet, I’ve been eyeballing for a while.

The Velveteen Rabbit Book Wallet

Let’s be honest, I’d really want the Handbook for the Recently Deceased from Beetlejuice, but we aren’t shocked that one has been SOLD OUT for ages. It’s so cool! Even if I order it now, the wallet won’t arrive in time for my birthday. That always tends to happen. Last year I ordered a TeeTurtle Mood Plush and it didn’t come for MONTHS after I ordered it. Now I know they have them at Books-a-Million which is nice. But getting a Birthday present ON my birthday might be a good mood lifter.

Wow, I went so off-topic. I guess at least I distracted myself for a bit. Thanks for stopping in today. I’ll catch you guys tomorrow.

Balance Martial Arts Seminar

Honestly, I wish I could have written up a great summary of the seminar, but I fried my brain pretty badly by taking photographs. I had so much fun, but I was going the entire time and didn’t really stop until we got home. It was a 6-hour drive there. Check in to a frankly terrible hotel experience. Then dinner at a nice Korean place, then the next day was go-go-go.

Sensei Gilbert wrote an amazing summary of the seminar that he posted up here.

I haven’t had a chance to get the photographs off my camera or the video off my camcorder. I only pulled stuff from my phone, which I’m learning was very helpful. Short videos were easier to record on my phone.

Here’s the footage just from my cellphone.

SATURDAY’S LINEUP WAS:

  • Manuel Byers – Chito Ryu
  • Bob Noel – Uechi Ryu
  • Dan Gilbert – Aikido
  • Darren Gilbert – Isshin Ryu
  • Chris Moulinier – Shoring Ryu
  • Alex Wall – Wing Chun Kung Fu
  • Steven Gower – Uechi Ryu

SUNDAY’S LINEUP WAS:

  • Chesseley Robinson – TaeKwonDo
  • Richard Rosenthal – Largo Mano Escrima
  • Chris Moulinier – Shinkage Ryu Kenjutsu

We had an amazing lunch at Bad Daddy’s Burger Bar. Oh my gosh. That place was epic. We missed some of the seminars because we took the full lunch hour as a break. But it was worth it. My SO is still on the keto diet. He’s lost about 30 pounds so I did not want to set back his progress. They served pizza at the seminar. Urgh, on that note, I need to get back to intermittent fasting.

It was such a fantastic seminar. We got to meet so many insightful, traditional martial artists at this event. I honestly can’t wait for it to happen again next year! I was mildly frustrated at myself for leaving behind two of my camcorder batteries. I’m still looking around for one of them right now. Gosh, how easily I seem to lose stuff.

Anywho. Thanks for stopping by and reading!

Bad Daddy’s Burger Bar

I had to steal the photo of the location from Google Maps because honestly, I didn’t even think to take a picture of the place while I was there. But afterward, it really hit me just how good the burgers were. I have been CRAVING a badass burger so much since we got home. They don’t have any locations near me otherwise I would totally go again soon.

There’s such an epic menu. I didn’t even try anything too heavy when we went for the first lunch. I got stuffed just on the Philly and the housemade chips! My SO had a salad and it was fantastic. I snuck a bite…

You can get pimento cheese as a dipper along with your homemade potato chips. I think you can get dipping sauce along with your fries and tater tots. Both of which really looked and smelt amazing too. I just really love, LOVE chips. Crisps. Whatever you want to call them. Especially the homemade, thick, and crunchy ones

We ate a late lunch or maybe more like dinner there again after the Sunday seminar portion ended. I tackled the badass burger and boy was it a monster. I had to take it apart just to eat it. I ate the top bun and burger with two of the battered bacon pieces. Along with my chips. I had to save the bottom half of my burger and two more of the buttermilk battered bacon slices for lunch the next day because it was just too much food for me. My SO had a burger as well and was able to have it on a lettuce wrap.

For the price and quality and quantity of food you get here, I had to say that Bad Daddy will be a repeat when we got back to North Carolina next year.

More Forest of Doors

The game may be gone, but apparently, I found an older write-up about the game on a wiki here. Woo~! I’m listed as a staff member on there. And the older website is apparently up instead of the newer one. Not sure when that will finally come down as well. So much nostalgia.

I did so much artwork and crafting for this game. I’m sad a missed it, honestly. There was something nice about being able to run stories and make content for people. I liked the way things grew organically and how sometimes the NPCs that people latched onto were NOT what we expected people to like or even focus on.

I learned how to improve through roleplaying with Forest of Doors. I learned a ton of organizational skills. I even learned how to use a sewing machine because of LARPing. So it really feels like a bunch of my resume revolves around this game. I’ve heard there’s a game starting soon using the FoD system, so I guess that’s a new era. Still a bit sad though…

Thanks for stopping by today and putting up with my reminiscing. I finally hit my end of prewritten posts and was really hitting a wall on my creativity. I’ve been so low and depressed since I got back from the trip. Going to soldier on and try to make it through this month! June is always the lowest month for me. But I”ve got this… I’m trying.

TaeKwonDo Memory Lane

Doing some TaeKwonDo at the North Carolina Seminar really put me down memory lane. I used to attend Young’s TaeKwonDo way back in the 90s when I was a little kid in middle school. My parents made me take classes to boost my confidence and have me active in an activity. And boy was I active. I remember going to class EVERY. DAY.

I didn’t manage to keep much of my TKD days. All the trophies and belts are gone. I did manage to find some medals that my mom mailed me a while ago and my black belt. At least. The belt has a bit of a scuff or something on it. I’m going to try and clean that up eventually. It’s just sad realizing I went through so many belts and at one point, my Dad had created something to hang each belt up on: white, yellow, orange, green, purple, blue, brown, red, and black.

The pictures are a strange size. I was testing out the full image function on my cellphone’s camera. I used it a ton for the seminar weekend. I wish that I had been better at kata when I was doing TKD, but I was more of a sparring person. I did my first tournament when I was a white belt. I still remember being paired up against a girl that was much larger than me, and she had a yellow belt. I barely remember anything beyond her kicking me in the face at one point. But I won all my matches in that tournament!

Attending TKD was also one of the things that helped me get glasses when I was in 7th or 8th grade. I was having a hard time seeing anything and never spoke up about it to anyone. My grades in school had slipped because I wasn’t able to see the board. My karate instructor mentioned to my Mom that I had to lean forward quite a bit during class and was squinting a lot. So she took me to get my eyes examined… and I promptly was given glasses.

I don’t believe that Master Seo Young’s school in my hometown is owned by him any longer. I think it ended up being sold. There’s actually a chain of Seo’s Martial Arts in Georgia now that’s being run by his son, Shane. So that’s at least comforting to know something from my childhood still exists in some form or another.

I still remember the student oath we’d go through in every class:

  • Observe the tenets of Taekwondo.
  • Respect all seniors and instructors.
  • Never misuse Taekwondo.
  • Be a champion of freedom and justice.
  • Help to build a more peaceful world.

The tenets of Taekwon-Do are:

  • 1 Courtesy
  • 2 Integrity
  • 3 Perseverance
  • 4 Self-control
  • 5 Indomitable spirit

I’ll be honest… middle school me had a very hard time reciting the last bits of the student oath so they’re fuzzier. I really need to brush off my TKD forms. It might be nice just to get back into practice. Looking through videos, I think I’ve begun to realize that the TKD I did follow a lot of the ITF (International TaeKwonDo Federation) rules. When I looked at videos of the “white belt” form, I recognized the Chon-Ji and not the Songahm 1 which comes from the ATA ( American Taekwondo Association). I’ll have to do some more research.

Anywho, thanks for stopping in and reading my post today!

The End of an Era

A live-action role-playing game (LARP) is a form of role-playing game where the participants physically portray their characters. The players pursue goals within a fictional setting represented by real-world environments while interacting with each other in character. The outcome of player actions may be mediated by game rules or determined by consensus among players. Event arrangers called gamemasters decide the setting and rules to be used and facilitate play.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Live_action_role-playing_game

I used to be one of those nerds who LARPed. I’ve done a few different games. NERO, Vampire: The Masquerade, and too many small independent games to list. They’ve been a mixture of exciting, fun, and bittersweet. Forest of Doors actually being my first boffer LARP. Meaning, you use foam swords and other foam weapons for combat.

Way, way back when the first game happened in 2006… I was living at a fraternity house with my ex-husband. One of his Frat brothers was a founder of the Forest of Doors. So it was greatly encouraged for roleplayers to attend. It was a one-day (as opposed to some events that take place over the weekend and involve sleeping at a campsite or campgrounds). In the middle of Georgia Summer weather.

I played a fairy character named Aerie. And I loved the basic idea … but back then I did not realize or know that I had hypohidrosis. AKA I cannot sweat. It does not matter how much I drink or how hard I exert myself. I do not sweat. It was difficult enough for me to get a diagnosis and that did not even happen until about 2016, I believe? I had to get a doctor to diagnose me so that I wouldn’t be forced to work as a custodian during outdoor University football games.

Needless to say, that first event ended early for me. I overheated a few hours into the game and ended up having extreme heatstroke. But we did end up going back and remained regular players of the game until we joined the staff sometime after 2011. Forest of Doors was a big part of my life until I staffed away from being staff in 2013 right after one of my big suicide attempts and hospitalizations.

I never ended up rejoining staff due to my ex-husband divorcing me and the subsequent move that resulted from that happening. I don’t live in the area and the 6+ hour commute to get to the state parks where the games are run just isn’t feasible. A small part of me wanted to go play the last game because I wanted to be able to tell myself I’d been there for the first and the finale.

I have to keep telling myself I don’t have enough spoons for such a long trip. I’m not doing so great right now, so I’ll apologize for the quality of posts for the rest of this month.

Some very old Forest of Doors LARP pictures. NPCs

Bubble

Not to be confused with Words Bubble Up Like Soda Pop, which I’ve recommended before. Both are on Netflix. Netflix is pretty good at carrying some nice animation, honestly. So if you haven’t already seen Words Bubble Up Like Soda Pop, I recommend checking both movies out.

The storyline for this one is pretty cool and if you like the motif of the Little Mermaid storyline, you’ll definitely like this one. I won’t cover how it ties in since I feel like that would give things away too much, but it’s got a cute romance story.

So if you like genres that involve Apocalyptic settings, a little romance, some sci-fi, and some parkour, then this film will be right up your alley. The imagery in this one is gorgeous. And the Female Lead’s outfit feels like it was made just to mess with cosplayers. I’d really love to see some cosplayers for this animation, honestly. Parkouring their way around a convention.

Go check this one out! I think you’ll like it.

Inktober52 – Week 22:

Way back in the day when I helped run a live-action roleplay game, I had an NPC named Country Mouse who came from the setting, the Enchanted Glade. It was fairies, whimsy, and talking animals. She introduced the Luck mechanic into the game. This LARP in particular is actually having their final game this weekend so it’s a bit bittersweet that I drew this piece.

I never wore glasses back in the day, but I don’t do contacts anymore. So I thought that I’d do a version of “Country Mouse” as she might look like I were to play the character currently. Apologies, but I’m going to squeak by with a short post today. Thanks for stopping in~!

Amazon Addict

I’m not ACTUALLY an Amazon addict, but I do find it so useful. I don’t have Prime. We actually use my MIL’s Prime Account to watch things, but I use my own account to order things. It’s sad, mostly because I know that when you use a Prime account, the orders typically take priority. I just can’t justify the $139 per year right now.

With how insane things are right now, I haven’t been able to find certain items I really need in stock out at stores. I also don’t find myself wanting to run around to more than one store. I.E. If Walmart does not have the size bra I need, then I have no desire to look at Target, Ross, or somewhere else to find it.

Surprisingly, I can only count 3 orders that I’ve done via Amazon this year. I got my phone case earlier this year along with some mechanical lead pencil refills and kneaded rubber erasers, then I got the tablet stylus pen and the camcorder battery pack/charger. Then this last order for bras and arm covers. That’s all the orders for the year 2022.

But then I don’t count all of the grocery orders my MIL does. Certain teas are less expensive on Amazon. Buying Ziplock bags in bulk. Heck, lately, it’s been cheaper to buy paper towels and toilet paper from Walmart online and have them shipped for free to our home. So perhaps it isn’t really just Amazon that’s addicting. It’s nice to be able to place orders online and have them shipped or prepared for pickup.

Even with things opening back up after the pandemic, I’ve found myself more inclined just to do pickup orders. Is anyone else feeling the same way? Just about the only thing that we like to pick ourselves involves fresh produce. Even that seems depressing these days. We bought a pack of the baby cucumbers from the grocery store last week and two days later they became rotten liquid…

I’m beginning to see why my MIL just wants to grow things in her garden. And let me tell you, I’m really hankering for a freshly grown tomato right now. I’m ready for summer to come so those tomatoes will grow tall and ripen. Anywho, sorry for the weird rant. Thanks for stopping in, I’ll see you guys tomorrow.