I don't make resolutions. I don't even really consider it an important occasion, except most everyone else does, so that naturally causes me to stop and reflect on how things have gone for me.
I accomplished woefully little this year. I have nothing but the mental illness and my own lack of resilience to blame. I've just been so . . . flat. I can keep myself on a more or less stable emotional keel, but that eats up any productivity I might otherwise have. I spend more time on obligations than personal projects, but lacking those obligations I might do nothing, so who can say?
Last year was shitty in many ways, really shitty, but it also contained some unexpectedly wonderful stuff, and my life now is most assuredly better than it was in January of last year. I'm still not feeling optimistic, but perhaps that will come in time.
I just want to be able to . . . to do
things again. To have the energy, mental and physical, to work at things. I'm bored so much of the time, and, being an introvert, there's only so much that other people can help. And, lately, I've spent a lot of time in low-level pain from minor health problems I really don't want to discuss.
But to focus on the positive, I made three really cool things in 2013: the Barsoomian Chess Set
, which was featured
on Propnomicon; MLP custom "Serenity"
; and the steampunk pirate ponies Phantom and Ember Blacklock
I launched Silver Into Steel
, the srs blog. Admittedly seldom-updated, but I'm going to work on that, too.
And, the huge one: I was approved for disability. My government is still shitty and thinks that I should be able to live on what doesn't even cover my house payment, but at least I have health coverage via Medicaid now.
Christmas was lovely. I'll post more about that later.
I've been playing Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag, and having enormous fun pirating everything in sight. It's still not Ezio, and I've just had to resign myself to the fact that none of the other games will match that arc. That storyline started out so perfectly, establishing this woman-chasing fist-fighting ne'er-do-well and his loving family and then ripping all of it to miserable shreds, and that propelled me through three games. After that first part of ACII, you fucking hate the Templars
. And you actually got to see the character grow and change. Become more competent. More responsible. And finally, much wiser. He was an excellent character.
Edward from AC IV is all right -- he looks sort of like the bastard pirate lovechild of Charlie Hunnam and Chris Hemsworth, he has tattoos and a smart mouth -- but I'm a quarter of the way in and there's no emotional core to the game so far, and that's hurting it. They're trying to lean on the "FREEDOM" angle -- and I really wish they would do more with Adéwalé, because he is really cool and I love that they write him with this subtle tolerant contempt for white people's shit -- but it's not coming together for me. It's still a gorgeous game, and I like it very much, even if the jaguars are fucking murderous little shits.
In other news, I started playing the Baron again last week, and it's been fantastic having him around again. He still makes obscenely good die rolls, and he now has an apprentice that the dice apparently like just as much as him. She's tiny and cute and he just wants to play hide and sneak with her all day. He finds her utterly delightful, and it's like watching a big old wolf play with a kitten. Apparently he was missing that, and didn't know it. Nearly all the other women in his life are sharp or hard or prickly or just flatly practical and no-bullshit -- or they're horses -- and he loves those things about them . . . those are not flaws. The one girl who isn't like that -- his mistress -- is extremely sweet, and he loves her to pieces, but she has no sharp edges. She's the gentlest creature in his life, and he needs
that so very badly, but . . . he also needed someone with a bit of both, I think. Someone with whom he shares the same background of murderstab training. Someone he can feel protective of for legitimate reasons, but who really doesn't need much protecting. Someone crap at hiding her feelings, because he has a terrible time dealing with it when people do that.
Eh. Enough about people you've never met.
In other news, I have found the softest thing in the house and it is the fur at the tenderest part of Etrigan's throat, way back under his chin. It's so soft I can barely feel it, like mole fur or bat fur. He has become an excellent cuddler. Not an in-the-lap cuddler, a pick-up-and-snuggle cuddler, not like Tazendra, but a lying-beside sleepytimes cuddler. He lays where Tazendra used to and lets me curl my arms around him -- he is so much bigger, nearly twice as big -- and lays where he can feel my breath on his face, which means his face is usually adorably close to mine so I can just look at him. I can tell he misses Fish, so sometimes I stick my finger in his ear and rub it around -- she used to groom his ears and he loved that, but I'm not going to lick him anywhere
, thanks. He loves it. He doesn't even flick his ear, he just purrs harder and rolls so I can do the other one. Today he snuggled up with me and put the top of his flat, empty little head against my mouth so I could just kiss and kiss him without stopping. Behavior-wise he is barely a cat at all, and is frequently so annoying it boggles the mind. And yet I love him like a very stupid but enthusiastically cheerful little brother.
I love Smooch, too, but he's a tough nut to crack. We have a respectful cat/human relationship based on me fulfilling his every desire and him being very grateful for my services, but mostly ignoring my needs. He's tender, emotionally, rebuffs easily, stews and sulks sometimes. He has moods, like weather. Etrigan's emotional core is rubber or Teflon. Nothing gets him down for long. They are very different. I love them both. Etrigan is turning out to be the really comforting one, for all that he's a fucking asshole most of the time.
I need to go to sleep. I hope the next year is less painful than this one for everybody. I hope you find and do and make and learn fun and interesting new things. I hope things improve. For all of us. I really do.