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23 January 2007 @ 12:39 pm
Stuff I don't do as much of anymore, for whatever reason  
After I started putting this list together, I noticed a common theme: a lot of these things I don't do anymore in whole or in part because I feel bad going off and doing my own thing. Believe me, I know how stupid that is. I know Remy doesn't mind in the least and in fact encourages it, but I still feel bad. That, and my attitude regarding solitude shifted significantly between breaking up with Nick and getting together with Remy.

When living with my parents and later with Nick, I craved alone time. I'd look for any excuse to lock myself in my bedroom to write, draw, surf the Internets, etc. away from the rest of the world. When I broke up with Nick, though, something in me changed. Where I used to love time alone, I started to dread it. My apartment felt too quiet, dark, and unfriendly; and I was feeling (understandably, I guess) very insecure, though I was trying not to let on to anyone. Figuring out each evening and weekend how I was going to fill my time and distract myself from how lonely and quiet it was actually felt worse than spending time at my shitty BA/QA job. I'd put on a tape or a TV show. When it ended, my anxiety would come back. Shit, what do I do now? I'd think to myself. I wouldn't be able to concentrate on a video game (and most of the games I played by that point were multi-player, anyway). I'd try to write or draw, but if there wasn't enough background noise, my anxiety wouldn't let me. I was too antsy to read, even. Months earlier, I would've thought all this solitude was the greatest thing ever, but at that time, it was horrible. It didn't help that Remy and I started out long-distance. I practically lived for his phone calls, and hated hanging up.

I still get a little anxious whenever I know I'm going to be alone for an extended period of time- mostly about how I'm going to fill it and distract myself until it's over. I don't like spending time away from Remy. I don't need alone time away from him the way I used to with Nick/my parents. That little vein of anxiety is ever-present, and more or less kills any inspiration I might have- so times that could be spent on doing the things listed below usually aren't. I've been feeling it less and less over time, but sometimes it's a come-and-go sort of thing. I'm not sure if anyone else ever feels like that, or if I'm just nuts or something.


Writing
Technically, I haven't been skimping on this at all. Pretty much all of my creative-writing energies in the past few years have been pouring into ljsim (and, to a lesser degree, starshiplj), creating and leading plots and/or responding, with my large number/wide spectrum of characters, to all hell breaking loose on a bi-weekly basis. ;) I adore it, and I'm inspired and amused with what my co-players (Remy especially) come up with. When I run a plot, I'm not dictating it or GMing so much as pushing it in a general direction, then allowing Remy et al to fill in their own details- some of which develop into major plot points. Role-playing in the round, I suppose you could call it.

Again, I completely adore it. Science and space exploration have always fascinated me, and my beloved characters more or less share my brain. But I wish I could extend this creativity and drive into some original writing projects. Since I departed the realm of fanfic, I've made several aborted attempts- some of which span as many as eighty pages in Word- but I've never been able to complete anything. I seem to fall into my role-play-leading behavior: I come up with a vague outline of what I'd like to have happen, but I can't come up with the in-between stuff to fill everything in. Remy, on the other hand, is excellent at piecing things together and throwing in great new details and complications. Indeed, the quality and fun of the collaborative stuff we did early on in our friendship was one of the things that initially attracted me to him (and it's still damn attractive!). We have attempted a few collaborations outside of our role-playing, but again, we haven't followed through and finished anything yet. That's something I'd love to do, at some point.

Needlepoint
I am getting back into this, slowly but surely. It's hard to stitch hundreds of 1/8" Xs in our dim abode, and even harder to do it when you have cats that absolutely must catch that piece of string weaving through the fabric omg! But I have that shiny new Ott-Lite- which also has a magnifying glass attachment for when my eyes start to give out- and, along with locking the cats out of the bedroom, that's working pretty well.

Piano
I haven't been playing lately simply because I don't have a piano to play. But the piano at Mom's house is mine, whenever I have a place with adequate room to take it to. And I definitely plan on playing a lot!

Music composition
For a little while, I was making original compositions in MIDI (and a few remixes of things). Painstaking, but I enjoyed it. I've avoided doing so in the past few years because a) I haven't had the inspiration, and b) it's extremely annoying for anyone in the vicinity, since I have to play measures over and over again to make sure things sound okay, then tweak them, etc. (and I don't have headphones).

Drawing
Again, just haven't been terribly inspired in a while. I've done some LJ user icons for myself and others in the past couple of years, but that's about it. I barely ever use my seven year-old Windows box anymore, and it's not on the network, so firing up Photoshop and importing/exporting stuff is a bit of a PITA. Hooking up my scanner is even more of a PITA. It also doesn't help that my mouse sucks, and that the drawing pad I bought sucks even harder.

Dancing
Going out to dance means a long walk in the cold, if I manage to stay up late enough. I could practice some Middle Eastern dancing in the apartment, but there's not a hell of a lot of room- and what room exists is quickly filled by kitties who flop down and demand your adulation (while you desperately try to avoid tripping on them).

Martial arts
Expensive, hard to find a good school, no room to practice anything in the apartment. If we ever wind up back in Pittsburgh, I'd maybe consider going back to my old school, but again, it's not cheap. And I don't know if they'd make me start over at beginner (no-belt) or what.

Video games
With the Wii, this is starting to turn around, but the weekends I'd used to spend glued to some game or another are long gone. With an aging Windows box and my high degree of apathy, there's really not much impetus. I have a number of good (old) games, enough to keep me happy if I ever feel like going back and playing them.

Reading
I was on a huge library kick during my senior year of college and thereafter. Then I moved and never bothered to find out where the library is. I used to devour fiction, now it's almost a chore. Non-fiction has been my primary reading material as of late, but instead of finishing something in a few days, I finish it in a few weeks, and I'll go months before I pick up something else. I'd like to hunt up new and interesting things again. I'd like to be a library rat again too. ;)
 
 
 
Aikidoka, dreamer, seeker, general purpose geekmanycolored on January 23rd, 2007 06:10 pm (UTC)
We'll be a quick bike ride away, and you can come use Dennis's keyboard. I'm pretty sure he'd be thrilled to have people over and the thing getting some use. Aikido and Judo are both $60 a month and Simon's friend Ron Glasser is teaching Jeet Kun Do for a similar price on Thursday nights in Troy. Not cheap, but not as bad as martial arts CAN get. There's also a lot of Aikikai in the area, and I know there's a Capoeira Regional somewhere in Albany (that's the faster kind).
Miusherimiusheri on January 23rd, 2007 06:24 pm (UTC)
This is most true! And you guys are welcome to come over as well. Give the Wii a go, and pay due homage to Rochester ;)

I may look into martial arts at some point, but I think I'll have to wait until I'm no longer working the 10-7 shift. I also wonder if the stuff I already know will be considered "bad practice" in other schools/styles? ;)
mqstout on January 23rd, 2007 06:25 pm (UTC)
You forgot:

Living in Pittsburgh
I used to live in Pittsburgh all the time. I haven't done this in a while.
Miusheri: Pittsburghmiusheri on January 23rd, 2007 06:31 pm (UTC)
lol!

Working on that one, hon! Need somehow to acquire money for down payment, good house to spend said money on, and two good jobs, all at roughly the same time.

We may be taking some weekend trips out there to do the required hunting, depending on our work schedules. I'll be sure to let you know of such ventures so that up-meetingness can ensue.

*hug* I do miss you!
Ellieellie on January 23rd, 2007 07:55 pm (UTC)
You can come over to do needlepoint with me. I haven't cats and will be in Albany by the time it gets warm.
Miusheri: gotevil?miusheri on January 23rd, 2007 08:10 pm (UTC)
Ooh, that'd be cool! I've never done a "stitch-and-bitch" before!

...er, a "knitting circle." Yes, that's what I meant. A "knitting circle."
demoncaller on January 24th, 2007 01:27 am (UTC)
I feel your pain. There are a lot of things that I used to do that I no longer do. As early as the age of 3-4, I used to tell my parents that I wanted to grow up to be an artist. I used to spend all my free time as a child and teenager drawing, but then around age 20 I hit an artist block, dropped out of art school after 3 years, and haven't gotten back into it yet. Probably has to do with the depression, because it was at that point that my life for the most part started to head into the toilet.