Trying to find “thehena”

Thehena – from Láadan – happiness despite negative circumstances


It feels difficult to remember to be happy in my own life. I have some good things: my wonderful husband, my sweet cats, my natural family and families I’ve “adopted”. I also have some challenges: finding a job is hard, I’m worried about my career. But what overshadows your normal ups and downs of a normal life day-to-day is so much anxiety about the climate and about the government. It feels difficult to be happy when it feels like doom is over the horizon, and it is hard to convince myself that it will be okay.

I’m trying to talk myself out of this depression, how I usually do. “How silly will this seem, once you’re old at the end of your life, and everything’s okay and you spent so much time worrying instead of taking care of yourself and your family.” I’m writing this now to try to remind myself of these things.

  •  I’m not the only one working towards good. There are others, and there are people in the renewable energy field, and healthcare fields, and legal fields, all trying to do good. I’m not alone, I’m not in a vacuum, and I don’t have to feel guilty for “just being a programmer”.
  • I can keep fighting without hurting myself this much. I can fight without making myself feel hopeless.
  • I don’t have to act Every. Single. Day.
  • I can’t do everything today, or this week, or this month, or even this year. I will be volunteering and helping out every year. It doesn’t have to be daily.
  • I can’t “undo” (or prevent) future calamity by just WORRYING ALL THE TIME. I can be concerned and attentive without carrying the weight on my shoulders every day.
  • I deserve to be able to relax and spend time with my husband, unclouded by the grief of the world. We deserve to be together and happy and healthy. I need to be able to be a full partner.
  • I deserve to spend time improving my own life. I deserve to make time to clean my home and cook food and exercise and play games and read books.

Zombie Maker – Part 2 – Drawing Zombies

Store Stylez I’ve been having trouble envisioning a style to make this game, and I finally was just like “dood, just do it in your style .” I’m still going to make UI elements very chibi, but the main game art itself will be in more of the style I draw my web comics in. I drew a new store thumbnail and banner to see how I liked it and I’m liking it pretty well! Feeling inspired! Zombie Art Spent a lot of time today working on zombie art for the Zombie Maker. Drawing different bases, hair styles, faces, and other things. I’m not done yet – I still need to draw/color all the clothes, and the “behind hair” for long hair / ponytales / etc that go behind the sprite image, on a different layer from the top-of-head hair. Zombie Maker Reworking the Zombie Maker webapp again. It’s taking too long…

from itch.io https://moosader.itch.io/undead-debt/devlog/55390/zombie-maker-part-2-drawing-zombies
via IFTTT

Easy to go into teaching, hard to leave teaching

As I apply for software and web development jobs, I realize that even three years of not keeping up with the industry has left me far behind.

I work teaching C++, and while there are some C++ jobs locally (not many), most jobs appear to be web development with newer frameworks – frameworks I don’t have any experience in.

It may be the case that I can’t find a developer job this time around, and I might have to take a break to polish up my skills before I try again…

Nov 5

I have work to do but I can’t bare to stay awake, I’m so tired. I plan on going to bed immediately after I get home from work at 8:30 pm tomorrow, too. Watching the primary election results were too stressful, I can’t take doing that to myself tomorrow, too.

I’ll either feel marginally better, or a shitload worse.

I’m laying in bed thinking about how I should count my blessings, but there’s a constant fear about the future. Climate change, definitely – where are we going to be in ten years? – politics – are we ever going to build a system FOR HUMANS and not FOR CAPITAL?

I have plenty to be thankful for today, but I can’t help but worry that there might be global disaster in the future. Can I have a family? Will I live to retire? Will we have to leave the country? Will I have to physically fight fascists?

2 depressed 2 make art

I haven’t really worked on the game at all in the past ten days. I want to do some of the more artistic parts of the game, but depression just fucks up my ability to brainstorm and come up with ideas. I hope there’s some good news after tomorrow’s election. I’m just so tired. Here’s the latest screenshot of what I have in the game:

from itch.io https://moosader.itch.io/undead-debt/devlog/54995/2-depressed-2-make-art
via IFTTT

The Problem with the Public Domain

Let me tell you about one of my more strange hobbies: making content in constructed languages. I can draw, I can play the piano, I can animate, and I can program video games and utilities. I’ve made multiple blogs for different languages, such as Esperanto, Ido, and Láadan, and I have a YouTube channel for conlang-related videos (I moved all my separate conlang channels into one.)

But, coming up with original content can be hard. Especially if you’re short on time (and very obviously not doing this work for any sort of income), it doesn’t make sense to make 100% original content in an obscure language that only a small amount of people learn. Luckily, we have the Public Domain. There are public domain TV shows and movies, books and comics, and even music. Certainly, we could spend some time translating works in the Public Domain to build up the library of entertainment available in conlangs!

But here’s the problem: Due to the U.S.’s shitty copyright law items don’t enter the Public Domain until a very long time after it was originally created. According to Wikipedia,

The public domain will reopen on January 1, 2019, when works from 1923 lose their copyright protection.

The implication here isn’t just that we’re stuck with translating boring black-and-white oldies (though I do find this to be pretty boring fare to work with), but something else: The past sucked. (Though that isn’t to say that today doesn’t also suck.)

I am hesitant to really rework anything in the Public Domain because any movies or TV from then are going to be 99.999999% white and contain a lot of racism and sexism. It’s not stuff that I want to watch, and when I’m translating for a feminist language like Láadan, it’s sure as hell not something I want to put into the language’s culture.

It drives me up a wall that the only things there are to choose from are so monocultural. Adventure books are about men going on adventures, winning women as prizes. Television shows are about the stay-at-home wife and the clean-cut, pipe-smoking dad. Movies and cartoons can often contain super racist depictions of Black people, Asian people, Native Americans, … really, anyone who isn’t freaking white.

Our television today is already white-washed enough as it is, but if we have to go 95 years in the past to not break copyright law, we’re sure as hell not going to fare much better.

Email is obsolete

When was the last time email was actually useful?

If my students have a question, I’d much rather them text me to make sure I can find their messages – my work inbox is so full of extraneous stuff that I lose so many student emails. Plus, with Canvas, I essentially have two inboxes for work, and sometimes students email me in one and not the other and I miss things.

My personal email? I don’t usually get email from friends, people I know. Who gets personalized emails? I send myself email reminders more than I actually use it for communication. My email inbox is constantly bombarded with chain emails.

How many times have I gone through my inbox, clicking every email I don’t want and manually unsubscribing? How many times have I tried setting up filters? How many times have I gone to websites like Twitter and told it to not send me emails? I can’t win the battle.

Email is broken and obsolete. No email solutions currently over a realistic, usable way to organize your emails and keep things tidy. Email is currently just a dumping ground.

Halloween Costumes

It’s been a long time since I’ve done trick-or-treating, or even to invest time in making a costume for myself. This year I’ve been mentoring some refugee families, and they are like family to me.

For Halloween this year I made costumes for the kids and threw a party for one family (the other couldn’t make it this time). All the girls wanted to be Disney princesses and I volunteered to make their costumes. I’ve never bought Halloween costumes, I’ve always made my own, even roughly. I’m not very good at sewing, but I like experimenting and learning. Even though their dresses ended up pretty rough (it’s also hard to make costumes for other people; at least with myself I can keep testing haha), but they seemed pretty happy with their dresses.

The kids were so excited to go trick-or-treating, running and shouting everywhere, as their mom and I tagged along  behind. Their dad and my husband stayed at home with the hookah and gave candy to other neighborhood kids.

I remember how much I used to like trick-or-treating as a kid, and how exciting it is, and I’m really happy my “nieces” and “nephew” had a great time! 🙂 <3

Exhausted

I am so intensely exhausted.

I hope that there is good news after the election next week, so I can at least have a fraction of weight lifted off me. It’s hard to stay feeling good when it feels like the world is going to shit.

Change the world: Posting messages

Speak to all

We can talk to our friend groups and family all we want to try to change their ways, but our own sphere of people is quite small. We need to loudly exclaim that fascism is not permitted, that transmisia, islamomisia, racism, and sexism is not permitted, that the alt-right and nazis are not permitted, that Trump is not permitted. This should go beyond our own sphere of people and into our local communities.

Where we all go

We all must buy food and clothes. Many of us go to bookstores, the mall, and other places. We need to speak where those unlike us will hear.

I’m not suggesting that we stop random people in the grocery store and talk to them – you can only be present for a short amount of time at any given place.

What I want is for our messages to be ubiquitous, unignorable, visible.

Posting messages

Here’s my proposal: print some signs (or make your own) and post them anywhere you go in your daily life. Don’t ask permission. Carry some messages and some scotch tape with you and post it near a door, in aisles, or wherever.

Of course they will get removed – but we keep posting them discreetly.

We need to speak up and stop being silent. We need to reach more people than just our own friends and family. We need our communities to understand that our country is in danger and that people are dying, being abused, and being traumatized. We need to stop this, and we need to tell our voting peers that this is not allowed.

* Trans people deserve to live banner & this project is inspired by the one flown at the World Series.

 

Media