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The Mother of All Infections

Journal Entry: Sun Mar 27, 2016, 9:31 PM



So remember how I was complaining about being sick around the end of February? Well,  it wasn't just your typical ulcerative colitis flare. I had to go to the hospital at the beginning of March, and after they ran some tests, my doctor called to inform me that I'd tested positive for a C. difficile infection. For those unfamiliar with Clostridium difficile, it's a bacteria that lives in your large intestine alongside thousands of other beneficial symbiotic bacteria. However, sometimes your gut flora can get knocked out of balance (usually because of antibiotic use, but in my case because I have an autoimmune disease), and the C. diff grows out of control, producing toxic waste products that eat through the lining of your colon. I've been on two different courses of antibiotics for almost a MONTH now, and I've seen little to no improvement. This might be a TMI, but I have bloody diarrhea about 10 times per day, incredibly painful cramps, constant low grade fever, complete body exhaustion...plus the antibiotics make me so nauseous that I throw up almost every day. I've lost so much weight, and I've had to be repeatedly admitted to the hospital for fluids because I'm so dehydrated.

I've never in all my life been in so much pain. I'm so scared, because this infection kills people, and my ulcerative colitis puts me at greater risk for serious complications.  I've been begging and harassing and cajoling the people at the hospital who perform FMTs (a procedure where they colonize your colon with healthy bacteria from a screened donor), because FMTs have an overnight cure rate in the 90%s. But you know what? The fucking FDA doesn't authorize FMTs for patients unless they've failed every other treatment option and are literally at death's door. It's SO STUPID. I am suffering and the treatment I need is being withheld. If I die, it's their fucking fault.



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I'm so sick of being sick

Journal Entry: Sun Feb 28, 2016, 11:48 AM



I know I've written several journals bemoaning my health problems, but my life is a pile of shit so I think I'm entitled to complain about it.

Imagine the worst case of food poisoning you've ever had. Now imagine that you have it every single day, without end, forever. That's what having IBD is like, especially a case like mine where I'm just continuously flaring no matter what I do or what drugs I take. Imagine swallowing 15+ pills every day, knowing that some of them are eating away at your bones, destroying your adrenal gland, and fucking up your kidneys. Imagine having to get blood tests every 3 months to see if your medications have wrecked your body yet. And remember: there's no cure. There's nothing the doctors can do for you. You get to suffer for the rest of your life, while everyone else goes along their merry way, oblivious to their own good fortune.

I hide it pretty well, but I am MISERABLE. I try to distract myself by reading or drawing or playing RPGs, but that only works for so long. Eventually, I have to return to a reality where all my dreams and plans for the future have been bulldozed by this horrible fucking disease. A few years ago, I was an Ivy League graduate with my whole life ahead of me. I could do anything I wanted, be anybody I wanted. Now I struggle just to get out of bed and do basic chores. I can't work full-time, I can barely travel, and my social life is limited to online friendships because I can't muster up enough energy to actually go OUT and spend time with people. I am so lonely, and I'm so depressed. My body is falling apart with me inside it. It's terrifying. It's unfair. And it's SUCH a waste. Why did this have to happen to me?

I want to be somebody else. Anyone else. Please, just let me have a do-over.



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FEATURE PRESENTATION: Xelandra

Journal Entry: Mon Feb 15, 2016, 12:06 AM



Welcome again to FEATURE PRESENTATION, a monthly special wherein I spotlight some of my favorite artists on dA, then proceed to fangirl unabashedly. The criteria for selection are as follows: 1) the artist must have less than 200,000 pageviews, and 2) they must be fucking awesome (duh). Heeeeere we go...



This month's featured artist is Xelandra, AKA :iconxelandra:. I love the way she shades skin - rich, smooth, and luminous. Plus she does a lot of Star Wars OCs, which is totally my style :headbang:. Let's take a look-see!

Selika Portrait Commission ~ Slagatastic by Xelandra

I love the lighting on her face! The purple and orange go really great together. A+ boobs too~


Sci-Fi Soldier by Xelandra

The textures on her suit are just fantastic. Also, did I mention how much I love the armor design? Because I do.



Sayo the Water Nymph by Xelandra

I adore the composition on this one. Her dress moves like a wave, and the background glow perfectly draws the viewer's eye toward the center.



Tanta Commission ~ Gypsy Corset by Xelandra

Look at that gorgeous highlighting! Those gold tones are so top-notch. I especially like her eyeshadow :heart:



V'yr Vorsa ~ Commission by Xelandra

The volcanic ground and streams of smoke give this picture a wonderfully intimidating air. BAD. ASS.



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FEATURE PRESENTATION: Pepperin

Journal Entry: Fri Jan 8, 2016, 7:22 AM



Welcome again to FEATURE PRESENTATION, a monthly special wherein I spotlight some of my favorite artists on dA, then proceed to fangirl unabashedly. The criteria for selection are as follows: 1) the artist must have less than 200,000 pageviews, and 2) they must be fucking awesome (duh). Heeeeere we go...



This month's featured artist is pepperin, AKA :iconpepperin:. Her watercolors are delicate, dreamy, and serene. Have a look!

Nowhere road by pepperin
I love the gentle, cool silence of this piece. Kind of reminds me of night vision...except, you know, blue :XD:


Porcelain Forest by pepperin
I love the color choices the artist made here. The splashes of red really bring the picture to life.


Tourists by pepperin
Mysterious, magical, and dreamlike...I feel like I'm looking at an illustration from a children's fantasy book.


Storyteller by pepperin
Such a pretty, tidy little scene. The tapestries and buildings in the background give it a nice Arabian Nights feel.


Forest Portal by pepperin
This piece has such a mystical quality to it. It's as though the girl and her rabbit are moments away from embarking on an adventure into a magical world...


Hope you all have a great January!



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FEATURE PRESENTATION: Ililaz

Journal Entry: Sat Nov 7, 2015, 12:03 AM



Welcome again to FEATURE PRESENTATION, a monthly special wherein I spotlight some of my favorite artists on dA, then proceed to fangirl unabashedly. The criteria for selection are as follows: 1) the artist must have less than 200,000 pageviews, and 2) they must be fucking awesome (duh). Heeeeere we go...



This month's featured artist is MartaLaz, AKA :iconmartalaz:. Her gallery is gorgeous and, in my opinion, criminally underrated. Look at this shiz:


Sunflowers and stuff by MartaLaz
Warm, cheerful, and adorable ^_^ What's not to love?


Nova by MartaLaz
I love the color scheme of this piece. The whole thing harmonizes so well.


Alice by MartaLaz
A great interpretation of the Alice in Wonderland aesthetic. The rabbit's eyes are especially unsettling.


Maria by MartaLaz
The textures on this one are fantastic, and it's great to see a girl in a wheelchair looking so damn badass.


Lolly by MartaLaz
Slightly strange and wonderfully radiant, it's hard to forget about this piece once you've seen it.

Be sure to check out her gallery!



P.S. I love whoever gifted me a month's premium membership :love:




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FEATURE PRESENTATION: Serafleur

Journal Entry: Fri Oct 9, 2015, 4:17 PM



Welcome again to FEATURE PRESENTATION, a monthly special wherein I spotlight some of my favorite artists on dA, then proceed to fangirl unabashedly. The criteria for selection are as follows: 1) the artist must have less than 200,000 pageviews, and 2) they must be fucking awesome (duh). Heeeeere we go...



This month's featured artist is serafleur, AKA :iconserafleur:. Her gallery is an absolute delight :heart:

Here are some personal favorites:

CM: Berryis [Misora] by serafleur
Just look at the level of detail she put into this! The muted colors give the picture a sort of antique feel, which I really like.



CM: Berryiis [Haven] by serafleur
Such a pretty commission! The colors harmonize so well.



Astraea by serafleur
Love the face and hair on this one, and the blue gemstones contrast wonderfully with all the pink.


Winter For Hanekko by serafleur
There's a lot of motion in this piece, and I like the way it leads your eyes around the whole drawing. It's like a mini winter explosion :thumbsup:


And last but not least, something to match the season! ;)
Happy Halloween! by serafleur



P.S. Thanks to the anonymous deviant who gifted me a month's subscription! :hug:



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FEATURE PRESENTATION: GDBee

Journal Entry: Mon Sep 14, 2015, 5:15 PM



Welcome again to FEATURE PRESENTATION, a monthly special wherein I spotlight some of my favorite artists on dA, then proceed to fangirl unabashedly. The criteria for selection are as follows: 1) the artist must have less than 200,000 pageviews, and 2) they must be fucking awesome (duh). Heeeeere we go...



This month's featured artist is Geneva B, AKA :icongdbee:. Take a look at her gorgeous, colorful art!

Here are some personal favorites from her gallery:

African Violet by GDBee
The shapes, patterns, and colors harmonize beautifully; there's not a single extraneous brush-stroke. Every touch of paint serves its purpose :love:


Sunny Day by GDBee
Look at her fluffy hair! It's so adorable :heart: I adore the texture of her hat too, and the food decals are a great touch.


Voodooma by GDBee
Delightfully creepy and unsettling - the stitches, sections of blue skin, and burlap textured dress are all memorable details on an already striking piece.


Smores! by GDBee
GDBee has done a number of food gijinkas, and they're all equally delicious. I can almost taste chocolate when I'm looking at this :drool:


Rafflesia by GDBee
A fantastic personification of the Rafflesia flower. It looks venomous, dangerous - yet also captivating. It's so organic and lush...look at those luna moths :heart:


So yes. Check out :icongdbee:'s gallery. You won't regret it! :#1:






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Miraculous Ladybug

Journal Entry: Fri Sep 11, 2015, 8:48 PM



So this hasn't aired yet, but...is anyone else excited for Miraculous: Tales of Ladybug and Cat Noir? It's a French-Korean-Japanese magical girl anime done in CGI style.

 

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The show is set in modern day France, and it stars a teenage girl named Marinette Cheng who moonlights as a superhero with good luck powers. She is aided by her sidekick/snark rival, a catboy with bad luck powers named Adrien. They both attend the same school but are unaware of this fact.

 

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Together, they take to the streets of Paris to stop creatures called "Akumas" who turn normal people into super-powered baddies. In typical derp fashion, Marinette is in love with Adrien, and Cat Noir is in love with Ladybug...though neither realizes the true identity of the other. So they're caught in this sad routine of chasing someone attainable, and all the while they're standing right in front of each other.

 

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One reason I'm so excited for this series is because it's an international collaboration that could set the stage for more cooperative endeavors in the future. It already started airing in Korea, and it will begin airing in France in October. The English dub is set to start this December on Nickelodeon. Here are some more gifs:

 

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The show is clearly aimed at a high school audience, not at people in their 20s like me, but hey, that's never stopped me before :iconimpervyplz:
I think I'm going to watch it in French so that the language fits the setting. Assuming I can get my hands on it... ^^;





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Bothan Fanart Feature

Journal Entry: Fri Sep 4, 2015, 3:42 PM



My Star Wars Edge of the Empire campaign is re-starting in October...I'm so damn excited that I've decided to do a fanart feature to celebrate :#1: I play a Bothan medic/explorer named Jastra:

Explorer by Acaciathorn
Since Bothans are the absolute best, I'm going to showcase other people's chars. :iconlovelyplz:
In 3...2...1...


This Bothan didn't die yet by Clone-Artist   Bothan Sith by mikekimart   Bothan Man by skybison 

  Bothan Jedi - Shasta by Talandors   Sketch:  Bothan Brawler by Wayii   Phoenix Comicon 2015 badge: Bothan swordsman by Snow-Jackal

Bothan Facilitator by AlexSabo   Bethana Mynador by thomasthecat   Karel en couleur ENFIN by Ladylau

   Star wars role playing game by MPdigitalART   Star Wars RPG Character : Serris by Banana-Raven


Noblewoman Lady Sheebah Doh'ge by Fang-fey   Bwlch and his padawan by nattzvart   Star Wars RPG Heroes by Kristele

<da:thumb id="122423640"/>   Darth Tahmores by DemiDevil   Keyta by MunkenDronkey 

  Kith by zdecemberz   Masquerade Cognito by Tourniquet-Kitten   Scruffix Farfax Star Wars RPG by IanCorrao
 
  Bothan Gunslinger by Ryan-Rhodes   Bothan Sith Chick by krahka  Star Wars RPG Sidekicks by Kristele

The cake is a lie by AmiralAesir   Sailor Bothawui by Snow-Jackal   Learning how to repair astromechs by SpacelingArt 


Bothan Concept by TeeSquar3   Bothan Rapper by tziena   Old Republic Bothan Scum by Kaworujin


Lithna:  Bothan Scoundrel by azmike7  A Star Wars Rough... by chrisscalf  Ol' Fuzzbutt by Acaciathorn


It's funny how nobody can quite agree on what Bothans look like... I've headcanoned that, like dogs, the Bothan species exhibits a high degree of phenotype variability. For Jastra, I'd say the most apt description is "calico cat meets African wild dog".






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FEATURE PRESENTATION: A Monthly Artist Spotlight

Journal Entry: Sun Aug 30, 2015, 11:03 AM



I've been wanting to do this for awhile, but thanks to a near-terminal case of Laziness, I haven't been able to get it off the ground. ...UNTIL NOW :la:

Introducing FEATURE PRESENTATION, a monthly special wherein I spotlight some of my favorite artists on dA, then proceed to fangirl unabashedly. The criteria for selection are as follows: 1) the artist must have less than 200,000 pageviews, and 2) they must be fucking awesome (duh). Let's get this underway, shall we?



This month's featured artist is Patrícia Aroeira, AKA clover-teapot, AKA this owl icon :iconclover-teapot: . Patrícia hails from Brazil and earns much of her income from commissions, which is lucky for us because her work is gorgeous. She's a complete sweetheart who always seems to have a kind word to offer, and her luscious, creamy coloring style is good enough to eat :heart:

Here are some personal favorites from her gallery:

Arcane - commission by clover-teapotI adore the details clover-teapot puts into her pictures. She has a real knack for drawing staves, and this character's hair-piece, the heraldry-like border, and the blue backlighting are all fantastic additions.


Ammit - Commission by clover-teapot
Just look at that eyeshadow. Look at the wicked gleam in her eye. What a cheeky little minx :love:


 
Storm - Commission by clover-teapot
This is such a fun piece ^_^ I love his mischievous attitude and the abs don't hurt either



Her Scent - Commission by clover-teapot
What's in the bottle, I wonder? Is she here to hurt, or to help? So mysteriousss...ugh I just love it :iconilavplz:



The Summoning - Commission by clover-teapot
I want her dress so badlyyyyy D: The magic powers would be nice too :XD: Like I said earlier, A+ staff design.


So yes. Check out :iconclover-teapot:'s gallery. Be absorbed. Be assimilated. Resistance is futile. :iconlovelyplz:



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DeviantArtist Questionnaire

Journal Entry: Fri Aug 7, 2015, 4:53 PM



  1. How long have you been on DeviantArt?
    The lifespan of a fourth grader.

  2. What does your username mean?

    Acacia trees have thorns. That's pretty much it.

  3. Describe yourself in three words.
    Sentient. Organic. Edible. 

  4. Are you left or right handed?
    Right-handed.

  5. What was your first deviation?
    We don't speak of that.

  6. What is your favourite type of art to create?
    I'm a fantard. Take a guess

  7. If you could instantly master a different art style, what would it be?
    Traditional painting - oils or acrylics.

  8. What was your first favourite?
    I can't even remember what I ate for breakfast, let alone what I faved 9 years ago.

  9. What type of art do you tend to favourite the most?
    For information on favoriting activity, please visit The Department of Fickle Whims.

  10. Who is your all-time favourite deviant artist?
    Don't have one. I like a bunch of different artists for different reasons.

  11. If you could meet anyone on DeviantArt in person, who would it be?
    Hm...maybe rufiangel, so we could geek out about Serpamia Flare in person. ;)

  12. How has a fellow deviant impacted your life?
    You guys sustain me, like a warm fleshy body sustains a leech~ (Actually though, the moral support I've received from people on this site is incredible. Thank you).

  13. What are your preferred tools to create art?
    Any program with the edit:undo function (and my tablet)

  14. What is the most inspirational place for you to create art?
    Locked in my room, alone, in the dark, where I belong.

  15. What is your favourite DeviantArt memory?
    One time, a bunch of MRAs came to my page and started harassing me because they thought one of my poems was "bashing men" or something (it wasn't). LOL, oh those MRAs
    :iconohuplz:


#DeviantArtistQuestionnaire





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TAG!

Journal Entry: Fri Aug 7, 2015, 4:44 PM



Taguée par :iconutenaxchan:

1.
Quel est ton fond d'écran actuel?

Siren by CarolineGariba


2. Lequel de tes OC préfère-tu?

Captain! :iconomgsocuteplz:
The Cold Throne by Acaciathorn



3. Laquelle des deviation de ta gallerie est la plus favée ?

Katara: Water Dancer by Acaciathorn


4. À ton avis, quelle est la plus sous-évaluée de tes deviations, qui selon toi mériterait qu'on lui accorde plus d’intérêt?

Ummm...super difficile....heu....et bien...cette deviation, peut-être?
The Soul of Suzuhashi Yumi by Acaciathorn


5. Quel est ton projet principal en ce moment?
Je dois faire les récompenses pour mes bienfaiteurs sur PATREON.com.

6. Quelle est la dernière deviation à avoir rejoint tes favoris? Pourquoi l'avoir favée?

Lapislazuli steven universe-FANART :D by xdtopsu01
Parce que AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH :la:


TAG!
:iconcecileisabellekhal: :iconlowenael: :iconiksumi: :iconheliossa:




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Free Sketch Winner + Patreon Info

Journal Entry: Tue Jul 14, 2015, 1:45 PM



Yes...yessss...come closer...



Now that I've lured you in with the promise of free art, I have you right where I want you! :evillaugh:

BEHOLD



I have a PATREON! :#1:



What is Patreon?
The short version: "Wow, I like your work. Here's some money".
The long version: Patreon is a way for artists to earn cash directly from their fans. In exchange for a monthly pledge, patrons receive special access to content that is not released elsewhere on the web. It's a mutually beneficial relationship - artists receive much-needed financial support, and patrons get to enjoy their rewards while feeling all warm and fuzzy inside.

What this means for my watchers:
My drawings will continue to be freely available on deviantArt and tumblr, just as they always have been. Patrons will receive bonus content, including behind-the-scenes info on how I create my artwork. Details on pledge amounts and the corresponding rewards are listed on my Patreon page. Patrons take precedence when commissions slots open up, and most months there will be an option to vote for what fanart I should draw.

Where does the money go?
☆ Food
☆ College loans
☆ My ridiculously expensive medication
Any leftover funds will go toward buying better art equipment and producing more drawings for all of you ♡


Can't afford to donate? No worries! I don't expect to make bank with this arrangement, but doppelgangergrl suggested that I give it a try, so I figured eh, why the hell not. Who knows? Maybe I'll end up with grocery money at the end of every month :D

☆☆☆


Right. Where were we? Oh yes, the free sketch. Want me to draw your OC? Comment on this journal and provide 1) a description of your character (name, age, sex, personality, history etc.) and 2) reference pics of him/her. I will do a halfbody sketch of whichever OC strikes my fancy!

Examples of past free sketches:
Kura Kajitsu by Acaciathorn CURSeD by Acaciathorn Sir Gwen by Acaciathorn

Submissions will close in a week. I look forward to reading about your chars :la:


THE WINNER IS Chronorin! I won't be able to start on the sketch for a few more days, though ^^;



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Frequently Asked Questions - 2018

Journal Entry: Fri Jul 10, 2015, 12:03 PM



:tea:  What should I call you? Give me a name, woman!  
I respond to “Mara”, “Acacia”, “Acaciathorn”, and “you there!” I also salivate whenever someone rings a bell.

:tea:  How did you learn to draw?
Osmosis. I printed out my favorite pictures from the internet, then repeatedly banged my head against them until the relevant knowledge seeped into my brain. In other words, self-taught.

:tea:  Help! I’m trapped in a dungeon, and I can’t escape unless you tell me which tools you use to create your art. Only the truth shall set me free!
Opencanvas 4.5 for lineart; Adobe Photoshop CC for coloring. My tablet is an ancient slab of stone from the early 2000s. Good luck with your escape, my friend.

:tea:  How long does it take you to finish a drawing?
Depends. Sometimes, I manage to complete a piece within a couple of hours. Other times, whole empires rise and fall in the time it takes me to get my ass in gear. And I do mean that literally. I have an actual gear on my ass which controls my speed settings.

:tea:  Do you take requests? Will you fuel my delusions of grandeur by giving me free shit?
No. I do, however, occasionally hold free art raffles for my watchers. This is because I love you and value our friendship.  

:tea:  How about commissions, then?
I’m chronically ill, so my commission work is sporadic. To check availability, vigorously shake the nearest 8-ball, then send me a note.

:tea:  Let us partake in the joys of artistic camaraderie by doing an art trade or collab!
Tell me what you have in mind. I will forward the request to my muse, and together we can await her decision.

:tea:  I want you to draw my characters…DOING THE DO :hump:
Sorry friend, but porno is a no-no. Too many fluids and weird angles involved. I love drawing romantic crap though, so couples art is always welcome.   

:tea:  I would like to stalk you more extensively. What are some of your internet haunts?
FACEBOOK
  ★  ART TUMBLR  ★ EMBARRASSING TUMBLR  ★ JN TUMBLR  ★ PIXIV  ART INSTAGRAM  ★  STAR WARS INSTAGRAM  ★  FANFICTION.NET

:tea:  Oh dear. I have all this money, and nothing to spend it on. Whatever shall I do?
Today is your lucky day! I just so happen to have a Patreon 
Patreon (2017, round) Icon ultramini by linux-rulesaccount, and I would be happy to take some of that pesky cash off your hands.

:tea:  Life is a bleak and purposeless endeavor - all the comedy and tragedy of the ages is just a farce played out upon the stage of an unseeing cosmos.

I agree. Would you like some tea?






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I'm sick, and I'm never getting better

Journal Entry: Wed Jul 8, 2015, 6:17 AM



It's been nearly a year since I was diagnosed with IBD, and over three years since I first started showing symptoms. It's a day-in, day-out, unending war of attrition, as my body attacks its own digestive system over and over again. Flare-ups, remissions, buckets full of medication, and constant low-level pain that never, ever goes away. It's exhausting. Even on good days, on the days when it barely hurts at all, it's still there in the back of my mind. It's like sharing a room with a monster that periodically mauls you and then crawls back under your bed. Even when it's not hurting you directly, you know it's there with you, in your space. You can hear it, breathing, under the mattress...you can see it on the very edge of your peripheral vision. You never know when it's going to attack, only that it will. It's fucking refined psychological torture, and there's nothing I can do about it.

I don't really have a life anymore. They replaced me at my job (chronically ill people don't make great employees, as it turns out). Everything I had planned for my 20s has gone out the window. I'm 26 years old, and I'm completely dependent on my parents.  My friends care about me and want to support me, of course, but most of them have NO idea what it's like to exist like this. This disease removes words from your vocabulary. For me, the one that leaps to mind is spontaneity. I don't get to have spontaneity anymore. If I leave home, I have to plan: how much medication will I need? Will I be able to find food that fits within the parameters of my crazy special diet? How can I conceal the most embarrassing aspects of my disease? What happens if I have a flare-up while I'm on the road?

I never get a break. And let me tell you, over time, the little things really start to pile up. Little things like not being able to wear my favorite skirt because my abdomen is so sensitive that I can't tolerate waistbands, or being too tired to go outside and watch the hummingbirds at the feeder. Little things like seeing facebook pictures of old college friends traveling around Europe, or having to scroll past the telephone numbers to half a dozen doctors every time I want to call someone. When you have a debilitating chronic disease, it whittles away at who you are, bit by bit, until that's all you are. You are your illness. You have to fight, tooth and nail, just to maintain your sense of self. And so you lie, or you hide yourself away, or you act extra zany and energetic when you socialize, because you want your friends to remember you the way you were, not the way you are. You play the long con, because being honest is just too fucking devastating.

The worst part is waking up. When I'm asleep, I forget that I'm sick, and I forget about my laundry list of new limitations. But there's always that moment, every single morning, when I remember. I remember that I have an incurable autoimmune disease, and that without some sort of amazing medical breakthrough, I will never get better. I hate that moment of realization with every fiber of my being. I just want to forget. I just want to pretend that it's not happening. I do everything in my power to extinguish my self-awareness - I marathon tv shows, play hours of video games, draw pictures, read book after book - but, in the end, it's useless. I can't get away. I'm stuck in this sadistic meat prison until the day that I keel over and die.

And I am so fucking sick of the bullshit people spew when they're trying to be "helpful". Stuff like, "oh, well you don't look sick!" or "my friend so-and-so had health problems for years, but then she tried _____ and was cured! You should try that!" or my personal favorite "you just need to think more positively and get out more!" People don't understand. There is nothing positive about this. There is no reason for it, nothing to be gained or understood. It's the casual cruelty of an indifferent universe, visited upon me and others like me because I guess our lotto numbers were up or something. Fuck if I know. All I know is, this has not made me a better person. It's made me bitter, and it's made me self-pitying, and it's made me jealous. I resent my own misfortune and envy the good health and carefree attitudes of others. I can't be happy for people in the same way that I used to be. I see their successes, and instead of cheering them on, I caustically think, "Must be nice".

I had such big dreams for myself. Watching them come crashing down through no fault of my own has been one of the most profoundly disillusioning experiences of my life. I've sunk into a pool of nihilism and now I'm just sort of there, drifting on the water, wondering if there's any point in swimming to shore. How do you carry on in the absence of hope for improvement? It's not that I'm fatally depressed or anything - I still laugh at funny crap on the internet. I still get angry about injustice. I still get pumped up over fandom shit. But my ability to daydream, my ability to get lost in fantasies about my own future...that's gone. My world has grown so much smaller, and my what-ifs have become so much duller. Imagination is a treasure, and mine has lost the luster of possibility.

All my days have darkened, and these are some of the darkest.



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  • Listening to: Cognitive Dissonance Podcast
  • Watching: Cold Case
  • Drinking: water

Otoyomegatari [A Bride's Story]

Journal Entry: Thu Jun 18, 2015, 12:13 PM



I've been really, really, REALLY sick lately, and the only thing getting me through is the amazing new manga I found.

It's called Otoyomegatari, and it's set along the Silk Road in rural Central Asia during the 1800s. The story primarily revolves around a young nomadic horsewoman, Amira, who arrives from a distant village to marry Karluk, a boy eight years her junior. Complications arise when Amira's brothers return from over the mountains and demand their sister back (due to circumstances that I won't spoil here), and a conflict breaks out between the members of her birth family and the members of her husband's family. Meanwhile, problems are brewing in the north, and political tensions cast a shadow over everyone and everything. War may be inevitable, but in the meantime, life goes on. Wedding ceremonies come and go, feasts and celebrations pass, caravans travel back and forth along the Silk Road. Promises are made, petty squabbles are resolved, livestock are herded to fertile pastures, and children get themselves into trouble. It's an idyllic, unchanging pastoral life, with all its simple joys and tribulations.

I am CRAZY about this manga. It reminds me a little of Red River, but with a far greater air of historical authenticity. Local customs and ancient beliefs factor heavily into the narrative, meaning that things like alliance-through-wedlock, child marriages, inter-tribal warfare, etc. are all "normal" in the eyes of the characters. I adore the contrast between the traditions of the time, which are often so alien to the modern reader, and the simple, day-to-day interactions between family and friends, which are so familiar. Amira is an immensely likeable main character (what an adorable badass!), and her husband is an absolute sweetheart. Their relationship is both tragic and endearing, because they've both been maneuvered into this marriage by their elders, and yet they genuinely do care about one another. Even though they cannot be together like real spouses because of their age difference, their bond is both evident and, well, surprisingly touching.

My absolutely FAVORITE character is Mr. Smith, a British anthropologist traveling along the Silk Road, who stays with Amira and Karluk for a time. He's constantly asking awkward questions and jotting down notes, always with curiosity, and never with a judgmental air. As he travels toward Ankara in Turkey, he acts like a string, linking together the various parts of the plot. Through him, the reader gets to meet a variety of different characters from disparate cultures and see snippets of their lives and loves. 

Anyway, I can't wait for the next chapter to come out. Damn ongoing manga, why can't it be finished already? I need more! :shakefist:

otoyomegatari_zpsmrna00vp.jpg

Oh, and I should mention... the artwork is amazing. So much detail is put into the clothing, tapestries, architecture, and other scenery.  The people in the story hugely value embroidery and woodwork and other crafts, and its importance in their culture is echoed in the artwork. Every page is a feast for the eyes.


A+, definitely recommended! :#1:



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  • Reading: Otoyomegatari
  • Watching: Cold Case
  • Eating: jell-o

Any Dragon Age fans?

Journal Entry: Mon Apr 13, 2015, 7:14 PM



I'm about 20 hours into Dragon Age: Inquisition...really enjoying it so far. Any other fans of the DA franchise? Love to hear about your characters/playing experiences!

My Herald is a Dalish elven mage named Tsarra...here she is:







I just finished up Act 1. I recruited the mages (I figured the templars would never trust me), and Dorian is totally my fave, cause he's fucking hilarious. Romance-wise, I can't quite decide whether to go for Cullen or Josephine. I mean, Cullen is adorkable, but Josephine fascinates me. Her whole "soft power" thing is really, really hot...but then again, I love military commander types... Can't pick ^^;

I wish Varric was an option. Why are there no romanceable dwarves in DA?



Flashback to Dragon Age 2, and here's my rogue Isadora Hawke:







Sassy Hawke :heart: Forever. Hit it and quit it with Isabela, then went for Fenris for keeps ;P I know this game has a bad rep, but I absolutely loved the characters, so I'm glad I played.


Aaaand last but not least, my mage Warden Carmine Amell from Dragon Age Origins:



Wynne was my absolute favorite character in this game. What a wonderful woman :heart: Adored Alistair but could not be with him in the end...alas... goddamn royal blood :shakefist:



Feel free to share your stories!



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  • Listening to: Cognitive Dissonance
  • Reading: The Shadow Throne
  • Playing: DAI
  • Eating: Skittles

Star Wars Feature

Journal Entry: Tue Mar 31, 2015, 7:53 PM



After 7 goddang glorious months of playing Edge of the Empire with my RP group, our campaign is finally coming to a close. To celebrate, here's a Star Wars art feature! Most of it is expanded universe crap ^_^

Star Wars: EotE - Mirax Terrik-Horn by AnthonyFoti
Mirax Terrik-Horn by AnthonyFoti
My favorite character from the X-Wing novels! :heart:

Selonian Amazon by JakeMurray
Selonian Amazon by JakeMurray

Sith portrait by SaraForlenza
Sith portrait by SaraForlenza

You're Dead by BenWootten
You're Dead by BenWootten

Battle of Tingel Deepspace Besh by wraithdt
Battle of Tingel Deepspace Besh by wraithdt

Jedi Fanart by DevBurmak
Jedi Fanart by Burmak

Star Wars Galaxies TCG - Rebel Patrol by Kaiz0
Rebel Patrol by Kaiz0

:bigthumb435664891:
Salacious B. Crumb by christopherburdett

:bigthumb465578241:
X-Wing by pixelherder

Blood Ties 1 by chrisscalf
Blood Ties by chrisscalf

Perfectly safe for droids by ornicar
Perfectly Safe for Droids by ornicar

SWGTCG: Hose Down by ukitakumuki
Hose Down by ukitakumuki

Star Wars: Asajj Ventress by TereseNielsen
Asajj Ventress by TereseNielsen

more star wars by chinko724
Star Wars by chinko724

Moco - SWtOR commission by CorbinHunter
Moco by CorbinHunter



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  • Watching: Once Upon A Time
  • Drinking: green tea

A Stunning Amount of Time Wasted on Anime

Journal Entry: Tue Feb 10, 2015, 1:06 AM



Have you ever sat back and really thought about how much time you've spent watching TV? I did that today...and shit, son, it's a LOT :XD: So here you have it. Every single anime series that I've watched over the past 10 years.

Total time commitment? Counting rewatches, it comes out to just over 34 DAYS. That's right, people - I spent a solid MONTH watching anime :o And that's not including OVAs, feature films, and series that I started and then gave up on*.

Here's the full damage:

INUYASHA

The very first anime I ever watched. I used to stay up until like 1am to catch it on adult swim (in secret, of course...back then my mom thought everything was "the devil", so naturally a show about magic and demons was a no-go).

TRIGUN

Back in high school, odette-blue and I marathoned this in one looooong-ass sitting - as I recall, we started in the morning and didn't finish until 2:45am. I hallucinated pretty strongly while sleeping that night ^^;

NOIR

Another series that I watched with odette-blue back in the day. Don't remember much about this one, other than the fact that it had the coolest opening ever.

ONE PIECE

My favorite anime for many, many years - and the primary contributor to the 34 day tally. I watched somewhere on the order of 450 episodes before I finally threw in the towel and decided to wait for series completion to watch the rest. Still waiting...

FRUITS BASKET

My little cousin kyosgirl11 was obsessed with this manga when she was younger, so naturally we watched the anime together. She still has her Kyo cat pajamas, all these years later...I wore them recently while visiting her house. Go figure

CHOBITS

odette-blue gave me this one too. Kind of a WTF experience, looking back on it :o

OURAN HIGH SCHOOL HOST CLUB

I don't think I really appreciated this series enough the first time I saw it. I need to watch it again at some point.

COWBOY BEBOP

Another series that I marathoned with odette-blue. Made me want to get a Corgi. :XD:

EUREKA SEVEN

Great show. Hated the ending.

FULL METAL PANIC

Saw this in college with my buddy Aeyamar - although we skipped some episodes, as I recall. Mostly I just remember loving every word that left Sosuke's crazy, extremely attractive mouth :XD:

DEATH NOTE

*insert potato chip joke*

IRRESPONSIBLE CAPTAIN TYLOR

An oddball series with a SUPREME crowning moment of awesome for the main character.

VANDREAD

Aeyamar liked this one a lot more than I did. Dita was cute though :hug:

ERGO PROXY

Remember that time Amy Lee got made into an anime character? Yeah, that was awesome. I have NO fucking idea what this show was about, but Vincent's eye-reveal scene still blows my goddamn mind.

PLANÈTES

An impressively believable hard-scifi series that I screened together with Aeyamar. Definitely worth checking out.

NOW AND THEN, HERE AND THERE

This motherfucker broke me. What a profoundly disturbing, heart-rending, unforgettable story. Once you've seen it, it'll never stop haunting you.

BLACK LAGOON

Pretty sure this one holds the record for most f-bombs dropped in a single season. Also Revy is a mega-babe :heart: Aeyamar didn't like this one quite as much as me.

THE MELANCHOLY OF HARUHI SUZUMIYA

*Hare Hare Yukai dance*

CODE GEASS

Another series that Aeyamar and I watched together. Lelouch, you poor bastard.

TENGEN TOPPA GURREN LAGANN

WHO THE HELL DO YOU THINK I AM??

SEREI NO MORIBITO

An unusual series with a lot going for it, including a fantastic mother-son type relationship between a battle-hardened spearwoman and an imperiled young royal. I just wish the supernatural elements had been better explained.

CANAAN

I remember...nothing about this series.

SAMURAI CHAMPLOO

Damn, I watched a lot of crap with Aeyamar. I love the opening artwork with a passion :heart:

SOUL EATER

Saw this with my cousin Jordan, then again with my mom's boyfriend. Fucking love it :headbang:

DURARARA

BOSS opening and ending themes. Celty is my homegirl.

KAICHOU WA MAID-SAMA

Watched this one on fledermauskid's recommendation. Usui is a trolling GOD

PRINCESS JELLYFISH

I cannot fathom why this only got 11 episodes :( It's so damn precious.

DANGAN RONPA

Murder. Intrigue. Psychotic teddy bears. And pink blood, bitch :iconichaincameplz:

TONARI NO KAIBUTSU-KUN

This damn thing had me in stitches. A romantic comedy starring a cold, does-not-give-a-shit workaholic and a socially retarded psycho? YES PLZ. Too bad it just...cuts off on episode 13. Now I need to read the manga

MIRAI NIKKI

High-caliber nightmare fuel, featuring blood-soaked, sloppy, under-age makeouts. Oh, and murder. Lots of that.

DENNOU COIL

This anime is criminally underrated. I reviewed it here. For the love of all that is holy, please watch it.

FREE!

What kind of self-respecting tumblr addict would I be if I hadn't seen this beautiful, perfect piece of shit? A+, 10/10, and you should check out the abridged series.

THE WALLFLOWER

A comedy about a horror-obsessed girl who believes she's irredeemably ugly. The constant chibification got to be a little much, though.

ZANKYOU NO TERROR

The show that makes you root for terrorists :#1:

UTA NO PRINCE-SAMA

This was such an experience that I had to liveblog it.

SWORD ART ONLINE

Well, I liked the first half of the episodes...Kirito and Asuna make an incredible team.

FULLMETAL ALCHEMIST: BROTHERHOOD

Watched this on PaladinPhantom's recommendation. I don't need to tell you guys what a priceless gem it is.

SHINGEKI NO KYOJIN

When the hell is season 2 coming out?

PUELLA MAGI MADOKA MAGICA

Saw this with odette-blue recently. Visually distinctive and compelling, but it wasn't really my thing.

KYOUKAI NO KANATA

Super moe bloodbender :iconlovelyplz:

NORAGAMI

Surprisingly good for a 12-episoder. It helps that Kazuma is such a babe.

MAGI

Titty fanservice aside, this is one of the greatest series I've seen in years. It has everything that I love in a story: adventure, awesome fight scenes, magic and wonder, a great mythology, intense friendshippu~, dark vs. light, and nuanced characters with inspiring strengths and relatable flaws. It reminds me of One Piece a tiny bit, except more metaphysical in tone (and with an Arabian feel, obviously).



....And that's it. I think. I have an excellent memory, but I may have forgotten one or two.

If you managed to make it all the way through this list, what about you? What anime series have you watched? Got any recommendations for me?

*Series where I watched ~10 episodes, but didn't finish: Vision of Escaflowne, Blue Gender, Baka 'n Test, & Terra E. If you count these, it adds an extra day to the tally.




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  • Listening to: The Imaginary Friends Show
  • Reading: Dodger by Terry Pratchett
  • Watching: Magi
  • Playing: The Sims 3
  • Eating: raspberry dark chocolate

Poems, Poems on the Range

Journal Entry: Tue Jan 6, 2015, 10:35 AM



Well, it's been quite a long time since my last Poetry Journal - it's high time we did another one, don't you think? Off we go~


THE END OF INNOCENCE

As a child I laid and stared
At the ceiling's texture late at night
And marveled at the pageant there
When seen in imagination's light.

Obelisks from an alien world
Framed cityscapes devoid of life
Where grinning masks of feral girls
Peered with eyes bereft of sight.

Fantasies of magical powers
And who I might aspire to be
Sufficed to while away the hours
In the thrall of possibility.

But now that I am fully grown
There's a smaller space in which I dwell,
Where the limit of my reach is known
And all delusions have been dispelled.

In what I am I'm closed up tight;
I look out from this cage despairing;
I gaze above my head at night
And only see what needs repairing.

-Alfred DeMaris


INVITATION TO THE DANCE

A child and her
partner the mantis
held out to each other
their wonderful terrible hands.

-L.G. Mason


JEALOUSY

At first, a salamander without teeth,
you bask on sunlit windowsills of thought,
inhaling heat with every harmless breath
until your color risks your being caught.

You cloak yourself by turning off your light,
by wearning onyx shades in which you hide.
You grow into a dragon born of night.
Oh, fierce Komodo slithering in pride,

my words become the teeth and poisoned flames,
searing fur of unsuspecting prey,
and cruelly intending just to maim,
to bite and tear the human heart away.

Shrewd salamander, soft and pink and small,
you are a snarling monster after all.

-Barbara Scott


UNTITLED

A stumble of the tongue
The breaking of a heart -
Remember how, when we were young
We swore we'd never part?


The parting of the ways,
This distant in our thought.
In the reckoning of days
We'll wonder why we fought.

-Richard Olson


AFTER THE CANOE

You had of late a clever phone
As clever a phone as one could own,
it answered at your every whim -
except, alas, it could not swim.

-David Byron Jones


COCKTAIL PARTY

Babble of Babylon, chittering chattering,
Sibilant whispers, thissering thattering,
Guttural gargles and hesitant hissing,
Scurrilous songs with melody missing.

Tongues are untied by liquefied lubricant,
Consonants slurred but joyfully jubilant.
The noise rises up to a perilous pitch,
With one solo voice: "You son of a bitch!"

-Robert K. Johnston


KISS AND TELL

A gentleman will never kiss and tell
What he has done with whom, or how or when,
How long ago it happened, how much gin
Was had by each of them, or how compelled
He was by it to wish his lady well;
A gentleman will never try to spin
Tales of his trysts; when asked, he'll only grin,
And vow to keep the standing of his belle.
This will allow them both all due decorum
In their daily lives, since it is sweet
(Or so they say) when lovers are discreet
And find no need to air their loves before 'em.
A gentleman, having thought hard upon it,
Could very well sit down and write a sonnet.

-Jordi Alonso


BLUE HORSE - A PAINTING BY FRANZ MARC

He fills the eye. He dominates this land
Of yellow, green, magenta, purple, blue.
He wears a pensive look, but seems to stand
Well-braced, alert, perhaps as if he knew
That I was watching him. I fear that he
Will gallop off over the vivid hill
Leaving an empty space on the red-green lea.
He stays with me, somewhat against his will.
A horse of blue is certainly no earthly horse.
A god, I think who took this handsome mold
To flaunt his strength and grace; to be a source
For adulation. Nature's spirit free and bold.

In ages past, in smoky cave and dim
I knew him on a wall and worshiped him.

-Bruce Sams


BIBBIDI-BOBBIDI-BOO-BOO

Oh drat, that wand is busted!
Though Fairy Inc. endorses
them, new ones can't be trusted
for changing mice to horses.
My dear, don't look so tragic:
the mouse-to-horse solution
resides in evolution,
A slower form of magic.

-Robert K. Meyer II



Feel free to share some of your favorites! :#1:



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  • Listening to: The Infinite Monkey Cage podcast
  • Reading: Republic of Thieves by Scott Lynch
  • Watching: Marco Polo
  • Playing: The Sims 3
  • Drinking: Green Tea