rachg82: (personal slogan)
People have been commenting about my lack of an "About Me" post for a while, so I thought I'd finally create one. Just in time for everyone to abort ship in favor of twitter and tumblr! They'll have to drag me out of here kicking & screaming, though. After more than fourteen(!) years, I'm comfy here, damn't. All About Rachael )
rachg82: (baltar six operahouse)
I thought it was time to create a master list for my fics, so here's where I do that. These will be separated by show & listed in the order in which they were written:


One Eye Pointed Upwards

Sunlight on a Broken Column

The Candle in His Hand

Leaves Got Up in a Coil and Hissed


Doing Time


Cradle and All

Battlestar Galactica:

Bend Down and Whisper

The X-Files:


Three Wishes

Shouting Into a Hurricane

Lift Your Head Up in the Wind
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It's been a long time since I posted, and even longer since I shared any type of creative writing with you guys (I think like half a year?), but I recently completed a poem about my stepbrother, and I'd like to make it public as I have with most of my other poems/fics. I would promise to be back soon with an update about other life happenings, but all I can say is that between grief and the fact that my disability case is being reviewed (and thus could be abruptly taken away), I am pretty well off my game. So I may be back quickly or I may go another month. I have no idea. I will try to make it sooner rather than later though.

Can't you see? This boat is sinking )
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For anyone observant enough to notice my mood status, the reason I'm currently sore is because I had the super-duper-fun experience of having one of my big toenails removed yesterday. (Sorry. TMI, I know. But if I had to go through it, I'm taking the whole world down with me.) Turns out it was indeed infected again, and as it wasn't clearing up with antibiotics, and as the nail was still stubbornly ingrown on both sides, they decided to just take the sucker out. Again. I handled the actual procedure like a pro, but the level of pain since then has been awful -- much worse than when they only removed part of the nail last time, and much, much worse than what the internet tells you to expect (what they should say is, "Just imagine your foot somehow caught on fire, and then afterward tiny gnomes came by with little daggers & stabbed the shit out of it"). They did give me something for it, and the pain is a lot better than it was last night, but it still hurts, and overall this whole mess is making me feel very, very sorry for myself.

Anyway. That's not why I wanted to post today. I've been meaning to talk about TV stuff forever, and I figure now's as good a time as any:

-First up, The X-Files. I heard the news this week about it returning for a 10-episode run, and my reaction was (and still is), "Uhhhhh…shit. I mean yay, right? Yay. Kind of." So a qualified yay, I suppose. It's a stark contrast to how I felt before the revival though. There were a couple episodes from that which I enjoyed, and it did inspire me to write two new fics, but those final two episodes were truly terrible (the conspiracy retcon made zero sense, the islamophobia was embarrassing, and how the fuck was Cancer Man still alive?! God damn't, Carter). So while I'm always down to see Mulder & Scully again (especially if it inspires new fic from my blocked muse, and especially-especially if we get any decent shipper scenes), I am already cringing at what Carter might do next. Give me some time though, because I'm sure as it gets closer, I will become more excited again (totally against my better judgment at this point, heh).

Prayer circle that we get to see Gillian's real hair this time though. Good God, that wig -- Jesus, take the wheel!

-Moving on, I am simultaneously totally psyched and ridiculously sad over the fact that Bates Motel is ending on Monday. When I thought about it last week, I actually surprised myself by shedding a tear, haha. I never even got into the fandom or anything (though I still really want to try writing a fic at some point), and I only discovered the show last summer, so it's kind of absurd to be all woebegone about its departure, but maybe that's kind of the point. I wish I'd had more time with it. Of course I can still rewatch it whenever I want, thanks to Netflix, but it's not the same as looking forward to new episodes. I will miss Vera killing me dead every week, and I will miss the campy craziness, and I will miss going down spectacularly with my ship. This show has given me so much happiness over the last few months especially, when I really needed it, and I will probably cry again when it's over.

-Next up, Six Feet Under, which took me well over a year to finish because I had to take a break from it for a while (the subject matter was too triggering for me while I was still depressed & already thinking of death enough as it was), but I'm glad I went back to it once that was no longer the case. Overall, the show started out good and finished off great. Not only did it have possibly the best series finale I've ever seen (its reputation for that is worth the hype -- it really is beautiful), but in general it got stronger as it went along, right up to the end. That's a rare feat. Most shows that get better & better still eventually reach a point where they begin declining again in some way. But Six Feet Under went out on top. I'm sure part of that is because they aired on cable, so not only did they have greater artistic liberty, but it also meant each season was shorter, so while it technically ended after five seasons, that really put it only in the third season of your average broadcast program. If The X-Files for instance had ended in its third season, it would've gone out on top too, though I doubt Carter's ability to write a decent finale at this point. Regardless, there's still something to be said for knowing when to wrap up a story vs. dragging it out forever. (*cough*Bones*cough*) So even though I didn't *want* it to end when it did, I admire their restraint in letting it bow out gracefully.

In the end, it actually turned out to be quite life-affirming for me too, which I didn't expect. And while it took me a while to warm up to the characters, I definitely care about them now. I still can't decide who's my favorite though. I think I relate the most to David, but Ruth is kind of amazing. So that's a toss-up.

-I tried getting into House of Cards, but I kept zoning out while trying to follow its dialogue & plot. I could not for the life of me keep track of what the hell was actually happening. Like, "Okay, so he's up to some political shenanigans because…why? Fuck if I know. Is this over yet?" So after a few episodes I gave up. I might give it another chance in the future, because maybe at a later date I'll be less distracted & able to get engaged by it, but for now it's not for me.

-Another show I'm debating giving up is Homeland. I'm only one season in, and I only vaguely care about what happens next. I could really take it or leave it. And since this is supposed to be when the show was at its best (right?), I don't think that's a good sign. Also, their portrayal of mania was laughably bad. Like BAD, BAD. So they lost a lot of points from me there.

Oh, and while I'm not sure if this is a popular opinion or not: Brody can suck it. Just saying.

-I also started Masters of Sex recently, and so far it's promising. Especially the chemistry between the leads. Very shippable, and very sexy. Since I'm not even a full season in though, I can't say much else.

-Finally, I binged 13 Reasons Why in two days this week, and while I was nitpicking it for a while at first (I think I perversely wanted to not like it since everyone else seems to love it, ha), by the end I had to grudgingly admit it was a good show. I won't say anything to spoil anyone, but I will say that I wish I had kept my eyes closed during the flashback scene of her in the tub. That kind of shit is still too much for me.

Wrapping this up, here's a tribute vid to Six Feet Under by one of my favorite vidders. There aren't really any spoilers -- it just gives you a taste.

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I got six months clean this week from all non-prescribed, mind-altering substances (and from abusing any prescribed ones, which was perhaps even more difficult), and my sponsor surprised me with flowers again to celebrate. It was kind of funny, because she gave them to me at a meeting for queer women, so I got a few "is that her girlfriend???"-type looks. But it definitely made the day more special. As pathetic as it may sound, she is actually the only person who has ever bought me flowers.

I also finished step 4 this week (cue chorus of Hallelujah), and I'm pretty proud of that because it wasn't easy. Writing down my resentments, fears, and relationship history (basically all the could have beens since I've never truly had one), and actually analyzing them, turned out to be super depressing & anxiety-inducing. And, ironically enough, pretty triggering as far as urges to use or self-harm go. But I got through it, and I'm ready to start processing its millions of pages of hot-messitude with my sponsor, starting next week.

Also, now that I have a bit of sobriety under my belt, I'm going to look into what they call "H&I", which is where you bring meetings to people who otherwise couldn't make it to them, such as treatment facilities & jails. I really appreciated the people who did that for us when I was in detox, and I'd like to do the same for others. After all, as they say all the time in recovery, you can only keep what you have by giving it away. (Slogans like that sound super fucking cheesy, I know, but they are true in my experience)

Anyway, moving on to some other RL stuff: Health stuff, family stuff, and general life-related stuff )

Last thing before I go: thanks to a $35 arts tax I had to pay this month (which I didn't know to expect, having always lived outside of Portland before), I only have $20 left until the end of the month. I'm pretty stressed about it, and I'm not sure what I'm gonna do, so I thought I would at least ask for help. Even $20 would be a big deal right now. So if you can help at all, even if it's less than 20, please just follow the donate link below (and thank you in advance!).

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Hello, people. I know I haven't posted in a while -- I just haven't felt like going to the trouble, especially because there are so few people left now to read it, let alone people who actually comment. But I finished a new poem, mainly inspired by the 5-year anniversary of my mom's death (this coming-up Monday), and I thought I might as well share it along with some quick highlights of what's been going on with me.

-I performed at a talent show at the Alano Club here in Portland this past Saturday, reading this poem, and got a great reaction. I even made one woman cry! (I probably shouldn't be so happy about that, haha) I feel proud of myself for doing it, because it took a lot of guts in my opinion, and it reaffirmed for me my dreams of becoming a published writer. So all in all it was a positive experience.

-I went to an orientation last week at the 13 Salmon Family Center (a day shelter for homeless families provided by Portland Homeless Family Solutions), and my first shift will be in April. They don't require a huge time commitment -- they just ask for volunteers to do at least one shift a month, which can be anytime. The two positions I'm interested in (I can go back & forth) are the afternoon host & the kid-time host, neither of which last more than 3 hours (which is important to me as I don't want to overwhelm myself). The duties are super simple, and mainly include hanging with the families, playing with the kids, and putting together snacks. I'm still a little nervous about it, though, but also excited. Portland has a huge homeless problem that's only gotten a million times worse over the last decade or so, largely thanks to the huge influx of people moving here from out-of-state, and I just want to do something to help. Plus, it will hopefully provide me with a greater sense of purpose, being unemployed & on disability myself, and maybe in the long run could provide a stepping stone to at least get back to doing part-time work.

-I have an appointment tomorrow with a weight loss program at my doctor's office. It's only an orientation though -- just a chance to talk about what the program has to offer, and what the costs would be. I'm still totally undecided as to whether I'll move forward with it, but I felt like it was worth my time to at least look into it. My last time on the scale was a rude awakening; I am literally more than double what I once was. It's not even about wanting to look skinny again though. I mean, yes, I would like that to happen, but mainly I'm just tired of being tired. I feel so heavy, like I'm dragging around another person with me everywhere I go, and in a sense I guess I am. So I'm curious what they would have to say, especially in light of the fact that some of my meds are probably exacerbating the problem (both the fatigue & being hungry all the time). I'm not really at a place where I'm ready to change those meds yet, but I'd like to know if they have strategies I could use to fight those side-effects until I am ready.

-As I said above, it will be the 5th anniversary of my mom's death on 3/27. My emotions have been pretty volatile for most of this month, and I've been left feeling very drained & raw. It's hard to even write about it, honestly. I just feel like I'm constantly reliving that devastating day, and so it's been a challenge at times to stay grounded. I had a ridiculous meltdown over nothing yesterday, and while talking about it later my counselor was like, "Do you think it could be that you're just deeply sad?" And it was like, well, considering how much my heart physically hurts right now, I'd say probably yeah. It sucks.

Part of what's been making it hard is the fact that it's been FIVE YEARS. It just feels like some messed-up milestone--half a decade without her existing anywhere on this whole planet--and it's so depressing. I can usually get myself to feel some peace around her passing now by remembering she's no longer struggling, but right now I just feel like the most stubborn of shit. It's a little scary, too, because it's only the second anniversary I've actually gone through since her death without the use of Klonopin. So even though the emotions might be totally normal, they FEEL super intense. But I'm handling it, and I haven't used or self-harmed, so I'm calling that a win.

-I was going to write about TV too (I finally finished Six Feet Under & have a lot of feels), but I think the above is enough for now. Lastly, here is the poem I wrote this week. It's not much, but it's the first creative thing I've completed in months, so I'll take it!

Before the Fall )
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So I realize there aren't really many people left here who probably even watch Bates Motel, let alone want to read my random thoughts about it, but I've been pretty okay, very obsessed with it these last few weeks, and I need somewhere to flail so I don't just start talking to myself about it on the streets or something.

We all go a little mad sometimes (spoilers through season 4) )

I'll leave you all with a Vid of the Day (remember when I used to do those?), which focuses on Alex & Norma. Enjoy!


Dec. 29th, 2016 01:20 pm
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I owe you guys a post about the holidays, but I have something else to share first. I haven't tapped into my creative side in months, and I decided this week to try to rectify that. It's pretty crappy (as far as I can tell), but it's still something, which is better than nothing. I could continue editing it to death, but in the past I've gotten some of my best feedback when I left things raw. So I'm posting this poem-ish thing as is, and hopefully it resonates with at least one of you. It's kind of dark, but that's because the holidays stirred up a lot of grief & anxiety for me. Ironically I'm feeling better today, but maybe that's because I expressed myself here. Yay for angst? Heh.

Pinpoints of light )
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I'm feeling disappointed today, because my migraines have been kicking my ass for the past three days (ever since I got out of treatment, though I'm not sure if the two are connected -- maybe the stress of coming home & being alone again is getting to me? I don't know. They have been getting better later in the day, which is not how the bad ones normally go; enough to where I've been able to attend meetings in the evenings & connect with people, but that's not the same as being surrounded by supportive friends all day long & feeling sheltered in a safe environment. I feel lonely now in comparison, yearning just for someone to even watch TV with me, and I would call someone, but talking hurts when I'm trying to recover from a bad migraine, and the people I met in treatment who understand chronic pain are still patients there, meaning I'm not allowed to contact them yet. All that said, it might also just be hormones, because it is that time of the month, and the weather changing doesn't help either), and I really want to write or vlog about my experiences in detox but I just don't feel up to it (too much thinking -- focusing is hard when I'm in pain), which is frustrating & hard to deal with as well (not being able to do what I want due to migraines is one of my triggers, especially when it goes on & on for days. It makes me feel so trapped & powerless, which only leads to me feeling like beating my head against a wall, self-harming, or using. On top of that, my migraines were so much better while I was in the hospital--I was taking half as much excedrin as usual, which I ascribed in part to them increasing both my propanolol & verapamil--so even if this flare-up is temporary, it still feels like a big let-down that they're worse again right now). I also wanted to go see my sister & the kids tonight, and despite the fact that the migraine has at least improved to tolerable levels, I know I will only worsen it if I go over there. I am going to try to take a short walk in a minute, but anything beyond that would likely be too much. So I'm pretty much stuck here doing a whole lot of nothing for the time being, and I have to just accept that & try to make the best of it. I'm planning to Netflix & chill, but unfortunately only the literal version. I got into The Tudors there, and I've also been sucked into Stranger Things, so I'll probably spend the rest of my day jumping back & forth between both.

Complaining aside, though, I do at least feel up to sharing the poem I wrote while in the hospital (well, the rough draft anyway. I don't have a copy of the final draft, but I'll try to remember how it went). Among the people I befriended, there was a woman who encouraged me to try writing again, and her situation inspired me enough to break free of the writer's block I've been experiencing for the better part of a year. As background info for the topic: she lost her twin brother to suicide, and that stuffed grief/loss-of-identity-as-a-twin seemed to me to be a huge part of what drove her to drink. The purple skies are a reference to an experience she had doing music therapy & using visual imagery for meditation, and the title is a reference to a dream she had once (leading her to think of cranes as her spirit animals, which sounds cheesy to some of you, I know, but no judgment here as I personally think of black jaguars as mine for similar reasons). I felt very insecure after writing it, but it made her cry, and she--along with everyone else in the unit with whom she shared it--told me my writing was good enough to be published, and that bolstered my self-esteem quite a bit. She also wrote me a note afterward, which said:

"You are an absolute angel. Thank you for blessing me with your talented piece of writing. It is rare when one has eyes that can see deeply into the soul, and put words to it!"

She also left a quote at the bottom by Walt Whitman: "I am bigger than I thought. I did not know I held so much goodness."

So, yeah, it turned out to be a really special thing, because it clearly touched her (she told me she would save it for the rest of her life), and it made me feel so, so good as a result.

Anyway, here it is:

In the beginning... )
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I'm sorry for going AWOL on you guys for so long, but I've been going through a lot these past few weeks, and I spent the last nine days in medical detox/inpatient treatment where there was no internet access. I plan on posting an entry talking about that later (hopefully by tomorrow, if not today), but in the meantime I wanted to recognize my LJ's 14th anniversary, which took place on 9/12. 14 years is a hell of a long time, and some of you have been with me from the beginning, so I wanted to celebrate that by taking a look back. Usually I do this sort of thing with quotes, but this time I decided to mix things up by choosing subject headings from over the years which made me either laugh or at least smile. I've also included a few photos throughout to keep things visually interesting.

Here's to 14 years of friendship )
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I owe you guys a RL update, but I'm too drained right now to get into the hot mess that currently is my existence. Luckily, I have a shit-load of pictures to share, which involves zero emotional effort.

Saturday Market: Your ultimate source for bongs and bongos since 1973 )

And that's it! Except as a bonus treat, I also have this super short clip of an awesome dancer/boneless man:

P.S. Okay, one more vid -- only because it makes me laugh. "Portland's the town to find out that your spirit animal is a dad." Sounds about right. Also, I consider it a victory that I've managed to avoid white water rafting for 34 years. My dad tried to get me to go every summer, and I was like, "NOPE." Heh.

P.P.S. That thrift store was one of the three that rejected my clothes last week. Specifically, this was the place with the 1800s mustache chick (she was OWNING that mustache) who told me my collection wasn't "funky" enough. #foreverbitter
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I am always up for a time-wasting meme, so let me jump on this high-school-reminiscing bandwagon:

Join me in the wayback machine to the year 2000 )

Just for funsies, here's a shot of me & some of my junior class back in '99:

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It's only the beginning of April, yet the temperature has been hovering between 80 and 85 degrees here in Portlandia since yesterday. That's well over twenty degrees above average for this time of year. But climate change is a myth, y'all! Ugh. I have this mental image of me walking outside in twenty years & just bursting into flames. We'll probably all have to make our way around the city inside giant, UV-protected, air-conditioned hamster wheels.

Anyway, I have quite a bit of RL stuff piling up to cover, but I want to start my day out with something easier. So, wasting time with memes it is!

Days 17, 18, and 19 )

Next up, that musical meme I created. Six random-ass songs that start with the letter C )
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Title: Lift Your Head Up in the Wind
Fandom: The X-Files
Author: rachg82
Rating: PG-13
Characters/Pairings: Mulder/Scully
Word Count: roughly 2,649
Spoilers: I'd planned this fic before the revival happened, and it was my take on the spoilers I'd heard at the time. Then the new season came & went, and my writer's block stuck around. I decided in the end to leave my version of events unchanged by the episodes which aired, so I suppose in a way this could be construed as AU.
Summary: Finally, this is that sequel I promised way back in November for Shouting Into a Hurricane, though you could easily get away with reading it all by itself. It's basically a story of grief & love expressed in five acts.

Note: As with my previous stories, this ficlet's format is largely free-verse. Not to be obnoxiously ~different~, but because it's simply what comes most naturally for me. The cadence of how my words "sound" in the reader's mind is very important to me as a writer.

Warning: This piece does deal with a major character death (but not Mulder or Scully! Don't worry), and I'd like to dedicate it to the memory of my mother. The 4-year anniversary of her death just passed on Easter, and writing these words was a form of catharsis for me.

Seven times I went down; six times I walked back )
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I am still putting off a post about RL matters, but I promise I will try to update about all that soon. In the meantime, let's distract ourselves with a meme again, y/y?

Day 2 - 10 likes and dislikes )
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i love you because...
a february love meme
my thread here

I usually don't do these things, because I always feel weird about basically begging for other people's love, but then I realized by not doing it I'm kind of closing myself off to what my friends might have to say. So, spread the love! (Hmm, that sounds dirty)

My thread is here, btw. Also, I'm working on both another entry AND a sequel to my last fic, but it's a toss-up as to which will get posted sooner. I'll just leave y'all in suspense for now.
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I'm in the midst of writing an actual update, but in the meantime...

There are former LJers who would like to return, but their friends lists have been deserted.
Let's all welcome them back with open arms and show them that LJ is very much alive!
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Darling, don't you close your eyes )
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It's about that time again -- time to look back at 2015, say goodbye to all the memories, and attempt to gather from them some semblance of meaning. For my new friends, an explanation: this post will contain significant excerpts from entries I wrote or vlogged throughout the year, kinda like a wordy time capsule. LJ has put stricter limits on entry lengths though, so I had to split this one in two. Turns out I had a lot to say in 2015. (note: there'll be pictures as well)

Gathering these quotes together, I couldn't help but think to myself, "Goddamn, the last six years have been brutal. I'm still here though. How am I still here?" It's really kind of remarkable. I have to believe 2016 will be easier in SOME way. I have to believe it so I can keep putting one blind foot in front of the other in the meantime. I realize life is full of ups & downs, but seriously, I have had enough downs since 2010 to last a lifetime. Day after day after day. That being said, there were also some positive developments in 2015. Somewhere along the way, I decided to try to commit to living -- not just until a certain date, like I usually did in the past, but for good (until the universe decides to take me out, basically). That doesn't mean I don't still get suicidal, because I do, and sometimes it reaches dangerous levels, but I think it matters that I at least try to tell myself it's not an option anymore. As Dar Williams sings in "After All," "And when I chose to live, there was no joy -- it's just a line I crossed. I wasn't worth the pain my death would cost." So I try my best these days not to consciously let myself go down that road, thought-wise. The intrusive, compulsive thoughts & graphic mental images still come on their own, uninvited, of course, which sometimes makes me feel like I'm being stalked & attacked by my own brain (the black dog of depression, as Churchill once said. It bares its teeth & nips at my heels every chance it gets, waiting for vulnerable moments to drag me down with it to Hell), but I make a concerted effort to let those ugly thoughts & images simply pass by without me being taken along for the ride.

Similarly, I threw out everything in my home that was sharp this summer, and I've only self-harmed once since then. There was a time when I couldn't go two weeks without cutting. And while I became extremely isolated this year--in part because of not working or attending school, in part because of overwhelming changes in my mental health which I'm still struggling to find successful coping mechanisms for, & in part because my migraines worsened--I didn't get admitted to a psych ward even once (in comparison, I was admitted once in 2013 & *three times* in 2014), I survived a lot & did it while tapering down off a high dose of Klonopin (a highly-addictive anti-anxiety med for those of you not in the know). I did it while I was hallucinating from stress. I also went back to my roots & began to express myself creatively again, writing more fics & poems than during any previous year. I began listening to Al-Anon podcasts again, opening myself up more fully to what that program has to offer. I stopped missing so many psych appointments, enough to where even my counselor noticed it & remarked upon it. So there are some good things to be said here in retrospect.

On the other hand, this year was incredibly challenging. That's painfully clear, reading all this. After a while, I began to feel like life was trying its very hardest to chip away at me until there was nothing left. Every time I began to find my footing, the ground beneath me was swept away again. Today, I really don't know what to expect next. I keep thinking things can't get worse, and then they do. But I'm still here, and I'm just trying to focus on The Next Right Thing. Trying to let go & get out of my own way. Trying to act as if I have hope -- to act as if I can handle what's around the corner when I'm honestly not sure. I think at this point that's all I can ask of myself.

But enough of all that, and on with the path down memory lane!

Life will find a way )

August 2017

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