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A messy Celtic Cross [Nov. 26th, 2016|01:06 pm]
The Cynical Romantic
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[Current Mood |frustratedfrustrated]

First reading I"ve done since the election.

Yeah, so this is the first big reading I've done since the election and I'm not sure what the hell is going on here.

I will admit to not concentrating very much when I shuffled, since I've been generally awful at concentrating at all lately. I got distracted wondering about the news and if any Democrats will ever have the guts to just stand up and ask Paul Ryan why he wants people to die next time he tries to repeal the ACA. How that man manages to live with himself I will never understand.

Anyway, there's a couple of themes here that I'm not sure I understand. The microcross has two cards both in the watery feminine mysticism vein of things; the rest of the cross is mostly coins, representing solid financial and material matters. And then the pillar ends the spread with three swords in a row (uh-oh). So... yeah.

The cover card is the Queen of Cups, the Caring Woman. She suggests an opportunity to turn inward and examine your feelings about a matter. What matter, I’m not sure? Perhaps this spread is just about my emotional state generally. The crossing card is the Moon, which represents deep instinctual forces, self-deception, dreams, imagination—there’s actually quite a lot of overlap between the Moon’s keywords and the Queen of Cups’ keywords. The Moon warns of deceit and lies and suggests I am entering a period of “fluctuating moods and uncertainty during which you must confront unconscious forces in order to succeed.” So I guess the microcross here is about my self-awareness, self-knowledge, and self-care. The main question is caring and the moderating factors are self-deceit and other internal forces where I might trip myself up, and whether I’ll be able to get a hold of myself honestly.

The beneath card is the Six of Pentacles, Generosity, which represents getting what you deserve. This is a great card to have in future-oriented parts of a reading but here it is basically the backstory—I guess saying that I am coming from a place of having been treated fairly and where I have been generous or had other people be generous to me. This is probably fair enough but I’m not sure specifically what aspect of my life it pertains to.

The behind card is the Queen of Pentacles, the Practical Manager. This worries me because this is the card that represents things passing out of existence, and this is also my signifier card. Combined with the Six of Pentacles, I’m getting a general sense that things have been going OK in the material realm in the past, or that I’ve gotten by OK focusing on the material realm, but it’s going to be time to change my focus because the material situation either won’t last or won’t sustain me. Something deeper is going on.

The above card, which is supposed to represent potential, is also a pentacle: the Two of Pentacles, or the Ups and Downs of Fortune. It refers to the need to be flexible and a situation involving juggling multiple obligations or juggling finances. This is depressing as I was really just getting back on track financially and was hoping to not have to worry too much about this going forward since I’ve got other stuff to worry about. But maybe if I take my focus off of financial issues, it’ll result in that situation getting difficult again? This card also suggests that I may need to make a decision to ease the tensions between the multiple things I am juggling, and advises me to be adaptable.

The before card is Temperance, which represents moderation and self-restraint, and is usually more useful as an advice card than as a “here’s what’s going to happen” card. I’m also not sure how it works with the potentiality/advice card. It does make some sense in relation to the microcross—that I may have to chill and be prudent when deep diving into my own psyche to fix whatever I need to fix in my emotional state—but I’m still not sure how the microcross ties in with all the pentacles cards. This card represents keeping things in balance but the card above it seems to represent trying to do multiple things that aren’t well balanced or integrated. Suggestions are welcome.

The pillar starts with the Five of Wands as the Self card, which is “A Mock Battle.” Unlike many other conflict-driven cards, this card specifically indicates that there is some sort of external conflict or rivalry going on, which obviously makes total sense as the Self card. Maybe my Self is just in rebellion to accepting that the election happened the way it did. Anyway, it’s a conflict card, and also the last card in the spread that isn’t a sword.

The House card, this being the card that does specifically represent your outside surroundings, is the Eight of Swords, the Bondage card, representing self-imposed limitation. So the card about my internal self is the card for outside conflict and the card about my external surroundings is the card about internal limitations. Can you see why I hate this reading yet? I’m sure it really does make sense somehow. Probably that I’m reacting to everything all wrong.

The hopes, fears, and expectations card is the Page of Swords, who represents quick thinking and decisiveness. Stiefvater recommends that when the Page of Swords appears, one should “channel the unbiased interest of a child” and pursue truth relentlessly. This is probably a good goal.

The final outcome card is the Nine of Swords, the Nightmare card, which basically represents… feeling terrible. Stress, guilt, loss of sleep. Much like the Eight, this card suggests that much of the pain here is basically all in your head. I guess if I keep doing what is suggested in the Two of Pentacles—i.e., too many things—the most likely outcome is that I’ll end up stressed out and nonfunctional.

I’m really not sure what I’m supposed to do with this reading, except that I really need to get my mental shit sorted out somehow. I can’t suss out any useful advice on how, since everything is so contradictory. Don’t do too many things but also do multiple things in moderation. Focus less on finances but your financial situation will worsen. Your inside is fighting the outside but your surroundings are all in your head. I don’t know.

If anyone wants to take a stab at making head or tail of this, don’t hesitate to contact me. I’m tired.
LinkI do believe in fairies

Weekend five-card spread [Oct. 22nd, 2016|01:41 pm]
The Cynical Romantic
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Lots of coins for this week.

The past card here is the Queen of Coins, which is interesting to me since that's my signifier card. It's also showed up in readings over the past few months either in reverse, warning me that I am being the greedy shadow version of that archetype, or in a future/advice spot, apparently instructing me to adhere to being that version of myself. In this one, it's in the past, indicating possibly that I have been this person, or that I have been in a Queen of Coins-like situation for a while--one of success in business and financial matters; of taking shrewd, conservative measures to my own affairs; of being generally practical and sensible and working to build up material comforts. I suppose I have been taking some measures to get my concrete life under control lately, and to some degree it has even paid off.

The present card is the Moon, which is very much the opposite of the Queen's sensible, material-oriented approach to things. The Moon signifies that I am in a sort of liminal, hard-to-interpret space; one where the direction is not clear and where I might be deluding myself. According to Louis, it indicates that I am in "a period of fluctuating moods and uncertainty in which you must confront unconscious forces in order to succeed," which is fancy divination talk for having crazypants electoral stress and a total inability to concentrate on stuff, and I need to figure out what's going on in my head that will let me pull myself together and let me focus. I can't even manage to actually listen to the guided meditations I'm trying to do. I just took a Twitter break from writing this short-ass paragraph. It's bad, y'all. I probably really do need to find a way to listen to myself that doesn't involve my body trying to get my attention with psychosomatic nonsense, like the eight-day tension headache earlier in the month, or the fact that my period's been coming every two weeks since September when it usually comes never because I'm on medication for this. Basically, the Moon means that these days, I'm feelin' weird.

The Hidden Influences card gets us back to the suit of Coins. The Nine of Coins has been showing up a lot in readings for me lately; I don't know why, possibly just as a reminder to myself that things aren't as bad as I'm perpetually stressed that they are. The Nine of Coins represents some sort of material project coming to fruition, being alone and surrounded by stability and the fruits of one's labor. It is the card of a woman relaxing in her own space. It is the Self-Reliance card. Here, it again probably means that I'm more self-reliant than I think I am, and that my situation is more stable than I think it is. I do keep hoping this card means that some sort of profitable thing is in the works and the money hasn't reached me yet but will soon, but I've been hoping that since June and it ain't happened yet.

The fourth card, then, the Advice card, is a fun follow-up to that, bringing us backwards in the Coins narrative from the Queen to the Nine to the Ace, Firm Financial Foundations. The Ace of Coins represents an opportunity or windfall, and suggests the start of a profitable venture. What I'm hoping this means is that the practical approach of the first card and the self-reliance of the third card have brought me to a place that, while apparently liminal and weird and I'm feeling weird about it, nevertheless means I have enough resources of some sort--time, money, maybe the ability to stop freaking the fuck out so much--to launch a new project properly, something that will pay off long-term but that I've been putting off due to short-term concerns. There are certainly a lot of things that fall under that description, from writing to building a website to focusing properly on the magazine to really looking at the possibility of saying fuck it, I'm going to Atlantic City in November. I will have to think carefully about what's the most sensible thing to do, since apparently I'm in a current state of easily self-decieved building castles in the sky (not entirely unusual for me, really).

If I do this correctly I'll apparently end up at the Three of Wands, Birth of an Enterprise. The Stiefvater deck says that this card represents the part of a project where you've made enough progress that you've got something to share with other people to get advice/workshopping/support and where you need to work to protect your motivation. The Louis book says that opportunities abound, and you should count on teamwork and cooperation to move to the next stage. Business matters are active and thriving; you may travel or correspond in connection with your work; it is a good time to publicize your creative accomplishments. We'll see what this ends up being precisely in reference to, and if it's something at work or outside of it.

In the meantime, today, I have a long list of things I could be doing before this Halloween party tonight.
LinkI do believe in fairies

Sunday five-card spread [Oct. 9th, 2016|07:54 pm]
The Cynical Romantic
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[Current Mood |existentially exhausted]

Draw of the day

Did a spread with the vampires today because I was feeling a bit nostalgic for them. They are my oldest and trustiest deck.

The past card is the King of Wands, Leadership, representing an ambitious man (usually, might be me in this case) who is driven and who pursues his lofty goals logically and analytically. Perhaps this was me earlier in the year when I was trying to map out what I wanted out of my career and figure out what I had to do to get there. Perhaps this was any of the colleagues I talked to then.

In the present, I have the Two of Swords, the Stalemate card. It represents exactly what it sounds like. This card signifies being stuck on some sort of dilemma or decision, of being unable to decide which is the best path to take. Right now I think it is speaking to my indecision over whether I should look seriously at changing jobs or if I should look seriously at taking more radical steps to be able to afford to keep this one.

In the not-so-hidden influences section, I have the Five of Cups, the "Loss and Disappoinment" card, which signifies mourning. This card signifies that I have suffered some sort of loss, and that I may need to sever a tie that has led to regret and disappointment. It says I may need to "allow the grief work to proceed while you revise your emotional priorities."

In the advice section, I have the Queen of Pentacles, which is my signifier card, the Practical Manager. This card can represent good business sense and financial security, which right now I don't think it does. As an advice card, it says that a sensible, practical approach can bring steady progress--I have been TRYING and it EMPHATICALLY HAS NOT. But perhaps it may be worth revisiting what sort of "practical, conservative measures" I can further apply to my own affairs. I'm trying not to feel like the positive Pentacles cards mock me when they show up, but that's how I feel lately.

The final outcome card, if I follow the advice of being practical and sensible in the management of my affairs, is the Three of Pentacles, "A Job Well Done," in its upright position representing "Beneficial use of talents." This card promises developments on the physical plane. Once nice development on the physical plane would be if my computer magically rediscovered the ability to allow me to conduct a simple task without making me restart it four fucking times. Seriously, it has become a microcosm of my ongoing ability to catch a fucking break or get a single fucking thing done without umpteen hundred annoying minor fuckups clogging shit up. I have restarted my computer three times in the course of writing this stupid post. This tarot thing was supposed to be a mindfulness exercise, but no. I wonder how many attempts it will take for it to post. I'm putting the over/under at 5 if anyone's interested. I might call my Internet provider to yell at them just because yelling at someone would make me feel better. Is that practical management? Anyway, the Three of Cups, against all probability and in defiance of everything I've ever found to be true about how the universe works, promises some sort of financial improvement, such as a promotion or some other kind of reward for doing a competent job and making use of my skills and talents. That would be nice. Again, I'm straight-up starting to feel like positive Pentacles cards are just personally mocking me when they appear in a reading.

But, hey. I guess I'll try to be pragmatic and keep my shit together this week and we'll see if it pays off in any way.
LinkI do believe in fairies

Draw of the day [Oct. 7th, 2016|09:42 am]
The Cynical Romantic
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Today's card is the Nine of Pentacles.

It mocks me.

https://teachmetarot.com/part-1-minor-arcana/lesson-9-the-four-fives/nine-ix-of-pentacles/
LinkI do believe in fairies

Draw of the day + clarification card [Oct. 6th, 2016|07:38 pm]
The Cynical Romantic
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Today I drew two cards, although I didn't take pictures of them.

I didn't really have a question, and I did the drawing just now, after a full day at work of not actually having a huge amount going on right now, just waiting on a bunch of other things to come back to me. I'm doing an interview tomorrow but the questions are already prepared. I spent a lot of the day trying to have good posture, as the eye doctor recommended, and I barely have a headache today despite only taking one pill. I did have to get a new prescription and buy new glasses yesterday, but the doctor thinks that's only part of the headache issue; the rest is probably just a regular tension headache, brought on by some combination of stress, poor posture, and the computer screen. So: New glasses, sitting up straight, more breaks, take up deep breathing/meditation exercises to try to relieve some of the constant stress I'm carrying in every muscle and tendon. As always, more self-help, self-improvement, self-care. On the one hand, I need it. On the other hand, eventually I can only pile so many things to do on myself before I stress myself back out about doing ALL THE SELF-CARE and I can't fucking meditate my credit card balance down or my wages up, so I start to get all "fuck this bootstrappy shit" about it. I did meditation yesterday and felt OK and then last night I had a bunch of weird dreams about patent medicines (including, specifically, Kickapoo Joy Juice, and now I have music from Lil Abner that I haven't heard in fifteen years stuck in my head), so I guess that's how I react to trying to be healthy.

Anyway. Today's first card was the Two of Wands, which signifies Opportunity, and can specifically signify a period of waiting at the beginning of some sort of project or endeavor, during which the querent might feel restless as they prepare for the change, whatever it may be. The Louis book says "Most likely there is little happening now," which is a good summation of today. I am certainly "considering a project, trip, or activity with a partner"; I am waiting on quite a number of things at work, in fact, and I am considering starting to look at new jobs, and I am waiting to be turned down for a few freelance projects I applied to, and yeah, today has largely been treading water. This card advises that now is a time "for dealing with problems energetically," which sounds exhausting. I am not sure which problems specifically need dealing with today versus continued waiting. I tried to deal with the headache/stress problem a bit and I think it helped. I don't know if what little remains of today should go toward applying for the job that Lyndsay just sent me, writing a bit on Tess, one of the five hundred other productive things I have to do, or trying to relax a little and maybe read some fiction. The card also advises that "any negotiations you are involved in should go well, but you must actively assert yourself," which would maybe have been more useful this morning and inspired me to see if I couldn't go talk to Michael and find out what precisely is going on financially and if there's any way around it. Overall, today has not seemed much like one of opportunity, except maybe the opportunity to stop and take a deep breath.

Since I was a bit confused about where this card was going--it seems to have some contradictions in it, and besides, I have no idea what to do with it anyway--I drew a second card, which was the Ten of Wands. This was interesting to me, since it presents cards of the same suit, at the beginning and end of the arc of that progression of cards. The Ten of Wands signifies the Weight of Ambition, but I drew it reversed, which signifies "The burden is lifted." Like many cards reversed, the Ten of Wands reversed can have both a positive and a negative aspect. In its positive aspect, it means relief from stress and pressure, possibly delegation. This could square with my theory that the Opportunity card represents an opportunity to stop and breathe for a day. In its negative aspect, it represents misused or wasted talents, overweening ambition, delay, failure, overload, and taking on others' responsibilities, which sounds a lot more like what work *has* been. Six months ago I was excited about the possibility of doing more work, of taking on what Dan and Aaron had been doing, of learning and of building my skills, and hopefully of getting paid for the extra work and of getting to do some of the things they got to do in order to do their work, such as travel. But apparently that is not to be; I am not getting the fun bits, only the extra stuff that can be done from fixedly behind the desk, and with little in the way of resources available to help train me or get me experience. In full (almost), the card "carries a warning that you will receive little in return for your hard work. Someone may have manipulated you into carrying an unfair share of a burden. The responsibilities that you shoulder have felt like a burden for quite some time. . . . You may be suffering the consequences of overweening ambition. Health problems could be the result of physical or emotional overstrain."

I don't know what the fuck I was thinking deciding I wanted to be a journalist in a field I barely understand at 28 anyway. I am not qualified for this.

Several months ago Gillian did a reading for me and I asked about work. Most of the spread seemed to be fairly positive but the final takeaway was basically: It's not going to be like you imagine it's going to be.

So far, it has not been. I imagined I might get more money for doing more work, because I got lazy and comfortable and forgot the number one rule about money: If it sounds good at all, it is too good to be true.

So the clarification card did not really clarify things for me that well. It either means I can chill out for a day, or that I am fucked and need to face up to the fact that I have been fucked, which does not sound much like Opportunity to me. Perhaps it is the opportunity to stop tormenting myself holding out for rewards that are not coming.

Christ, I'm tired. I'm going to paint my nails and read the BSpec contest entries and tomorrow, I am going to leave work early, come home, and apply for another job.
LinkI do believe in fairies

Saturday five-card spread [Sep. 25th, 2016|01:57 pm]
The Cynical Romantic
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Let's see what this week holds, shall we?

The first card—the past card—is the Four of Swords, the Respite card, indicating that in the time leading up to my current situation I either took or needed to take a rest. This is factually true: Last week was a bad week, and I ended up taking Friday off to stay at home in my pajamas, selling stuff on eBay and watching Call the Midwife. It was nice. Most of yesterday was spent reading or workshopping about poker, which was also nice.

The present card is the Three of Swords, the Heartache card. This card symbolizes pain and anguish, and often suggests that you need to let go of something that is only causing you hurt. I will admit I am indeed in a generally irritable, stressed-out spot; I'm feeling better after my time off but I know I do have to start thinking seriously about looking for another job, and that's enormously, enormously upsetting to me since this is basically one of only two jobs I've had since entering the workforce that I've really liked—and this one has so much room for growth that I don't want to give up on.

The hidden influences card here is the Heirophant, which refers to tradition, convention/conventional wisdom, top-down education or mentorship, or moral and spiritual development. The Louis book calls it the high priest archetype; there's also a possibility of looking at it more as a scholar-priest figure. The Stiefvater deck illustrates it as "the spiritual glow of the soul safely contained in a lantern," which I think is lovely. As a hidden influences card, I'm not sure if it's assuring me that some part of The Establishment has my back (my managing editor does, but that is not a secret) or if it's maybe warning me that my thinking/approach to things has been conventional—that I'm more inside-the-box than I had realized. Whether I should stick with this sort if tried-and-true thinking I can't tell—the Heirophant seems to usually be a positive card in its way, but this isn't the advice spot in this reading.

The card in the advice spot is the Moon, a liminal, mysterious card that represents, among other things, fantasy, deceit, intuition, lies, confusion, emotional instability, hunches, dreams, self-deception, psychology, and not knowing where you're going. As an advice card, it recommends that you pay attention to your dreams and feelings, and to confront unconscious forces and become aware of what lies buried in your psyche or in the past. It advises to notice how ingrained patterns from the past are influencing current behavior. It is, to be frank, an exhausting and tricky card. I am sure I am deluding myself about stuff on several levels, probably I'll never master all the things I've decided to study this year the way I've never finished my damn novel, and that's too depressing to think about.

The likely outcome card is the Hermit, which is what I'm gonna have to become if I want to ever pay off my credit card balance, lol. The Hermit is also a "searching within" sort of card, like the Moon; it is a card of rest, of a sort, like the Four of Swords, advocating retreating from the world; in the Stiefvater deck, it is illustrated by a lantern, like the Heirophant, only now the lantern is itself safely sheltered in a cave. So it ties in all the other cards in this spread except the Heartbreak present card, which is maybe the thing I need to withdraw to heal from.

Overall I think this spread is saying I have a lot of self-care to do to safely and smartly get myself out of my current Three of Swords spot. I should not necessarily take this week easy, but take it quietly and seriously.
LinkI do believe in fairies

Tarot updates [Sep. 22nd, 2016|10:30 pm]
The Cynical Romantic
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Draw of the day: Ace of Cups

Tuesday's card was The Devil.
I don't remember what the previous few days' cards were; I know I drew them, but I didn't write them down, which is kind of not the point of this exercise. The point of this exercise was dual: as a mindfulness exercise, and to help me memorize all the card meanings. But I'm also sort of using it as a diary.
This week wasn't very successful in terms of mindfulness, or, predictably, any of the things that mindfulness is supposed to result in, like inner peace or productivity or all of that. I was not, as I was painfully aware but not really up do doing much about, at peak performance. In fact, I am so not at peak performance that I'm taking tomorrow off in the hopes that having an extra-long weekend will help me recharge and I can get back to work on Monday ready to actually write some stuff.
Anyway. Last weekend was fun, but it was long and expensive. I remember Sunday was the Nine of Wands, the "strength in reserve" card, which I assumed was going to refer solely to the task of taking Tim grocery shopping, a task that frustrates me at the best of times. This was not the best of times. The best of times is when Tim is relatively uninjured and is paying his own way. This was the first time he'd been out of the house since having his knee surgery, and since he has been unemployed for nearly six months now, I was footing the bill for mom's birthday party. Our cousins were bringing dessert but we were still picking up the stuff for dinner, appetizers, and drinks for eight people. In an attempt to rein in the chaos and spending I had Tim send me a list of what ingredients we actually needed beforehand; this resulted, of course, in our having an argument over cabbage, with me insisting it was not on the list and him insisting it was definitely part of the recipe and we needed to get it. I eventually relented, and it turned out that it was indeed part of the recipe, he just hadn't sent it to me. He was quite smug about this, considering himself to have won the argument, because he was right that we needed the cabbage. I considered him to have fucked up the one simple task I gave him, and I'm never, ever, ever taking him grocery shopping ever again under any circumstances. Next time he can send me the list and I will go by myself.
This was only part of the day. I got up early to complete a freelance assignment before going over there, which I was grateful for, although I still think it would be nice if I got paid enough on just one job. I tried not to do the math in my head about how what I was getting paid from the extra income I've brought in doesn't quite cover either the income I've lost this month (from either increased fixed expenses or the 401(k) reduction in my paycheck) or the extra money I was spending just this weekend by covering both the part expenses and the present for Mom that I was "splitting" with Tim 100/0, at least for now. After the grocery adventure, there was the party for eight hours, which was quite a lot of fun, and would have been nice but a bit tiring if I had started it off fully rested and calm, because I'm an introvert, but instead turned out to be nice but fantastically tiring since I'd started it off already tired, frustrated, and trying to smother the flareup in my now near-constant state of financial panic, which basically makes me feel like I've got a rubber band around my lungs at all times.
Sunday morning woke up exhausted, slightly hungover, and afraid of looking at my bank balance, so I went home and took a nap and knocked out the rest of my story for BSpec and tried not to think about the fact that I had to put gas in the car Monday morning AND I had to go grocery shopping AGAIN because I had to get actual everyday food for myself.
Monday evening we went to get Tim and I new phones, because planned obsolescence meant mine had run out of room and Tim's wouldn't download necessary updates. We discovered that the previous plan we'd had, where you got to upgrade for a greatly reduced price after two years--in fact, last time, it had been free with turning in my previous phone--had been replaced by a new plan, where... well, where you just buy a new phone at full price on an installment plan, basically. They gave us two new iPad minis for free. I took one, although I don't really want an iPad mini for free on top of a five hundred dollar phone; I wanted a phone for less than five hundred dollars. I have opted not to be a dick and to try to resell the iPad, because I probably couldn't get that much for it. My phone is the one bill Mom still pays, and I feel bad that I really can't possibly even think about taking it over, so even though I wasn't even paying for it, I was still so super tilted by how many additional expenses they were able to squeeze out of us compared to last time. Trading in my old phone barely covered the price of a screen protector, which is now Highly Recommended instead of optional, because the new screens are more fragile than the old ones. Whether they are more fragile as the result of some awesome technological advancement or just were made more fragile in order to force us to buy screen protectors, I resisted the urge to ask because I know that is something that my Dad would absolutely have actually asked and I didn't want to piss Mom off by imitating Dad when she was being so nice as to buy me a stupidly pricey phone. I did not get a case at the store because I didn't like any of them and I thought I had a cash back deal with Zazzle on my credit card reward program, but it turns out is has expired and now I get to wait and see how long I wind up putting off buying a case for because they tend to cost money. Anyway, basically the entirety of Monday from 6 pm to 10 pm consisted of either standing around the AT&T store watching Mom get nickel and dimed to death so that we can continue to in any way participate in modern society, or entering the same three questions and my password into the phone repeatedly at each step of setup. (Oh, and at first Tim an I accidentally got our phones switched and backed up our information to each other's number, so we had to wipe the phone and go through the whole setup processes again.)
Monday's card, ironically, had been The Star: Hope.
Tuesday, as I mentioned at the top of this post, was The Devil. The Devil stands for bondage, materialism, sexuality, self-imposed limitations, all that sort of thing. It is not a great card. Tuesday was not a great day.
It started off okay; I got in early and conducted an interview with a poker player that I think went fairly well; he was nice and has been in the scene a while so seemed fairly used to talking to media, and I think I got some good stuff out of him. I have a bunch of pieces I have to write, which is what I want to be doing.
Then I met with my managing editor and he told me that the CEO says that they're on a salary freeze and so I cannot get a raise, even though everyone agrees I deserve one and I am doing significantly more work than I was hired for, because I am doing a bunch of the stuff that had previously been done by the two other reporters who LEFT BECAUSE THEY WERE NOT GETTING PAID ENOUGH AND WHO WE HAVE NOT REPLACED for christs's sake I'm literally asking for like two percent of what one of them was making. Like I know how irritating it is to be asked for money you don't have because it keeps fucking happening to me too but unless you're telling me you would have straight up laid off both of them by now if they hadn't left of their own volition, you can pay me an extra $2k out of however you'd have been paying both of those salaries.
The self-imposed limitation: I do not, do not, do not, want to leave this job until I can leave it with the experience and qualifications to look for new work as a writer, and reporter, and a gaming industry SME, instead of just as a copy editor. Since I am not racking up new experience as quickly as I would like to--the fastest way would probably be for me to get out from behind the copy desk and go to more conferences and industry meetings and poker tournaments and shit, and that all costs money so it ain't been happening--it'll probably be a damn long time before I could jump ship to another gaming media outlet as a journalist. Sometime in between now and then, though, I have to be able to pay all my bills. Which I could theoretically do if I both take on extra work and manage to somehow take it on at a higher rate than extra expenses happen, I could last a while, but that is eventually going to burn me out. It's one thing to copy edit for forty hours a week and the copy edit for five hours more. It's another thing to learn a new career and actually develop and write stories for forty to fifty hours a week depending on where we are in the magazine cycle and then come home and copy edit for an additional five to ten hours a week.
I'm not going to lie: I felt like I had been punched. I've largely been getting through the past few months without losing motivation on the idea that this was a temporary period of extra stress and it would end at some point, and I'd have a little extra income to offset the increases in rent and car insurance and Internet and Netflix and the retirement withholdings, but apparently this is not the case.
And to add insult to injury, the industry I'm so fucking intrigued by that I'm hesitant to unilaterally walk away from it over this? Is basically covering a bunch of dudes around my age who had the intelligence to avoid getting a job and instead travel around living on their wits. And they win or lose entirely on their own merits. Nobody can come in halfway through a tournament and say "I know you had the best hand there, but we're on a salary freeze so actually we're going to chop that pot" or "I know you came in first and we're very grateful, but we're only going to pay you the third-place payout because the economy's bad." When the economy's bad the prize pools get smaller, sure, but the numbers are pretty much just objectively whatever they are. Also, the poker economy is in such as state that the idea that I could possibly get good enough to become a breakeven player outside of anything but the very softest games, let alone make any additional money out of it, is laughable. My goal with poker is pretty much just to develop skills for the fun of developing skills, and to have it be my least expensive hobby instead of my most.
That's not going to help me get through, like, this December, though.
I was not very productive on Tuesday afternoon. I was not very productive when I got home Tuesday night. I did not do a card draw on Wednesday. I did manage to drag myself to the gym, but I forgot to wash my hair. The coffee machine at the office was broken. Halfway through Wednesday morning I realized I had been staring at my computer without writing for an hour, and I went for a walk down the greenway outside the office, sat on a park bench, and cried. Then I came in and tried to do more work. G2E is next week so there's more thinkpieces going around about the Why Millennials Don't Gamble As Much As The Same Goddamn Rich Baby Boomer Businessdude Fucks Who Called Us Financially Irresponsible For Going To College Think We Should topic, this time featuring some at least middlingly informed pushback from some actual younger people, whose argument is basically: Because we're young and broke. Shut up until we're less young and not broke.
Guys, congrats on doing more reading that most of the industry, but if you really dig around into the reports on millennial finances, you'll find that we're actually projected to never not be broke. The ramifications of the Great Recession will fuck us up and permanently alter our spending patterns for life, the same way your Depression-era grandmother won't ever throw anything away even though the Depression was eighty years ago.
Wednesday night I went to Irish class, because I'd already paid for it, but couldn't focus. When I got home near midnight, there was another freelance assignment waiting for me. I said I could do it by noon today.
Today I got up at 6 am and edited twelve pages for $45 before going to work. I also did a card draw, because why not.
Today's card was the Ace of Cups.
The Ace of Cups stands for "The Stirrings of the Heart" and in its upright form represents new love, emotional renewal, the beginning a new close relationship, a new phase of emotional life, or that you are about to be blessed with love and happiness. Guys, what the fuck? I don't know. Oddly it made me feel a bit better and I was able to ask for what I wanted at work, which was a deadline extension on one of the pieces I'm writing and to take tomorrow as a personal day/work from home so I can focus on either getting other shit done or possibly just drinking tea and watching Call the Midwife for hours. I also wrote back to a dude whose article I critiqued claim the barter for it, which is a free poker lesson. I'm not entirely sure how that'll go but it'd be silly of me to give up a chance to talk poker with someone who knows what they're on about.
It is ten o'clock at night now and I have not met any dreamy new people or feel especially blessed with love and happiness, but the funk is starting to lift. Sometimes, asking for what you want works, at least a little. Hopefully sleeping for fourteen hours will further renew me emotionally.
Update: It is now closer to ten-thirty and I am still working on getting onto the Internet to post this stupid thing, so good mood is largely gone. Holy motherfucking Jesus the entire week is like this. Can one thing, one tiny little thing, at any point, just fucking WORK?
LinkI do believe in fairies

(no subject) [Sep. 12th, 2016|06:58 pm]
The Cynical Romantic
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Draw of the Day

Today's card is the Queen of Swords, here looking like a bitch that gets shit done. I mean, lookit her, she's got a jellyfish!

This Queen is "intelligent and solitary," and while she is tempting me to read her as blowing off cleaning the kitchen in order to study poker, I think that is not actually the case. This queen would go immediately clean the kitchen very effectively, and use the time to think, and then study poker later.

So I think it is time for me to go get some shit done! NO EXCUSES. Gonna channel my inner HIllary Clinton and SHOW UP.
LinkI do believe in fairies

Draw of the day [Sep. 8th, 2016|07:12 pm]
The Cynical Romantic
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Draw of the Day

Today's card is the Knight of Swords.

As the Earth of Air, the Knight is focused on material/practical/logistical/financial matters and takes a cold, logical, calculated, and/or intellectual approach to them. This card is someone looking for the smartest, most effective way to solve problems, get their shit done and get paid for it. Or it could be someone trying to game a system, or win a poker tournament.

Louis names this card "Rapid Comings and Goings," and in its upright position it represents forthrightness and sudden changes. This card indicates that it is time to be active and follow your head. It may indicate a period of struggle or competition in which I need to dedicate all my wits to beating it. The card warns against taking rash or impulsive action, but what action is taken needs to be swift and decisive as well as intelligent.

Today was mostly trying to get shit off to the printer at work, and I've taken on an additional freelance assignment that's due Monday that I should get a head start on today. I have had a very long short week, which is why I haven't done a card draw in two days--my mom is sick and my brother had surgery yesterday, so I had to spend yesterday working (both day job and freelance work) while taking care of Tim, and today has been dedicated to playing catchup to all the things I couldn't do on other days this week--go to the gym and go grocery shopping and get gas--since I'm taking tomorrow off. So yes, today has been pretty busy. And will stay busy for the next two hours, and then I'm going to bed early because I have to get up at 5 a.m. tomorrow.

In short, this week's been a hustle. Labor Day Weekend's weekend of labor seems to have paid off, and I'm still full speed ahead on doing All The Things.

At some point I'm going to sit around and do nothing for an entire day. Maybe sometime in January.
LinkI do believe in fairies

Draw of the day [Sep. 4th, 2016|09:48 am]
The Cynical Romantic
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Six of Wands reversed

Boo, I hate reversed cards.

This is the Six of Wands, "Victory," but reversed is basically "Victory eludes you."

Not great, since I have a bunch of stuff still to get done this weekend.

Yesterday was pretty good, but today there's still more work to be done. I still intend to bloody well do it, but I should probably take my time and keep to first draft-ing work, I guess.
LinkI do believe in fairies

Five-card spread for Saturday [Sep. 3rd, 2016|03:19 pm]
The Cynical Romantic
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Saturday reading

Guh, I do love the Raven's Prophecy deck.

For once, I think the story this spread tells is pretty straightforward, although I'm not 100% sure what specifically the Tower is referring to, and that should usually be the easiest thing to figure out.

But the Tower is in the Past section of the spread, representing some sort of chaos or destruction or major change or instability, which could refer to any number of things. Considering the rest of the spread, it may represent my financial situation somehow, or just the material aspects of my life in general. Whatever it was specifically, there is certainly no shortage of candidates for ways in which my life, financial, and employment situations have been change-filled and chaotic over the past, oh, however long you want to look for, really.

The Present card is the Knight of Coins, the root of the Earth element. It's the "Slow, Steady Progress" card according to Louis, and Stiefvater gives the keywords "Dutiful, Methodical, Cautious, Hard-Working." The shovel represents the duty and workmanship required to get through a situation with dogged, hands-on (or butt-in-chair, depending on the field) labor. In Louis' book, the card suggests that the querent asked about financial or employment-related matters. It stands for industriousness, diligence, determination, etc., and promises that new sources of prosperity or income may be forthcoming. Diligent, hard work pays off, and a friend may help you out or you may render services to someone else. Coming immediately after the Tower card, it seems to indicate that things have stabilized since whatever incident the Tower represents, and that attempts to create order out of the Tower's period of chaos are seeing themselves pay off. I am, indeed, in slightly better financial shape now than I was a month ago, at least, so that's a possibility--I've picked up a few freelance assignments and some extra time off in which to do them, and tomorrow I've got plans to look at some jewelry with Lyndsay and see if I can get rid of it profitably.

The hidden influences card is The World, the very last card in the story cycle told by the Major Arcana, which is pretty cool because the Tower is basically the low point right in the middle of the story--at number 16, clustered in close to other Darkest Moment type cards like Death (13) and The Devil (15)--so this kind of suggests that I'm at the happy ending of this story arc without realizing it. Hopefully the story arc in question is the perpetually unstable career-hopping mid-twenties one, and I'm entering into a more established one. But it could honestly refer to any number of things, probably, especially since the card's placement indicates that whatever it is, I haven't been paying sufficient attention to it! It's overall a pretty positive card, though, which fits in with some other readings with very positive cards in that spot, indicating that I'm probably quite often insufficiently aware of how well things are going for me. This is very likely.

The advice card--or, in this case, the warning card--is the Four of Cups, "Discontent." The Discontent card indicates that the querent is feeling somehow stagnant or dissatisfied, and may be feeling like they're treading water and be in search of new stimulation. Louis says the card advises the querent to slow their roll and think stuff over before doing anything rash (my words, but that's the gist of it). Stiefvater says this card represents "Apathy. Waste. Taking for granted. Self-absorption" and says that it warns that relationships are not being sufficiently tended to, so that relationships that appear fine on the surface are less fine underneath. Honestly, Louis' warning that this card says you "might not be aware of the good around you" mirrors pretty well the placement of the World card in the "hidden" section. So far, all four cards together seem to indicate that I'm in a stable enough place materially that I could stand to take my focus a bit off of hustlin' for cash and a bit more toward maintaining my friendships. The need to put more work into maintaining my relationships is another thing that has come up more than once recently.

The final outcome card--the one for if I heed the advice--is the Ten of Cups, "Joy," which is basically a follow-up to the Nine of Cups, and represents "deep happiness with the relationships in your life" and everything working together in perfect balance, according to Stiefvater. This is illustrated by a big ol' happy raven family. This is similar to last weekend's reading, so I feel like I'm on roughly the same path, if I can follow the advice I keep getting.

Anyway, I've got plenty to keep me busy this Labor Day weekend--some of it social, some of it work, some of it arguably both--but going into the fall I think I need to make more of an effort to reconnect with some friends I haven't seen in a while.
LinkI do believe in fairies

Draw of the day [Sep. 2nd, 2016|07:11 am]
The Cynical Romantic
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Draw of the day, Fri 2 Sept

The Seven of Swords is the Stealth card. In this deck it's represented the same as all the other Swords pips, so the imagery isn't something I'm looking at too deeply. Swords are usually an unpleasant suit, and this rat is not having a good time of it.

The Stealth card is not as negative as a lot of other Swords cards; it can sort of go either way, although it's generally not an explicitly positive card in the traditional sense. It stands for guile, cunning, deception, insincerity, diplomacy, and other sort of sneaky shit. It can indicate a sort of shadowy conflict or a battle of wits--the someone is trying to trick you or harm your reputation, or is opposing your intellectual freedom. It can also indicate that the querent's "unique worldview" (Louis' words) and ability to do the unexpected may come in handy, or that the querent needs to be crafty and diplomatic to handle a situation. It can warn that your enemies will strike while you are preoccupied, or advise that you do the same to them.

My plan for today mostly consists of working at work and then coming home and working at home (I have two freelancing assignments for this weekend, plus I need to clean a bunch of stuff and try to finish a short story). I'm not sure how stealthy that plan is, but I guess I'll have to be on the lookout for people trying to sabotage it anyway?

I will try to keep my "unique worldview" on hand today, and simultaneously watch what stupid comments I make on Twitter, which is a balance I do not always keep very well.
LinkI do believe in fairies

Draw of the day [Aug. 31st, 2016|10:04 am]
The Cynical Romantic
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Today's card is THE SUN

The Sun is a good card

Thank God.

(PS Lol @ this illustration, though.)
LinkI do believe in fairies

Draw of the day [Aug. 30th, 2016|09:42 am]
The Cynical Romantic
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Draw of the day

Today's card is the King of Swords!

The King of Swords is the root of air, and he is shown here in comfortably close proximity to a bear. I can't tell if the bear is snarling or if it is dead, but either way, it seems to be leaning on the King for support. What's up with that.

The King of Swords represents intellectual power and authority. He can be a bit domineering or out of touch with his feelings, as is common among the Swords royal family, but on a good day he is also smart and fair.

Today is time to really wrap up the magazine; our graphic designer and his new assistant (whose style is... not my style) are coming in, and I know we're going to need to all pull together to get this magazine out the door in as good a shape as it can possibly be in. I also need to be able to objectively evaluate which of the assistant's suggestions I should take and which I should not, and neither accept changes I don't want to make because it's easier to go along, or reject changes out of hand that would improve the magazine just because I'm annoyed that there are so many and can't he make the layout so it actually fits the text we gave him and not the other way around? Biddy Tarot says the King "suggests you need to adopt a very stern but fair role."

Anyway, I guess today is a day to "remain detached and objective" and to "use your intellect to prove your point and succeed."
LinkI do believe in fairies

Sunday morning five-card spread [Aug. 28th, 2016|12:43 pm]
The Cynical Romantic
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To make up for having skipped a few daily card draws, I did a proper five-card reading today. The deck is Maggie Stiefvater's Raven's Prophecy deck, which is the only deck I have that actually came with a really good tutorial book, which I am incorporating into my notes. I still don't know who gave me this deck, only that they apparently less-than-three me. I less-than-three you too, anonymous benefactor!

I think this thread overall gives a lovely coherent narrative, one that I enjoy very much and hope turns out to be true. I sort-of meant to ask about work things but kept spacing out and having my mind wander while I was shuffling, so I think this spread is probably just about life in general. (Life in general and work have not been keeping very separate as of late; perhaps that is part of the problem the spread addresses.) Also, so much for doing tarot as a mindfulness exercise LOL IT'S SUNDAY MORNING DON'T ASK ME TO FOCUS.

Card 1 is the Queen of Swords, represented in the Stiefvater deck with an illustration of "the cutting blade emerging from the pool of truth." I now have three different ways of reading the Queen of Swords, but they all sort of converge on a theme. In the elemental scheme I learned as a little gothling, the Queen is, like all queens, concerned with matters of emotion, but she's not got the most fluffy and compassionate approach to it--she approaches these questions logically and in an intellectualized manner, like they're just puzzles to be solved. The Louis book names this card "Intelligent and Solitary," and in her upright position calls the Queen "A woman alone. Head over heart." This Queen is ambitous, analytical, fiercely intelligent, sarcastic, independent, career-minded, and possibly not very emotionally expressive or receptive. She indicates a time of "going it alone"--since this is in the "Past" position in this spread, she may most likely be here to indicate "You have learned to be independent during periods of loneliness" and indicates that I have been interested in matters of my career and ambition rather than emotional matters. The queen can also indicate that prospects for romance are bleak--this wasn't a romance reading (I don't think--my mind wandered a lot; it was a long shuffle), but they certainly have been for the past several years, only mostly on purpose. Stiefvater gives the Queen keywords of "Clarity - honesty - critical - insightful" and notes that the Queen sees the truth--then she tells it to people, often without regard for whether they want to hear it.

This is not really an entirely positive or negative card, but I think it does encapsulate much of what I've been fixating on for the past several months, or possibly years, but especially the past few months. I've definitely been focused on ambitious matters and on learning a lot of things, often at the expense of being able to chill out and enjoy myself, and I've had a lot of periods of conflict and stressing myself out trying to do to much but unwilling to give up on any of it.

The second card, the "present" card, is Major Arcana 11, "Justice." Justice is, for once, one of the cards that represents exactly what it says on the tin--a fair outcome, getting what you deserve, balance, having to make a careful and reasoned decision. Stiefvater advises/warns that getting your just rewards is often hidden--that you may feel that you've gotten away with something bad or had something good you did go unrecognized, but the universe has an absolute sense of justice and will always pay you your behaviors back--or forward. According to Louis, this card indicates that issues of fairness are prominent and that justice will previal, and that I should think carefully and examine both my conscience and others' point of view before making any decisions. As the "present" card, I think it largely indicates that at the moment, things are starting to shake out to be wherever they're "supposed" to be--whether that will ultimately be good or bad for be depends on how I've been behaving. Combined with the Queen of Swords, I'm hoping it means some of the work I've been doing will pay off, but it could just as likely mean that all the things I've been failing to attend to will finally catch up with me.

The third card is the "hidden influences" card, here the Seven of Wands: "Holding firm," in its upright position representing a position of advantage or holding your own. Stiefvater's illustration shows the flames of creativity being sheltered from a harsh rain. The Seven of Wands is a bit of a conflict card, but a positive one--it represents holding your ground and not giving up, promising both an attack of some sort and the reassurance that you're in a position of superiority and have the resources and strength to emerge victorious. It advises that I will need to "call upon your reserves of strength and courage." This is an interesting card to have in the "hidden influences" position, I think, since it seems to indicate that I'm defending against something without realizing that I'm up against it. I thought I'd done a pretty good job of obsessively cataloguing everything that's in my way at all times, since I tend to be petty and impatient like that. But perhaps the hidden aspect is that I'm better prepared than I think I am? These sorts of questions are why I read tarot.

The fourth card is the "advice" card, which, to my surprise and delight, turned out to be the Three of Cups, "Celebration," in its upright position also meaning exactly what it says on the tin. Stiefvater calls it "the party card" and shows a bunch of ravens having a grand old time, corvid fashion. This card represents friendship, joy, relaxation, that sort of thing, and generally shows up when there a "joyous occasion" is coming, so get ready! In career readings (which this one... might be?) it tends to represent a hobby rather than a career pursuit. It is a great card to have as an advice card because I think it is telling me to stop working so hard and go party. The occult forces have spoken: time to stop bugging out about the magazine and go have a margarita! I hear and will obey, occult forces.

The "likely outcome" card for this spread the Major Arcana X, the Wheel of Fortune, which represents a change for the better. It promises me good luck, opportunity, advancement, rapid change, "a set of circumstances that promises beneficial change and continuing progress," a new cycle or chapter in life, rapid changes that "offer new opportunities to improve your life," and a "chance circumstance" that may "end past difficulties and herald a period of good fortune and success." Hopefully this new period comes with some extra money--that is a lot of what I have been stressing about and working towards over the past several months, and it has unfortunately shaped a lot of how I spend my leisure time. Travel would be nice too. Good fortune can mean so many different things! But this, according to how five-card spreads work, is only the most likely outcome if I follow the advice, so it is clearly imperative that I celebrate stuff.

This thread was also intended to be sort of for the upcoming week. Magazine deadline is early Thursday morning, so hopefully we will have "getting that off to the printer's without major mishap" to celebrate. Plus it is Lil's birthday dinner on Wednesday. Plus Labor Day weekend is coming up. Overall, I am hopeful that it will be a good and busy week. If I celebrate all the things worth celebrating, I guess it'll all turn out OK?
LinkI do believe in fairies

Draw of the day [Aug. 26th, 2016|07:08 am]
The Cynical Romantic
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Draw of the day

So many Cups lately! Clearly I am all emotions this week.

Today's card is the Page of Cups reversed. In his reversed positio, this lil dude represents frivolousness, insecurity, daydreaming, escapism, isolation, a spoiled or unhappy child, laziness, muddled thinking, and generally failing to focus or live up to your potential. It suggests that "your capriciousness, lack od discipline, laziness, or lack of dedication may be causing your difficulties" and that "For some reason you are not living up to your potential or making use of your talents."

The reason is that I'm bloody exhausted, but I've definitely not been entirely on my A game this week. I shall have to do better, especially since I have poker tonight and we're really getting down to the wire on the magazine. Time to stop "wasting time and energy on pipe dreams and living in a world of unreality" and bring myself back down to Earth, I suppose.
LinkI do believe in fairies

Draw of the day [Aug. 24th, 2016|07:14 pm]
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Today's card is the Ten of Cups, which looks a lot like the Five of Cups but a lot busier. I've been seeing a lot of Cups pips lately, haven't I? I should drill myself on what they all mean.

The Ten of Cups is much further along in the progression than the Five, and fortunately it has a much more postive meaning: It's the Joy card. It symbolizes harmonious relationships, friends and family, tranquility, peace, giving and receiving love, that sort of thing. Which is interesting, since today has been rather a solitary day. And there's only a few hours left in it, which I intend to spend reading quietly and putting off cleaning the kitchen.

I have been in touch with people for various plan-making things over the weekend today, so perhaps that counts? I have poker on Friday (finally!); some friends are coming over to help me with freelancey type stuff on Saturday; another friend is coming over Sunday to help me go through the jewels/jewelry I don't know what to do with in the hopes of helping me resell them. So that's all good.

Anyway, even if it's just me and a book, I'm gonna spend the rest of the day being tranquil (I've been not very good at that over the past few days?) until it's time to get back into magazine craziness tomorrow.
LinkI do believe in fairies

Draw of the day [Aug. 22nd, 2016|09:21 pm]
The Cynical Romantic
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Five of cups

So the Five of Cups actually *is* the Loss and Disappointment card, which is what all the Cups pips look like in this deck.

In its upright position it represents Mourning, which is not really how I have felt for most of today; I feel like today's feeling has generally been Exhausted Rage. It was a big day on the Interwebs for idiotic young-people bashing, with another article on how YA isn't ~real literature~ (for those of you not keeping up with the trends in Kids These Days writing, young people are reading more than they used to, so the Kids These Days Don't Read Enough screeds of my youth have been largely ditched in favor of Kids These Days Are Reading The Wrong Stuff ones); an article in which NBC blames millennials for not watching its shitty-ass delayed coverage; and one from CNN Money in which the olds blame young people for not taking enough vacation time, because while we are obviously awful and lazy, when we are NOT lazy that is STILL awful, and also clearly our terror at losing whatever underpaid jobs we do manage to grab onto is just a paranoid plot to fuck over baby boomers by making them look bad and is in no way a reaction to the way the modern workforce actually treats us. But perhaps I am in mourning for the future I was promised -- no, not the one everyone *pretends* they promised me in order to make me look stupid, the one where I'm always treated as special and get moneys for just existing; nobody ever actually promised me that. But the one where it was at all possible to build the life I wanted if I worked hard and smart enough and made enough of the right choices and kept my expectations and plans realistic enough; the one where I though I could safely afford to forego trying to be rich because I never wanted to have a house in the suburbs and kids and all that stuff and I thought that living alone and childless in the city would be a feasible and modest boho sort of aspiration, not the prohibitively expensive, laughably unimaginable luxury it's turned into. The one where if I did things I both liked and was good at and didn't give up I would be able to build a career out of it and that would be respected. The one where if I made the right choices I wouldn't get incessantly yelled at for having made the wrong choices, but now that the economy's fucked for people my age and the people who fucked it don't want to admit they fucked it, everything is automatically retroactively the wrong choice. Pursuing your education is VERY IMPORTANT right up until it turns out education is expensive and it's preventing me from buying other stuff and then it's hey, nobody forced you to go to college! Being frivolous and reckless with money is terrible and stupid and a bad idea right up until we're "failing" to "support" whatever fucking industry has gone whining to the newspapers today about how hard it is to get blood out of a stone, in which case it's so terrible that we're not buying houses/buying cars/racking up credit card debt (seriously, there was a New York Times article *yesterday* concern trolling that millennials were ruining the economy and our own futures by not taking on enough credit card debt)/taking vacations/having babies that require hundreds and thousands of dollars of care over decades, as our own parents incessantly remind us/playing the slot machines/buying lottery tickets/buying fucking DIAMONDS (never going to forgive you for that, The Economist)/subscribing to clueless-ass newspapers that insult us incessantly/other shit you'd tell us was frivolous and irresponsible if we were spending money on it. I am in mourning for the idea of an adulthood where I might be independent and not continuously condescended to, continually in need of a little extra help and unable to catch a fucking break; one where I'd be able to accomplish something without someone sneering that it was the wrong thing to accomplish and I did it wrong anyway and why didn't I do it five or ten years earlier, one where I didn't have to second-guess every penny I spent not only to see if I can afford it or not, but also for if I feel more guilty for being a stupid frivolous millennial who blows money she doesn't have on unnecessary things if I do or for being a cheap entitled spoiled-by-being-used-to-getting-things-cheap unsupportive-of-your-local-industries Reason Why (the arts/the neighborhood/journalism/indie bookstores/the economy generally/the environment/Indian tribes/something) Is Dying if I don't.

Guys, I'm so tired. So so so so tired. I'm tired enough because I'm stressed and poor and things get more expensive faster than I can get pay raises, but I could deal with all that if I were at the very least just left on my fucking own to deal with it. But the constant fucking ATTITUDE from the media and from financially comfortable older people is just too much. I cannot deal with that on top of all my own shit. I cannot handle the tiniest bit of unsolicited financial or spending advice from anyone over 40. Cannot cannot cannot. And I think I'm in mourning for not all my ambitious dreams, which I haven't quite had to give up on yet because they were always ambitous and can always just be delayed a little more, but for the dreams I had that I thought were modest: That I'd be able to live by myself by the time I was 30. That I'd pay my credit card off every month. That I'll ever be able to have only one job, with no side hustle. That I wouldn't become one of those penny-pinching people whose every waking moment is consumed with thoughts of money.

That's an idea of Adult Me that I've been carrying around since I was very little, when I didn't really have any idea what it was Adult Me would be doing to support herself, and it's been very hard realizing that this version of Adult Me is never going to happen. Actual Adult Me is an anxious wreck with two roommates and expenses that climb no matter how much she tries to live within her means and an income that seems to not only fail to grow, but actually has managed to *shrink* every now and again over the course of the past two years or so.

Anyway, the Mourning card advises that "something remains to be salvaged from the situation," and that I need to "allow the grief work to proceed and also to revise your emotional priorities." For people, it can represent "people who feel bitter, resentful, or burned out," to which I say: It me

LinkI do believe in fairies

Draw of the day [Aug. 20th, 2016|07:56 am]
The Cynical Romantic
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Draw of the day, Sat 20 Aug 2016

Today's card is the Page of Wands!

This card depicts a young person looking curiously at a large insect, apparently unafraid of the giant pointy wasp's butt right in his face. It suggests to me curiousity and innocent fearlessness.

The Page of Wands is the fire rank and the fire suit, so it suggests a person who is all drive, and probably very mercurial.

The Page of Wands in his upright position can mean good news, energy, optimism, courage, new experiences, new opportunities, meeting new people, and possibly an ardent affair of some sort.

Today I am going down to Mohegan Sun with some friends, which I am hoping will be fun and not too expensive, and I admit I have not the clearest idea of the game plan for the day, since we are staying at a hotel near the casino but not at the casino itself, and there are shuttles that run to and from it but they don't start til 4 and we should be getting there around noon. But I am nonetheless excited and ready to poke around and see what kinda weird shit happens, and also to take some baths in the hotel.

Basically, today is a day to keep my energy up and have fun! Perhaps this card is advising me not to spend too much of the day hanging out in the hotel room.
LinkI do believe in fairies

Draw of the day [Aug. 19th, 2016|06:53 am]
The Cynical Romantic
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8 of Wands

This card looks a bit misleading. This is largely because the Penny Dreadful deck is designed to be maximally creepy-looking and occulty, and most of its pip cards are designed along a single theme for each suit. So all the regular wand pips look all desolate and stuff, big poles sticking up out of the ground with skulls on them, but the actual wand cards mean all sorts of things, most of which are much more active and generally fiery than this.

In this case, today's card is the Eight of Wands, which is the "Speed" card. ALL SYSTEMS ARE GO. Today is a day for moving all sorts of stuff forward and an end to delays, which is good, since I'll be working on magazine stuff all day and we have had some delays. Hopefully this means at least one of the stories we're waiting on will come in today. This card can also signify things like that "efforts to promote yourself succeed" and new opportunities, so we'll see if that happens--it'd be quite nice if it did!

I can only assume most of this will be work-related since I do not have plans after work tonight, since I need to prepare for travel the rest of the weekend. But maybe something will come up last-minute. Or perhaps I'll stay home and have a really productive evening.

Updates on the last few days'  readings: Yesterday, I wrote just over 1,000 words of fiction instead of just reading, which is pretty good for me to write at home by myself. I am notoriously bad at getting fiction writing done when it's just me and the Internet. The day before, I did actually move all my old 401(k)s, which I'd been putting off for forever, so max adulting points to me. I'm still not 100% sure about Ace of Swords day.
LinkI do believe in fairies

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