caligari awkward

A messy Celtic Cross

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.
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caligari awkward

Weekend five-card spread

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.
caligari awkward

Sunday five-card spread

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.
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caligari awkward

Draw of the day + clarification card

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.
caligari awkward

Saturday five-card spread

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.
caligari awkward

Tarot updates

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?
caligari awkward

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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.
caligari awkward

Draw of the day

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.
caligari awkward

Draw of the day

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.