“He Seemed So Happy”

I didn’t want to write this because it hurts too much, and I’m only doing so out of respect for my now-gone friend. It’s still near impossible for me to actually say what happened; I may never fully process it because it’s just so wrong, and someone who Very Much should still be here… isn’t. But the internet world learned Saturday that Justin “JewWario” Carmical had taken his own life.

I don’t know what I can say about him that hasn’t already been said. He was cheerful, kind, and always eager to lend his talents and his time to others. He even offered to cameo when I was making videos and I certainly wish now that I had taken him up on that. I wasn’t nearly as close to him as many others were. I do and don’t wish that were different because the closer you are to someone, the more it hurts to lose them.

Beyond all the obvious–how sudden it seemed, what great person he was, how it didn’t need to happen–what struck me most was how so many people said “he seemed so happy.” Maybe because it sounds similar to things I’ve heard before. Oftentimes, the people who carry the most pain inside are determined to wear a smiling mask so as not to “burden” others and/or believe their own suffering isn’t worthy of attention, even (perhaps especially) when it’s about to crush their souls.

They tell themselves they can deal with it and the world sees nothing wrong.

Until they can’t deal with it. And then, it’s too late.


Crosspost: Ordinary Misfit

Here’s an excerpt from something I felt fit in better on my Games site, but it’s still about personal stuff so I thought I should crosspost the link.


I never thought feeling too ordinary would be a thing for me. Over my lifetime, I’ve wound up as “The black girl”, “The bi girl”, “The weird girl”, or simply “The girl”/”One of the guys” or even, according to other girls, “Are you sure you are a girl?” because I “only [liked] boy things.” (Out of those, only one—”The girl”—has yet to be a negative so far.) I’ve stood out so many times for things I had no choice in that in most respects, I don’t want to stand out. I just want a place to fit in.

Then, I got into game design. I admit I’m still a noob. All I’ve worked with is Twine so far and I’ve only made four games—although one early game (What’s in a Name) did end up on Kotaku thanks mostly to its subject and timing. (The bigger, more ambitious Twine games I’ve made since then have mostly gone unnoticed. But people who have played them seem to like them.) Anyway, deciding on this as a thing-I-want-to-do has given me a glimpse of a place-I-might-fit-in. Except that it’s also the only place I’ve found where I feel too plain. …

[Read the rest here.]


New Artwork: For Matthew

For Matthew

For Matthew

I made some new artwork using two photos (one of me; one of a nebula), some digital paint in Manga Studio, and a bit of PhotoShop magic. In other words, almost every [visually] artistic thing I do rolled into one.

It was inspired by one special person and how he makes me feel. The funny thing is I wasn’t looking for him. Or anyone else, for that matter. Circumstance just guided us towards each other, and I’m quite glad it did.

Click the thumbnail to view it full size. You can also find it and the rest of my art posted in the gallery.


Why Bisexual Women “Always” End Up with Men

One of the more interesting (and by “interesting”, I mean strange and offensive) complaints I’ve heard about bisexual women is how they suspiciously tend to end up with men, implying that we’re all actually straight and just putting on for some reason or deliberately taking the “easy”/hetero way out. I’m sure there are women like this since it takes all kinds to make a world, but I’d wager the vast majority who consistently ID as bisexual don’t use women as placeholders while they’re looking for a man.

Personally, I can’t much help who I’m attracted to. If I’m attracted to a man, I’m attracted to a man. If I’m attracted to a woman, I’m attracted to a woman. Except under unusual circumstances (like, say, a polyamorous partner giving me the option) I wouldn’t really think about whatever else is out there. And though there was a time where society and bad self-esteem told me I “needed” a man’s affection to be acceptable (and note that at the time, I was not involved with a woman or anyone else for that matter), life and careful introspection showed that in a general sense, I don’t care either way. I want someone in my life where we’re great for each other emotionally and hot for each other physically. The rest is just details. I suspect this is the case for many other bi women as well.

So, why DO bisexual women “end up” with men so often? I can’t speak for everyone, but I can speak for me. And I think my experiences are relatively common.

As far as I’m concerned, it comes down to numbers. First off, men just show more interest in me than women do. I’d love more women to flirt with me, but it doesn’t happen; as a rule, if I want a girlfriend, I have to actively look for one since women don’t approach me (and I wish to God they would). Men—including the wonderful one who’s recently become part of my life and yes, we’re both fine with each other dating other people—just kind of show up.

Second, I’m not good at pursuing people. At all. I’m mortally terrified of rejection and tend not to say anything unless the odds seem almost certain; I just about need someone to spell it out in skywriting and perform an interpretive dance before I honestly believe they’re attracted to me. Then, once I do pick up on it, my response (if interested) is usually transient unless the other person puts forth some kind of active chase. In my experience, men are much likelier to be both obvious and persistent. My guess is it’s because they’re socialized that way. In any case, I’m likelier to pick up on men’s interest as interest and it’s more likely on their part that they’ll follow up. Ergo, a greater likelihood I’ll end up with a male partner. (Please note this is not a recommendation for stalking or for making women creepy offers/requests. Good sense and respect for boundaries are always the best way to go.)

Finally, there are just more straight and bisexual men out there than lesbian and bi women. Even without the specifics above, the majority of women are more likely to encounter an interested man in daily life than an interested woman. Moreover, there are quite a few lesbians who flat-out refuse to date bi women, which shrinks the pool of potential female partners even more. As rejection-phobic as I am, this is another potential hazard that tends to make me nervous.

The irony is (not counting fictional characters or people famous for their looks) I’m typically more attracted to women than I am to men—meaning if a woman approaches me, the odds of my saying yes to her are better than for a man. But if she doesn’t approach me and I’m too shy to speak up, we’ll never connect. I doubt I’m the only bisexual woman who’s been in this position.

So, no, it’s not a conspiracy and we’re not all secretly straight. It’s all about the odds and, often, who gets there first.

(For the record, bisexual women “ending up” with women is also very common. When it happens, people tend to assume they were lesbians all along. Just like those who “end up” with men are assumed to be “really” straight.)


Luck and Circumstance

It’s no secret I’ve been having some financial problems. Or that I’ve been stressed out and distracted and often having trouble concentrating on much else. So, you’d think that when my PC died the afternoon of Thanksgiving Eve, that would’ve/should’ve… well… done some very bad things to my mind. And frankly, it did.

That old PC of mine (age seven at time of death) had been acting up for over a year now. To get it to boot, I had to employ a weird workaround involving partial power-ups and passing an error message. Over time, it had also started bluescreening about once every couple of weeks where, before, it MIGHT happen once a year. Most recently, it would freeze at random and I’d have to wait it out; sometimes, it would freeze during power-up and I’d have to turn it off and start over. And from a simple performance standpoint, it ran like molasses in February. I could literally go brush my teeth, start breakfast and feed my cat and it STILL wouldn’t be finished loading the desktop. And the game engine I’ve been trying to learn, Unity3D? It would take almost as long to load up as the desktop.

Nonetheless, it did sort of work and it was in a lot of ways essential to my life. It was how I earned money when I got freelance jobs. It was the main way I was conducting my search for regular work. It was how I kept in touch with pretty much all my friends, including my boyfriend. It was where I played a lot of old games that comfort and inspire me. It was how I created things and where I kept pretty much all of the music I listen to and, no, I don’t have an iPod. Work, entertainment and social life all depended on that machine.

And then, it was gone. On top of all the other things I was dealing with, all of that… was gone. And of all the times it could’ve happened, it happened on Thanksgiving eve.

Then, on Thanksgiving, my mother called. I hadn’t told her exactly what I’ve been dealing with and I never planned to; she’s done so much for me over the years I didn’t want to give her that burden. But that very big final straw was more than I could take and she could tell from the sound of my voice that something was terribly wrong.

I told her my PC died. I didn’t tell her anything else. Again, I just couldn’t do that to her after all she’s done for me. She was quiet for a while and said, “How much would a new one cost?” So, I told her what I figured a midrange PC would cost. A little bit longer and mom said, “Baby, that computer was your life. It might be a strain, but I’ll give you what you need for a new one. And something more to help you get by,” and said it would be in my bank account tomorrow. Naturally, this was to count as my Christmas/birthday/please-don’t-as-me-for-anything-again gift.

By the time we were done talking, I was in tears. Mostly, I was thankful for her generosity, but I was also heartbroken because I wasn’t sure what I’d tell her when I used that computer money to pay my rent instead. Because, when it came down to it, I knew I would have to.

The day after Thanksgiving, Mom sent me the money like she said she would. I went to the library to check my bank balance… and I saw that she’d sent me $200.00 more than she said she would. I also checked my PayPal. With Mom’s help plus donations received, I could send my landlord enough of a good faith payment to keep things going a couple more weeks AND get a new PC that does all I need it do and does it incredibly well. Which is why I’ve [happily] unpinned a certain blog entry and removed the donation button.

It seems clear that fate saw fit to give me a second chance. One of many, actually, so I’d better not screw it up.


Small website change

It’s ironic considering I could really use the help right now (Update: things are less urgent now, so the donation link is also gone from that post), but after thinking about it a while, I’ve decided to remove the usual donation box from the sidebar. This site started off as a place for my video reviews. Then for a webcomic I’ve since discontinued and gaming/movie articles that I only write when I feel the need. Finally, my more focused efforts shifted to making games — focused enough that I figured I’d best put the game stuff on its own site.

Now, this is just my personal blog. A place to share thoughts and random artwork on a completely irregular basis and maybe make some friends. And once my current troubles have passed, I would rather that be all it is.

I’ll also be taking down the Pixie’s Sketchbook Facebook fan page and just linking to my [up-to-now-almost-never-used] personal one.

Take Care,

 

The Pixie


Pixie’s Big [Mis]adventure: Time to Ask for Help


VERY FINAL UPDATE: If there’s any doubt about it, yes the company that did this is Project Million Entertainment. Please, for the love of God, do NOT work with these people.

[Final Update(?): Things aren't 100%, but due to unexpected circumstances, the immediate crisis isn't as immediate anymore. No, that nameless company still hasn't sent me my money (I'll mention it if they do), but... things have worked out for now. So, I'm unsticking this post. Thanks again to everyone who's supported me in any sense--and I'm glad to take this out of the spotlight.]


Short version: I need help with rent and utilities pretty quickly, so I’m putting this out here as a last resort. Hopefully, things will stabilize and I can move on with my life. My direct PayPal address is <Redacted>.

Long version: Gather round, ye children, and I shall share with thee my strange and sorry tale. It’s a story of friendship, promises made, and promises repeatedly broken. It is also the story of how a person can cling rather pitifully to an opportunity they see as their last hope. (more…)