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1  noun  ˈbläg, -ȧg   plural -s
2  intransitive verb   -ed/-ing/-s
: to talk pretentiously and usually inaccurately : lie boastfully

Mental Health: Have Some

This post is a shorter version of a post already enjoyed by the hearty crew at my Patreon.

May is Mental Health Awareness Month!

Yes, have some.

I need some. I need just a little more.

Which is why I'm once again not doing a show this Friday, 17 May 2024, alas.

The meme above is from the original GHOSTBUSTERS movie, from this scene.

Digression: Queen vs Vinz Clortho

Many years ago, at the Chicago Comic and Entertainment Expo (C2E2), Jigginz was being Queen Elizabeth I and I was being Jane the Phoole, and we were having a ridiculous amount of fun.

On our way to the convention floor, we were stopped repeatedly by news crews and vloggers, which always does wonders for one's ego, and when we were almost to the convention-floor entrance, a vlogger stopped us for an on-camera chat with Her Majesty, and Her Grace was well in conversation with the vlogger when a convention attendee in character as Vinz Clortho jogged past, replete with the thrilling headgear shown in the meme above.

Her Majesty interrupted herself mid-sentence, pointed to Vinz, and spake loudly to all assembled, "Get that man some coffee."

Vinz stumbled to a swaying halt. "Coffee?" he asked.

"Yes, have some," replied Her Grace.

"Yes, have some," repeated Vinz to himself, and then he barrelled off to find some coffee, or the Gatekeeper of Gozer, perhaps.

And then Her Majesty returned perfectly to the conversation she'd paused, and the vlogger and I guffawed at the flawlessness of it all.

Back to the Month of Maying

If there weren't a pandemic still on, I'd be at the Janesville Renaissance Faire this weekend - "My ville!" - being Jane. I miss being her. I miss being her so, so much. I miss the people. I miss the fun.

But it's another year of...not.

I wanted to do a show tonight to distract myself from being extremely sad about missing Janesville for the fifth year in a row, and about being left behind by deniers and copium-fiends.

But that response - that urge to do stuff, at maximum speed, and at maximum volume, to avoid feeling feelings - that's not a great response.

It's a trauma response.

Here's what my favorite Trauma Guy Pete Walker says about that response, excerpted from his very great free article, The 4Fs: A Trauma Typology in Complex PTSD:

The Flight Type and the Obsessive-Compulsive Defense Flight types appear as if their starter button is stuck in the "on" position. They are obsessively and compulsively driven by the unconscious belief that perfection will make them safe and loveable. As children, flight types respond to their family trauma somewhere along a hyperactive continuum that stretches between the extremes of the driven "A" student and the ADHD dropout running amok. They relentlessly flee the inner pain of their abandonment and lack of attachment with the symbolic flight of constant busyness.When the obsessive/compulsive flight type is not doing, she is worrying and planning about doing. Flight types are prone to becoming addicted to their own adrenalization, and many recklessly and regularly pursue risky and dangerous activities to keep their adrenalin-high going. These types are also as susceptible to stimulating substance addictions, as they are to their favorite process addictions: workaholism and busyholism. Severely traumatized flight types may devolve into severe anxiety and panic disorders. TX: Many flight types are so busy trying to stay one step ahead of their pain that introspecting out loud in the therapy hour is the only time they find to take themselves seriously. While psychoeducation is important and essential to all the types, flight types particularly benefit from it. Nowhere is this truer than in the work of learning to deconstruct their overidentification with the perfectionistic demands of their inner critic. Gently and repetitively confronting denial and minimization about the costs of perfectionism is essential, especially with workaholics who often admit their addiction to work but secretly hold onto it as a badge of pride and superiority. Deeper work with flight types - as with all types -gradually opens them to grieving their original abandonment and all its concomitant losses. Egosyntonic crying is an unparalleled tool for shrinking the obsessive perseverations of the critic and for ameliorating the habit of compulsive rushing. As recovery progresses, flight types can acquire a "gearbox" that allows them to engage life at a variety of speeds, including neutral. Flight types also benefit from using mini-minute meditations to help them identify and deconstruct their habitual "running". I teach such clients to sit comfortably, systemically relax, breathe deeply and diaphragmatically, and ask themselves questions such as: "What is my most important priority right now?", or when more time is available: "What hurt am I running from right now? Can I open my heart to the idea and image of soothing myself in my pain?" Finally, there are numerous flight types who exhibit symptoms that may be misperceived as cyclothymic bipolar disorder; I address this issue at length in my article: "Managing Abandonment Depression in Complex PTSD".

So instead of burying myself in the exhausting work of getting a show together this week, I'm going to...not.

I'm going to just calm down for a little while and just take some quiet time for myself, and spend time with Tiffany and the kitties.

I know I've harangued before in this blog about the Anti-Day-Job Stigma I learned growing up in a household sustained by jazz: even having a "day job" is tantamount to "selling out;" only art matters; not making a living by art means failing; no one cares what happens at a job that isn't art; yadda yadda yadda.

So it's very unsettling to me to say what I'm about to say:

Work has been harder, more challenging, and more rewarding than ever the past few weeks.

Good Work Stuff

I've finally won most of the battles I was fighting to get my team compensated equitably for the work they do.

Lately I've surged ahead in progress toward vastly improving a process at work. I'm supposed to be "on vacation" next week, but I may push my time off to another month to get the process in place sooner than later.

Cringe Work Stuff

I had hoped to do a show tomorrow to incorporate this theme too - if I weren't wiped out from the sprints of the past few weeks, I would do it, because it's more needful right now than it's ever been in my lifetime.

Anti-LGBTQ+ sentiment is rampant, and, like other culture-wars hot-buttons, it's being stoked by powers who prefer we fight amongst ourselves, if you please, rather than peeking behind any curtains, or looking up.

It's rampant in my own organization. Not my section, but in the org at large.

I'm legitimately shocked at how prevalent it is, and how it's being tolerated.

It's the year 2024. We should have streets full of neon, giant advertising holograms, and replicants being retired by grizzled noir gumshoon.

Instead, we have...this.

So I'm just going to recover again this weekend

Tiffany and I both need a lot of down-time this weekend - I hope, earnestly and genuinely, to be back on-air next Friday and the Friday after that, and so on through the 11th Phooliversary on 21 June 2024.

I already made the art for our celebration of 11 years on the air!

I know the umlaut is over a consonant. It's based on this, you see, because Phoole & the Gang, like Spinal Tap's bassist Nigel Tufnel's bespoke Marshall amplifiers, goes to (at least) 11:

With SPINAL TAP being as beloved as it is, you'd think someone would have back-formed the font that this logo is in. WELL, THAT HAS NOT HAPPENED. There are some not-great knockoffs of this hand-lettering, and I hate all of them. I used Pena Caldaria instead. I could have hand-drawn the letters based on the original, yes. But I'm tired! And I use GiMP, and achieving a 365-degree bevel with a metallic gradient in GiMP is beyond me - so many Python plugins, none of them work on a Mac, my brain hurts, it's not happening. I know I should bite a variety of bullets and get Illustrator and Photoshop, I know, I know. Someday.

Help if you can!

At my links page at, hit that link for Frank toward the top of the page if you can share it or donate to it - we love Frank and we want him to be all right. You do too!

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