Melting over time…

Oh hey, it’s August.

July was fully centered on surgery and recovery and staring blankly at various points in front of me because I didn’t have the energy for much else. Aside from whining about it on Twitter. I did A LOT of whining about it on Twitter.

Nothing new there.

So.

Stuff.

And things…

1.) I may or may not write a lengthy post about septoplasty and bilateral turbinate reduction. I have plenty to say, but…effort. In short, things are still sore if I bump my nose—which is often gaddammit—and I can’t put full pressure behind blowing my nose. But I can breathe clearly and I have no idea how to handle this much oxygen at one time. I am genuinely shocked that I have finally had success with an expensive medical venture. The insurance statements are rolling in and oh my god that’s a lot of dollars, but I won’t have to pay for all of it—just most of it—because I hit my asinine deductible.

2.) I’ve been trying to drink Kombucha. I say trying because it smells like beer, tastes less offensive, and burns the hell out of my stomach. Also it’s ridiculously expensive for a 12-15oz bottle of bacteria. But fermented foodstuffs are rumored to help anxiety. (Mostly social anxiety, but anxiety nonetheless.) Normally I’m highly skeptical of all this current day EVERYTHING THAT IS NOT 100% NATURAL IS EVIL AND GOING TO KILL YOU screeching, but I get a little experimental when it comes to managing my plethora of mental ailments because I’m a glutton for punishment, but I’m not [currently] willing to go back and play the Let’s Try This One Next! game with medication. Again.

3.) We went to my sister’s for Ellie’s birthday last weekend. My baby is 14 and starting high school this year. She’s become a video game and anime geek and Auntie Sara is so proud. But still. HIGH SCHOOL!? (Noah’s going to be in 11th grade and Hunter is starting college. STOP GROWING UP ON ME.)

4.) I’ve been on a Splender and Toad the Wet Sprocket kick recently. Because I like my music at least old enough to drive, apparently. Listening to Toad really makes me miss 90’s alternative. And watching those Splender videos looks like James Cruz has barely aged in damn near 20 years. WHAT THE HELL, JAMES? (Seriously, how old is he? We saw him play with Gavin DeGraw and I would have guessed he was younger than me, but Splender formed in 1990, which would likely put him at least mid-40’s and he has to have some sort of youth serum.) (Also, I had no idea he was even in Splender until recently and I’m still inexplicably boggled I didn’t know this. I’d almost go as far as saying I was shook. But I’m thirty-seven years old, so no. I wasn’t a hardcore Splender fan by any means. Mostly I remember Waymon Boone and his platinum blonde hair. But still. What the hell, James?) Maybe it’s bass players. Benj Gershman hasn’t aged in the history of O.A.R. either. Then again, none of those guys seem to have aged much. What the hell, boys?

This is my brain and welcome to it.

ANYWAY.

5.) I feel like this fortune cookie is a metaphor for something…

As I sit here beating my head against the wall over potential changes in a story project.

Always the same…

There is a never-ending shitstorm of bad news from an administration hellbent on destroying people’s lives.

Anyone with a single shred of basic human decency can see it.

There is a loud consensus as of late that if you’re not publicly screeching about what’s going on in the world, you’re contributing to the problem. If you’re not filling your Twitter/Facebook/Instagram/[insert social media platform of choice] feeds with outrage, you are helping the opposition.

Silence equals compliance.

I’ve done more than my fair share of screaming into the void with everyone else, though I make a conscious effort not to. It’s not doing anybody any actual good, and it’s just not nearly as cathartic as it once was. (see: the entirety of my livejournal) The stuff I do put out isn’t anything constructive, it’s just that things have reached a breaking point and [literally] screaming at my computer screen (alone, in my house) can only relieve so much stress. Does posting an angry tirade on Twitter really help? No. Not really. But it happens. Because sometimes I don’t know what else to do. We all have our coping methods. Meltdowns on public forums are part of my deal. I can count on one hand the number of people who actually see what I post on a given platform. I’m not influencing anybody over here. Nor do I have any desire to. I’m just trying to survive on a daily basis, just like everyone else.

Words are in short supply as of late.

I keep opening WordPress, staring at it, and closing the tab without writing anything.

I want to write about ANYTHING other that what’s going on in the world as of late, but it’s difficult to focus on anything but. I don’t have anything useful to contribute to the conversation. Screaming into the void is just adding to the endless noise. And while venting can be healthy and cathartic, it’s not what I want to expend my already limited amount of mental energy on. I spend plenty of time talking to Bob about all of it, I don’t want to spend even more writing about it too. (Yet, this post is still happening. Whatever.)

I’ve started and abandoned so many posts about other things recently. None of them make it very far before I just don’t have the energy to continue. So I close the tab and try to find something else to focus on, but focus is not happening either.

It’s that time of the year. February and March hit almost as hard as the summertime SAD slump. It’s not fun, but it’s not new, and once I finally manage to identify it, I can better find ways to cope until it passes.

Because it will pass.

Everything sucks in the meantime, but IT WILL PASS.

Between the lines…

I keep opening up WordPress and staring at my dashboard thinking I need to write something, but mostly I just hear a lot of screaming inside my head. This is because I usually just read the latest headline regarding a certain deranged, blaze orange, narcissistic game show host who’s about to be given free reign over nuclear weapons and all his willfully ignorant and deranged cult followers.

But I don’t want to talk about that.

Instead, listing…

1.) I’ve been listening to the same music on repeat. This isn’t exactly a new thing, but my sanity is at critical mass regarding the aforementioned Shit I Don’t Want To Talk About and I need to maintain some semblance of calm in my bad addled brain. Nothing achieves that quite like listening to music I love ad nauseam. Right now we’ve got O.A.R., Andy Grammer, Eric Hutchinson, and Ingram Hill in heavy rotation. They are good for the soul.

2.) The Christmas tree still stands in the living room, in part because I am a procrastinator, and in part because I don’t want to put away the lights. I want to keep the lights up year round. I don’t need the tree or the ornaments, just the lights. I wonder if I could convince Robert to let me hang some in the loft…

3.) Basil seems to have expended all of his Tyler pipe dreams. Which is a bit of a blessing and relief, but he’s also being obnoxiously quiet on ideas in general. Because of course he is. There is no in between with him. Because he’s an asshole. But we’ve been over this.

4.) I’ve come to the conclusion that there is really only one story in the active list that is truly viable in its current state. As in, it has a definitive start and end point, and a clear plot in the middle. I’ve been beating my head against the wall over it for over a decade at this point (or half a decade as it currently exists) but it’s the one I should really be focusing on. Perhaps I should be listening to the Ben & Marina soundtrack on repeat for inspiration.

5.) I have a long list of house projects I need to get done but my focus is shot. (No–no, more than usual.) They are mostly small things that would take little time to complete, and having it done would make a lot of other things so much easier, but…ech… (see list item number one)

6.) Costco stopped selling Sobe vitamin water so we switched to the Vitamin Water brand. It’s taken some adjustment because we are creatures of habit and resistant to change. Something so insignificant shouldn’t cause such a disturbance, but we’re great like that. The orange flavor tastes like watered down Tang. Watered down Tang reminds me of the Farm. That was always pretty much the only available beverage for YEARS because well water wasn’t suitable for drinking. Christmas this year had me feeling a little wistful about the Farm. The family is gearing up to sell it now that both my grandparents are gone and it feels really weird to know that I’m probably never going to see the place again. I didn’t spend nearly as much time there as a lot of my cousins (or even my siblings) but it’s always been THERE and it won’t be long before it’s gone. (Or under new ownership, that is.)

7.) Life. It’s weirdly exhausting.

A Year in Review…2016…

Another year.

Another recap.

2017 is the Year of the Rooster.

2011…The House…
2012…Denver and Andy Grammer…
2013…If it Ain’t One Thing…
2014…The Phantom Smoke Stench…
2015…WTF Day Is It…

2016 was The Year of…The Whole Gaddamn World is on Fire…

Seriously. It’s been a year. Oh ye gods.

It’s a common (proven?) theory that things always get worse before they get better. But how much worse do things have to get before the corner is turned? 2016 was awful in so many ways for so many people and everyone is ready for it to just be DONE. Though that was the consensus at the end of 2015 as well, with the belief that 2016 had to be better and it turned out so much worse. Will 2017 continue the trend? Or will we finally get that turn around so many so desperately need? I don’t pride myself in the least on being a perpetual pessimist. But it is difficult to see things any other way when so many people are in so much pain.

Here’s hoping 2017 brings about positive change, even if it takes the whole year to get it.

1.) Where did you ring in 2016?
We marathoned the entirety of Breaking Bad over our Christmas break and finished it out on NYE.

2.) What did you do in 2016 that you’d never done before?
I died my hair blue. I liked it but it was short-lived, and it’s way too much work to maintain.

3.) Did you keep your new year’s resolutions and will you make more for next year?
Dead horses and all that.

4.) Did anyone close to you get engaged or married?
My cousin was supposed to get married in October, but they cancelled the whole thing two weeks before the date without explanation. (Though they are still together.)

5.) Did anyone close to you become pregnant or give birth?
One of my cousins welcomed his second baby the same week our grandma died.

6.) Did anyone close to you die?
My grandma died in February. She was 99, six months shy of her 100th birthday. Now Bob and I no longer have any surviving grandparents.

7.) How did you earn your keep?
I am a housewife, dammit. (Not even close.)

8.) What countries places did you visit?
We didn’t go anywhere this year. We are okay with this.

9.) What would you like to have in 2017 that you lacked in 2016?
A decent sleep schedule.

10.) What dates from 2016 will remain etched upon your memory and why?
There are a lot of depressing and tragic dates associated with this year. I’m picking a happy one.
September 30th, seeing Andy Grammer and Gavin DeGraw play live.

11.) What was your biggest achievement of the year?
I survived. It has been a rough year for many reasons. But I survived.

12.) What was your biggest failure?
I didn’t get as much stuff done as I wanted to.

13.) Did you suffer illness or injury?
I had a mystery plague in the middle of summer that lasted a full week and took another couple months for my system to fully rebound.

14.) Did you ever encounter the police?
I should change this question to “Did anyone crash into one of your cars?” because that is the only reason we ever encounter the police. No police this time, but Bob did get a new bumper from a bad driver. (It was minor. Everyone is fine.)

15.) What was the best thing you bought?
Concert tickets to see Andy Grammer and Gavin DeGraw.

16.) Where did most of your money go?
House stuff, car repairs, and medical bills.

17.) What did you get really excited about?
New music and live music. Bob got really excited about Final Fantasy XV.

18.) Compared to this time last year, are you…
…happier or sadder? Angrier. Read the news.
…thinner or fatter? Thinner, somehow.
…richer or poorer? Richer, I suppose. Bob got a new job.

19.) What do you wish you’d done more of?
Cleaning and organizing, as usual.

20.) What do you wish you’d done less of?
Reading the news and crying.

21.) How did you spend Christmas?
Christmas Eve with my family. Christmas Day with Bob’s.

22.) What are your short and long term goals for 2017?
Short Term: Annual appointments.
Long Term: Organize my iTunes library and rip all the CDs I don’t have in digital format yet.

23.) What was your favorite TV program?
We watched the first season of Mr. Robot. It was pretty good, if a little Tyler Durden-ish.

24.) What were your favorite books of the year?
I didn’t finish anything that was particularly memorable this year. I really need to read more books.

25.) What was your favorite music from this year?
O.A.R., Gavin DeGraw, and Nine Days all put out new music that got heavy play.

26.) What song will always remind you of 2016?
She Sets the City on Fire by Gavin DeGraw. Because the switch flipped on Sir GDG.

27.) What were your favorite films of the year?
We watched a lot of movies. I’ll say Lazer Team. Because Rooster Teeth. Or Rogue One. Because Star Wars.

28.) What did you do on your birthday and how old were you?
I turned 37. What.
It was a Saturday. I had a headache. We ordered Chinese food for dinner and died my hair blue.

29.) What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
A different election result. JFC.

30.) How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2016?
Pajamas and hoodies every single day.

31.) What kept you sane?
Bob and music. Always.

32.) Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
O.A.R. and Andy Grammer are still front and center and the switch flipped on Gavin DeGraw.

33.) Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2016.
Some people just want to watch the world burn. And just when you think the flames might be getting a little lower, somebody hucks another 55 gallon drum of gasoline onto the heap.

Damn these days…

Insomnia and anxiety are great, I don’t know what you’re talking about.

There are so many things I could be writing about, but they’re not getting written because I just don’t have the mental fortitude for it. I write plenty of posts dumping out raw emotions that never get published. They just sit in the drafts folder never to see the light of day. It feels better to purge my brain, and everything I write here, I write for me, but some things just don’t necessarily warrant public perusal. I haven’t kept a private journal in years—I’ve started many, but never maintained—I guess posts that sit unpublished serve that purpose these days. It works, I suppose.

Anyhoo.

Instead I’ve been writing.

… I’ve spilled several thousand words on a dumb fanfiction venture because sometimes you just need to give your brain a little reprieve and focus on something silly. It’s ridiculous and stupid and it entertains me endlessly.

… I’ve been plotting a way to combine two existing storylines into one. Separately they fall a little flat, but together they actually have some substance. But they’ve been tackled from so many angles over the years, I need to make sure I have my characters in order before I start pounding out words, or it will implode before I even really get started.

… It amuses me how inspiration can strike from even the most minuscule details. I read something that someone else wrote, and one, tiny little comment stuck in my brain that rapidly morphed and mutated into an entire storyline (or several, if I’m being honest). And while I thought it was just my warped imagination running rampant with exaggeration, months down the line, I’ve apparently hit the nail right on the head. Some people are just easy to figure out, I guess.

… I’ve been mulling over a number of ideas sitting in the active writing folder, seeking inspiration, wondering what I could do to make them work better. There’s one in particular that I really want to be working on. I have some stuff written for it (actual narrative!) that I really like, but the over-arcing plotline is just so boring that it’s really difficult to know what to do with it. I’m a total sucker for the everyday mundane, but this stuff is a total snooze-fest even for me.

… When I’m fumbling around trying to put together character lists or timelines, I retreat to my home architect program and start designing houses for these as yet unwritten stories. Or redesign existing floorplans to better fit the tales they’re intended for. I spend hours working on plans and perusing house plan websites for inspiration. It just adds to the excess of information I have rolling around in my head on any given story project that really has no relevance to the actual story, but it’s there if the need ever arises. And it’s much easier to describe surroundings if I have a visual reference to study.

… Writing. The bane of my existence and the love of my life. Both at the same time.

 

She’s such a piece of work—her husband too. She is totally one of those people that will carry on endlessly about how much she absolutely loves both of her children and she couldn’t possibly choose a favorite, but it’s blatantly obvious that she does favor one over the other to an extreme degree. In her case, she fawns all over her younger son, and her first born barely gets any attention by comparison. They’re always so irrationally harsh with him and I’ve never seen him do a damn thing wrong. I just don’t get it. He’s smart, he’s sweet, he works hard. He’s an amazing kid and his parents don’t see it at all. They’ll totally take credit for it if someone else points it out, but they don’t actually acknowledge that with him.

Really, at fifteen, he’s leagues smarter than his parents and they’re threatened by that. The only way they know how to cope with it is by trying to make him feel bad about himself, which is the one thing they’re actually good at. Every time they put him down I just want to throttle them. I don’t know how anyone can treat their own child like that.

I just want to hug the shit out of him and tell him he’s worth so much more and deserves so much better.

But who am I?

Just some virtual stranger with no clout to help him.

 

Nine…

Listen.

The whole goddamn world is on fire.

And I don’t want to talk about it.

Today I have squishy feelings because it was nine years ago that I went on a date with a boy I met on the internet. We sat in a Caribou halfway between our respective homes and talked for eight hours. The weather was snow-raining and gray and cold, which is exactly what is happening outside my window right now.

Nine years of my life with this guy.

I say it every time, but it feels like yesterday and a lifetime ago.

We don’t actually celebrate our dating anniversary since we got married, but it’s hard not to at least acknowledge it.

I met him at my absolute lowest point.

He saved my life.

There’s no other way to put it.

Here is a picture of Emerson Mouse hanging from my hair.

This is a highly accurate representation of the goofy-ass things my Robert will do to make me laugh on a daily basis. And especially when it feels like the world is caving in on itself.

I love him.

So.

Fucking.

Much.

Emotionally overrun…

I try to keep up with current events in the news so I have at least some idea of what’s going on in the world, but it can really take a harsh toll on my mental health. Especially as of late with the rapidly approaching election and the terrifying prospect of a horrific, degenerate psychopath becoming our next president.

Instead…

Things that are good…

1.) We ordered new blinds for all of our windows. (All four of them.) The ones that came with the house were poorly installed and ill-maintained and the one in the living room doesn’t even cover the whole (seven-foot-tall) window. There’s also been nothing on the transom over the front door. Both cause a lot of annoyance sitting in the living room with blinding sunlight in the afternoon/evening. We haven’t installed them yet, but we have given ourselves the deadline of November 29th when Final Fantasy XV [finally] comes out and we’ll be spending a lot more time downstairs. I’m excited to have nice, clean, new blinds on all of our windows.

2.) Related, Final Fantasy XV is finally coming out at the end of November. They’ve been stringing fans along for over a decade at this point. Bob is such a huge FF fan and his excitement over the game is so gaddamn adorable I just want to squeeze him. So I do.

3.) This weekend is Bob’s birthday and I’ve made him a ridiculous cake experiment of cheesecake and lemon bars and I have no idea what it’s going to be like when I cut into it, but we’ll see how it turns out. It certainly won’t taste bad. I rarely bake anything these days unless an occasion calls for it, so why not go all out for my husband’s birthday?

4.) We’ve finally had a good run of hoodie weather and it has been a much needed relief for my bad-addled brain. We had to break down and turn the heat on this weekend, but I’ll take layers of blankets over hotter-than-hades any day.

5.) We saw Andy Grammer and Gavin DeGraw play at Mystic Lake. I have many things to say about it (we’ll see if it ever gets written) but in a nutshell…HOT DAMN they are both so fucking good at what they do. I’ve been waiting four years for AG to play a local show at a decent venue and he was SO worth the wait. And while Gavin DeGraw has been on my musical radar for more than a decade, I’d never given much thought to seeing him live, but damn. He’s good.

Gator came with as my Xanax for the night. He hasn’t been to a show since Red Rocks so it was fitting. And deliberate. Gator loves him some AG.


(Back Home [live] by Andy Grammer)


(Something Worth Saving [live] by Gavin DeGraw)

The Seven Year Itch…

Seven years ago I married a boy I met on the internet.

Statistically, we should be seeing a decline in our relationship at this point. The Seven Year Itch is something that actually happens according to research.

I’d say for us, the longer we’re together, the better we get.

Does that make us special?

No.

Not really.

Plenty of people survive statistics.

My parents have been married for fifty years.

It’s not always rainbows and giggles and arguments with stuffed animals. We have ugly conversations and disagreements. We get stressed and irritated and snappy. But we communicate—even when it sucks—and we tend to talk everything to death. Things are far from perfect, but we’re US.

And I love US.

I can be my whole, awkward, weird, inane, obsessive self, and he tells me he loves me for all of it.

He is my sanity and my saving grace.

I love him more than I ever thought possible to love another human being, and I love him more every day.

I always have these elaborate plans in my head for commemorating our anniversary in writing, but really, simplicity works better.

Seven years.

And not the least bit itchy.

Things unseen…

Life…

Here’s the thing about life:

It happens.

Sometimes a whole lot of it happens all at once and leaves your mind spinning.

When life happens, I feel compelled to write about it. I’m a writer and writing about life comes with the territory. It helps me work through the convoluted mess that is my brain. It helps me remember when things happened. But the problem I often run into is that there are certain things that I want to do justice when I write about them. I want to be coherent and detailed. So I start planning and plotting, and that leads to over-thinking, and then I get overwhelmed, and then suddenly it’s months later, and WTAF how is it the end of April already?

So.

Life.

In abbreviated bullet form. Because if I try anything else, it’s not going to get done. And I need to get this done for my own sanity.

1.) Bob got a new job. He wasn’t looking for one, but an opportunity presented itself and he decided to pursue it. He’d reached a dead end for growth at his previous job and this new one has plenty of growth potential. It’s a similar position with a somewhat similar company, but a very different environment, and so far a much better fit for what he wants out of his place of work. There are a multitude of pros and cons, but the pros outweigh the cons, and even after the first week he was noticeably less stressed and run down. It’s been a full month now and so far, so good.

2.) My grandma died. She was 99—six months shy of her 100th birthday. She had seven kids, eighteen grandchildren, twelve great-grandchildren, and one great-great grandchild. She’d been on the decline for a few months and her mind was mostly gone. My mom called me on a Sunday afternoon to tell me it was coming and by Tuesday she was gone. The funeral was on a Saturday and we had beautiful, sunny, warm weather (In February! In Minnesota!) for being outside at a cemetery. The fresh air and sunshine were a great relief after a full Catholic service OY. Now Bob and I no longer have any surviving grandparents. And that really sucks.

3.) When I went for my annual physical, we discussed my allergy issue with raw produce and my chronic sinus inflammation. I got a referral to an allergy doctor and tested positive for eighteen out of thirty-nine common allergens. I am allergic to cats (no surprise, cat exposure = week-long recovery), dogs (!? that’s news to me), dust (and we have the dustiest house ever), and all things nature (ragweed, grass, trees, oh my!). I got validation on an Oral Allergy Syndrome diagnosis (it has NOTHING to do with eating organic) and was told DO NOT eat raw fruits and vegetables. I also tested positive for nut allergies and that’s an automatic EPI-PEN. And fun story—insurance does not cover an EPI-PEN, it’s $537, there is no generic, and it expires after a year. While I’ve never had a severe reaction to nuts (just the oral allergy issue), I’m still at risk for a life-threatening reaction. So either I spend a large sum of money on something I’ll likely never use (and throw it out when it expires) or I save the money and risk an unexpected reaction and be completely unprepared for it. (Either way, it’s still a trip to the emergency room.)

4.) I have more appointments that need to be made in the never-ending marathon of figuring-shit-out, and that involves making phone calls, and panic attacks over trivial bullshit like picking up the phone fucking suck. Panic attacks, in general, fucking suck.

5.) There is no shortage of family-related drama because toxic people are incredibly difficult to get rid of.

6.) The A/C in my car is dead and that’s a repair bill I don’t care to see. But warm weather is on the way, and a car with black interior is pretty much a one-way ticket to heat stroke for someone who gets overheated pretty much daily in the shower. God. Dammit. Joel.

7.) Writing is kicking my ass and as I’ve talked about ad nauseam—when the writing isn’t happening, everything else in my bad-addled brain goes to shit.

8.) We spent $537 on the damn EPI-PEN.

Not the same…

February and March are a weird time for me.

A lot of people have trouble with this time of year, grappling for relief after a dark, miserable winter.

For me it’s because of two defining moments in my life.

February marked eight years since I got fired from the Toxic Shit Hole.

March marks nine years since that first doctor appointment when I sobbed in an exam room in front of a doctor I’d just met, because I could no longer handle the utterly debilitating depression that had been ruling my life for nearly two decades.

Mixed in with that, there’s just a lot of LIFE happening these days.

Some things good, some things not so much, others just…ugh.

My brain is mush.

I am mentally, emotionally, and physically exhausted.

I just want a nap.

The writing has been damn near nonexistent on all fronts and I find myself spinning my wheels trying to produce something, anything.

I’m fixating on details that don’t warrant fixation, and struggling to muddle my way through parts that actually matter. It’s not even an issue of narrative kicking my ass at this point. It’s just getting words on a page.

There’s run of the mill writer’s block.

And then there’s this.

And it’s frustrating as all get out.

To say the least.

I’d insert a long string of expletives and rude gestures as I usually do…

But I’m really, effing TIRED.

It just might be nap time.

Maybe I’ll take one wrapped up in my new blanket.

Bob ordered my birthday present back in November and it finally arrived this month.

It’s a hooded MOOGLE blanket.

It’s super soft and fluffy and it has wings on the back.

It’s a critter and a blanket all in one.

It’s like he knows me.

Kupo.