Monday, December 31, 2012

New Year, New You - Part Two

Fir auld lang syne....

SO! Last year, I wrote out my "resolutions" in a notebook, and then I posted them in my blog, and then I wrote them out on 3x5 cards and taped them all over my vanity. Every time I completed one, I'd put a little check next to it. I'm proud to say that plenty of them have little check marks, but some of them do not. If you remember, some of my resolutions for the past year were a little abstract. This year, I'm doing something a bit different. (Also, the period button [.] seems to be sticking on my laptop's keyboard. It's irritating. Irrelevant, but irritating.)

This year, I have some general, overall goals for the whole of 2013. But I'm trying to focus a little more on the day-to-day. (Okay, maybe it's not the period key that's sticking, maybe my fingers are just acting wonky and being uncooperative.)

IN GENERAL: for 2013
  • eat regularly like a normal human being (I really need to work on this one - I usually eat only one meal a day and mini non-meals the rest of the time. I've been reminded that this is not healthy.)
  • Make a playlist of happy music to listen to
  • Put up pictures of Kenzie and generally make my room my own
  • Use the happy thoughts box
  • BLOG every once in a while
  • Read 1 new book every month ("new" as in a book I have not read before)
  • Get more organized
  • Write every day
  • Go somewhere I've never been before
  • Be a happier, more positive person.
For the Month of January (My Goals):
  1. Make my bed every morning. I feel like if I start my day with order and tidiness, other things will fall into place.
  2. Make my desk usable again. Right now my desk is covered in crap and completely disorganized. I want to be able to sit at my desk to write for a while every day.
  3. Write every day. I'm starting with 15 minutes. 15 minutes a day, writing something. Anything.
  4. Clear the floor of my room so I can vacuum every weekend. This seems silly, but I want to be able to vacuum and have room to, I dunno, do yoga on the floor or something equally ridiculous.
  5. Get to the gym 3 times a week, bare minimum. I like going to the gym, going to the gym is good for me, I know this, blah blah blah
  6.  Develop and act upon an evening routine that involves preparing for the next day so mornings are smooth and simple. Pack a lunch for work, make sure dishes are done and either put away or in the dishwasher, not piled up in the sink. Lay out an outfit for the next day, have stuff by the door if I need to run errands before/after work. This will make life easier.
Six little things to do every day, getting closer to doing something better with myself. Making myself better. I have a good feeling about this year. 2013 is going to be my year of living well, my year of positivity. A year of good vibes.  I'll keep you posted - wish me luck.

Note: The above image was pinned from user Young, Lovely and Mean on Pinterest. This user uploaded it him/herself and did not leave any further information. I am not claiming any copyright to the above image. If you know who owns the copyright to this image, please let me know so I can seek permission to use it. Until then, I make no money or profit in any way by including the above image in this blog for personal uses. Please don't sue me, I seriously have no money and can barely pay rent. Many thanks. ~The Author

Monday, December 3, 2012

Back Again

So. I've been away for a few months. Basically, Penelope (my laptop) DIED and I've been effectively without all of my drafted blog posts and little bits on inspiration that she held for the duration. But she's back, therefore I am, too.

I work full-time, my cat is half-grown, my housemate still makes me a little homicidal sometimes, and I'm teaching on Tuesday evenings now. Wild, huh?

And I don't see my friends.

And I don't meet new people.

And I don't write anymore.

I just wish.

So I hope this blog isn't too depressing for you.

Friday, August 24, 2012


 "When I'm knitting, all is right with the world:
problems reduced to knit and purl."

   I can't really believe that I've been blogging for 2+ years and have yet to bring up my knitting. *shame* I know this blog doesn't have any real theme or point or focus (other than me and my life drama), but I really am trying to remedy that. I'm working on several short pieces of writing, which will be featured, I have a blog (or seven) about my new roommate, and then this new feature!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Anger Management

“The world spins. We stumble on. It is enough.”

Let The Great World Spin, Colum McCann

I like to consider myself a relatively even-keeled person. I'm emotional, yes, but not one of those angry, aggressive, loose-cannon types. While I'm easily annoyed, I very rarely lose my temper. Even when I lose my temper, I don't completely let go of it - rather, I loosen my grip on it ever so slightly. The only times I've ever completely lost my temper and start screaming and throwing things and slamming doors in anger, I'm typically in the midst of a heated argument with my parents.

Today, I am not overly peeved at my parents.  My father has yet to pay me in full, yes, and this is incredibly irritating and more than a little inconvenient. My mother has re-instigated her crusade for me to take on seasonal/holiday employment at one of the many retail locations posting signs for such things "for a little extra income." Mother, dear, I wouldn't need "a little extra income" if your husband would pay me on time, in full. And, while I certainly don't need this kind of prodding (I'm 22 years old for crying out loud, I know what seasonal work is), it's not so frustrating that I wish to break things.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Oh, Hi!

“[And] laughter tinkled among the teacups.”

                                                                   T.S. Eliot, Mr. Apollinax

So, I kinda totally forgot I had a blog for like, 2 weeks. I've been really really bad about posting this summer (in general, really, forever), and I apologize (to all 3 of you that read this/subscribe via e-mail). But stuff's been happening! (Kinda-not-really.)

So a few updates (with individual posts to follow [for some, not all]):

1. I'm working 9-5 now, so I have less time for everything else. Seriously. Still don't get paid regularly, though. :/
2. I joined a Writing Group!!!
3. My piano is finally in my house!!!
4. I inherited one of my uncle's guitars, and it's waaaaaaay nicer than mine. It also has new strings.
5. I have some posts about knitting that are coming up in the nearish future...

aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaand (drumroll please)

6. I GOT A CAT. <-- that  one's gonna be hella photo-heavy, so brace yourselves.

I'm also writing some, but nothing worthy of getting put up here. Basically since I'm now working something that resembles "full-time," I plan on managing my time a little more effectively and writing more. A few edits to my "Pages" and things are also coming up, and we're just gonna go from there. Hopefully as life settles into something resembling a routine again I'll be able to not only write regularly but I'll finally start posting regularly.  Or something.

SO, lots to look forward to. Cheers!!! 

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

May Have Mercy

Source: helenkorpa Flikr

May has only been here for 9 days, but - as I predicted over a month ago - it's been a shit-show.  One bloody thing after another. Fate just won't give up and seems determined to pummel me.

From having no money (seriously, my checking account is beyond overdrawn), and minimal job prospects (who wants to hire a 22 year old college drop-outwith no degree or credentials or lengthy experience in anything? No one.) and my mother being more malicious and vindictive than usual, this month's got it in for me. As in, I don't see myself living past 22 anymore.  I mean, my initial freak-out last month was more panic than anything, but after today. . .

I don't understand how my mother can say the things she says to me.  She seems to make it her life's work to make me feel as small and worthless as possible at every opportunity.  I don't understand how someone who is supposed to love me can say such cruel, painful, paralyzing things and then walk away like I'm nothing more than a problem that won't fix itself.  The things she said this afternoon - saying I'm useless, that I need to quit wallowing and do something productive, that I don't have an excuse for not doing things, and criticizing my cleaning skills (neglecting the fact that I live with a 50 year old man who doesn't understand the concept of cleaning up after himself) - were hurtful to say the least.  The tone in her voice though, like I was something less than human she was disgusted with. . . That left me nearly catatonic but for tears when she finally left.

I sought consolation from my brother, who sympathized but wasn't comforting.  All he said was that as long as I live somewhere where she foots the bill, I have to suck it up and deal. He also admitted that, considering my income and the money I owe various peoples and organizations, I'm stuck here for the foreseeable future.

At the rate Life keeps piling shit on me, I expect Hell will break loose by my birthday - but again, at this rate, I don't think I'll stick around to see it.

Tonight I'll just content myself with a few more scars.

And I hide because there’s more to me than what you see and I’m not sure you’d like the rest. I know that sometimes, I don’t like the rest.

Monday, April 2, 2012

When I Have Fears

It's been an interesting winter, I suppose, but finally, finally, it's turning into spring.  I love this time of year.  I survived the cold dark of fall and winter and now I'm to be rewarded with warm days that last and last.  I can always tel, because the wild mustard is already blooming on the hillsides, and even a few brave poppies have poked up their golden heads before the final frost.

Unfortunately, it also brings my birthday.  I know, it's a silly thing, and I should be excited or something, but the one thing no one realizes is that in truth, I'm terrified.  I know I say that and people laugh but. . . The reason I went so all-out for my birthday last year was because I rather planned on it being my last.

Don't freak out, I don't have any plans. I just - and I realize how ridiculous this is - don't want to get old.  It's a completely irrational fear, I know, but like all my other irrational fears, it comes with a great deal of anxiety.  It's hard to explain where this came from, only I know I've felt like this since I was 14.

I've always been afraid of aging.  I'm not so concerned for vanity's sake - neither my mother nor grandmother look even a decade near their true age - I'm concerned for other reasons.  For years I've felt like 21 was it.  And I royally blew it.  What did I do this year?  I spend a wonderful summer in Salem, OR, I went back to school and dropped out again; I reconnected with R--- and K---, I'm working a dead-end job for my father and have little more than a high school education.  Not much to show for 21 years on this earth.

And that's what I'm afraid of.  When we're young, we're starry-eyed dreamers, but we're gradually robbed of that as we get older until we're nothing but shells of who we once were.  I don't want to wake up one day and realize that I'm 40 with a husband and 3 kids and haven't lived my life.

I mean, how many 40 or 50 year olds do you know who are genuinely happy with how their life turned out?  Who rejoice in their aging? I've been told time and time again by people I love not to get old.  I know they mean it jokingly but. . . I genuinely don't want to.

Maybe it's just the Big D talking but . . .  I've been worrying about this for a while.  It's more than just worrying about not living fully or "making my dreams come true" (whatever that means...), but I can't quite articulate it.

I mean, I feel like this is it.  My friends and I are growing up, we're running out of things to connect us.  I know that's a normal part of growing up, but I want a do-over.  I didn't do high school right, I royally fucked up my college "experience" and all I can think is that I'm running out of time to do all the living I have to do before I'm conned into giving myself up and forced to grow up.  The unfairness of it is so bitter and vile.

I look at Kenzie and how wondrous the world still is to her and feel sick when I think that in 15 short years, she'll probably be as disillusioned as me, if not more so.  And in 15 years, I'll be 37.

Am I a horrible person for feeling so trapped? I've heard all the "it's never too late to do what you've dreamed of" that I can handle.  I just want to know what my options are.  I'm really worried where I'll be in a few more weeks. . .

10 Books for Daughters

I was bopping around on Pinterest earlier and stumbled across this. It's brilliant. Truly genius. (Not mine, not stealing. Please please please go look at this woman's blog - it's brilliant.)

"10 Books You Must Read to Your Daughter (Or How to Keep Your Daughter From Ending Up Like That Horrid Girl in Twilight)
January 29, 2012, 5:31 pm

So now we have a baby daughter. Look how she slumbers. She doesn’t even know that I stay up at night worrying about her self-image. And, oh horrors! What if someday she wants to read Stephanie Meyer’s literary atrocity, the Twilight series? You know the one, the books featuring a non-descript female protagonist who, in addition to having no interests or talents of any kind (other than smelling delicious to a sparkly 100-year-old vampire), is helpless, boring, and basically suicidal when her 100-year-old sparkly vampire boyfriend breaks up with her? Yeah, those books. So, I’m coming up with a reading list containing female characters that could put a smack down on Bella Swan any day of the week and reveal what a real woman looks like.
1. The Anne Books by Lucy Maud Montgomery: Anne of Green Gables and the 7 sequels that complete the series were a staple of my childhood. Anne is fantastic. She’s clever, charming, resourceful, imaginative (to a fault), and hysterically funny. And she goes to college and gets a BA during the Edwardian era. So that’s impressive. I actually saw the miniseries first and read the books later. IMPORTANT: Anne of Green Gables the film and Anne of Green Gables the sequel (Anne of Avonlea) are wonderful but for Pete’s sake DO NOT watch Anne the Continuing Story. Pretend it doesn’t exist. It’s an absurd and wretched thing that dishonors the very name of Anne. Really. Part of you will die.
I agree completely. I read the Anne books as a girl and adored how vivacious, independent, and utterly extraordinary she was. She didn't necessarily fit in with the other girls but pursued her own dreams and set her own goals.
2. The Little House Series by Laura Ingalls Wilder: I was probably a little too obsessed with the Little House books in my day. I may or may not have worn lace-up black boots, braids, and read under an old-timey quilt next to an antique hurricane lamp most of the time between the ages of 6 and 8. File this one under the category of “capable women doing cool stuff.” Laura Ingalls is awesome, obvi.
I learned to read by age 4 when my father went through this whole series with me. I loved the fact that we were reading a fabulous story that actually happened to a real person. It blew me away to think that a little girl just like me wrote down her adventures. These books inspired me to be a writer myself. Not to mention how totally badass Laura's mom was...
3. Little Women by Louisa May Alcott: I have a distinct memory of finishing the last pages of Louisa May Alcott’s finest mere minutes before heading to the theatre to see the 1994 film on Christmas Day with my mom. What girl doesn’t adore the awkward and gutsy Jo March? I have to confess though that when I read it last year I realized I’m probably more like Amy—not because I have the slightest visual artistic talent but because we’re both selfish. I love that each of the four sisters are so different and yet each one exudes a positive kind of femininity, although, to be fair, Meg’s “I-don’t-worry-my-pretty-little-head-about-it” attitude isn’t quite what I have in mind for my daughter. Warning: after reading this I was rather bitter that I didn’t have sisters. Just a heads up.
I actually have not read Little Women. I know this is bad of me, but I have sisters so I don't think I'm missing much, and the movie really bugged me. However, I will concede that as female protagonists, they are pretty good. And I definitely remember trying to be a bit more of a tomboy to be like Jo...
4. The Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling: You’d be hard pressed to find a book series with better female characters. There’s a quote swimming around the internet attributed to Stephen King: “Harry Potter is about confronting fears, finding inner strength and doing what is right in the face of adversity. Twilight is about how important it is to have a boyfriend.” I concur. I love that Rowling can depict a strong, brave, capable, intelligent, and compassionate woman in such a variety of characters: a middle-aged stay-at-home mom of seven, a pink-haired dark wizard catcher, an elderly spinster teacher, and an overachieving teenaged student, to name a few. If my girl emulates Hermione Granger, Luna Lovegood, Ginny Weasley, Nymphadora Tonks, Minerva McGonagal, or, of course, my beloved Molly Weasley, I’ll be a happy mama. And it doesn’t hurt that the whole plot pivots around the sacrifice of one amazing mother (Lily Potter) for her son. Anyone who’s down on these books can’t have read them.
Yes, yes, yes and YES. I love this. Harry Potter is so full of very real characters, both good and bad (Rita Skeeter, Bellatrix Lestrange or Dolores Umbridge, anyone?). I adore that Stephen King quote (SO true), and there is also one from Emma Watson on her character, Hermione Granger. To paraphrase: "Girls are told they have to be the princess. Hermione taught them they can be a warrior." Someone else said of Hermione, "She, unlike so many other modern heroines, did not give up her femininity in order to be brave, to be 'one of the boys.' She maintained her emotional depth but was quite talented and stood out from the crowd as a powerful figure." Basically, almost all the women in this series are total badasses.
5. Till We Have Faces by C.S. Lewis: This complex book is a retelling of the Cupid and Psyche myth and Orual, the main character (Psyche’s older unattractive sister), is an incredibly complex character. It’s not so much that Orual should be a role model, but her spiritual journey is worth reading and the book is sure to lead to some good discussions about what a good woman should be. It’s notable that Lewis had lots of help from his wife, Joy Davidman, when writing this book. Otherwise, it’s hard to imagine how a man could be so amazingly insightful about a woman’s mind.
C.S. Lewis. Can't go wrong. I would add Chronicles of Narnia and Lucy Pevensie to this. Lucy was the one brave enough, sure enough in her convictions to lead her siblings (older and more influential than she!) to a world of magic, wonder, and learning. Way to go, Lucy.
6. The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien: OK, so definitely not a girlie book (not that any book in this list has an exclusively female audience), and there’s very few female characters. However, the ones it depicts are fantastic. Galadriel? Eowyn? Yes, please. The book also exudes so many virtues that it seems hardly possible that having completed it your daughter will care two cents about Stephanie Whats-Her-Name. See? I can’t even remember because I’ve read Lord of the Rings. Also, it’s full of real men which is an important thing for a girl to be able to recognize. I’ll take Faramir, thanks.
Yup. This series is just awesome. I'll say my favorite thing about this series is that the characters are real - yes, they are virtuous, but they are also flawed. And that's real.
7. Anything Jane Austen wrote: Want your daughter to know a thing or two about interesting women? Read all six of these novels to her. After reading them, one should know exactly what kind of woman to be and what kind of woman to avoid. Elizabeth Bennet has more clever things to say in one page of P&P than Bella Swan could mumble in her entire miserable existence. And none of Austen’s heroine’s decide to curl up and die when they’re “crossed in love.” Philosopher Alasdair McIntyre supposedly said, “I don’t trust anyone who doesn’t like Jane Austen.” I quite agree.
Even Emma, which has Jane's most unforgivable female character, has strong female characters who are educated, brave, passionate, and driven. Even when Elizabeth Bennet's pride hurts her relationship, she learns from it and carries on. She is a strong contrast to her mother and youngest sisters' silliness and vanity. Way to go, Jane.
8. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte: A plain little orphan stands up to terrible relatives, survives a childhood of neglect and abuse, strengthens her mind with education, is the intellectual match of one of the most imposing and fascinating male characters in British literature, and makes the prettiest girl in the county look like a spineless nothing in comparison, among other impressive exploits. Supposedly, Charlotte Bronte bet her sisters (and fellow authoresses) that she could write a successful novel around a female character that was neither pretty nor charming. She won, obvi.
No. I cannot agree with this (no matter how much I agree with the others). While Jane was quite accomplished, in the end she goes crawling back to a man who lied to her, locked his first wife in the attic, and sends his adopted daughter to a horrible boarding school where she is taught to be quiet and look pretty. Why did Jane go back to this kind of monster!? That's not being a strong woman, that's ignoring your strengths as an independent woman and giving all that up for a man who doesn't deserve you! I'd much prefer my daughters were single, independent, and secure than married to men like that, even despite the slant of forgiveness at the end. I don't like it at all.
9. A Girl of the Limberlost by Gene Stratton Porter: Lesser-known book published in 1909, but a real treat. Stratton-Porter’s main character, Elnora Comstock, is so wonderful and endearing. Also she collects moths, so that’s cool (or at least Phillip Ammon thinks so). The prequel, Freckles, is also charming and delightful.
Hmmmm, I've heard a lot of negative things about this book so until I read it for myself, the jury is out. Sorry.
10. Kristin Lavransdatter by Sigrid Undset: This three-part saga by Norwegian author Sigrid Undset won the Nobel prize for literature and is one of the finest works you will ever read with a female protagonist rarely paralleled. Kristin is an amazingly human character with as much depth as any female literary character I have encountered. Her spiritual journey is fascinating and the saga is set in 11th century Scandanavia which makes it way more awesome to my medieval-loving heart. However, there are some sexual themes which might make it inappropriate for younger girls. Absolutely worth reading and discussing.
Yessssss. Kristin is wonderful! Definitely not appropriate for children but great for adolescent girls and a great book for discussion.

At three months, I don’t think Baby Lucy is ready to dive into these, yet. In the mean time, this mama will be praying lots of rosaries. Anybody else have so many more worries about raising a girl?
Did I leave anything out? What are your recommendations? Any advice on how to raise strong, capable, intelligent, compassionate, confident women? I’m all ears…
If you enjoyed this post you might also be interested in 10 Books You Must Read to Your Son."

You can read more from this fine literate lady here: Carrots for Michaelmas.
To access the original post to read some (admittedly) really interesting comments, click the title and it'll take you there.
To this list I would add the following:
Ella Enchanted: Ella is such a strong, vivacious girl who reminds me strongly of Anne of Green Gables. She handles a troubled family life, the loss of her mother, and the complications of loving someone while cursed with such grace and strength; I loved Ella as a girl - my paperback is battered and well-loved.
The Hunger Games: Not the series, just the first one (I have certain issues with the second and third books). Katniss is a wonderful protagonist who puts her family before everything. She's a tomboy out of necessity, but is still a very strong maternal figure to her sister. Most refreshing, this is not a love story. There is romance involved, but is not the main plot of the books. For once.

There were others I would add, but I'm tired now. This is a great list (except for Jane Eyre, sorry) and I'm excited to read through more of this blog and see what other great things I find!


Sunday, March 25, 2012

I'm Baaaack...

Yeah, so I totally fell off the planet there for a while, and I have good excuses, I promise! (Okay, they're kind of shitty excuses but it's my blog so suck it up.)

Acute Appendicitis. Although, when I heard that, I looked at my doctor and was all, "My appendix is not CUTE it's TRYING to KILL ME." He didn't think I was funny. I mean, I almost *died* and nobody in the hospital thought my jokes were entertaining. I swear, I'm like one of the Weasley twins when there's a life-and-death situation and I'm all trying to relieve the tension and nobody cares... But yes. It was about 3 weeks ago, and I'm just now completely back on my feet. It started on a Saturday morning, I took my sorry self to urgent care at noon, spent 4 hours throwing up and going through every test and exam they could think of (No, it's not a pelvic or cervical infection, no it's not a urinary tract infection, no it's not an intestinal infection, NO I AM NOT PREGNANT!) - much to my irritation - until my dad showed up and was like, "'Kay, I'm taking her to the hospital now." Most agonizing 10 minute drive of my life. I felt every bump, every dip, every uneven surface in the road and each one sent new stabs of pain through my entire abdominal area. From my ribs to my pelvis. Agony.
We got to the ER (thankfully my doctor called them and they were expecting us) but I still had to sit in the waiting room (still vomiting!) for almost an hour before they got me into a bed. And then they wanted to get another blood and urine sample. Unfortunately for the ER staff, I'd been vomiting almost constantly for over 4 hours at that point and was so dehydrated that my veins had shrunk down onto my muscular tissue and wouldn't budge. I'm not sure how I managed to take another pregnancy test in the ER but apparently people are compulsive liars even when their parents aren't present and wouldn't believe me when I swore up and down that me being pregnant was a biological impossibility (I went to Catholic school - I'm pretty sure I get how babies happen and that's not something that's happened recently enough for me to be pregnant). Eventually, my mom showed up, gave me a rosary (I seriously thought I was dying) and bitched out the doctor who was ignoring me as I started hallucinating because they hadn't given me a painkiller yet, and then they gave me morphine and 2 liters of fluid via IV and then they were able to take 6 more vials of blood.
A few hours later (still in the ER and the morphine had worn off!) I got wheeled away for a CT scan which of course came back normal, but apparently my white blood cell count was skyrocketing which I guess tells medical people that it's clinical appendicitis, even if it's not visual. So at about 1am my parents left, I got wheeled to a hospital room, was dosed with an extremely heavy narcotic and told to get some sleep as I would be getting cut open in the morning.
Morning came around and I was transferred to a gurney (ow!) and wheeled to the OR where my parents were waiting with my anesthesiologist (that's a fun word to spell...) who looked kinda like a hippie-Jesus-doctor. He stuck me real quick with something, then put the magic sleepy stuff in my IV and told me to count backwards. I made it to 5 and was out. When I came to I had an itchy oxygen mask over my face which I promptly ripped off and was woozy, confused, and in pain. I finally got Mr. Anesthesia-Jesus to give me the nose-oxygen instead (not itchy). Unfortunately, the idiots who wheeled me back to my hospital room were NOT paying attention to the fact that there were bumps marking every doorway and hallway and my cries of pain went unheard until they none-too-gently pushed me off the gurney and back onto my bed. They were cursed a blue streak that had my day nurse running in to see what the hell they were doing to me. Thankfully, he understood (yes, *he*. I had cute guy-nurses, my one compensation in this hell.), sent them out with a scolding and pumped me full of painkillers.
The next 3 days were full of sleeping, painkillers, jello, boredom, gorgeous flowers from the people I babysit for, visits from my parents, and more painkillers. I finally got them to spring me out on day 4 of my imprisonment, spent the rest of that day and night at my parents' house, and then (stupidly?) drove myself home to hide in bed. Then K--- came to visit me and took me for a walk. It was days before I could go up and down my stairs without having to stop halfway up and make sure I hadn't started bleeding, and showering was bliss. (On my last day in the hospital I took a shower out of a bucket in my hospital bed. Shaving from a bucket is not pleasant, I do not recommend it.) It's been a while but earlier this week I finally went back to work and have been pretty much back to normal.

I've felt like shit. For other reasons I shan't go into here. Basically it's been migraines and cramps around my stitches and general weakness and irritability. Not conducive to blogging.

My laptop is on the fritz. I seriously think Penelope might be dying. Like, she has viruses and I'm not sure the anti-virus software I have is up to the task. So I've been using my laptop from work to check e-mail and stuff, but it's not the same. I mean, I spent a year collecting quotes and images from the internet, lists of blog topics and documents (not to mention my NOVEL) that are all saved on that laptop. On top of that, I don't have the cash flow to take her to a professional so I'm kinda freaking out about that. Yeah...

So those are my reasons, take it or leave it. But thankfully I've only got one appendix, and mine is in a jar somewhere, probably being experimented on. At least it's out of me, though I still have funny little phantom twinges and my internal organs are still a little shifty sometimes. The Great Appendix Episode of 2012 is passed, and I'm mostly back in action.

Did ya miss me?

Monday, March 5, 2012

Word After Word After Word

"I have so many word-thoughts rattling around in my head, but my hands aren't fast enough to copy them down. I feel them streaming out my ears, running down my arms and pooling on the floor, cascading into a puddle of incoherency... It seems the well has sprung at last."
That was running through my head just a few moments ago, and thus became my Facebook status. There's so much I could (and would like to) say about words, books, writing, and other such things, but for tonight I have something specific to discuss.

See a few weeks ago, R--- called me up and invited me out to The Press with her. I'd never been, but basically it's like a cafe/coffeehouse by day and a bar&grill/open mic by night. It was actually really fun, and after a few drinks and the amusement of some exceptionally drunk people in the ladies' restroom (including Madame Sake Bomb and High-Waisted Skirt Girl) we wound up walking a very deserted Claremont Village. While we walked, we talked about our current (or lack thereof) creative projects, and drifted to my writing. And it got me thinking. And then it got me writing.

I spent 45 minutes compiling a list of over 80 books I want to read before the end of the year. One of the things R--- urged me to do was to get a library card. I live within walking distance of the La Verne library so why the hell didn't I think of that? It's the broke-girl's bookstore (I have ZERO money these days after paying bills and other such grown-up type things). But the list includes mostly modern classics by authors I should have read in college but didn't, and books I've always wanted to pick up but never bothered to.

How are the two preceding paragraphs connected? Well, a very intelligent screenwriter once lectured me thus: "If you're a writer, write. But in the same way that you can't run a marathon without having eaten plenty of nutritious calories, you can't write without having ingested words. Writers read - they read far more than the average person or the above-average reader. If you want to write for an hour, you have to read for at least half an hour. Bare minimum. And magazines don't count. You'll put out what you put in, so make it count." (Paraphrased, of course.) The man was a genius and had zillions of such epithets.

Anyway, what I'm trying to say is that I'm trying to write again. I have a number of projects going on that require tinkering, fiddling, and other such edits, and they deserve my attention. I deserve to write, well and in excess. I haven't touched my Venice Story in months, I have no further notes on my Tattoo Book and nothing short of a few  half-finished sections and a rough outline on my Babysitter's Guide. (Yes. I'm writing a babysitter's compendium. Shut up.)  And I'm going to write letters. So if you know I have your address, be prepared for a potential onslaught and don't you dare throw them away - my words will be national treasures someday, just you wait.

And to those I scared, worried, or otherwise caused concern to a few weeks/days ago: I apologize. I am not and have not been in a good place as of late, especially with my birthday and some mysterious psychological "deadline" approaching in the near future. But it'll get better. Right?

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Out of the Darkness

Alright, folks, I've got some big news. I've been kind of secretive for the last year, but I've been looking for a cause. Yes, yes, I'm a Free Hugger, but that's not really a "cause" so much as it's a movement and I don't feel about getting into the discussion of those differences. What I'm saying is, I've found it, and I'm stunned at how perfect it is.

As someone who's been living with diagnosed depression for over 2 years now (not to mention living with it undiagnosed for almost 12 years) and gone through the hospitalization and medication and therapy and blah blah blah, I'm kind of shocked how long it took me to find this organization - especially when I've been directly & indirectly benefiting from their influence for the duration of my treatment.

May I introduce: Out of the Darkness: The Overnight. 18 miles through the streets of San Francisco in one night. We're walking for the people we love who struggle with depression, the ones we've lost to suicide, and every single soul that resists the temptation to give up every day. I cried when I found this, because it reminded me that I am not the only one who struggles and that there is an army of people out there who come together to offer each other support.

SO! I'm taking donations. It costs $1000 to participate as a walker (I even joined a team! Team Death is No Parenthesis - from the e.e. cummings poem) plus the registration fee and airfare to get up to San Francisco in the first place. That said, I've been using my position as the Free Hugs Girl to further my cause. I'm there every Sunday anyway, and I have a modest following already, so I might as well commandeer their assistance. Drumroll!

Day 1 in Claremont and the conclusion of my first week of fundraising has elicited a total of: $54.52!!! I've committed myself to $20 a week and all the change I collect to this project, so the total donations I've received from strangers comes to $30.98, which is still awesome! As soon as I register I'll have an online donor page, and I know some of you have already made pledges to my cause, but every little bit helps! This cause has become so important to me in the last couple of weeks... It's put on by the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, which is an organization that supports programs like the Trevor Project, clinics and early-diagnosis centers at universities across America, and various other programs that save lives every single day.

I'll be posting more next week, with an update on my fundraising status and all the ways I'm getting ready for this. I have 14 weeks until the walk, which is June 9-10. Until then, anyone have any fundraising ideas for me???

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

February 15th

So I was going to do one of two things tonight:

1.) Post a blog about how important love is and use a bunch of lovey-dovey quotes that I've spent years collecting along with a bunch of pretty pictures about people's shadows holding hands and rant about how I still believe in love and that I'm not jaded or bitter about the fact that I'm single.


2.) Post a blog about how stupid this Hallmark Holiday is and how it's stupid to focus on showing how much you love someone on one day as opposed to every other day of the year and how this is a scam on the part of greeting card companies, florists, and candymakers designed to make millions of dollars and make single people miserable.


Instead I'm knitting and reading fanfiction and eating Cheez-Its and letting myself be okay with my alone-ness. Because even without the over-use of hearts in the world today, this day really sucked. So I'll blog tomorrow.



Sunday, February 5, 2012

Stretching these Wings

Hmm... I've been complaining an awful lot these last few days. Granted, it's been a shit-show couple of weeks, and it doesn't look like it'll get any better any time soon, but I had an interesting train of thought a few moments ago.

Languor. Delicious. Luscious. Delectable. What beautiful words to describe the simple act of stretching. I've been lying in bed at my computer for a couple of hours and pushed my laptop off of my lap for a moment to stretch out a bit as I'm still sore from yesterday (babysitting after attempting an old dance routine without stretching = worst idea EVER) and the idea of how delicious a stretch it was occurred to me. I swear I'm turning into a cat.

But it was such a lovely, luscious stretch...

"Do you know what I need? To escape into the mountains, surrounded by tall trees, I will lay on the moss, and breathe in the scent of mushrooms, flowers and wet soil."

Yesssss. My escapism is showing again, but this time instead of desperation, it's a sweet longing. I'm not sure how they're different as phrased, but go with it. I want to go back to Europe and wander Munich or Paris. I think I want to give Paris another chance, since the one time I was there was a bit... Well, let's just say we didn't get off on the "right foot." (There's a story there, for later.)

(erroneously attributed to St. Augustine - anyone know the real source?)

I could come up with a reason to run away to Salem again but honestly? I need something more exotic. Salem has become comforting and familiar and I need something just a little bit dangerous. Maybe I'll plan a trip to Turkey - I do so love their music - and see what life brings me in the next few months. Maybe I'll go to Turkey, maybe I'll go to Salem, and maybe (just maybe), I'll end up somewhere a little more exciting than the crawlspace at the back of my closet where I've built a nest for hiding in. Maybe.

But for now, I'll settle for a walk in the park, even though it's almost 11pm. The air will do my brain some good, I think.

Sunday, January 29, 2012


So I have a confession to make, and I'm not proud of it, but I really need to come clean (to all 3 people who read this ever). I folded today. Wait. Let me start from the beginning.

Yesterday I kept thinking about it. I'd concentrate on something and then this would take over my thoughts until I was consumed with it. So last night I set an alarm and this morning I woke up eager and excited and ready. I had breakfast and did some reading, waiting for the right time. But as the minutes ticked by, I could feel it starting. An hour later I woke up on the floor under my kitchen table.

You see, I had planned on going Free Hugging this afternoon in Claremont. Instead I got to spend most of the afternoon recovering from a full-blown panic attack complete with a blackout. I told myself I'd go at noon, which turned into 1pm. By 11:30 I was nauseated and when I stood up to make myself a cup of tea I was so dizzy I instantly had to sit back down. Around 12:20 I started having trouble breathing and couldn't stop shaking and then all of a sudden it was 1:05 and I was under the table with no recollection of having slid out of my chair and onto the floor.

I just re-read that and it makes it sound so much worse than it was. Not that it wasn't an awful experience, but I've had these episodes before. (The blackouts are still kind of scary, though.) I'm just upset - ashamed, really - that I let it take hold of me before I could even get out the door. And I wanted to Hug so badly this week but I let my fucking social anxieties get in the way. Again. Bloody fuck. Sorry. I just feel so weak and stupid about today being completely wasted because of a stupid panic attack that could've been avoided if I'd just forced myself to crawl out the door. Then again, I might have had a worse attack once I'd reached my destination and panic attacks in public are waaaaaaaaay worse than panic attacks in the safety of one's home.

The worst part is I feel like I'm continuing a pattern of self-sabotage. And.. God this is hard to say... It's almost as if part of me wants to be like this. I spend every day fighting back all my dark thoughts and at the end of the day fighting to go to sleep but somehow I can't help thinking that part of me wants to keep my D--------- because it's become such a defining part of who I am now. And then at the same time I'm screaming inside that I want all of this to go away so I can be normal again and go back to school and go on dates and not be constantly fighting all the goddamn time.

In other news, I calculated and have just enough money to buy groceries, put gas in my car and pay back some of the money I owe my mother, but my Uncle doesn't have a filter and eats constantly, I haven't slept properly in over a week because of my grandmother's fucking cat, I'm as lonely as ever and I received a final notice on a delinquent payment for one of my old student loans which I can't afford to pay right now. I'm exhausted from keeping up with housework and my job and my "resolutions" and my brother has applied for (and RECEIVED) a job transfer to be with his precious bitch and is taking his daughter with him. Did I mention this job transfer puts him over AN HOUR AWAY FROM HERE? No? Well consider it mentioned.

“It seemed unreasonable, unfair, that a woman so young and beautiful should be so exhausted. Of course, it was neither unreasonable nor unfair. Exhaustion pays no mind to age or beauty. Like rain and earthquakes and hail and floods." ~ Haruki Marukimi, Dance, Dance, Dance (1994)

This has just turned into a royal fuckup of a week, but really, complaining about it isn't going to make it better. I just don't know what will, though.

Monday, January 23, 2012


After months (November 20th to January 20th is 2 months, right? God, it feels like so much longer...) of tooling around feeling sorry for myself, I finally have a word for the emotion that's been plaguing me for weeks, and it's a scary one: I'm lonely. Lonely! Me! Can you believe it? Me neither...

I'm starved for attention, affection, and touch. I like to think that I'm comfortable with myself, that I'm not a total attention whore, but... My only real companion these days is a 50 year old man who - while usually very sweet - is far from my ideal conversation partner. I've recently added an adolescent cat to my list of companions, but again: he's a sweetie, but not the best conversationalist.

My uncle is painfully awkward, though we manage to get along. I found earlier, though, while he was (awkwardly) rubbing my shoulder what I've been missing so much. I haven't been touched very much this year. Make whatever sexual innuendos out of that you will, but I'm serious. Ever since I left school the first time and went to the hospital... Ever since that awful night my heart broke for the last time and I spent the night curled up next to An-----, I haven't exactly enjoyed a whole lot of human physical contact. I mean, it's one thing to be sexually frustrated to the point of distraction, but pushed to tears by a simple hand on my shoulder? I'm the fucking Free Hugs Girl for crying out loud! Of course part of why I hug is because I know what it's like to go so long without a comforting touch, but... I'm so, so lonely these days.

I talk to my friends, though. I make the effort to see them and spend time with them. It's just... They're busy living their lives and I'm back to square one with mine. Again. R--- is working two jobs and going to school full time, K---- is studying to get into law school and trying to find a job (and has a family she spends lots of time with), and everyone else isn't exactly local. A lot of it has to do with going from a university setting where I was constantly surrounded by people and the ebb and flow of conversation and then getting dumped into borderline solitary confinement.
And I've been dreaming about HIM again. Simple things, like the two of us sitting on the couch curled up watching a movie, or walking to the beach from his house holding hands. And last week really hurt... I was driving to work, minding my own business, and there was a couple around my age in the car in front of me. At the stop light, the driver leaned across to his girlfriend in the passenger seat and kissed her. I had to pull over because it made me dizzy to remember how many times I'd been in the passenger seat, or the driver's seat. I'm feeling a little dizzy now even... But I don't miss him. I miss having him. Does that make sense? I mean, I just want someone in my life who understands how much I need to be reassured. I don't think very highly of myself, you know. It took 2 years for R------ to convince me I was pretty, let alone anyone worth kissing. It's this:

“What I want is to be needed. What I need is to be indispensable to somebody. Who I need is somebody that will eat up all my free time, my ego, my attention. Somebody addicted to me. A mutual addiction.”

Chuck Palahniuk

My personal insecurities aside, it doesn't change the fact that I'm so, so lonely.

I mean, the other day, my therapist made a comment about my lack of social interaction. He asked how my social anxiety has been and I admitted that I still panic a little when I see strangers in my usual solitary haunts. I have to talk myself into going to Knit Night at the yarn store on Thursdays. I have to convince myself that it's alright to accept the occasional offer from my friends when they want to hang out. My doctor said I should find more social outlets. He said, "Well, you used to dance, right? I'm assuming you took lessons, and those had to be local, right? That would be a great way for you to meet other people that aren't ladies in their 40s and older from your knitting group. Guys, too, if you think you're ready to start casually dating again." Dancing? Again? Me? It's one thing to go back to my old salsa routines in my living room as a form of exercise every morning but... Going back to classes? When I know my dance teacher will wonder why he hasn't seen me in almost 5 years? No thanks. Then he asked if my church had a young adult program (I swear he's been talking to my mother cuz she suggested that last week), which it does, but honestly? It took everything I had not to scream, especially because God and I aren't exactly on speaking terms these days. But that he noticed and acknowledged that I'm a sad, lonely, socially-deprived mess was kind of...disheartening.

“In the New Year, may your right hand always be stretched out in friendship, but never in want.”
~Irish Toast

The above is especially disheartening. Because I've stretched out in the past but... I'm always left wanting.

So I suppose this could be interpreted as a cry for attention. And I won't say it's not, because it probably is. I'm just hoping someone out there in the universe will do what I've tried doing as a Free Hugger. I want someone to see the void in my life and make some effort to fill it. And I realize that's asking a lot - I feel like I'm always asking for so much in the last year - but why is it so hard to put my voice to how much I need this?

And if you want to know the feeling I’m talking about, run your own fingers slowly through your hair, and pretend they’re someone else’s.
-- I Wrote This For You: The Feeling of Someone Drawing You