I Lie to Everyone Some of the Time

sky in my head

Don’t care where anyone else sleeps on their conscience. I can only ask myself how I got to this thought, this feeling, this judgement, and then ask myself if it’s who I am, if I died 60 seconds from now “Is this who I am, is this how memory will record me?” and cast my shadow against the wailing wall for all to pick at, discuss, and cruelly dissect. Because humans, no matter how evolved we become, are still creatures limited by our state of flesh and blood.

When I crumple in a heap of indigestible feelings and thoughts I would rather die than anyone see my face on which everything is writ in smudged chalk and ancient language. I would rather die than explain myself to other humans, but humans intrude cheerily and with love, so I lie to them with good cheer and equal love and everyone moves forward exactly one centimeter towards no gain.

I understand that this is how it will always be. Even if I were to tell all the secrets and expose all my arteries to the light – this is how it will always be. Hanging onto minutes like lifelines, waiting for the tide to turn, waiting for the waves to choke out idle curiosity. Can’t abide the casual eye on my aspirating valves, slowing to death under the weight of a nightlife I can’t control or escape. I’d sooner choke on the seaweed tangling around my feet than swim to the surface of this fight.

I lie all the time, every day. Whether it’s wrong or not depends entirely on how far into my world you’re entrenched. That I lie to everyone for my own protection is an incontrovertible fact. White or black is only one way of looking at it. Survival or death is another way. I lie to everyone. There is no one I don’t lie to about the core of my life experience. I parse out dark truths as much as those around me can handle them but never all at once, never more than a patchwork of truth. No matter what I say, there’s more I’m holding back.

We’re all masters at subterfuge, my spirit family. Almost everyone in my tribe knows better than to share whole truths. Our survival depends on the art of half truths and making other people feel good about our chances of survival. We spend most of our time making sure the people around us are as comfortable as they can be, we lure them into hope like mermaids calling sailors to cliffs that look like pillows of marshmallow gold.

I want to let the flesh fall and the bones talk. I want to walk the creeks with my veins open and my truth available to every curious mind. I want to share all this shit with everyone who thinks they’re ready for it, who wants to know, to understand, but –

I have a responsibility to tread lightly around humans more tender than myself, humans who still feel hope, who burst with spiritual optimism. I have a responsibility not to crush them with my darkness.

I have optimism too, but it’s darker and older and isn’t rainbows, unicorns, bunnies, innocence, mercy, or love.

My optimism is bloody survival. It’s war anthems being sung by the dead when there’s no one living left to rejoice in winning. My optimism is that the earth will reinvent itself without humans and be better and healthier for it. My optimism is that we will all be here forever as gasses and soil and sand.

This is good enough for me.

This is good enough for all of us.

 

Part 2: No Country for Me

stop

Voting Cancellation Theory is based on a faulty premise. It suggests that your one vote is only valuable as a cancellation of one opposition vote. It supposes that the purpose of voting is to vote against a candidate rather than to vote for a candidate.

Maybe you’re okay with this. Most people tell me that this is just how it is, that this is reality and to demand anything different is to be naive and ignorant.

Voting Cancellation Theory suggests that to not vote for anyone in an election means you’re voting for the opposition. At least, that’s what a bunch of people told me this week. That if I don’t vote for Hilary then I’m voting for Trump. This is impossible, of course. If I don’t cast a vote then my vote can’t be counted for (or against) any candidate. If I don’t vote for anyone in this coming election then I’m not in the voting pool. If I’m not in the voting pool then I can’t be counted for one side or another.

Because, if not voting can be counted for one candidate or the other, then what about all the dead people who don’t vote? Are they also voting for Trump? Are they voting for Hilary? They aren’t casting any votes either, what with being dead and all, so will you blame them for the outcome of this election?

I know, you refuse to follow me through this analogy because dead people can’t vote anyway, but I’m a middle aged fat living American with a viable vote to cast which is obviously way different.

But I want to smash your face deeper in this analogy because if I say, as a disenfranchised ex-American, that I refuse to participate in a stupid system that’s clearly corrupt, then what I’m saying is that my vote is not available to anyone. If I withdraw my consent to participate in a system I think is ultimately responsible for the rise of Trump in the first place, then you don’t get to count my vote as being wasted or given to opposition because if I withdraw myself from the voting pool voluntarily, you must view me as a dead American whose vote is no longer in the political pool to be romanced one way or another. My vote withdrawn is a vote no longer countable or accountable.

People in both of our only two nationally recognized political parties are talking to those of us trying to leave the whole system like we’ll be responsible for all the evil in the world if we refuse to remain in this abusive political relationship. It’s exactly like threatening an abused wife that if she has the temerity and selfishness to leave her abusive husband her kids will suffer more and it will be all her fault. It’s like telling her that her only value in life is as an emotional and/or physical punching buffer between her abusive spouse and their kids. Like her body, mind, and spirit only matter when she can be a buffer between her country and the next dictator.

Guilt is an ugly ugly kind of blackmail.

I do not accept that I am responsible for evil taking root in this country. I do not accept that my political vote will change anything one way or another. Except that I do believe that if my vote carries any weight at all in this country then it’s just as powerful a statement to withhold it when I don’t feel there’s any candidate I can vote for in good conscience as it is to cast it when I wholeheartedly endorse a candidate.

I have been a fully engaged participant in this political relationship since I was I was 10 years old. I have taken my civic “duty” seriously since I was too young to visit the Peace House on my own and long before I could legally vote. I have been voting in both local, state, and national elections for 28 years, completely buying into the idea that somehow I can make a difference working with the broke-ass system in place here since long before I was born. In 28 years of never missing a single election I have seen democracy be bought inch by inch and I’ve witnessed zero positive change brought about by me participating on a thin wisp of hope that my precious vote makes a tiny fucking difference.

28 years is a long time to give a system the chance to prove its worth, to prove its value, to prove anything good at all. What I’m mostly feeling right now is foolish for having hoped for so long, for having stayed in a broken abusive political relationship for most of my life. All these years I’ve wasted feeling responsible for all the Bushes and Reagan’s fucking up life for the poor, working class, and middle class quality of life. All these years I felt I should have been able to do more to fix it, that I should have been able to heal the division, the anger, the bigotry, the racism, the sexism and feeling inadequate because I have done everything I could possibly do (peace marches, petition signing, senator and representative calling, political marriage counseling, etc) and still, here we are, with Trump running for office.

I’m leaving this dysfunctional relationship because it isn’t healthy for our children for us to stay married.

I’ve been a registered Democrat for – I think – my whole voting life. As a Democrat you other Democrats may consider my vote yours and that if I don’t vote for Hilary my vote will go to Trump. (I think you don’t understand how anything works, but you’ve swallowed the rhetoric that serves you best, it’s only human). But as I unregister myself as a Democrat and decline to state a party, you can’t assume that me not voting means I’ve cast a vote for Trump. I might just as easily (by your reasoning of default voting) be casting my vote for Hilary to the chagrin of Trump supporters.

What I’m saying is that my vote withdrawn isn’t in this game at all. I’m no longer a Democrat so you can’t say (without revealing a terrible want of critical thinking skills) that me not voting is automatically a vote for the worst human the United States has ever produced.

I withhold my vote. That means no one gets it. Neither side can cancel each other out with it, neither side can claim it, neither side can abuse it, neither side can blackmail me with it.

There are a lot of ways to change the world. There are a lot of ways to be a positive force pushing back evil. There are many ways to serve one’s community, many ways to serve humanity without claiming allegiance to any nation or party or club or cult.

What you all need to understand is that for a person who’s participated faithfully in a broken political system for 28 fucking years to withdraw participation isn’t a decision that comes lightly or wantonly. If you think I make this decision without thought to the consequences of my actions (or non-action, as the case is) – then you don’t know me at all and you can fuck your ignorant self for supposing you do.

Those of you who can’t come up with any better reason for us political outliers to vote for Hilary than that “she isn’t Trump” seem to think I’m a simple dog who just needs to be obedient to the party line. NEWSFLASH: I don’t belong to a party. Fuck you. Treat me like an intelligent human and we can talk about this.

I don’t bow to fear tactics. Supposedly it’s the American standard to refuse to negotiate with terrorists but as far as I can tell that ideal is only upheld when it’s easy to refuse negotiating against abject fear.

I will not bow to the fear of Trump being President.

I will not become your chained bitch.

I am a conscientious objector to the current American political system.

I will not participate in an abusive political relationship.

I take shelter from this madness as is my RIGHT as a human being.

I refuse to continue to be bruised by a corrupt system that punishes those of us who won’t tow the party line.

To be an individual, to act according to your conscience, and to go against the stream is American PORN – until it matters.

The only thing you have control of in this world is your conscience. You’d think you have control over your own body, but you don’t. There are a thousand laws governing what you may or may not legally do with your corporeal self. Your conscience is all you have. You get to live your life according to it if you choose. You can trash it if you like. But it’s all yours. At the end of every single day the only person you need to square yourself with is YOU.

I have endeavored to live my whole life according to my conscience. It’s all I really ask of myself or anyone else.

But here’s the important deal: What my conscience demands is NOT the rule by which anyone else must measure themselves. If, in this election, you feel the most important thing you can do is vote for Hilary, that’s what matters. That’s honestly all I’m asking of anyone – vote your conscience, live your conscience – not mine. If you love Hilary and are really excited about her – you don’t ever have to apologize or excuse your choice to me.

This isn’t some better-than-thou bullshit. I’m going to say something shocking and if you can’t forgive me for it then I can live with that – even if what your conscience is directing you to do is to vote for Trump – if you’re doing it because that’s somehow weirdly the thing most true to you – I would rather you honor yourself than to bow under the weight of popular thought.

This world would be incredibly different if people weren’t prone to falling for mob rule.

I have to act and live according to my conscience and if you think that’s not my right, then you have a lot of evolving to do yet. You have a lot of accepting of yourself to do before you try to shape me.

I’m not better than you. I don’t make decisions about anything based on how I can feel superior to any other human being. I’m pretty fucked up, truth be told. But I trust myself, more than many people can say about themselves. I’m not better than you. But I know myself better than you’ll ever know me. FACT.

Peace.

Part 1: No Country for Me (And Why I’m Leaving the Democratic Party)

upstairs bar la rosa

The political situation in this country and the way it’s making people I normally respect and whose opinions I normally share turn into douche-harpoons has caused me to declare myself a woman of no country. Liberals, particularly Democrats, are becoming rabid with fear and abandoning reasonable thought.

Bernie Sanders lost the California primary and Clinton was declared the Democratic nominee. I didn’t expect to be so deeply bummed out. Until now I’ve been able to safely say I’ll vote Clinton if Bernie loses because he started to really look viable and the actual election is very far away. What happened is that the reality of my choices being between Hilary and Trump became depressingly real.

I really truly deeply distrust Hilary. She wears a constant mask. She changes her position like midwestern weather during April. She votes for wars, she votes for policies that strengthen corporate America and HER. What the fuck has she ever truly done to make this country better for middle class or poor people? I’ve never liked her, never trusted her, and I didn’t know how deeply that dislike ran until faced with her as my only choice besides Trump.

Do I even need to tell you how I feel about that chauvinistic baboon-ass-faced racist narcissist?

I didn’t think so. Trump was never a voting option for me. (I almost just threw up saying “voting option” and “Trump” in the same sentence.) God help us all.

(Except I’m an atheist so I think God is like a magic 8 ball you consult when you need predictable reassurance of what you already think and believe)

Hilary is basically a Republican. As far as I’m concerned she’s no Democrat. So my presidential voting choices have been reduced to corporate but moderate Republican versus the kind of severe Republican the US has been aggressively working on creating for my entire lifetime.

Bravo, United States! You finally created the bastard-headed beast of your dreams!

On Facebook I expressed my deep political depression and dismay by saying I’m thinking of not voting in this election at all.

It’s as though I made the angry seas of God part with that comment. I expect conservatives of all stripes to flip the fuck out – but instead it was all liberals. Mostly Democrats. Many of them dear friends of mine, some of them friends of vague acquaintances who pounced on me with their 3″ verbal claws drawn ready to shred me for being unAmerican.

It was unexpected. I admit that it actually shocked me and then seriously blew me deeper into my own convictions that the only way to approach this whole political fuckery is to be led by my conscience, whatever that entails.

If you want to hear people show their most ugly and truthful side – tell them you’re going to listen to your conscience during this election. Apparently, it’s really UPPITY and HIGH HANDED to vote your conscience at a time like this, in an election like this.

A fellow Democrat, and someone I used to think was a decent person said these actual words to me:

I’m sorry Angelina Wiliamson, but when you vote you don’t get to pick the person your conscience most approves of. You only get to choose between the candidates who are running.

So, having a conscience doesn’t apply to voting in general, or just this time? Is a conscience just a thing we consult when it’s easy and convenient and no one else will judge us poorly for it? Is my conscience only something you value in me when it doesn’t disagree with yours?

This same person went on to say this brilliant gem:

Personally I think that kind of moral absolutism and the complete disregard for the consequences of your actions is a pretty scary thing. But there seems to be a lot of moral superiority going around in this election cycle.”

(I did the bolding because there is zero indication that I have a complete disregard for the consequences of my actions by the comments I shared on this thread. She makes an outrageous assumption based on her firm belief that anyone who chooses differently than her has abandoned all regard for humanity. People are so fucking brain-impaired sometimes)

I have saved the entire thread for posterity and as a reminder of what kind of people I never want to be and never want to associate myself with politically. I am accused of moral absolutism because I won’t comply with political absolutism.

This is the end of part 1 of how I have become a woman of no country and no political affiliation. I have a lot more to say and you may disagree or let bile fill your throat with anger, or you may listen like a rational person and possibly disagree with my conclusions, my beliefs, and my actions, but still treat me like an intelligent human being who’s been an active part of the political system for 28 years who is now done with all the bullshit. Your choice.

What you may NOT do is come here on MY blog, my page, my virtual living room, and be a douche. I will shut you the fuck down so quickly and silently you’ll never even realize I did it.

A Constant End Without End

pale grinder

There’s a lot of life carved into 60 seconds when you’re not sure you’ll be alive at the end of them.

Common wisdom suggests that those who optimistically embrace every second because life is beautiful and gorgeous and happy and joyful and cheerful are the ones who get the most out of life.

I suggest that those are the people who skim the surface of the universe without ever truly knowing its depth or circumference. I suggest that they are the people who think the goal of life is joy when the real goal of life is metamorphosis. I suggest that transformation is the ultimate directive of the universe. Observe it in liquid to gasses, in maggots to flies, in the acrid sting of fresh onions to a sticky sweet fond on the bottom of the pan.

Most people see life as a beginning, a middle, and an end. And they hate the end, they resent it, they avoid it at all costs, they see it as the natural enemy.

People like me experience life as a constant end without end. The middle is a mythical space where others unfold quietly and dumbly, unaware of the sharp steep chalk edge inches away from their hapless feet. Unaware of the constant dredging and sluicing of fortunes, tossing choice in favor of chance without conscious consent.

People like me don’t need to consent. We are the conscious unconscious. We don’t get to consent or dissent. We ARE. We are born BEING. Raw, charged, and full-spectrum humans from the moment we hit existence skidding our tires against a static roadway.

We appear broken, blasted, wasted, and wan. That’s just because we operate on a different frequency than most humans. We haven’t got your filters for noise, for violence, for chaos, for sorrow, for anything at all. Everything hits our exposed nerves like lightning shock. It burns us hollow.

The joy for us is in the macro experience. Looking at the unfettered layers of landscape as separate sentient beings, seeing the glory in the dust mote, the streak of light, the accidental paint dripping. The joy for us isn’t in living another day for the sake of living, which is meaningless in itself, but to watch the golden hour cross the world one more time illuminating the hungry human eye, swathing a grassy hillside in a soft dust of light. This is worth living another day for. It doesn’t need words, unless we want to share it outside ourselves, then it requires more words than there are in our lexicon.

Give up your stiff rules of thought, of belief, of starchy dogma. Release yourself into the wild. Let your thoughts get thick with shade and leaves. God might be in the details, might not be too. Don’t know what God does or doesn’t do, but I know that the divine in humans is never as far from the surface as their actions suggest. That’s the closest to blind faith I get.

Deliver your bloody beating heart into my trembling hands and I will bury it up on the pinnacle of your crumbled hope, your grave of dreams.

I once picked up an accordion every afternoon and played Amazing Grace on it like it was the sword that defeats death.* It wasn’t, but the bees heard me, the lilacs listened, the ivy slowed down and heard the call of honey.

 

*True fact. I still have my accordion but I’m terrified to try and play it after years of neglect.

Authenticity in Writing and Other Stuff

grooming is good

(You’ll have to scroll down for the thoughts on writing because first there’s other stuff)

I’m super excited about the family vacation we’re going to take on June 14th. It’s pretty much all I’m thinking about. Except that I really want to get my Suicide for Beginners survey responses all logged before I go on vacation so I’m thinking about that too. About how I keep missing opportunities to plow through them after work. I faff around making food for my kid, doing dishes, and then I’m exhausted and sit around thinking about all the things I should be doing before vacation and do nothing else.

This is the main thing that sucks about having depression. The lows come and go for me and they can be super bad, but I don’t really have highs. I just have no energy. Even when medicated, which has certainly helped.

I need to sew some stuff for my trip. Well, just for in general, because hot weather is mostly here and I’ve been very uncomfortable. I need some culottes so I can ride my bicycle without knotting my pant cuffs and so I don’t die of heat exhaustion related to wearing long pants all day at work where it’s so hot I break a sweat just from fetching a cup of water from the water cooler.

Now I need to make myself a new bag too because yesterday I pretty  much destroyed my main one by spilling coffee inside of it. A lot of coffee.

I think I just have to lock myself in my office tonight without any booze and work on the survey results. And again tomorrow night. And again on Friday night.  Then I can sew this weekend.

WRITERS: BE AUTHENTIC…

Random writer thought – I truly despise it when book promos promise to make a reader cry. My goal in reading a book is never to be made to cry. Ever. I hate crying and worse than that I hate knowing that an author relishes the idea of manipulating their readers into feeling sad or so happy (??) they break down crying. Claiming that your book is so emotional your readers are going to ball their eyes out strongly suggests that you measure your success as a writer by how much you can manipulate the emotions of your readers rather than by how much they enjoyed your story-telling. It suggests to me that you’re in it for the satisfaction of moving people to some strong emotion and not to write great stories. It tells me your focus is off and that it’s kind of creepy.

If a book promo suggests that a story is going to be tragic – I feel like I’ve already been betrayed as a reader. I will not read the story. But if I did read it, I would not allow myself to be drawn in emotionally because I’m already prepared to be betrayed.

I see this a lot on Twitter. You have very little words with which to hook a potential reader. Don’t waste them promising to wreck a reader emotionally. Say something about the actual story. I say this as a person who’s total crap at writing promos, so I get it, writing promos is hell. But at least try.

Writers who live to manipulate the emotions of readers are just as unpalatable to me as writers who live to moralize. Emotional manipulation and moralizing are terrible reasons to write and having either of those as your core goal and your starting point with any story will permeate your whole story with a stench that most readers can smell a mile away and will resent you for.

Please, fellow writers, be in it to tell amazing stories about interesting people and places and events. Please be in this writing gig to share your authentic imagination with the rest of us. If you’re authentic in all your writing then you’ll move readers naturally.

Time to go wash my hair before work.

 

Dentistry and Daughters

I want this rose

I need to find out what kind of rose this is. It’s at the Morningsun Herb Farm and smells divine.

I had a cracked molar. It hurt like my nerve was was constantly on fire. Yesterday my dentist was able to save my tooth. I have a lot of tooth-related nightmares (both literally and figuratively) and was imagining having a gaping hole where a working molar should be and having to save up for an implant for the next 10 years by which time I would have almost certainly lost a few more teeth because, obviously, once you lose one tooth they all give up the ghost like little enamel lemurs.

One of the things I hate most about getting my teeth drilled is the tooth dust that results from it. Got some in the back of my throat yesterday and asked for water but my dentist just spritzed some water in my mouth and suctioned it out again. While telling me all about how he has a secret “recipe” for producing sons. He didn’t want any daughters because, according to him, no Asian men really want daughters. I might have argued that, historically speaking, no men of any race have ever been that excited to have daughters unless they already have sons, but my throat was full of bone dust* so I was unable to respond. Kind of ironic, really. And then he let some adhesive crap leak into my mouth and I thought I would throw up from the bitter noxious taste and burn of it on my tongue and my throat. It tasted like burning rubber.

It’s weird to me how men can tell women they don’t value daughters and not think it’s a crappy thing for women to hear.

Now my mouth just hurts. Somehow my wisdom tooth got chipped and it’s not setting right with my new crown. The crown is fine, it’s just that maybe it’s a little lower than my original tooth was situated. This is the kind of thing that can drive me INSANE. If things go wrong in my mouth I can barely concentrate on anything else.

Of course, my wisdom teeth need to come out soon anyway. In fact, I was going in to talk about my options with my wisdom teeth because two of them have cavities in them. I thought all the pain was because of the cavity. But then my dentist said I had to deal with my cracked tooth because the crack was so bad he wasn’t sure he could save it. I’ve already waited a year to deal with my wisdom teeth. Even with some dental coverage we can’t afford a lot of tooth fixing. So now I have to wait to take care of those wisdoms again. Lordy lordy lordy.

Now I must be off to work. I hope I can get work done with this snarly tooth edge catching on my other teeth.

I bet I’d forget about my snaggy wisdom tooth if I had a bouquet of those roses to smell all day while at work. I must email Morningsun and find out what it is.

Toodaloo. Tootaloo. <—-There’s no way that works for me to say.

*I’m aware that teeth are NOT actually bones. But they smell like it and look like it and I take some license.

Memory of Soft Plastic

road trip

So many ghosts live in my skin with me listing out all the the tastes and scents they miss. Hot fat blackberries splitting open under the weight of summer heat, releasing warm dark spicy juices down proud drawn thorns. The sick musk of wild animals talking to each other through the pitch of a new moon, their sharp resinous language we call primitive but which says everything with elegant brevity, nuance lost on our cumbersome language chains.

My past is slowly being archived into sensory memory more than literal memory. In the middle of the day I suddenly smell root beer and green apple scratch-n-sniff stickers like they’re abbreviations for everything that matters and I remember every sticker I ever peeled out of a book or off a strip, the emoticons of the ancient past we used to cover envelopes with. I will be on the phone at work explaining to a customer that I can’t advise them on the use of frankincense to combat cancer and suddenly everything is lime essential oil and I remember my entire 45 collection which I play only slightly more than I play my dad’s 45 collection, now lost to me. I’m in the basement of Rare Earth in Ashland learning that I have enough room for David Bowie AND Madonna.

There are places in my memory that smell like soft plastic, like the empty junk store in Talent Oregon where I spotted the Bionic Woman barbie doll I absolutely had to have. I had to save up my allowance to buy her and the box she came in smelled of shop dust in a way only a disused pawn shop item can do when I finally took my coveted doll home. That place was full of ghosts long before I ever stepped foot in it but I think I might have dropped my own off there and never picked it up again.

Plump rosy cheeked dolls smelled of apples and cinnamon and drew me to them like people trapped in porcelain. I watched their eyes while I ate eclairs in the basement pastry shop. I distrusted their velvet gowns and shiny hair, they were too fine and precious, the way Christians often described Satan’s insidious infiltration of everyday people’s lives. You could be eating a slightly sweaty eclair in a small town and not notice the ghosts all around you looking for egress.

I knew more then than I know now about the ghosts in all things. I knew my place among them.

Duran Duran smells like sandy summer crushes, like ripe pheromones drunk with ice and pineapples.

In my least macabre moments I’m convinced I’m here to propel others forward to their destinies, that mine isn’t important, that mine isn’t the point, that I’m the traffic officer of invisible dreams.

Unthread me from your spool.

I am rogue spirit.

 

 

 

Nosy Parker

whiskers

I’m a nosy parker. I don’t believe you can be a writer and not also be a nosy parker. This whole idea that there’s virtue in not caring what anyone else does or thinks irritates the shit out of me. Perhaps you, as a human, don’t act on your curiosity, but can you be alive inside and never be interested in other people’s lives?

Being curious about what people think, how they live their lives, why they make the choices they do, why they won’t eat broccoli (was it finding half a worm on their plate that turned them off the green floriferous crucifer, or do they just hate the taste?), and how they got their hair so big – this is a normal human trait and isn’t the same thing as judging them for the answers to these questions. Though, making judgments about people is also a very important thing humans do. It’s how we avoid getting into cars with serial killers.

I think it’s disingenuous to claim you don’t care what anyone else thinks or does. It’s something people say when they find other people’s curiosity distasteful. It’s a smug untrue thing to claim. Only a very dull minded person or a narcissist genuinely doesn’t wonder or care about what anyone else is up to.

I will admit that the curiosity of writers is necessarily greater than average. I will admit that my curiosity is non-stop during all waking hours. I’d even argue that my dreams reflect my mind continuing to be curious while I sleep in addition to processing what it sees and has experienced. I am in a constant state of observing everything around me. Color, light, shape, composition, movement, action, noise, interactions – all day long. Much of the time I observe silently. I squash the constant questions that come to mind because I’ve been taught it isn’t polite, it isn’t okay to ask people personal questions unless I know them intimately. I’ve been taught it’s a bad human quality to want to know everything about everyone in the world.

But I know it really isn’t. I know this is human nature. I know that our sense of curiosity is how we learn, how we progress, and ultimately how we survive a constantly changing landscape. So I don’t feel any shame about being a nosy parker. I just try to reign it in for other people’s comfort.

Favagedden

fava harvest

I harvested these favas the first week of May. We just finished eating them. Imwalle Gardens still has favas so I bought 20 lbs of them yesterday. Even though I still felt like crap. I got them mostly processed. But my stomach issues weren’t over and it was a less joyful food processing session than usual. Fava season is as important to me as tomato season. I look forward to it all year.

Last year I did a ton of marinated favas and made the terrible error of not cooking the favas before canning them. I blanched them as usual and thought they’d be tender enough. I was wrong. The bigger beans weren’t tender enough to be enjoyable eating. So I have to figure out what the hell to do with all of them. I’m thinking I can cook them in a marinara sauce until tender? I have to try it.

It’s sunny outside and I want to go do some gardening things. I need to make supports for my tomatoes and I need to get some seeds planted (I didn’t get any planted yesterday) but I also need to work on my survey. I think I’ll do both. Somehow. A bit of each.

Why does my mom and all my neighbors put wind chimes up? I wonder if they would notice if I attached chewed gum to them so they would thud instead of “tinkle”? I will now fuck off on a fantasy of wind chime sabotage. Life is good.

Surfacing From Stomach “Bug” Hell

IMG_20160127_170744

Weight on Monday 5/9/16: 270 (Heaviest in life)

Weight on Saturday 5/14/16: 263 (Did not intend to lose 8 lbs)

I started counting calories and getting more exercise. I rode my bicycle to work and back (also rode to the cafe during break) one day, the next day I rode my bicycle to Safeway for a few things we needed. Wednesday I took a break from exercise but still counted my calories and at that point had lost 4lbs. Who knows why so much, normally it happens in smaller increments. I don’t really care. I was just happy to see the scale drop below my heaviest weight ever down to my previous heaviest weight.

Then at 5am on Thursday morning I woke up feeling sick to my stomach and a little dizzy and needing to throw up. I did not throw up because I held that feeling DOWN – also held down whatever wanted to come up. I couldn’t go to work. I couldn’t read. Couldn’t write. Couldn’t sit up for long or lay down for long or stand up much at all.

Gastroenteritis is my idea of the deep pits of hell. The only thing worse than gastroenteritis is having influenza. I never did throw up but all day yesterday my body revolted and did the only other thing it can do in that situation. It continues today, however I feel a lot better in spite of that. I weighed myself and discovered that in two days with the stomach flu I lost an additional 4 lbs. This was not intentional, obviously.

Ted Cruz was in my dream this morning. We were learning French while trying to get some other business done. I was impatient and also angry that that whiny chauvinist creepy son of a bitch was in my dream. The teacher pointed to her necklace of bachelor buttons and told me to tell her how to make such a necklace of her own. So I faffed around with the sentence “Vous achetez …” but couldn’t find the French word for bachelor button plants and I was running out of time. There were also chickens and kittens getting in an out of blankets and cages they shouldn’t have been and a kitten spraying some bedding. As usual there were also very dark themes going on but I can’t remember what they were.

My first batch of kittens for the year is already at the adoption center this weekend. Hopefully having a great time and hopefully about to find great loving homes to live in.

I’m not sure how much longer I can sit here at my desk. I think I need to lay down for a while again. On the couch. Perhaps to watch a garden show. If I can find a good one to watch.

Later I’d like to put in some more time with my survey data compiling. I’d like to get out into the garden. Not sure if I can do any of that. This 48 hour stomach bullshit is exhausting. You do nothing and get worn out by it.

So I’m off for now. Going to get as inspired as I can via the recovery couch and perhaps inch outside to plant a few squash seeds.