My Champion is a Hundred Pints

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This post was updated to reflect that I thought this weekend was February 1st, but I’m a whole week off! So this new adventure doesn’t start until the Monday after this one.

On February 2nd I’m going to pop a new pill. One that will make me vomit if I drink even the tiniest drop of alcohol. I’m fighting the thought that this represents a door being boarded shut forever. Last year I promised myself I would do this if I couldn’t learn to keep my alcohol consumption within healthy bounds. I made a point of not promising anything to anyone else. I didn’t drink for the first three months of 2014. It was pretty easy, except for Fridays, which made me want to rip brick walls down with my teeth.

But when the three months was up I quickly returned to my previous habits.

I have a happy relationship with alcohol. I haven’t got the darkness that comes with black outs, risky behaviors, alcohol-fueled abusiveness, or terrible regret. I rarely experience drunkenness at all because I loathe the feeling.

I’ve said all this before. I’m not sure I need to repeat it. I’m not really talking to anyone but myself. I answer to no one but myself. This is my autonomy as a human being. The human being I am requires that I consider the people I love and care about in all the decisions I make, of course. But what I write here is, ultimately, between me, myself, and I.

One of the truths I keep half buried, always, is that alcohol has made me a better mother. That’s not something anyone is supposed to ever say. Motherhood should be pure and unadulterated. For me, motherhood has been one long conversation with a breaking heart. This has nothing to do with who my son is, because as challenging as he’s been and may continue to be, he’s a beautiful and wonderful person. I experience so much pleasure in knowing him, in having the privilege of rearing him. This has everything to do with how ill-equipped I was to steer a tiny human being through all the awful challenges of childhood. This has everything to do with how I didn’t know that having a child meant reliving every fucking tiny little shitty minute of my own childhood again, but with the added weight of wanting to protect my own baby from everything I know about life that ever made me want to die. Every rejection my son experiences, I experience with a magnified pain, every set back, every rage, every disappointment he experiences is a little death in my own heart.

Those times I haven’t got any comforting answers for his worries, his pains, his sorrow, I feel myself fall apart just a little bit more.

Motherhood has gutted me.

Alcohol has smoothed the road. It’s administered calm, reason, and respite. It has given me constant courage and forced my fences down, again and again. Alcohol has mellowed me, allowed me to function, and to rejoice. It has kept me open to laughter and joy. It has prevented me from reacting with panic and anger when patience and love are required.

But I require more of it all the time to maintain my equilibrium. The price is my health. My alcohol consumption has hurt no one but me and my budget. But I can’t keep paying the price of my health. My body is tired. I’m only 45 but I feel like I’m 80. I guess that’s better than when I was 15 years old and felt like I was 150 years old.

All of this is nobody’s business, but, as usual, I share it because all the relief and non-alcohol-related courage I’ve ever gotten has been from others being honest, telling their stories even when it made them look bad, even when it turned the world against them, just so other people like them could feel less alone.

Not feeling alone is a powerful weapon against a poverty of safety.

I want to live a life in which I can hang out with friends and enjoy drinking a couple of pints of ale or sharing a bottle of wine. I want to live a life in which this is an occasional, even a frequent enjoyment. I would like to live a life in which it’s part of the dinner table, not part of the whole night.

Alcohol tames my insomnia. Though I may never know regular good sleep, alcohol keeps me up later and through its magical chemistry it bypasses my dreadful insomnia so that I can get right to sleep. Yeah, I still wake up several times a night and am still plagued with bad dreams, but at least I have the sensation of being able to nod off easily at first. I take what I can get when it comes to sleep.

Alcohol enables most of my socializing. The only people I genuinely don’t need alcohol to hang out with are my closest and oldest friends. My family (possibly just my mom) thinks I’m a super social creature. I do seem that way, I suppose. Most of my socializing is online, for one thing, and for the rest, I prefer social gatherings where alcohol is a feature. I don’t know how to be comfortable around people without the calming smoothing effects of booze. I don’t know how to socialize without beverages. Without alcohol I’m pretty much limited to socializing over coffee between the hours of 10am and 12pm.

Without alcohol I want to tell everyone how much I hate their hair and their air of casual rapture. Without alcohol I want to ask everyone why they’re so fucking human, as though I’m not, which I am. Without alcohol I struggle hard not to pull people’s hair and stare hard at their camel-toes like a village idiot fixated on a parade of naked clowns.

It’s not that alcohol makes me better at socializing, it just makes me feel better about being the person who asks every couple I’ve just met to reassure me they aren’t about to get divorced.

I don’t know how long I’m going to take Disulfiram. I’m on a journey of reparation with unmapped boundaries, uncharted obstacles.

I’ll tell you this, though, the first person who calls me an alcoholic gets a fucking hemlock milkshake. Maybe I am, but I prefer to keep the stigma-sticker off my back for a while longer.

 

The One Trick Pony: I already used up all the words

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(I’m feeling all boxed up)

I have today off. I decided to sit down and work on my new novel project that I’ve been so excited about for a week. I’ve written a few notes and I even wrote 900 words of the first draft. I sat down feeling so happy to finally take a couple of hours to write. I have had no energy and no time for this in much too long. I sit down and –

A half an hour later I’m still staring at my open document and nothing comes to me. I feel daunted by the project. I don’t understand why I’m trying to write a light hearted book. I don’t DO funny or light hearted. So why come up with a premise for a book that has to be taken with a grain of salt because it’s about a woman who wakes up in the middle of a really cheesy romance novel?

I thought it would be funny and interesting. But I’m not a “fun” person and I’m only funny by accident. I’ve never been able to channel humor into writing at will. So what the hell am I doing?

Then I thought, maybe I should just work on one of my other novels? I took a look at my files and nothing sounds good. None of my stories seem worth working on. All of them sound stupid to me.

Meanwhile, most of the writers I know are working on their third or fourth or even seventh novels. Writing book after book after book. Writing whole books in a couple of months. How do they complete whole novels in just a few months? Even when I was writing constantly and through the night, feverishly working on my first novel, it still took me two years to finish it. TWO YEARS. Most of these other writers have day jobs or kids or kids and day jobs, or chronic illnesses that hamper them down – and yet they are all still writing SO MANY BOOKS IN SO LITTLE TIME.

I know. I’m not supposed to compare myself to anyone else. I can’t help it. I want to know how they all write books in so little time. I want to know how everyone is doing this. I want to know why I can’t do it?

I feel drained and depressed about my writing. I want to be writing full time. But even when I have a little bit of time, all the words in the world dry up in my mouth like dead moths.

I have written and finished ONE book. One. And I can’t even get the second one in that series written. It should be EASIER than the first one. I already have so many characters written and places established.

I am going to do dishes.

Maybe I’m just a one trick pony.

My Place In Everything is Small, but Absolute

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My step sister Stephanie took this picture of me and my brother Zeke and it’s one of my favorites of all time. That’s our dad in the background.

I have just turned 45 years old. I may not know that much, but I have a lot of thoughts about what I DO know:

People who are outwardly weird and unwholesome haven’t got as much to gain by hiding their darkness as outwardly wholesome people do. People intent on shining a light on their own wholesomeness nearly always have a dismembered body in a freezer in the basement.

My place in everything is small but absolute.

Even so, my hope that humans will delight and surprise me rises fresh every single morning no matter how hard I’ve sworn the night before that we should be lit on fire in a magnificent purifying funereal pyre.

Humans are highest on the food chain but also highest on the virus chain. We’re definitely not “ALL THAT”

My opinion of humans as a species has never been lower than it is today.

Balance in all things would be my religion if I had to claim one. So if I want to find enlightenment I must try to achieve balance. This presents many challenges to a person of exuberant opinion who shrinks inwardly at confrontation in spite of seeing the truth and the heart of things excruciatingly clearly and knowing my place in everything.

Your place in everything is small but absolute too.

Everything that happens was meant to happen or it wouldn’t have happened. I’m not saying there’s necessarily reasons for everything, just that if you think there’s such a thing as intention in the universe or God, AT ALL, then you can’t simultaneously believe that someone “wasn’t meant to die” or that someone “shouldn’t have struggled the way they did”. What you really mean is that you’re super fucking sad that something happened and you don’t want to accept the reality.

Swearing is a brilliant pressure valve. I will evolve my swearing as I age to take advantage of the most cutting edge way of blunting my rage and having a good time with it. I will also periodically plumb language history to dig up and use ridiculous ancient expressions of rage and coarseness.

The least lovable human trait is bigotry. The most lovable human trait is non-violent expressions of protest to stand up for what is honorable and empathetic.

WRONG. The most lovable human trait is love itself.

You are me and I am you. We are all of us inextricably linked together via mitochondrial DNA. Get the fuck over it already.

I can see worms in the hearts of humans, and where there are worms there is rot. I would like strew sweet herbs across us all to dry out the rot and heal the wound.

I am a person forged of wild contradictions of spirit. I believe in peace and nonviolence with all of my skin and bones yet I also see myself as a warrior.

The passion and rawness with which I might describe my wishes and feelings is not always the same force that dictates my actions. Give more weight to my actions than my words.

I’ve met people who act as flashlights on the darkest nights, though they rarely know it. People whose smile alone can make a room incandescent with hope and love, though they rarely know it because they aren’t smiling for themselves but for YOU. They’re smiling because they see your potential straight through your skin, right through your heart.

That’s the person I want to be, the one lighting the way through the dark for others.

I might be too soggy to provide fire for the shivering but I’d like to think I might have a warm enough blanket to wrap them in.

That is all.

Peace, my friends.

But more than that, LOVE.

The Importance Of Skin

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This is one part of my fashion and beauty inspiration doors. The more diversity of skin the magazines include, the more you will see on my boards. I see beauty in all shades of skin. Missing: Asian models are the least represented in the magazines within my reach. I will need to get actual Chinese and Japanese fashion mags to see more Asian beauty!

I have been thinking a lot about skin in the last few days.

A twitter friend, Em Davey (@KromBoomEm), tweeted about seeing skin-lightening products all over the world but was particularly surprised to see them in Hawaii. My first thought was “Why would anyone want to lighten their skin?” and the next thought was the racist angle concerning white standards of beauty. But immediately following that I thought about the millions of white skinned women who spend tons of time and sometimes tons of money trying to make their skin darker through tanning. It was impossible to express all this without sounding either dismissive, racist, or annoyingly simplistic.

But for me, it really is simple: I think everyone should embrace the skin they’re born with. I think skin is beautiful in all the shades it comes in from so dusky it has an almost iridescent cast to it, to the palest that also has an almost iridescent cast to it. All of it. Every shade of natural skin, even my own occasionally annoying ruddy version of pale skin (moonlight skipped my skin, sadly), looks good on the person who was born with it.

To me, artificially changing one’s skin on purpose is a kind of self mutilation. White women working so hard to have darker skin weird me out. First of all, I don’t think it looks good, and second of all, it seems like an unhealthy obsession.

What I don’t understand at all is that in my country, where being a white person is supposedly such a huge privilege and whiteness of communities is something white people have been willing to protect with violence, why are so many white women working so damn hard to be LESS WHITE?

I don’t get it. I will never get it. If being white is so fucking superior, why do so many women work hard to get brown or orange skin?

I’ve thought about white women hating having actual white skin but I have rarely (probably because I’ve always lived in predominantly white communities) thought about women with brown skin trying to become lighter skinned. I didn’t know that was truly a thing outside of the rare Michael Jackson kind of – I don’t know if there’s a name for what he had – extreme whitening of his skin.

People: the skin you were born with, the shade it is when you use at least moderate protection to care for it, the shade it is when you go about living your life – that’s the shade that you’re meant to be. It’s the shade that goes best with the rest of you. Embrace the skin your in while also embracing the skin every one else is in.

I’m not saying I’m against enhancing or playing with one’s looks. I happen to very much enjoy make up and it’s fun to play with skin like a canvas. But make-up is superficial and you wash it off at the end of the day. I used to wear rice powder to be Kabuki-white. It was theatrical and fun, but not permanent. Make-up allows you to play dress-up but it doesn’t alter who you are on a cellular level.

Skin protects us. It holds our innards in. It filters junk before it can pollute our blood. It defends us, it also brings nutrients to us through light and air.

I can’t stand that skin color is used by so many (and no, not just white people) to judge other people’s character and worth. I hate that skin has become (or always has been) a political and personal tool for demoralizing and tearing other people down. It isn’t even just skin color but skin reveals things like who’s been working harder with their hands doing physical labor – something that in the past at least, was an actual barrier in society. Rough hands could keep you from taking any place of prominence in society.

What the ever-loving-goddamn-idiotic-fuck?

Humans can be so adamantly stupid.

I am declaring this the year of SKIN. What I would like is for everyone to take better care of the skin they’re in. Stop trying to significantly darken or lighten it. Don’t accept standards of beauty you can’t naturally fit into. Ruddy skis is NEVER going to be IN as far as beauty standards go, but this year, more than ever before, I will not only embrace my own skin but endeavor to take better care of it. Incidentally, most pictures of me don’t reveal my ruddiness. That comes and goes depending on temperature and lighting and exertion levels. I go red very easily and it isn’t generally with embarrassment. When I’m not flushed I’m medium pale with so many freckles that some people* claim I’m not even freckled.

I would like everyone to embrace the skin they’re born with. Care for it like the incredible organ it is. Care for it and love it and nurture it. If it’s naturally really dry, moisturize it. If it’s naturally really oily, wash it with gentle cleansers that offer more balance. Use sunscreen. Take care of your skin like it takes care of YOU.

Don’t bake in the sun like you’re a fucking pastry.

Don’t bleach your skin like it’s a fucking bathtub.

Love the skin you’re in and then love the skin everyone else is in too. This isn’t going to fix the world. It won’t make wars end. But seeing and appreciating everyone’s skin in all its shades is the first step to appreciating the precious spirits and hearts skin works so hard to protect.

*YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE

Thinking Out Loud About Book Reviews and Author Interviews

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(Random pic I chose from Instagram)

My vacation is almost over. I’ve decided to act like a grown up about it and not cry. Something I’ve been thinking about for a long time, that I wanted to start doing on this blog last year, is book reviews. To do book reviews you need to be reading. I have been in a long non-reading phase. I tried to break it a couple of times last year and ended up reading The Typewriter Girl which I couldn’t finish for several reasons, one being that I’m not fond of the word “cock” or scenes in which tongues are urgently thrusting and exploring and “flicking”.

My main goal in doing book reviews is to be sharing more new authors and independent authors with others. I’m not interested in writing reviews that tear authors down. I want to build them up. I think it’s possible to write honest reviews that aren’t mean. Here are the aspects of a book I want to cover in a review:

Genre: did it live up to my expectations based on the genre the book claims to be? Or does it belong in a different genre? Or is it true cross-genre?

What was the most engaging aspect of the story for me?

Who was my favorite character and why?

What was the biggest theme of the book?

What is one thing I would like to have seen more of in the story?

What is one thing I would like to have seen less of in the story?

Describe this book in five words.

I want to address research and development too, but I’m not sure how to do this without sounding like a bitch. It’s like when one of the readers of Cricket and Grey questioned how Cricket got ammunition in a post apocalyptic world (are bullets readily accessible, for example) and I was annoyed because there’s a scene in which I specifically showed Cricket refilling bullet shells with a tool people use to do this at home. Something I actually did research on. Sometimes you can do research but somehow still leave a reader unconvinced you know what you’re writing about. Sometimes you just don’t do enough research. And this is important, few things will tear a person out of a story faster than some unrealistic action or a reader catching the author out in a poorly researched subject that the reader knows more about than the author. I will have to think on this more.

Historical novels that get the fashion wrong seriously irritate me. Victorians actually showed very little boob, for example. Cleavage was something you only saw on prostitutes or with ball gowns. In day-garments you would not see cleavage and the corsets were so tight, generally, you would be hard put to see a woman’s chest actually heave. But in the regency period, the foundation garments were different and you might see more cleavage during the day. These details matter. They matter because if you’re going to write about a tediously documented time period, you need to know the tedious details as an author. If you don’t want to stick to the details then you need to write in a genre that allows you to make shit up and do what you want that works for your story. Steam-punk is a good example of that. It’s Victorian-like but not.

Anyway, those are my thoughts on reviewing books. I also want to do author interviews. I want to do them where I ask every author the same questions. Things I always want to know about a writer.  Here are some of them:

What are the 3 main themes that show up in your novels?

Do you write in the genre you love to read the most? If not, why?

What’s your favorite part of the novel writing process?

What’s the hardest part for you in writing a novel?

Tell me 3 of your own characteristics you always give your main characters?

What is one characteristic you have given a main character that you don’t possess yourself but wish you did?

What’s your favorite book of all time and what about it do you love the most?

What’s your least favorite book of all time and what about it did you hate the most?

What drives you to write novels?

What is your biggest pet peeve that novelists commit in their books.

What do you think is the biggest pet peeve readers might have that you commit in your own books?

List your 5 favorite words.

List your 5 most hated words.

What is your best/favorite writing tool?

Favorite place to write?

What’s your preferred steam level in books?

1) G-rated, as in: no one is getting any

2) PG-rated, as in: people are getting some but once kissing gets heavy the curtain falls on the scene

3) R-rated, as in: people are getting thrusty and hard and you’re watching with popcorn

4) X-rated, as in: so explicit you have to put the popcorn down and actively participate

 

There you have it. I’m off to a pub now. I will refine these questions in time to start with my first book review of “The Parting Glass” by Katherine Lampe

The Night Closes In

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I just saw the SNL episode where Ernest Borgnine made an appearance in “What Up With That”. He’s 93 years old and grins like a man who’s been in show business for 70 years and still hasn’t seen everything. He grins like a man who’s enjoying the fuck out of the weird but wonderful shenanigans of the industry he’s spent his whole life feeding with his own talent.

Or else he was on some really amazing psychedelics.

I love that he never got his tooth gap “fixed”. His smile would have lost that inimitable Borgnine quality that will never be seen again.

I want to have that grin, that fresh enjoyment of the world and all its wild permutations of life if I get to reach 93.

I just spent the first 42 minutes of the new year holding a kitten who, for the first time, expressed his wish to be held. The sound and vibration of purring is the same kind of joy I saw in Ernest Borgnine’s wide grin.

Ten minutes before 12am I asked Twitter what should be the last song I hear in 2014 and my night-owl writer friend Steven said it should be “Imagine”. So it is. Was. Is still.

First random thoughts of 2015:

I cherish the hope that Richard Armitage is not an asshole. Or a bigot. I cherish the hope that he is as handsome on the inside as he is on the outside.

I am very feminine in many ways and yet I still feel some of the gender ambiguity I experienced when I was a young teen. For a couple of my teen years l considered myself asexual. I have probably admitted that to some of my closest friends but I can’t remember ever saying that out loud.

I feel most comfortable and most natural in men’s shoes and clothes even though I love women’s clothes too.

I’m not invulnerable to rock ballads of the 80’s.

It’s probably a good thing I didn’t build a roller skate-based life.

Holy shit, I’ve had about a thousand beers now.

It’s that moment when I should either put “Total Eclipse of the Heart” on, or give in to sleep.

DUDES, I TOTALLY JUST PUT “TOTAL ECLIPSE OF THE HEART” ON!

I don’t want to go to sleep. As long as I don’t go to sleep it won’t really be the new year. As long as I stay awake I can’t recognize the arbitrary passing of time.

Now I’m playing “Take On Me” and remembering how much listening to it when I was a teen made my stomach flutter. Totally at odds with my unsentimental suit-wearing self.

Seriously, have you not heard me admit to my own million contradictions until now?

Whatever.

I’m the Every-person. I’m woman, I’m man, I’m everyone you’ve ever met.

I don’t like three in the morning and we’re riding up hard on it’s petticoat now.

In my youth, if I could choose to be any man, I’d choose Bowie. Now I’d choose to be Ejiofor.

I wonder how differently my teenage friends saw me than I saw myself?

More frighteningly, I wonder what how differently my siblings saw me than I saw myself?

I’m tired. I’m half asleep. I’ve put my kitten to bed.

I wish all the wishes for you.

All of you.

LOVE.

 

 

Me and My (faux)Religion

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You know how so many people get depressed on New Year’s Eve because, for some reason, they feel obligated to trot out all the things they didn’t accomplish and stare really hard at all the ways they haven’t been amazing? Well, dammit, I want to get on that bummer-train too! Why should an old hag like me be left out of this tradition of being bummed out at impossible life standards not being met and epic dreams not coming true? I’ve got myself one ticket for the sleeper car reserved for the UN-COOLEST-PEOPLE that offers sparkling beverages that have gone flat and stale.

This year Jasika Nicole and Kirsten Vangsness still aren’t following me on Twitter.

(Are they completely unaware that I will write books that will be made into movies and shows and that I will write starring characters that kick mother-fucking-ass for both of them?! And that when I accept my awards for best screenplays (shut up – I’m totally going to learn how to do this soon) wearing my beautiful black suit covered in real butterflies I will be thanking them for being such inspiring women?! DO THEY NOT KNOW THIS YET?)*

Clearly I have failed at my coolness goals once again.**

Hang on, you know what? This is bogus. Everyone I know has some day or thing that is magical for them. Some belief that helps them hang on through the rough times. Some of you believe in God. Some of you believe in multiple Gods. Some of you, and may God help you, believe in Santa Clause. Some of you truly believe in elves and fairies and fairytales. I don’t believe in any of that.

I believe in new beginnings. I believe in fresh chapters. Blank pages upon which anything may be written. This day is the symbolic changing of the year. It’s merely symbolic because calenders are a thing humans invented to mark time and get depressed about, not nature.  Nature didn’t need this artifice and I think some people could successfully argue that nothing changes between today and tomorrow. The Chinese new year isn’t for another month and a half so for some people the symbolic change isn’t even happening tonight.

Feel free to call this the one little bit of “magic” I believe in. That we can reset ourselves and our attitudes. Yeah, maybe by tomorrow morning reality kicks my ass. No matter how often that happens, I still believe that New Year’s Eve is the night to recalibrate our wishes, our goals, our intentions. It’s not the time to look back at how much you didn’t do but to remember that as long as you aren’t dead yet, you just might have time to do a few more things.

But tonight doesn’t require lists or declared goals or intentions if you don’t want it to. It can be a quiet meditation. One to clear your head completely or one to fill your head with your favorite things. How you view this turning of the calendar is up to you.

I choose to stay home and drink beer and sometimes champagne and think about good things. I think about how I’d like to improve myself as a person. We are always in the process of “becoming” until we die so that even though I’m middle aged now, I imagine how I’d like to be a new improved version of myself each year I’m still stuck on this earth.

I’m not even going to “look back” on this year in the systematic way I usually do. I’m not interested in summing up or keeping score. I’m not going to go look at my post from a year ago to see what I said and see how it compared to the actual year that unfolded. For the moment I still have my memory and don’t need to poke it. I’m more interested in the now and the future and all the possibilities that lie in between those two points.

Maybe a little later I’ll write my version of mapping the future in a series of lists.

If new beginnings was my religion, lists would be my scripture.

Amen.

*It would seem so. Sigh.

**Clearly they will never read this post and this is an unnecessary precaution but I once said I’d never marry a Sagittarius and you can see how THAT turned out**. So just in case of impossible cases: Jasika and Kirsten, please don’t worry that I’ve pointed you out as top of my cool-women-O-meter. I know you’re human. I fully expect human-ness of you. No crazy-ass fan-hood going on here. Spit-promise!****

***I married a Sagittarius.

****I can see how a spit promise might seem a little on the creepy side. I’m not taking it back though. It’s less creepy than a blood-promise and due to the ick-factor, much more serious than a pinky-promise.

The Cumberbatch and Ackles Dream Edition

not much headroom

People aren’t much different or smarter than a bunch of sardines. I mean, sardines don’t pack themselves into tin boxes voluntarily the way humans do. We like to think we’re so smart and so superior but I think this is proof of our collective stupidity as a species.

There’s a tuxedo kitten galloping all over my office. Geronimo the not-so-feral-anymore foster kitten is having a mega battle with my striped tennis shoe. We’re talking full-body wrestling match. I love the way kittens will flop down with sudden exhaustion in the middle of play.

I opened my manuscript yesterday for the first time in weeks. It felt awesome. I did very little as I had a lot of other stuff I had to do. I started organizing my kitchen pantry and cupboards. It’s a huge job. I also started doing the same in my office. But I’m glad I took an hour to write. This must happen a lot more. But my prediction that getting a day job would mean giving up my novel writing has so far proved correct. My family needs me, I need to work, and then there’s very little time left. People with more general energy than me can cram a lot more into their time. I’m not those people.

Trying to get my apothecary products to sell also takes time but will hopefully result in becoming a viable part time business eventually.

One of my main financial goals is to make enough money to put some aside for old age.  Being poor and old is one of the worst things I can imagine. I may not have Max to take care of me and Philip. Maybe he won’t be able to. Then what? Life sure is a fragile piece of shit.

Whoa – I just saw a white kid skate by who had a mullet/afro combo. That is something I have never before seen.

I am reminded of the last time I was at Kaiser and the woman in front of me had a baby on her back in one of those baby backpacks. But as she was fighting with the pharmacist I noticed the baby didn’t move at all. Not a twitch. Even for a sleeping baby that seemed kind of off. The more she stood there arguing in front of me the more I stared at her baby pack and started worrying that the baby might be dead. Then she flounces off in a huff and I realize the baby is fake. Not a baby doll, just a stuffed baby snow-suit with hat and no baby and no doll. I can’t tell you how I could tell but I’m telling you that that woman was carrying a faux-baby on her back. It was like those teddy bear back packs but human. It was disturbing. I got a flash of her in my mind replacing her own dead baby with a faux-baby because she can’t accept her baby’s death.

I injured my leg two days ago and can hardly sleep because of it. It’s not in constant pain like it was the first night. I just can’t get my legs comfortable. In spite of this I did manage to have an epic dream in two parts last night. Here are the highlights that I can remember:

Jensen Ackles and I were running from someone and heading to a safe fort that was high up a rocky hill and in the trees. We were transporting onions. The onions had to be brought with us. Suddenly, right when I needed to climb up and over a very steep bit of tree limb I was hugely pregnant. I was the one carrying all the onions and between them and my belly I couldn’t quite climb over the place I needed to. Jensen helped me climb over but still made me carry the onions. What a handsome douche-pickle! We finally made it to the hideout and I commenced to make soup. To attempt to make soup. I was no longer pregnant but definitely didn’t give birth. Other people were joining us from other places and we were no longer that isolated. People were coming by bus and having bus mishaps. While I was trying to make soup. One of my internet friends, Déborah, joined us and wanted some of the soup. But I noticed I had accidentally put chocolate in it. Not a lot but enough to ruin it. I stirred and the chocolate turned it brown. She tried some anyway, laughing about how chocolate makes everything better. A sentiment I don’t share, not really liking chocolate myself. We agreed that even if it was awful it must not be wasted. Wasted food is no okay.

Later I’m dressed in a snazzy dress, really done up, hat and all. I don’t know why. Quite a few things happened in this second dream segment that I can’t remember. They led up to me joining Benedict Cumberbatch and some other friends for a picnic (or something) in the park. I go looking for them and find them playing games. I don’t play games but everyone else is dressed to the nines too and I decide to keep tagging along. In real life I enjoy Cumberbatch’s acting, I don’t have a crush on him. In the dream it was clear that we were mutually interested in each other. No, I wasn’t married in this dream so don’t worry about Philip. Anyway, nothing but disappointment follows as the group moves to new spots in the park the park becomes more like an underground maze with little lawns on different levels and I realize I’ve left my purse where I first met up with the group and I go after it. But then I can’t find the group again. Before it could turn into a real stress dream or nightmare, I woke up.

It was nice not having a stressful or scary dream. I mean, parts of it were, but only mildly like in a suspenseful movie, not where I’ve got palpitations and panic and bad shit happens. I call that a good dream.

It’s 1pm so I think it’s time I logged off and got back to organizing my office. Or my pantry. I have tons of jars to clean. Or plant my garlic cloves. SO MANY CHOICES. I would write but I’m trying to get everything clean and organized in order to make it easier to write more often, as I mentioned the other day. Now, while I have a week off from work is the best time to do the household stuff. Otherwise I’m too tired for big projects after work.

Off I go! I hope you are all having a great Monday! Or at least a good one. Or one that doesn’t completely suck would even be acceptable considering how many people are back at work today.

The News Fast Begins Today: Plans for 2015

Phoenix

I’m going on a news fast. I’m even going to exclude The Daily Show. That’s a serious news fast. I will click on zero news stories or links on Facebook. No news for 3 months. My mental health needs this. I went without news for years before and it helps my mental state tremendously. It helps me to hate humans less. Right now, my opinion of humans is at an all time low.

I’m also going to stop drinking again. I have until my birthday to decide for how long. When the drinking hiatus is over I plan to not have alcohol in the house. I plan for it to be something we go out for but not sit at home with.

During that time I want to clean out and organize my house. We’ve been here 2.5 years now and that seems about right for how long it takes me to really figure a house out. The minute I figure it out, it seems, something calamitous happens and I have to move. While that may end up happening again, I can’t live my life on the expectation of calamities any more than I can live it on expectation of success.

Expectation is the direct door to disappointment.

So I’m not going to worry about what may or may not happen after I get my house just how I want it to be. I’m going to move forward and make it awesome. Cleaned out and spruced up. Unfunctional made functional.

This is how I will move towards balancing the necessity to work so we can pay our bills and the necessity to write. I need a streamlined well organized comfortable and inspiring space. That will take a lot of energy and time, of course. On Stitch and Boots I’m going to list what needs to happen room by room. A  co-worker mentioned that a friend of hers did that and I think it’s brilliant. I will organize what needs to be tackled and then I can refer to the list to find small things to deal with if I get overwhelmed by the project as a whole.

Those three things are going to be the focus of this year. At least in the beginning. The second half will be more about growing my apothecary sales enough to warrant calling it my “apothecary business”. And I want to finish the second draft of Cricket and Grey book 2 by the end of 2015.

I have declared it. So shall it possibly-maybe-probably-hopefully BE.

The Age of the Introvert

stripes and leavesThe age of the introvert has arrived! The proof of this is in my Twitter tribe. You know who you are. I hope. Fuck it. You insecure bastards want me to address you by NAME? Even though it’s 1:59am and I work tomorrow? What a fucking demanding bunch of princesses!

Niko – are you kidding me with your rock star name, your gorgeous spirit, and your openness? If you needed a heart I’d cut mine out of my chest and let you have it. Don’t believe me? TRY ME.

Jennie – seriously? Do ALL Mormons have to sing so beautifully and make me overlook the magic hat? (I have been DYING to say that for pretty much, like, forever). You continue to impress me, surprise me in the best possible ways (I generally hate surprises), I treasure your kindness, your “inspirational” tweet appreciation, and your expert use of the many ways “fuck” can be used to express the human condition make me love you.

Kele – you are such a kind and thoughtful and smart friend – so much fun to hang out with and one of the most non-judgmental people I know. You are the best witch I’ve ever met and I ACTUALLY GOT TO HANG OUT WITH YOU AND IT WAS SO AWESOME!!

Sonya – BEYONCE!!!!!!!! <——- see all that excitement?! Your wild explosively exuberant energy and friendship is so charming, wonderful, and colorful – xoxoxxooxoxoxooxox! If I was broken to pieces I believe you could put me back together just with your sheer will and your illustrations. This parenting of the different kids is tough but I’m so happy I’m not alone in it and I have you to commiserate and share strength with.

Matt – you made yourself necessary to me the moment you put me on your list of twitter people that don’t suck. I deeply appreciate you in spite of your depraved hatred of cloth napkins and your equally depraved love of caped crusaders. There are other reasons I appreciate you. I hope you know what they are. If you don’t, you’ll be pretty weirded out by that statement.

Hayley – lady, you are the sweetest, loveliest, most supportive and huggable person I have ever not met! It would give me supreme pleasure to visit your house, eat your (non-chocolate) cake, drink your tea, and listen to your accent.

Deborah – I promise not to chew on your deliciously adorable son! You are such a beautiful and cool lady, my Twitter BFF! I love seeing the photographs of your life, your family, and I also love hearing about your life. You’ve been working so hard on your book, I can’t wait to get my hands on it! Incidentally, I just tried to remember how to make my computer do the accent on your name and I have run out of time before work so please forgive me! I really do know how your name is correctly spelled.

OH MY GOD: Olivia, Adam, Julie, Debi, Jason, Mark, John N., John F., Doug, Kristine, Erica, Joan, Lisa, Julz, and Marie: all of you make my every day so much better and richer and funnier – we’re like the modern Alqonquin Round Table but BETTER. I hope PBS one day does a documentary on our Twitter Tribe.

I don’t believe in Christmas (what with Santa being a super creepy pervert) but I DO believe in new beginnings and so I hope this year is a fantastic one for each and every one of you. I hope it’s filled with love and good writing. And good food. NO GRAPENUTS. I hope you’re healthy as can be and that your loved ones thrive.

A million kisses and hugs are easy to give all of you through my blog because it involves no real-life awkwardness (I know you’re all used to me being madame super-suave but that’s because you haven’t spent time with me in person) (except Kele who knows the truth now). I just ended this post with two parentheticals in one sentence. There’s got to be some kind of bad writing award for that, right?

XOXOXOXOXOXO