Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Wow... Sorry for the radio silence!

I'm not even sure where to begin!

Hi guys! Well, things have certainly changed for me recently. I'm now living near San Francisco, and my whole life is different than it was last time I made an entry.

Back in May I had a terrible break down, and I was hospitalized for nearly two weeks. My mental health had deteriorated quite badly, and I was self harming. The people at the clinic were lovely, and helped me so much. I was given medication to help stabilize myself, as well as taught some wonderful Cognitive Behavioral Therapy techniques that have been incredibly useful.

Sadly, my marriage was unable to recover from the on going issues. In June my husband and I separated, and I moved back to California (where I'm from) and he stayed in Wisconsin. To put it mildly, that was very difficult for me.

Since then, I've been working very hard every day on being healthy, both physically and mentally, and I'm feeling pretty fabulous! I've lost quite a bit of weight, and though I'm no longer a vegetarian, I'm cooking healthy (most of the time) and really enjoying my life.

Work has been hard to find in California, but I had some savings, and I'm staying with my mother right now so I'm managing. I assist with taking care of my 96 year old grandmother, which gives me a small income, though not enough to afford an apartment.

My love life is rather nice. And I'm going to leave it at that, for now. :)

My ex has the cats, so no more photos of Data, or Seven. I still cry here and there for them, as they were my precious babies. I'm not completely petless however. I have a pet lizard who sports a diva sized personality inside a small cold-blooded heart. She's lovely, and adorable, so you can look forward to photos and videos of her in the future.

Another change that's occurred is getting back in touch with my father. I hadn't seen or heard from him in 30 years, and then one night I just started looking for him on Facebook. I found him, sent him a friend request, and BOOM! He was so happy to hear from me! I went with my best friend up to visit with him, and it was crazy, weird, and pretty cool at the same time. I'm still processing it weeks later. I'm his only child, still after all this time.

One upside of all of these changes has been a renewal in my poetry writing. I hadn't written anything in years, I think since I got married actually, and last night my muse returned. I'm so relieved to have that fire burning inside me again. It's a long lost friend, and I've missed it.

Downside is that I had started smoking cigarettes again, but I've switched to the e-cigs now, which are a bit cheaper actually, and I think a little less harmful. I'm trying to slowly cut them out as well by gradually shifting to lower and lower nicotine doses, with the idea of breaking the habit again. Why didn't anyone remind me that it's harder to quit the second time? >_<

Thanks for reading (if anyone does after all this time LOL) and so I'll give you some weight loss photos, because it makes me very happy.

Taken not long before I left Wisconsin
Taken in September, here in California

Friday, April 12, 2013

Where I've been hiding.

Hey guys, I'm alive...

Sorry for the long silence. It wasn't really intentional. I've been dealing with a massive amount of anxiety lately, and by lately I mean for months.
Things came to a crescendo in Mid-January when I was so depressed, and paranoid that I decided to end my life. I made all the preparations, and was writing out a letter to my husband. By some miracle, my husband came home hours earlier than he was supposed to have, and I was halted.

After much soul-searching, I went to my mother-in-law and spoke to her about all the issues I'd been having, and she lovingly encouraged me to seek help. I've been seeing a therapist for a few weeks now, and going to group therapy sessions. Eventually, I should be able to get on medication to assist me.

It seems I have been living with PTSD for many years, due to the abuses my ex put me through, and some other events from my past. I'm currently unable to answer the door if I'm home alone, unless I know who is there already, and I can't bring myself to answer the phone if I don't recognize the phone number. It was very hard to go to work for a while, but I've gotten to a point now where being at work is okay. It's hard to not feel safe from things in your own home though.

Quite honestly, I'm afraid of everything right now. Every knock on the door is our landlord coming to evict us (despite our rent being paid, and being completely compliant with our lease). Every phone call is someone calling to tell me my husband has died in a car wreck, or is divorcing me, or is calling because my son is gone (despite my husband being a safe driver, despite him being loving and loyal, and despite my son being too big to kidnap, and too well-behaved to consider running away). I shake all the time like a shelter-rescue Chihuahua.

Slowly I am getting better, but it's a long process. Every day I am glad that Husband came home early. I keep a letter to myself in my back pocket now, with a list of everything that is good about myself, and the people who would miss me terribly if I were gone. With it I have a mantra that I use as a shield when I become afraid. Some of you who are more literary may recognize it.

I must not fear.Fear is the mind-killer.
Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration.
I will face my fear.
I will permit it to pass over me and through me.
And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path.
Where the fear has gone there will be nothing.
Only I will remain.

I repeat it to myself whenever I feel anxious, and it does seem to help. I am also taking up knitting because apparently it is very good for those suffering from PTSD. Something about the back and forth repetition. I am also starting to jog, and go to the gym with friends. For weeks I couldn't keep much food down, so I lost 9lbs a little too fast. I'm trying to keep that weight off, but do it a healthy way. 

Please feel free to ask questions, I'm trying to be open about any struggles just in case someone randomly stumbles across this blog at a time when they are in need. If you are in a desperate situation, please email me. I will listen, and I will tell you as many times as you need to hear that you are not alone.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Goddamn Bananas

Just a quickie today!

So I always end up having weird and childish conversations full of good-natured bickering. Today my victim was "Doodle". Doodles changed his Status on his IM to "Ate a banana instead of a Mars bar, so to celebrate I shall have a Mars bar" The IM conversation that followed is pasted here for your amusement.

10:38 AM me: How was that Mars bar?
  And bananas are gross by the way

10 minutes
10:49 AM Doodles: What.
10:50 AM WHAT?
  Out of formatting options.
  Bananas are great.
  Take it back,
 me: LOL
  I actually gag at the smell of ripe bananas
 Doodles: NO!
 me: like seriously
10:51 AM Doodles: I love bananas.
  I have at least one a day.
  So easy to eat and digest.
  And tasty.
  We're going to have a big falling out over this I can sense it.
  Unless you change things by eating a banana today.
  Will you eat a banana today?
  To save our friendship?
 me: so does Husband. I tried being nice to him and make banana bread b/c he loves it, but I kept throwing up.
 Doodles: Or are you going to remain self centered.
10:52 AM me: I will eat one if it is Still a little green
 Doodles: So do it for your marriage too.
  Husband is a good man.
 me: I can handle them if they're a little green.
  ripe ones are too strong smelling for me.
10:54 AM I'm totally putting this conversation into my blog.
10:55 AM Doodles: :D
  You may refer to me as Doodles again
 me: I totally will, you can be sure of that
10:56 AM Because it amuses me.
 Doodles: Sexcellent
11:03 AM me: I should print out one of your drawings and put it up here. I have one of Nykolai's pieces up amongst the photos of family.
 Doodles: Oooh

11:16 AM me: Are you drawing me something? You are, aren't you? :D
11:17 AM Doodles: Not right now
 me: :fingerscrossed:
 Doodles: Are you eating a frickin' banana?
  No. Didn't think so.
11:18 AM me: No. But I don't have one. makes a face at you   

Monday, September 10, 2012

Opening My Door; Letting You Inside

Sometimes the internet is an awful place, but it can also be amazing. It can be a place to release the worst, darkest shadows in your heart, and have someone take them from you and say "These don't need to scare you. Let me help." From here on out this blog contains triggers. Please read with caution, and I promise *SPOILER* the end is very happy.


I woke up this morning, and read this on The Bloggess. She's very inspiring to me, and it helps to know that someone as awesome as she is can suffer anxiety, and depression. It means that I can still be awesome too.

In honor of today, I'm going to share a deeply personal story. One that only a handful of people know, and that handful doesn't include many of my family members. So I'm sort of grateful they're unaware of the existence of this blog lol. This is a rather painful story, and it will be very hard for me to tell it. I'm changing the name of the other person involved in this story, because though I was just speaking to him in our usual morning ritual way, I was too nervous to ask him if he minded me using his real name. Plus he's ever so proper, and would probably be embarrassed by the showering of praise.

So for this we have to go back to 2004. I had, on a hunch, gone through my then husband's computer while he was out. I found email after email, and all sorts of instant message conversations with another woman who he professed to love. He told her he hated me, was leaving me, all the things you never want to hear from the man you've said "I Do" to. When he returned, I confronted him. He was so very angry at my prying, refused to discuss his online infidelity. When I wouldn't back down, he choked me, beat me, threw me into a wall, and then left. My son was (thankfully!) with his step-grandparents, and witnessed none of this. I sat on the swing outside the house until dawn. I couldn't think. I didn't think about why I wanted him back, or even if I wanted him back. I was just waiting.

He returned about two weeks later. I'll skip over the insanity that filled the two weeks before his return, because it's still uncomfortable even now. We'll just sum up with: Some people supported me, but others actually told me I'd gotten what I'd asked for. I no longer speak to the latter group of people.

When he returned, my husband told me he was sorry, that he never meant any of it, and that he loved me. Then he told me he'd decided to get us away from all of it, the poverty, the drugs. He said he was going to go to Minnesota and stay with a friend of ours, and get a job. Then he'd send for me. Now I know that you all following at home are shouting "Don't believe him!" I assure you, I knew very well what was going on. I happened to know that the woman he'd been talking to online lived 3 hours from our friend in Minnesota. I knew exactly what he was going to do. I bought the airline ticket however, I packed his bags, and I went with him to the airport. I've always hoped that he eventually understood that I had done all of these things fully aware that he was going to her. I would hate to think he felt he'd tricked me.

After he'd been gone a week, I got the instant message I was expecting. He informed me he was with her, and wasn't coming back to me. I don't remember what I said, but I do remember signing off before he'd finished explaining why he'd left. I didn't care. The why of it didn't matter to me. Just the fact of it. After seven years of marriage he was gone. They weren't even good years to be honest, and I was aware of that. He'd been abusive towards me, he was an addict. The only good thing I can say about him is that he never interacted with my son much, so my baby was spared any violence. (I feel I should clarify here that my husband was not my son's father. My son's father is a good man, and a good father. No one had any clue what my marriage was like behind closed doors, or they would have helped me escape.)

I sleepwalked through life for a few days, trying to figure out what the next step was. He'd been so controlling that I had defined my entire life by his desires and whims. Without his presence all I could figure out to do was dress my son, take him to school, then sit there while he was away until it was time to go get him. I was broken. So, on a Friday afternoon I decided to take my life. My son deserved better than a broken woman as his mother, I thought. His step-mother's parents were coming to pick my son up for the weekend, so I decided to wait until he'd left. He was so little, he didn't need to see this. My mom would have found me before he returned, and as sad as she would be it was better than my baby being the one.

I gathered up a massive handful of pills; Codine, valium and paxil. I put them in my nightstand drawer, and then waited. To keep myself busy while I waited for the school day to be over, I went to deviantART and decided to look at the chatrooms. There was one room I'd been in once before called "dAPensioners" and it was for people over the age of 21. It had seemed nice, so I went back in. The owner of the chat (the person who'd created the chatroom) was inside, and he greeted me cheerfully. From here on out we shall refer to him as Doodles, because it's what he does.

Doodles and I talked about nothing important for a long time, and then he offered to switch to instant messenger. It suited me, so when I returned from picking up my son from school, we talked privately for a while longer. We traded stories from our lives, while I packed a bag for my son and tried to not let him know that this would be the last time my C-monster would see me. I kissed and hugged my son hard, and told him I loved him more than anything else in the world. Then he left for the weekend.

Doodles and I talked some more, and I decided to wait until after dark to do this. I'd go to sleep and just not awaken. I smoked my cigarettes hanging out my window so that I didn't have to leave the conversation for even a moment. We had much in common, and much that was different. He lived in London, had a good job, never married and no kids but a long time girlfriend. We both loved music, talked about films, were passionate about art. He never seemed to tire of talking, even though he was eight hours ahead of me.

All at once I realized that the sun had come up in California. It was a new day, and it struck me that I could change everything starting today. I could make a new life, and that I wanted to see what sort of man my son would become. That I wanted to see what sort of person I could become. I could make the changes I wanted. I did not have to define my life by anyone else, and I could survive this.

That feeling of power didn't last, but the desire to live did. A few years later, over drinks and face to face, I thanked Doodles everything he'd done for me without ever knowing he'd done so. He was probably a little embarrassed, so I dropped it right away. I am without a doubt his most loyal friend to this day though. I would drop almost anything if he asked for my assistance. Though he's terribly British and probably wouldn't ever want to impose upon me.

That awful first day, the one where I went through the computer and was beaten for my trouble, was eight years ago next month. Since then I've made mistakes, had my heart broken, and broken a heart or two. I never changed my mind about being alive though.I'm so happy now, married to a really good man, my son is becoming a wonderful adult, I'm still great friends with Doodles and we talk frequently even though we live many time zones apart still. It doesn't escape me though that it could have easily gone differently. I could have not found anyone to talk to, or run into someone who was cruel and sarcastic. I could have decided to watch mind-numbing television until my son had left. I don't know why I chose to speak to people online before I ended things, maybe I wanted to live secretly, deeply inside of me. I know that I made sure to give no sign of my intentions. Whatever it was, it made all the difference.

Everyone struggles, everyone hurts. I know. I know you hurt, and you struggle, I know sometimes it's too much to bear. But I love you. I want to tell you that I love you, and I don't know who you are. I want to tell you that I am here for you, that I struggle with you. Some days I want to hurt myself, some days all I want to do is cry in bed. It's okay if you feel the same. It makes us brothers and sisters. It makes us human, and real and perhaps a little more beautiful for all of our cracks, and flaws.

I'm not really sure how to end this one, it's so deeply personal.
If you're in the US and need to talk to someone please call: 1-800-273-8255
Outside the US, this website has links to the help lines for everywhere in the world: http://suicidehotlines.com/international.html


Depression Lies.

To quote the great sage Christopher Robin: "If ever there is tomorrow when we're not together, there is something you must always remember. You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think. But the most important thing is, even if we're apart, I'll always be with you."


Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Never Piss Off A Vegan; They're Always Hungry

Hello! I'm feeling super happy and sort of sickeningly chipper today. Probably has something to do with the wine slushies I'm drinking!

I'm also happy to announce that my healthy lifestyle reformation is going well! I've actually gone vegetarian, for a number of reasons, not the least of which was this news article We Are Just One Animal Out of Many.
Mind you, that is Vegetarian, not Vegan because I have an obsession with cheese, but we're being careful to buy only humanely produced cheese from local farms. The farmers around this area are wonderful, and treat their livestock very well. We often drive by this one farm where the cows are often seen frolicking in the large open field that is their domain. No cramped awful pens for these happy guys. It's very sweet to watch.
Since the change I have felt amazing. I used to come home starving, eat some dinner, and then feel sleepy, and heavy, even when I ate strict calorie controlled portions. Now after I eat dinner, I feel great. Last night I went for a jog around the block after dinner, and only came back in because of the threatening storm.
My husband, the ever stoic Number One, does most of the cooking but has not gone veggie with me. However, he's been fantastically supportive and has been adjusting his grocery buying and recipes to suit me.

He's stuck eating the whole dead chicken in our freezer however.

Wine and beer are most of the time considered Vegan (unless they contain honey or have been filtered with blah blah there's a lot to this which I'm sure you'd be bored by) so I double checked and thankfully my favorite vintner and brewery (Wollersheim Winery and New Glarus Brewery respectively) are Vegan and proud. So... I'm going to support them! *hic*

It's a good thing I'm being healthier, because I need to make sure the rest of me is in good shape for the inevitable liver transplant surgery I am going to need.

I honestly haven't missed meat yet, and the only side effect I've had was feeling a little weird and tired on the third day in. I've been very careful to make sure I'm eating plenty of protein by cooking almost daily with Quinoa, or legumes, and it's a good excuse to eat hummus which I adore. It's actually an issue, because if left alone I can eat an entire tub of it, and while that is still vegetarian, it isn't healthy. I also have been eating organic peanut butter, which is delicious.
I'm not eating too much soy, because it seems to be a migraine trigger for me in large quantities. I discovered this when I switched to soy milk to accommodate my lactose intolerance. I still love soy milk though, but I can't have it every day. I do the same with cheese... or at least I should, but I can stand stomach aches better than I can withstand migraines.

Holy shit, I am the most boring, rambling blogger ever. I'm going to go do something crazy, just so I can entertain you people. THAT'S HOW DEDICATED I AM! If I get arrested, I hope you're happy! SHEESH!

Spotify May Be The Greatest Thing Ever

So, as I discussed on my post The Answer with Christine (btw her blog is awesome, and she's really funny and sweet, so go read), I love weird and sort of stupid music. So much so that I have created an entire Spotify playlist dedicated to the dumbest, and greatest music I can find/stomach. 

If you're unfamiliar with Spotify, allow me to sum up: You can stream music to your computer for free, any songs you like, any time you like, and all you have to do is suffer through one or two very short advertisements every 15 minutes or so. If you pay for their Prime membership you can stream anything you want with no ads even through your mobile phone... which I would love to have, but it's alright, their radio isn't too bad either, you just don't get to select the songs you want. You can however tell it "I want to listen to stuff like the Foo Fighters." and it will pick and choose bands and genres that are very similar. So, it's pretty good!

Now that you're all sold on Spotify, allow me to attempt to share the list here.

Wow, that totally worked! Okay, now I promise it isn't all Weird Al. I'd go so far as to say that most of it is not, but the list here shows up in order that I added it, and I just happened to add all of Weird Al first. I recommend starting with nearly anything Candia or Charity Case by MC Frontalot and Handlebars by the Flobots. If you don't want spotify, but still are interested in weird music, the song titles are links to the YouTube videos for those songs. (the MC Frontalot videos are not his videos, but I could only find live versions of them, and I sort of dislike live videos...) Handlebars is particularly good, and the song gives me goosebumps every time I hear it. If you have spotify and want to be on my friends list there, just let me know, I would love to share music with you.

Quotable Quotes

I have started saving these places, because some of the conversations I have with my husband are silly, and he insists I share them. Especially when they make him look brilliant and awesome, and make me look like a spaz.

Sitting in the jeep with Number One- 
Husband: Are you wearing Febreze as a perfume? 
Me: (refusing to look at him) No... That would silly.   
Husband: I ask only because you're the Captain of silliness and because it suddenly smells pretty in here. 

Me: Are you going to the store, because I would like lemon sorbet please? 
Husband: Sure. 
Me: Or any kind of citrus fruit flavor is fine. 
Husband: We have mangoes, and kiwi in the fridge. 
Me: *looking at him confusedly* ...None of those are ice cream.

Next post, I will share photos of the fun shit I do on my weekends. Here's a hint: It involves women taking off their clothes! (We photograph Burlesque shows, and have people offer us drinks)

Stay Tuned!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Oh, The Humanity!

So you guys may have heard about a Tumblr blog called Dog Shaming. If you haven't you should go right now! http://dog-shaming.com/

Well, I decided that my darling little punks needed a good shaming too. 

Data quite obviously has no regrets at all.

Seven is bored with my accusations.

Let me see your pet shaming photos!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

The Answer

Hello! It's been a while, but it has been time well spent for me! I was preparing for the "Dirty Girl Mud Run" that I spoke about in my blog post "I'm Getting Dirty". I had more fun than I ever thought I would. I really, really enjoyed it! So much so that I've decided to keep doing them!

The next one is in October and it looks awesome. If I can get in a bit better shape (this one is 10k instead of 5k like the Dirty Girl) then I'm going for it. I bought proper running shoes last night, so I can get serious about it. My ultimate goal now is to do The Tough Mudder. it will take me years of training, and a lot of dedication, but I want to be able to look at myself and know that I did THAT. I want to look at things in life and say "Yeah, I got rear ended, and I can't really afford to lose my car... but this is easier than that time I ran through live wires to to get to the finish line after having run 11 miles."

I can do this.

Oh! I suppose you would like to see photos of the Dirty Girl? I can totally do that for you.

It was an absolutely gorgeous day for it, and thankfully not too warm, as I was about to put myself through more than I had ever done in my whole life.

August 19th, Delafield WI

We were dressed up in vaguely super hero costumes for the run, because why not? So as a nod to my friends, I will refer to them by their super hero identities. There were five of us, and we had a Supergirl, a Batgirl, a Robin and a Wonder Woman. I was, of course, Captain America. Yeah we were mixing up our comic universes.. shut it.

*cue dramatic music*
We called ourselves The Just-Us League. Robin is my sister-in-law by the way.

All of the costumes were pretty awesome. There were women competing in tutus, in angel wings, in wigs... you name it! The only thing I didn't see were ladies trying to wear high heels, which is a good thing as they would have quickly broken their necks. The best costumed team was (in my opinion) the Sumo Ladies. Yep, you guessed it. They were dressed up as Sumo Wrestlers.

Seriously, it can't get any better than this. Hilarious!

Sadly, because they want me to pay for photos of myself looking like a dork, they wouldn't allow my brilliant husband to follow us around the track. Which means my darling blog-stalkers are missing out on photos of me clinging to a cargo net two stories high, being dragged through the mud on my face by Supergirl, and the massive Just-Us League mud battle. It was EPIC! I would leave right now for a chance to do it all again today.

Batgirl and I celebrate having made it out of the woods, which were full of cords strung between the trees like creepy spiderwebs
The huge wall climb was, I think, the hardest one. We'd already been jogging/walking for about 3 miles at this point, and I wasn't blown or anything but that was a really tall wall. I ended up twisting my ankle a little on the up-and-over portion, but I was fine after a while.

Captain: Ah damn... can I just.. like, stay here? Robin: WHEEEEEE!

It was an amazing feeling to finish. I wouldn't have bet on me completing the whole course, but I did! I felt simply fantastic afterwards too! I honestly felt like a super hero.

Only clean spot on my face: under the goggles.
We're some dirty mother.. shut yo mouth!

The experience has highlighted for me the need for taking my health more seriously though. Looking at the photos makes me realise that I cannot continue to be in the shape I am currently in, and still respect myself. It's not a matter of "Oh, I want to be skinny so people think I'm pretty", it's a dawning realization that the things I enjoyed doing are very difficult when I'm out of shape. I love camping, and hiking, and I've always wanted to take kayaking trips, but it's more difficult when you're out of shape. I also love to swim, but I'm self-conscious in a swimsuit, so I don't do much swimming anymore. I don't want to continue like this any longer.

I want to feel like this more often is what I'm saying. 

And The Answer Is!

I listen to a few different music apps while I'm at work, mostly because I get bored fairly quickly if one of them gets stuck playing the same tracks over and over. Lately I've been listening to a lot of hip-hop, dubstep and as much Die Antwoord as I can get. I doubt many of you have heard of Die Antwoord, so I'll explain briefly. They're a South African group and though I would say they're rap, it has a lot of techno and tribal music involved. I pretty much love it. Some of their lyrics are in Afrikaans, but that's not much of a barrier for me, as I have a friend who talks to me in Afrikaans so I pick up some of it and the rest I just look up. The interesting thing is that they're so very different in interviews than their stage personas. Apparently they don't drink, or do drugs, despite what they sing about. They're pretty interesting. Die Antwoord translates to "The Answer" by the way. I wonder what the question was?
My husband says my fascination with them is weird, but I like them anyway!

I apparently just missed out on them in concert in Chicago, which is disappointing.

Jy moet luister na 'n paar vreemde kak.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

A Post About Friends & Coffee

I need to get a set journal style...

I want to be consistent from post to post, and I can never really remember what I did from post to post. Hmmm...

Deviant ART

Once upon a time I was a very very active member of a website called deviantART. I was SUCH an active member that I was running their charity for a while Artists For Charity (which sadly seems to have no one at the helm currently), and was given the award of Seniorship. For the past few years though I haven't done much on the site, but a few days ago I wandered back. I feel a little more inspired than I have in a long time, so I'm hoping to get back into the groove again. I have canvases, paints, and other little bits and bobs that perhaps not having my camera will be less of a problem for me than I originally expected.

In case you're curious, here's a link to my personal page on dA. I go by "switchbladeserenade". I've thought about changing it, but I've used that online artistic moniker for so long, I feel like I need to hold onto it.

My Kiddo

Last post I was really down about my son leaving, and you all were so very wonderful about supporting me. It really helped to get me through it. I also called my monster a few times since he left, and that helped as well. He plans on finishing school in North Carolina, and then attending college here in Madison. So I'll get to have him here with me, although he'll be technically an adult, while he completes school. Which is awesome, as he's growing into quite a great young man. One I'm proud of.

We took some photos of him the last day he was here, but they haven't been edited yet. I'll kick my husband's ass and get that done very soon.

You guys will love the mohawk.

I'm Only Happy When It Rains

That's the song that Garbage sings, and they will be very pleased today. Garbage is playing here in town, (I'm reliably told this is their hometown) and it is raining today. My darling friend Heather invited me and the ball-n-chain to come see the concert with her, as she had two spare tickets. I took the day off today, and we're leaving in a few hours. It's an outdoor show, so it should be damp, sticky, and completely fun. There will be photos of this too!

I normally take photos at every concert event I go to, but this time only Husband will be. The various bands I have taken photos of are in the gallery of the deviantART link above. My favorite band to shoot has to be Powerman 5000. They wear crazy costumes on stage, and put on quite a show.

Alright darlings, I'll post more soon. Thank you again, I can't tell you how much your comments and support help me out during the rough patches.

EDIT: Omg! I meant to talk about my new coffee pot, and I forgot. Okay so I was checking out the new Goodwill just down the street from us, and there was an amazing coffee maker/espresso machine by Krups for only $10. It looked brand new, as in had never had water run through it at any point. We already had a coffee maker though, so I balked at buying it. Husband insisted, and weedled until I agreed. Good thing too, because I totally destroyed our old coffee pot this morning while cleaning it. My hand slipped  and I cracked the glass with my scrub brush.

Some of my readers know me from other websites, or in the real world and they'll tell you I'm a hot mess in the mornings without coffee. We hadn't been to the store to buy beans recently, and I'd run out two days ago, so things were dire. Yesterday at work I decided that I would sell my soul to get some coffee after I realised that my underwear had been on backwards, and I hadn't noticed for hours. HOURS!

I can't seem to get the Goodwill price tag off though. I'll have to soak it and then scrub really hard, I think.

Now... time for another cup of coffee! *runs off making "squee" sounds of joy*

Thursday, August 2, 2012

The Art of Failing

The Hardest Day Is Here

Today is the day that my son flies out. I dread this day every year. I'll spend the rest of tonight after he leaves either completely immersed in a distraction, such as a video game or book, and quite possibly drunk. Then I'll fall into a deep depression for about two or three weeks, and weep inconsolably at random moments. Actually, I have tears on my face now, but I can still see to type, so I'll just continue. Where it gets rough is the feeling that I did the right thing by him, sending him to live with his father, because here I can barely keep a roof over my head. Then I wonder where the fuck I went wrong in my life choices that THAT is the best option I have.

I'm not any of the stereotypes of mother who doesn't have custody of her kids. Don't think for a moment that I lost custody, I didn't. My son begged me to live with his dad because his dad had, at the time, just returned from a tour in Iraq and my son hadn't seen him in nearly two years. There were other factors, such as the fact that I was leaving North Carolina to go back to California and the area I was moving to had shitty public schools, but that was the main factor. I still wonder what I could have done differently.

I want him to stay with us so badly. My husband is fully supportive of that too, they get along great. The problems is money. This Summer has served to illustrate that point painfully well. With the extra person in our household things have been tough. We've had to sell things precious to us to pay bills, and we're looking to sell more. All of this so that my husband can complete his schooling, and have a job that pays well, so that we can drown in student loan debt. I feel like we're on a merry-go-round that is moving too quickly, and we wanted to get off hours ago, but the operator is insane and won't let us go.

For all that, it was a good Summer. My boss has been great about allowing me time whenever I asked for it. We have been able to do some fun things, with kind assistance from friends. I haven't taken as many photos as I would have liked this year, and there will be even less now. One of the precious things we sold was my dSLR. The power bill needs to be paid however, and with the heat we've had this year, it was higher than normal.

Sometimes I feel like I'm drowning, failing so badly I will die. I think to myself that maybe wading out into a lake and taking a deep breath would be better... But then I think of my son, my husband, and I know I can't do that.

Not the best photo, but we were hiking.
I keep telling myself that it will get better, that I'm doing what I can, with what I've got... It's just so hard. I must remind myself that I'm better off than many people right now. I have a stable job, there is food on my table, and I have friends who love me. I'd like to say I'm not concerned about the roof over my head, but that's a lie. I should be alright there, but I worry.

Sorry this post has been so depressing. I just can't shake the feeling that I somehow failed my son, while I was trying to do the right thing by him. Maybe I should have kept him with me? Maybe I should never have left NC (not that I would have had anywhere to live if I hadn't...)? They say hindsight is always 20/20, but that's not true. I still don't know what I should have done differently. I've had people looking at me like I must be a shitty mom because my son doesn't live with me for so long, I believe them now.

I could go on about this for hours, but you guys have got to be sick of my whining at this point. Let me lighten things up with Buttermilk the goat. She's a dwarf goat who seems to enjoy picking on her friends. (not my goat btw)

Friday, July 13, 2012

I Fly Like Paper, Get High Like Planes

Your Love Is Like A Rollercoaster Baby

June and July have been wonderful, and awful, and completely interesting. The ability to paint, and decorate as we please is such a glorious benefit to this apartment, and I honestly cannot say enough about how excited I am over having a fireplace. One of the beautiful new pieces of art going up on our walls is a painting by my dear friend Nykolai Aleksander.  It's simply stunning!

I need to get a frame for it, but it will look great in the living room.


So, once upon a time I lived in London England, as I have mentioned in passing. The nice thing about living over the pond is that all of Europe is so close! I didn't travel outside of England quite as much as I wish I had, but I did manage to make it to Amsterdam, because I was young, and very interested in ...The Coffee Shops.


Anyway, It was a really lovely trip, and I got to spend time with a friend who lived there. We climbed to the top of  the Martinitoren in Groningen, and strolled through Assen (where he lived). But on my first day there, we were in Amsterdam herself. What a city! 

We drank at a few places, and stopped in at a Cafe. There was a man who stopped me in the street and asked me if I knew his friend Charlie. In my naivete, I grinned and said "I don't know, do I?" Erik managed to stop laughing long enough to explain that the man was asking me if I wanted cocaine. I picked up some strange candies (which were gross) that I think were salted licorice, and a marijuana lollipop (which was surprisingly tasty). There were bicycles everywhere, and I don't think anyone there was overweight. We saw a movie in English with Dutch subtitles. It was "Wallace & Grommet, and the Curse of the Wererabbit". Still one of my favorite films. The most bizarre thing I saw while I was there was a women's babydoll t-shirt that said "Mas, papa. Por favor!" I stood in front of the window it hung in for a good 10 minutes trying to decide if it was a poor translation job that made them order that shirt, or if it was intentional. I never did figure that one out.

I wish I could find more of the photos I took, but I wasn't as good with my backing up of files back then. I also lost a laptop in London when the flat was broken into.

"ERMIGERD! A giant novelty shoe!!! You must prove how much my friendship means to you by HUMILIATING yourself by sitting in it for a photo!!!"
No, I'm not laying down in it, I'm just that much shorter than Erik. 
The Red Light District was not as crazy as I imagined, though that may have had a lot to do with our being there in the day time.There were boobs everywhere though, and I bought a penis shaped salt shaker for my friend Keir, who in a very British, and polite way, declined my gift. I can't remember where that penis ended up. I probably gave it to someone I wanted to make uncomfortable. (It was a very *large* salt shaker.)

It's been so many years that a lot of what we did is sort of a blur. I remember that Erik tried to kill me with food from Febo. It was so hot that I burned myself when I tried to eat it, but once it cooled down it was very tasty. He refused to tell me what was in it however, so to this day I have no idea what I ate. It could have been anything. It set a precident of not asking about what I was eating however, which culminated in my wolfing down haggis, before asking what it was made from. Lesson learned*.

When we arrived at Erik's house, we proceeded to drink way too much, and smoke various things. (I was still a tobacco smoker back then). It was all fun and games until someone vomited (me) and someone passed out (..okay, fine. That was also me.) I vaguely recall crawling on hands and knees up the extremely steep staircase, and sleeping fully clothed on the guest bed.

Best. Time. Ever.

Yep. I'm a special snowflake, for sure. There is another one where he stacked bottle caps on me, but you don't get to see that. I must retain some dignity.

So there you go crew, another story of the stupidness that is my life. Husband and I plan to start taking more vacations, and visiting my friends that live abroad, so pretty soon there will be many more ridiculously irresponsible tales of my adventures.

Till next time!

*by lesson learned I mean I learned nothing.

Monday, July 2, 2012

I'm really terrible at Blogging

Nothing much exciting here

Still unpacking, and settling in. It's a process. This apartment makes my mood swing wildly about at times. I like a clean place, but I'm not horribly fussy about "tidy". Example: I hate having dishes in the sink, or an unvacuumed carpet, but I don't mind a neatly stacked pile of books, or a shelf full of knick-knacks.
However, one thing I cannot stand is bugs. Ugh. I don't mind bugs outside, because that is where they belong. They don't belong in my home though!
And we have an ant problem. A horrible, ugly, disgusting ant problem. They're the tiniest ants I've ever seen, about the size of three grains of sugar. And they're driving me mad! I'm frustrated all the time. They even got into my freezer! Of course they all died immediately, but still I had to pull everything out, bleach the inside, check all the food to be sure it was all still ant free (it was, I mean, really... it's all wrapped in there, right?).

Plus, almost a month here and my dishwasher is still broken. Ugh.

Noah's Ark

On Wednesday, the 27th of June, I ran away from all the chaos here, and stayed all day at Noah's Ark. If you've never been to the Wisconsin Dells, it's a giant waterpark. Oh man, I loved it so much. I really needed to have a few more days of that. Not the high priced food, or the ridiculous souvenirs, but the warm sun, clean water, and getting to float around on a tube while I chat inanely with a friend. I feel like I don't get to decompress very much, which is quite honestly my own fault in many ways, as I have a hard time relaxing. It would be nice though to have more time for fun.


This weekend we're having a small housewarming party. I say small because no one has RSVP'd, so it might be just the three of us that live here, and my sister-in-law. But on the other hand, everyone might show up unannounced! We'll see.
I have the living room/computer area, hallway and bathroom painted. The kitchen is a god awful color, but it's going to have to stay that way just now.
I have photos!
The photos aren't the best, by the way, because the lighting is really bad, and I was too lazy to do anything about it. Sorry.

The color is "rainforest fern" and Data goes well with it.

The bathroom color is my favorite, so I'm trying to think of excuses to use the color elsewhere in our apartment. It's called "peacock blue" and it's... bold.

The kitchen will probably end up a light green. Something that compliments our living room. Our bedroom will probably end up a light russet color of some sort, since all of our bed linens are in shades that vary from copper to chocolate.

People More Interesting Than Myself!

If you're still reading at this point, WOW! I am SO sorry. This entry has been really boring and long, so I'm going to reward you with super awesome links.

I read a number of blogs, most of them by complete strangers, but a couple of my good friends also write blogs. They are all funnier, and more talented than I am. More interesting too, while I'm being honest.

My friend Sarah is from the U.S., speaks French fluently, and is teaching English in South Korea currently. She started a blog to chronicle the crazy ups and downs of being a sarcastic female in a foreign land.

One of my dearest friends, he happens to also be a pretty funny guy. He and I don't get to talk every day, or even see each other very often currently, but it's always as if no time has passed at all when we do. He moved from the UK to Germany for work, and now he's blogging the schnitzel out of Berlin. 

Friday, June 22, 2012

Sorry For The Silence!

I'm Alive, REALLY!

So sorry for the long stretch of silence here at TACD, but it's been pretty exciting in meatspace*. As you know, we moved into our new apartment at the begining of the month, and it was a disaster. I've shampooed the carpets a stupid number of times, and painted the living room, dining nook, and hallway. Tonight I've just finished masking off the bathroom, and I'll spend most of tomorrow painting that. Oh, and a garden. I put in a vegetable garden in the back of our place, but the yard needed to be tilled and fertilized before it was ready for planting. I also need to finish putting up my fence.

Oh, and my teenage son is with me, so that's fun. Anyone else have a teenager? They're stinky, and bratty, and know everything. My son is on the Autistic Spectrum, which adds a new level of fun to the usual teenage attitude. But I love him, even if he does shut his bedroom door and marinate in his own smell. (I swear it's like a creature's den in there).

Also exciting, I traveled down to Chicago to stay over night with the FABULOUS Lauren of Filing-Jointly...Finally. The idea was to see The Bloggess speak at Litfest, but that didn't pan out as planned. But that's alright, it was a whole lot of fun anyway.

I have been working on a guest post for Lauren's blog, so look for that in the future.

I've got other stuff to talk about, but it's currently half past 2 in the morning here, and I think I just heard the sounds of my husband giving up and going to bed without me, so I'll sign off now.

G'night guys, and regular posts should resume shortly.

In the meantime, what have you been up to?

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Moved in!

Some People Are Awful People...

We're into our new place now, and holy cow...

Wait, lemme me back up. So we got everything packed up (omg I know right? We did it!) and we moved the large stuff into the new garage, and boxes into the storage unit. Then we slept in our old apartment one last night, so we could wash walls, shampoo carpets,a nd give it one last real deep clean before moving our fish tank out.
All that went smoothly, and though it was hard work, it was all done by 2pm. Walked in to our new apartment annnnd....

What. The. Fuck. Carpets are stained and filthy, there is old food left in the cabinets, the bathtub has mildew under where they had their shower mat and the light-bulbs have been taken out of all the ceiling lights. I'm so tired, and we worked SO hard to clean our old place, and now I have to do it again. It's so awful. I'm a really clean person, and though I have occasionally allowed my home to become cluttered, but I never allow it to be filthy. I should have looked around harder, I guess. The fridge is brand new, and so is the stove, so that's good at least.
Husband had to go to work, so I got our bed set up, and sat the rest of the night alone, by the light of one lamp. I was able to find a usb cord for my phone, and connect it to my laptop so I could at least get online via my phone. After all the stress, and exhaustion and way too many energy drinks on top of not enough food... I had a full on panic attack. The "I can't breathe, and I'm dying" kind. I knew in the back of my mind I wasn't, that I was obviously breathing, but I was certain I couldn't. I gasped like a fish for I don't know how long. Eventually I passed out and when I awoke I felt a little better, though I was shaking. After I spoke with my friend Em for a while, I was calmed down. The next day at work I felt like someone had beaten me, and then dragged me behind a truck. I limped around like I was 90 years old, and I couldn't even keep water down. It didn't get much better the next day, when all of my misery was added to by a headache.
I gave in this morning and called in sick.

I totally slept ALL day. Husband went to work, and I woke up only long enough to drink water, then throw it back up. I slept until 6pm when Husband got home. I just ate a little bit, and now I'm mostly alright. Tomorrow, we're shampooing the carpets, and painting the walls, then we'll worry about moving furniture in.

I will take photos once I feel like the place is up to a passing grade.

Now I should try and rest some more, as I have to run in to work tomorrow to complete a few things that I should have finished yesterday.

G'night guys!

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Cry Havok, and Let Loose the Weasels of War!

Not my god damned day...

I had been typing for two hours this evening about how I'd been the past few weeks, and then my browser froze, and I lost EVERYTHING.

I'm discouraged now, because I felt like I had a really awesome flow going. 

Alright, I'll try again, and hopefully be as funny and witty as I (felt I) was the first time. It may be a losing battle as I am now 3 drinks into a pretty decent drunk.

Adventures In Weasel-Sitting

I have been so busy the past few weeks, so I'm sorry about the lack of posts. I'm honestly horrible when it comes to packing, and moving. I'm awful. And Husband isn't much better to be honest. So between us, we're pretty ineffectual. It's amazing. But tonight I started putting away the last of what was unpacked, such as the pots and pans we had been using for day-to-day cooking, and the utensils. From here on out, if it doesn't come pre-prepared... then we're not eating it.

To add to the chaos, I've been babysitting a friend's ferrets while she's in New York visiting family for Memorial Weekend. Over Christmas I watched her ferret Shiver, and I loved her. She enjoyed sitting in my lap while I watched TV, or snuggling inside of my bathrobe while I typed on my laptop. She was awesome, and sweet. But what I didn't realise was that Shiver was an older ferret at the end of her lifespan. She was mellowed by time.
Roscoe and Hannalore are about a year old, and feisty. They chase my cats, wrestle my feet, and like to attack unsuspecting shoes with unparalleled ferocity. Seven seems to love them, and will allow them to in turn chase, and be chased by her. They lay in the hallway and wrestle until she's done with it, and then she holds one of the ferrets down and grooms it. Data on the other hand will climb to the top of his cat tree out of their reach and give us looks like "What the shit... really? You're gonna let them do that?" They're so ornery that we've taken to calling them "War Weasels" rather than ferrets. They get all riled up, and do this insane war dance. It's laugh out loud funny, I mean seriously.

I love Roscoe more than is reasonable, and he's adorably fat, like a badger. Hannalore is more dominant, and would rather play than cuddle. Neither of them ever bite, ever.
If it weren't for the fact that they're only 90% litter box trainable, I would want a pair for myself.

Oh, what's that you say..? I didn't mention the litter box part? Oh yes, how silly of me. They're pooping in my corners if I don't watch them.
Pooping. In. My. House.
In the corners.

Yep... it's lovely.

We've only had three accidents on carpet, but there have been a few of them on tile. And ferret poop smells delightful. It's wonderful* actually.. No seriously, it reminds me of a movie scene, hold on.

What a wonderful smell you've discovered... no seriously, is that ferret shit?

But they're hysterical beasts to watch. I do sort of love them. Musky smell and all.** Here's a video of Roscoe killing my socks for the betterment of all ferret-kind, because apparently war weasels must have a battle to fight, even if that battle is against fabric.



June 10th I'm headed to Chicago to see The Bloggess! I have my copy of her book, and I will probably buy another copy as a gift for my best friend. I get to hang out with the ever lovely Lauren on this trip as well, so how cool is that?
 It'll be a whole weekend trip, so look for a lot of photos to come from it, especially since my dSLR is now working again. I can show off my mad photo skillz, yeah baby, yeah!

I promised Bob that I'd get a photo for him, so he knows we're thinking of him, so look for that as well.

I'll leave you with more weasel insanity:

PS. My home is not usually so messy, I keep a very tidy house most days, but please refer back to the previous statement about being ineffectual about packing and moving. Thank you.

*By wonderful I, of course, mean disgusting.
**To be fair, I would rate "ferret smell" as somewhere better than "wet dirty dog" but worse than "hamster cage"

EDIT: OH! I almost forgot to mention that I have a beautiful bike now! I've been riding it fairly often so for, and I love it. Here's a photo I took the first day I had it, when I was riding it home.

It's very fancy, and shifts gears automatically. Because I'm trying to lose weight... but I'm also lazy. 

Till next time my lovely readers!

Saturday, May 26, 2012

A Promise, not a real post

This is just a place holder, I will be writing a proper blog soon about my amazing* adventures in Ferret sitting. I have video, and photographs. Also, I move on Thursday, so look for more frequent blogging soon! Yay!

*omg kill me now, they're on meth or something...