“Who’s Justice Beaver?”

cat peeking out from behind pillows
Amelia B

I finally made it to my dental appointment.  It took a while for me to grok the victory.  But once I did, I was no longer stapled to the floor from massive energy depletion.  It’s embarrassing how quickly I felt better by merely adjusting my perspective.  Now I have to acknowledge how much shit I’ve made harder by picking a viewpoint without benefits. Welp.  May as well skip the regret (because who has time to double down on mistakes?)

Did you see Dr. Keia from Gettin Grown podcast on The Read tv show? (!!!)  More importantly, did you hear her?  I got chills.  Then I rewatched it several times until M confiscated the remote.  (It kept repeating the same ad.)  I can’t remember the last time I ran in place while pointing at the TV and squeeing.  🙃  (Oh, yeah.  Homecoming.  😆)

I installed some acoustic panels in my apartment to get rid of the echo (or something.)  The sound didn’t behave properly before, and now it does.  Thanks, YouTube.  It feels like I made a drastic change, but it was easy.  My ears don’t get fatigued anymore if that makes sense.  I can listen to everything at a lower volume and not miss dialogue or lyrics.  I got them in white squares, and now I know the difference between white and eggshell.  Sigh.

Warcraft Shadowlands Bastion

Oh well.  It’s not like I have a strict design theme to maintain.  😂  I’m still laughing at the two years of my life I spent pretending to be a minimalist.  (I was a don’t-you-dare-open-anything-with-a-door-ist.)  I spent a lot of time taking crappy photos of my space while feeling superior to other consumers for no reason.  All it accomplished was a mild complex about opening closets.  I was over it the second it dawned on me.  Now my theme is whatever makes me smile.

I’m still listening to The Chain by Evanescence repeatedly.  I made a playlist with that, and four versions by Fleetwood Mac, (including a live recording.)  Fleetwood Mac’s original release of The Chain is one of the first songs I learned to play by ear on the drums.  It forced me to focus on the beat, not on listening to the band.  I play along with the new version using an orchestral kit, which is fun.  I love the reinterpretation.  Amy Lee is so fabulous.  I’d trust Pink and Kelly Clarkson to do a Fleetwood Mac song reinterpretation, too.

I upgraded my Warcraft account, including preordering Shadowlands.  I got a free level boost to 120, but I can’t do it.  It would take the fun out of it.  (I still have two unused 110’s.)  I reached level 114 the last time I played.  The anniversary experience buff is welcome.  All my skills are low all over again, and I still think archaeology blows compared to farming, but whatever.  Plenty to work on over the winter.  I’m not pleased about the dogs and cats that keep wandering into fights only to die, though, Blizzard.  Not cool, yo.  Time to hire a company psychologist, eh?  I’m off to play zoomed-in, (so I don’t accidentally murder cat-shaped pixels.)  💜✌🏽

“Stanley Gets Your Lunch.”

posable figure with antiquated black rotary phone

I’ve been catching up on HBO’s Silicon Valley.  It’s so funny it hurts (in a fab way.)  It takes me a while to watch an episode because I have to pause to get my breathing back under control.  (I don’t want to miss any dialogue because I fell over giggling.)  Also, I’m reading Always Look on the Bright Side of Life:  A Sortabiography, by Eric Idle.  (It feels like stating it’s hilarious is a Captain Obvious joke waiting to happen.)  Yep.  The Depression Monster is curled up in the fetal position in the corner.  (Lay by your bowl, bitch.) 🙃

I had to break up with (Amazon’s) Alexa, recently.  She woke me up by flashing an orange ring on my Echo device, indicating I had a message (even though I didn’t set up messaging on purpose.)  It was to inquire whether or not I’d like to reorder an item I just ordered.  And then she had a horrible accident involving a fall.  I’m delighted to report she didn’t survive.  Are you kidding me?  So anyway, I got this new speaker that looks a little bit like an Echo, except it can never wake me up and make me kill it.

Between that and several unfortunate quantity-over-quality decisions regarding their electronics, I’m done buying Amazon’s devices unless they create something at least as fresh as the Wii, and built as solidly as the original XBOX.  And doesn’t shit on my boundaries.  Good luck.  (I was set to purchase the new Echo, but they pushed back the release date just long enough for me to not want it anymore hate it.  Thanks, universe.)  It looks like Siri wins by default.  Heh.  (Just kidding, I built my own and was only using Alexa to play sleep sounds.)

microphone

I got my Vitamin D supplements from Ora Organic (via The Friend Zone.)  I’ve been taking it for a few days now.  I had no idea a deficiency can contribute to depression in those with higher melanin.  It can also lead to bone density problems in those with low melanin.  I like that it’s plant-based rather than sheep’s wool.  I haven’t had any digestive issues with it, so yay.  They’re having a sale right now.  (Captian Obvious strikes again.) I also got the pre/probiotic.  I already like Ora Organic enough to pay a little more (for knowing it’s not a fly-by-night third-party seller on Amazon pushing who knows what in unregulated capsules.)

I’m stunned by how disabling it is to be unable to speak on the telephone.  Probably because I used to be able to do it.  I thought since it’s practically 2020, I could use existing tech to compensate.  (I forgot it required someone else to use it, too.)  So I’m going to practice recording myself talking.  I’ll store some common phrases so I can play them over the phone if necessary.  I don’t mind having excessively long conversations (in the uncanny inflection valley) to set appointments since it doesn’t cause involuntary projectile hurling.  (Because evidently email is too new or hard or something.) 🙄

Kid Fury put me on to Mott’s fruit-flavored snacks.  He just mentioned them on The Read, and I heard, try them.  They’re amazing.  It’s my new favorite candy, as I’m not silly enough to believe the fruit and vegetable claims on the box (but am enough to chuckle at the audacity.)  I skipped the holiday gathering this year due to the weather.  I suck at driving, so I didn’t attempt to do it after it snowed the day before.  You’re welcome, people traveling nearby.  I’m off to create a beat for the car alarm going off so long I decided to sample it for a song.  😆💜✌🏽

“It’s like my life is buffering.”

arial photo of road fading into fog

I’m in the middle of an epic struggle with The Depression Monster.  Despite this, I’m still able to hold my head up without too much effort.  I have an arsenal of tools to compensate for this interruption arrayed around me.  I sprayed some aromatherapy essential oil as soon as I awoke.  It smells like citrus with a hint of vanilla in my apartment.  I’m surprised how much it’s helping lift my mood.

I purchased a singing bowl, mallet, and silk cushion set.  It was an impulse buy, and I figured it couldn’t hurt to try it.  I’m stunned by how good it makes me feel.  I didn’t even read the instructions.  I just started dragging the mallet around the outside (in a circle) while holding it on the pillow because it produces a sound that resonates through my whole body.  It’s like tickling my spirit, and it’s always just right.

I also recently got an acupressure mat.  I lay on it when I start to feel like I’m wading through molasses.  At first, using it was a bit startling, but now I could fall asleep on it.  I take off my shirt and place it over the pillow part before laying on it.  Then I take a deep breath and summon my ancestors to surround me and fill me with hope.  The more I use it, the longer I want to remain on it.  I’m up to half an hour each time.  I feel energized afterward.

person surfing a wave

Drumming is another powerful tool when I’m depressed.  It has the same effect as working jigsaw puzzles, writing code, and organizing closets.  It puts my brain back in order (or distracts me until it occurs naturally.)  Only I’m using all of me to do it, to a beat.  🙃 It’s the best midlife skill I’ve picked so far.  I’m also learning synthesizers, which is like building a secret friendship with a unicorn who always has candy.  Both skills are great to save for when you’re 50ish.  You’re welcome.  💜

I’m in a band, but I’m under no pressure to produce anything but my smiling face to practice.  The low-key Loki in me thinks it’s funnier if I train as if I’m going to be great before I die.  So that’s what I’m doing.  If I blow up out of nowhere, you’re in on the joke.  🤭  (Because drummers and synth players who started after their second do-over are notable throughout history, don’t you know.)

Drumming with an acoustic kit is incredibly healing.  The act of deliberately making a lot of noise, alone, is significant.  I was conditioned to be as quiet as possible.  Gross.  Fixing it.  I’ve compared notes and nearly everyone I’ve asked shares this intense need to be silent.  Based on my non-scientific data, you have to be the firstborn son in a religious family with one or more siblings and both parents to feel safe making noise.  Heh.  Drumming defies.

Side note:  I just got an email from Uplift Desk showing a photo of an under desk hammock.  I don’t get it.  My stress level increased from just looking at the picture (warning Will Robinson.)  Is this for at home?  Why don’t you lay on your bed?  Are you sleeping at work?  Am I misunderstanding?  Is this how it starts?

Writing while depressed is messing up my works in progress, but it’s as if the Muse is sending me pity inspiration.  Whatever.  I can chop it out later and save it in the vault.  Someday I’ll use it to write a novel that will make Alaskans and northern Europeans say, damn that’s depressing.  Heh.  I’m off to practice like I’m Beyoncé. ✌🏽💜

“This is emotionally magnificent.”

denver airport mural

I’m in a weird headspace.  I just spent 20 minutes in a massage chair in a very public space.  It was an incredible experience I plan to repeat often.  The massage itself was mediocre, and I didn’t allow my head to rest against the pillow (because I have ridic rules about my hair.) Nevertheless, strangers sitting on either side of me and hundreds of others from all over the planet passing by made it fascinating.

I didn’t feel sensory overload, which is astonishing.  It’s possibly due to being so overwhelmed, it went full circle, and I landed back in my comfort zone.  (Selects save for later.)  I was present while in a crowded space, and it didn’t result in a new distance record for projectile hurling.  Being present in an international airport made it not only simple to navigate, but kind of fun.  I helped someone new to flying to get to their ride after our flight.  We even did chit chat on the train!

I was able to respond out loud when she asked me where I’m from on the first attempt.  (No awkward pause to compile.)  I had a fun conversation with my Lyft driver en route to my hotel.  Here’s a tip:  If you struggle with making small talk, place personal interest identifying stickers on your suitcases.  (My carryon has Steven Universe and Star Wars stickers.)  I had three great chats about the upcoming Star Wars installment with fellow geeks, all of which left me smiling.  Much better than grinding my teeth to suppress anxiety while failing to respond to direct questions out loud, resulting in retroactive mortification.

denver-airport-horse

I traveled to reset my depression and anxiety levels back to manageable.  I intended to do this by using recreational weed in a legal setting.  I just realized I don’t even need the pot to achieve this; the journey was the synergist.  (I see what you did there, dear universe.)  🤭 I’m going to redirect that energy and visit a museum.  (Not something I could do while stoned because I require a buddy-sitter.  Shup.)  🙃

Guitar Hero is out of town for something related to fame.  (He’s not famous to me as I had never heard of him when we met.) It’s more relative than ever these days.  It amuses me how excited I feel about certain people I’ve never met, but others who are well-known are just people to me.  I’m a(n) carbon interest-based life form.  Heh.  (And grammar is still not an interest.)

I’m on a roll with social interaction.  I’m going to think up a challenge and go for it.  Maybe visit a comedy club or something.  If I find a comedy club with a pinball machine, I’ll squee.  I’d also like to talk to some strangers about religion and spirituality, so I’ll probably head back to the airport early.  Funny how a place that used to resemble a hostile environment has morphed into a fun place to pass through.  I’m off to the museum.  ✌🏽💜

p.s. I love Denver; scary, weird art included.

“I’m the valet. You have to give me your car.”

person in bunny suit sitting on a bench

I’ve been reading (audio) books by actors of late.  It started with How to American:  An Immigrants Guide to Disappointing Your Parents, by Jimmy O. Yang.  It was so good I finished in two days.  (I laughed so hard, I don’t recommend listening in public.)  It made me fall in love with America all over again.  If you don’t read it, I feel sorry for you.  Next, I listened to The Actor’s Life: A Survival Guide, by Jenna Fischer.  I loved it.

I have no plans of becoming an actor, but she mentioned it on the Office Ladies podcast, and it sounded like useful information regardless.  It turned out to be fascinating.  I learned a lot, and it led to thoughts about defining success, how to recognize it, gather it, and how to continue growing despite it.  Since it means something different to each person, I think Jenna Fischer did a brilliant job of conveying her journey in a manner easily translated to alternate paths.

I loved hearing it in her voice, too.  The authors narrate these books, (and when the reader is an actor, it’s excellent.)  I mean.  Duh.  They’re professional storytellers.  Damn.  I just typed the obvious.  I laughed a lot with this book, too.  (I should probably make a rule about listening to podcasts and audiobooks by funny people in public.)  I’m currently more than halfway through reading The Bassoon King:  Art, Idiocy, and Other Sordid Tales from the Band Room, by Rainn Wilson.

making shadows

I like Rainn Wilson even more than Dwight Schrute.  I saw him on Mom recently playing a therapist.  He was great in that, too.  After reading about how these actors struggled when building their careers, I remember a moment of feeling retro alarmed.  In all three books, they emphasized the significance of seeking out opportunities in areas that correspond to your strengths.  I thought back to when I joined the Army, and how I chose my MOS (military occupational specialty.)

Before joining, everyone takes the ASVAB (Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery) test.  It’s a tool you can use to help choose your job.  I scored well overall, so I picked a job that would help me improve in the area I scored lowest, not a job that required skills I already possessed.  To me, it was the most obvious thing in the world.  And I just found out it’s probably the opposite of what most would decide.  Whoops.

Fortunately, I got to learn some amazing stuff I had no idea even existed.  I also got to help pioneer a new job opened for women in the Army (my ego still appreciates that bit.)  Unfortunately, I loved the training and theory but felt no passion for the job, which mattered because it led to my getting into shenanigans with tearful consequences out of boredom.  So I went back to training and did it again.

cliche fake nose glasses

The second area entailed nuclear, biological, and chemical warfare training.  (sings, hated it.)  I decided if there’s ever a nuclear explosion, to run toward the flash.  I don’t even want to talk about the other two.  Guess what?  I went back and trained again.  They called me The Educated Soldier at one point because I was continually going on TDY for school.  It did help me figure out I was destined to be a chairborne warrior, though.  Anything with a computer was my eventual specialty.  Heh.

I don’t regret taking the scenic route. Skill-building does lovely things for my self-esteem.  I love being more capable than people expect.  I think one of the coolest things I learned is there are all sorts of ways to be intelligent, and most of them don’t include what they claimed in classrooms as kids.  I met soldiers who could talk to engines the way I talk to computers.  They awed me; (aside from that time, they sent me out to fill all the tires on the tracked vehicles.)  I’m off to continue my book.  💜✌🏽