Conference Room, five minutes.

computer workstation

So, the Fall lasted a week.  The Littlest Blizzard* is melting, and it’s warmed up to 39 F.  I wasn’t ready for winter.  I think everyone has Seasonal Affective Disorder, (making its status as a disorder questionable.)  They make up shit to sell more drugs.

Conditioning advert:  Are the cold, dark, dreary days making you depressed?

Everyone alive:  Duh!

CA:  You need more drugs.

I’ve been busy setting up my apartment in preparation for the inevitable depression hibernation season.  I’m better at recognizing the earliest signs of depression seeping in.  Irritability over silly shit?  Check.  Also, my body is continuously sliding back into survival mode for no apparent reason.  (I’m more conscious of my physical self these days.)  I have (full length) mirrored closet doors in my apartment.  I glance at myself sometimes, and I look like I’m making random gang signs while walking on an uneven surface after someone poured ice down my back.  Fat-the-whuck?

The worst part is, I strongly suspect I’ve been walking around like this for years.  It feels too natural to be a once in a while thing.  Why does my body think I’m a west coast gang member cringe-walking during an earthquake?  Do I do this in public?  I’m going with no because nobody has said anything.  I mean.  If I saw someone walking like that in Sioux Falls, would I say something?  Damn.  (I’m probably on YouTube against my will.)  Sigh.  I’m going to add music to my relaxation routine.  I’ll play F.U.B.U., by Solange, while I breathe in my Embodiment Oil.  And use the massager to force my body to stop (doing shit that can get me killed in California.)

Gaming station
(Sorry for the crappy photos without a flash or turning on a lamp.)

Hopefully, it’ll take this time.  Maybe I should watch the screen saver on my AppleTV 4k, too.  May as well hit all the senses while I’m at it.  With the latest update, the screen saver got a lot better.  (I’m still debating whether it’s live footage shot at a low frame rate or CGI.)  Either way, I enjoy it.  I pause The Office whenever I get up to do something, which is every few minutes.  I should add hyperactivity to my list of warning signs.  And insomnia.  (You wouldn’t believe the shit I thought up to worry about last night.  Alien related.)

I’ve set up all my abandoned monitors and HDTVs as computer workstations or console gaming stations.  (I don’t have Craigslist energy.) Between gaming, TV, and synthesizers, I don’t anticipate needing the heat much.  Last week kicked my ass.  My apartment complex was doing winter preparations, such as having the carpets cleaned in the common areas of all the buildings.  Unfortunately, this meant the insanely loud droning of the carpet cleaner truck for 3-5 hours every morning starting at 8.

It was inescapable.  My noise-canceling headphones didn’t help much.  On top of that, the driveway leading to underground parking was under construction.  At first, they said to remove our cars by Wednesday morning if we wanted to use them during construction.  Then we got an email on Tuesday morning, informing us we had an hour to move them, or too bad.  I was in the shower, preparing for my dental appointment.  When I emerged and saw the email, time was up.  And the droning of the carpet cleaning truck was still wailing and echoing off the other buildings.

Gaming station 2

I managed to text a friend before melting, but barely.  (The power of a friend acknowledging your situation sucks ass is surprisingly helpful in coping.)  Just as I was beginning to visualize strangling the (innocently by-standing) carpet cleaner, the droning ceased.  I messaged the dental clinic to let them know I was trapped.  Then I committed to winning surviving this epic battle against berating myself for missing the appointment again.  Sigh.  I lost a leg in an ambush this morning, but it’ll grow back.  (Mental limbs heal faster with/post-therapy.)

I’m leaning heavily on comedians at this time.  The Office is streaming now.  I watched The Read Late Night on Fuse (via app) three times so far.  My face hurt from laughing.  (The sign-off had me on the floor.)  I love everything about it.  I listened to Dana Carvey on Conan O’Brien Needs a Friend podcast.  Dana Carvey and Conan are now, The Comedians Who Made Me Pull an Abdominal Muscle From Laughing.  (It just occurred to me my comedy titles might not be as flattering as intended.)

I wrote the names of all the comedians who have made me belly laugh on my whiteboard.  I keep adding more while gangsta-crawking (it’s a word now) past.  Each name evokes happy memories from different periods of my life.  I still remember the awe at being allowed to watch a rated R movie (The Jerk) and understanding the humor.  I used to randomly call my sister, Heather, and say, I was born a poor black chile, then hang up to the sound of her laughing.  We scream-laughed when we first heard Steve Martin say it.

I haven’t been able to read much of late because I’m too hyper, and my mind won’t cooperate.  It alarms me as reading is fundamental.  Heh.  I’m going to switch to audiobooks and see if it helps.  Oofda, it’s going to be a long winter.  At least I have everything I can control tilted in my favor.  I’m going to get through this winter without being the Depression Monsters bitch.  I got this.  I’m off to watch Deon Cole’s Cole Hearted on Netflix.  (I love him.)  ✌🏽💜

 

*Thanks, Narcoleptic Aspie.

“He can heal leopards.”

synthesizer chess

I’m in a weird mood. 😉  I’m so glad it’s finally cooled off; it means I can sleep under my weighted blanket again. I’ve been moving things around to prepare for winter.  I rearranged my synthesizer rig so I can experiment while sitting, standing, or bouncing on a fitness ball.

It’s modular due to often adding more, and changing out which ones are hooked up.  My brain insists I audition a gazillion different sounds and note my favorites before I can even consider creating.  I have a strong need to know what my equipment can do before I allow it to become part of my music.

It amuses me to have such a tedious, time-consuming methodology as an amateur musician.  You’d think I was preparing to create an epic symphony or something.  I imagine if I live long enough to master this process, I’ll probably use my hard-won skills to create the definitive sound of a Gigantosaurus fart. Or something.  🙃

mystery island

Afterlife interviewer:  So what did you do with your life?

Me:  (beaming) I’m the one who decided what dinosaur farts sounded like after they were extinct.

Afterlife interviewer:  (pause) Cool!

Me:  IKR!

Gettin’ Grown podcast this week (Daddy Lessons) was fabulous.  Hey Fran Hey, from The Friend Zone, and Crissle from The Read were guests.  I loved their explanations of what healing means; how it’s an ongoing process that requires maintenance (forever.)  They were also completely open about father-daughter relationships.

I laughed so hard despite the emotionally charged topic.  I have no idea how these (chosen) sisters managed to make it so funny, yet incredibly helpful in understanding my dad relationship.  I’m happy I found these podcasts.  Crissle and Kid Fury have a TV show now!  (FUSE, Oct. 11th, 11 PM.)

I can’t wait.  😆 I added two more podcasts:  3 Questions with Andy Richter, and Conan O’Brien Needs a Friend.  I highly recommend all these podcasts.  However, don’t listen to them in public unless you’re comfortable laughing your ass off in front of strangers, who don’t know why you’re laughing.  (Based on experience, I can’t stress this enough.)

Welp, I’m off to play with my synthesizers.  Those dinosaur fart sounds aren’t going to make themselves (anymore.)  💜✌

 

“It’s just noise coming out of an ugly scientist.”

sisters

I’ve been thinking a lot about my sister, Heather, of late.  The anniversary of her passing was in July.  She died the day before her 35th birthday.  She was coming to Sioux Falls to celebrate with me the following day.  I have no idea where I am in the grief process in her regard.  I miss her.

I still ask myself, would it make 7-year-old Heather cry?  If yes, don’t say it.  (A gift from my mom.)  I’ve since changed it to, don’t think it.  (I’m a notorious thought telegrapher.)  My desire to be kind is far stronger than my desire to be funny.  They used to compete.  🤭

When we were little, we had an unspoken alliance as the only black people in our family at the time.  As the older sister, I assumed the role of Heathers’ protector.  If a child hit her on the playground, I would see red and lose it.  As I got older and recognized Heather deliberately antagonized kids to see my response, I learned to relax and assess before attacking.

knight in armor

As a kid, part of me thought Heather was an asshole for doing this, but mostly, I was impressed because it worked.  As an adult, a psychiatrist prompted me to wonder why she behaved this way.  It was the first time I ever looked at it with adult eyes and perspective.  (It also distracted me for a bit when I most needed it.)

I wasn’t affectionate as a child.  Heather needed to know I loved her unconditionally.  So she tested me.  She did this well into adulthood.  I don’t remember ever saying it, (may have screamed it), but I showed her on her terms.  I think my inner warrior originated to protect my little sister.  I’m doing the groundwork (courage mustering) before letting go of that compartmentalization of my mind.

I can laugh about the time I almost went AWOL to (in my head) murder a piece of shit for beating her up.  It would be more efficient for me to surrender at the nearest police station than go through the motions of committing a crime.

Cop:  Did you do this?

Me:  (Long pause while I consciously, agonizingly, make the neurological connections necessary to speak.) Nod.  (Long pause while I debate whether I said it out loud or not.)  Yes.

It’s just not logistically feasible for me to attempt deception.  I mean.  I think there’s a 72-hour time limit to answer questions or something.  I’d need way more time, internet access, improv training, etc.  Just give me the damn jumpsuit.  (In Minority Report, I’d get suspended for murderous thoughts over horrible men who hurt my little sister.)

volcano

Fortunately for that guy, my military training prevailed.  Also, I’ve never managed to hold on to that level of rage for more than an hour, tops.  It’s incredibly draining emotionally.  I firmly believed the punishment for making Heather cry was beheading for about an hour, though.  Then I wept because I knew I couldn’t do that.

It was the last time Heather messed with horrible men.  Our relationship changed a lot after that.  We grew closer.  Listening to me weep over the phone from another country and repeatedly apologize for not being able to avenge her, even though I was a soldier, affected us both in ways I can’t explain.

Perhaps we both grew up a little.  We were honest about our feelings with each other after that.  We talked for hours about our childhood, and how we felt.  It’s when I first understood why Heather changed abruptly as a child.  When she first encountered racism, she was never the same.  She went from being called, Smiley, to an angry little girl who only acted out around me.

monarch

I noticed.  For a large part of my childhood, I hated Heather on some level, because I was the only person who was safe for her to express how she felt.  I’m just now fully grasping this.  The former resentment is now retro-honor.  I’m so glad I was a safe person for my little sister.  She needed me.  🙃

The day Heather graduated from high school, she moved out of state.  The day.  Everything she owned (and everything I didn’t take with me to the Army) was loaded up and ready to go immediately following the party.  (She relocated to the hood in a city large enough to have one.)

I moved out at 16, but only a few blocks away to my brothers’ house.  I couldn’t live with Heather anymore.  I wasn’t equipped to witness (or survive) her transformation from angry little girl to angry teenager.  (I remember crying a lot.)  She knew just what to say to reduce me to tears.  (Not like it’s hard to make a teenager cry; it’s mean.)

I left for basic training before Heather fully got in touch with her anger.  No shame in stating I’m glad.  My mom was an incredible person.  Somehow, their relationship strengthened during that time.  She certainly got over her fear of what the neighbors might think.  (Teenage Heather aimed at that little weakness.)  🤭

sisters

In some ways, I’m glad I was too busy trying to exist in a physically and socially hostile (to me) world to grok subtle racism.  Most of it flew by me unnoticed.  However, I also deliberately surrounded myself with more diversity as soon as I was old enough.  (I think this used to be a symptom of growing up in Sioux Falls in general.  It’s way better now than when I was a kid.)

I think Heather was the big sister when it came to coping with racism.  She was also the little sister; in that, she acted out her rage toward me because she was a child, and that’s how they express hard feelings.  I’m so glad I got to be Heather’s sister.  It was one of my most cherished relationships.

I’m glad I told her how much she hurt me when I was a child, and she listened and apologized.  She told me things I said that hurt her as well, and how those scars affected her choices.  I apologized, and we cried and forgave.  Then she asked me for a hug, and I presume I tensed up because she quickly retracted the request.

Sigh.  And that’s okay because it was my body speaking for me.  Hugging isn’t mandatory.  It’s just one of many ways to express affection.  I didn’t like allowing people to touch my body for most of my life outside of sexual relationships.  I now know it’s because I wasn’t in my body, and that made it a repulsive notion.

My cat forced me to get over this issue.  Weird.  A kid would have done it, too.  I’m just rambling at this point.  Heh.  I’m off to play Warcraft.  ✌💜

“Cut off your nose to spider face.”

foggy bridge

It’s been a challenging week.  My central air ran out of freon and froze up.  I had to shut it off and wait until a professional could come out and refill it (the following day.)  I’m stunned by how much this minor situation threw me off.  I didn’t want to stay at M’s or get a hotel room for a single night without ac.  (It’s not like there was a giant spider.)  The temperature in my apartment fluctuated between 76 and 79 F; however, the humidity rose to 90% overnight.  I spent the night watching Steven Universe on my iPad.  (It’s such a fabulous show.)

I thought a lot about how much I love central air and how grateful I am to have access.  Heh.  The cat ran between windows half the night (like ALF was out there or something.)  Her delight in making the best of the situation helped, I guess.  I can’t remember how miserable it was anymore because it’s working great now.  I took a nap while my apartment cooled and slept so hard I was disoriented when I awoke three hours later.  Last night I slept soundly and comfortably, probably grinning.  🙃

I think I’m starting to grok how my subconscious communicates with me when conscious.  I usually notice when it’s Pi Time (3:14 PM.)  I often glance up and look at a digital clock at that time.  (Then I announce it’s Pi Time, smile, and think about it for a while.)  Lately, it’s shifted to 3:16 PM;  (Matthew 3:16 in the New Testament.)  As someone taught by Christians, I know the verse.  The first time I hyper-focused on what it meant, it made me incredibly sad.  I didn’t feel worthy, and it made me want to scream, I object at God.

child pretending to be a monster

I was eighteen and exploring religion for the first time as an adult. 🤣 Now, I feel like I understand the verse.  My former reaction has transformed into acceptance, calmness, and awe.  It only took thirty-two years.  Yep;  that sounds about right.  Always late and excited to arrive.  Love thy neighbor as thyself is more apparent to me than ever before, as well.  (It rings true like all the bells of Westeros.)  I believe this slight shift in time noticing was a message from my subconscious informing me of new connections in my mind.  The pathways feel more solidified now that I’ve connected the dots while awake.

Side Note:  When I was eighteen, I was at my cockiest.  Completing basic training made me so confident in my abilities, I was a supreme asshole.  Then I went home on leave, my niece beat me up, and I got over myself damn near immediately.  (I thought about defending qualifying that, but it just kept making it worse.)

Our minds are so fascinating.  (Yells, brains, in my zombie’s voice.)  I’m a believer in shouting into the void.  Six degrees of separation and the interwebs makes it viable.  (It’s also a great movie starring Will Smith.)  I discovered my participation in social media is unnecessary;  I’m still in the loop through my tribe.  (I only see the memes my friends know I’ll appreciate.)  I don’t train rogue AI for free (or at all), so I’ve never used Facebook.  (Avoiding all the political brainwashing by Cambridge Analytica and Fuckerberg is a nice bonus.  Still happening, yo.)

I didn’t rejoin Twitter after hearing someone lashed out at Hey Fran Hey and Crissle West.  I’m proud of myself for heeding the option to stop and think first.  I have a theory about the tweet author.  The hateful words were a cover.  The person who aimed them and fired was pain-talking.  The targets are people who consciously chose to heal from their pain and grow and thrive while on their journey through life.  From wanting to do that, to actively doing so, it is a journey in itself.  It takes dedication, hard work, and doing lots of shit you’re not confident you can pull off without weeping the whole time.

spider web

It’s daunting when taking your first baby steps away from crisis mode — just thinking about it when that shaky can make you want to cry.  Or maybe even say something horrible to people who are showing us how to do it.  Because now you can’t deny the possibility, which means you probably have to do all that hard shit, too.  And it’s going to suck so badly at times; you’ll be astonished healing isn’t fatal.  It’s not fair.  But lashing out at padawans makes them grow.  So, get a therapist, and get busy because misery is a shitty investment.  I’m off to make noise.  💜✌🏽

“I’m not superstitious, but I am a little stitious.”

flying drone in desert

I waited too long to write this entry, and now I’m bursting.  Unfortunately, this means the information I previously translated and organized a bit in my head is now scattered.  (Inner 19-year-old:  Nobody will notice the difference.  Duh. ((The rest of me’s giggling in the background.)))  My sister is buying another property a few hours further north.  (It’s effectively Canada where Americans have rights.)  I immediately assumed the universe made it more possible for me to drive there, even though it’ll take longer.  I’m running with it.

My sister likes outdoorsy stuff.  The Army ruined outside for me; now, I only appreciate nature from air-conditioned, creepy-crawly-slithery-free environments.  Preferably in 4k. 🙃  I love animals, but I’m the reason my family couldn’t have a dog when I was a kid.  We tried a few times, but my inability to control my excitement got in the way.  The puppy would sense my enthusiasm and mirror it back, usually in the form of a puddle.  Or that time I became hysterical when our new white poodle got loose during a snow storm.  (I was sure we’d never see her again and overreacted. 🤪🤭)

Pets are attracted to my energy.  I have to be mindful of this, especially around working dogs.  I suspect I give off a high level of excitement to meet them, and they love it.  Their owners do not.  Some people don’t invite me to visit their pets anymore.  It’s because they hate seeing them lose their shit over some rando who has never even held them during fireworks.  It’s not something I know how to control, so I force myself to ignore working dogs.  I also watch my neighbors’ dogs from my balcony and resist fussing over them in the elevator.  It’s hard.

excited children

I’ve noticed my cat is changing along with me as I heal and grow.  We’re no longer agitated by thunder and slamming doors.  A year ago, both triggered a panic attack like clockwork, and Amelia B vanished for over every loud noise.  Now, we notice, but carry on as before.  Better than winning the lottery, yo.  My shoulders are two inches lower, now.  (I didn’t even know they were perma-hunched!)  All the aches and pains I discovered when (re?)learning to live in my body were directly related to being stuck in survival mode.

I thought I was safer in that mode, but I was wrong (immediately followed by feeling retro-horrified.)  I used a powerful massager and aromatherapy to train my body to relax.  For 21 days, each time I realized I was hunched up, I sat down in a designated spot with my massager and turned on a lamp. (I use light therapy, too.)  Next, I breathed in my Embodiment oil from Hey Fran Hey and Resonance Apothecary, via The Friend Zone podcast.  Finally, I used the messager on my entire back until relaxed.  It feels incredible, and gradually, it became a habit.  Now, I notice immediately when my body starts sliding into survival mode and correct.

Seeing my cat become more chill along with me is a nice bonus.  The weight of the massager provides additional pressure, which is fabulous.  I want to start getting a professional massage regularly in the future.  Today, the thought of a stranger touching me makes me want to scream, but I know this is temporary.  Wow.  I can remember when the mere suggestion of such a thing made me want to fight.  That’s what I like about baby steps; they leave a trail.  Seeing that little bit of progress motivates me to keep moving.  And Beyoncè.  I’m off to twist all the knobs and push all the buttons on my new Arturia MicroFreak synth. 😆💜✌🏽

Arturia MicroFreak