“Still no one calling.”

shoes

My mind feels like oatmeal. I realized my cat is now my clock. Our day begins between 6 and 7 AM, with her waking me up by degrees. She starts with a quiet, questioning meow, like, you up? Half the time, it makes me laugh, and I get up. Sometimes I fall back asleep, and she begins walking around my head on my pillow. Her meows gradually increase in volume, (signaling her final warning.)

On the rare occasion when this still doesn’t awaken me, she begins pawing my eyelids. Regardless of how tired I am, this cracks me up so much it always works. When she finishes eating, she goes to her climbing tree and leaps up to the second level. I gush over her athleticism and copy that scene from The Nutty Professor.

The Nutty Professor - Hercules! Hercules!
“Hercules! Hercules!”

I shampooed the carpet yesterday. It was my first time using a cleaner I ordered online, but I couldn’t find the instruction manual. Instead, I guessed based on the fill lines on the solution and water tank. I figured out how to operate it and am pleased with the results, with one caveat. When I emptied the dirty water tank, I discovered the instructions were inside it, along with three teeny tiny solution samples.

Fortunately, I rinsed them off, and they were fine, but the instructions didn’t survive. It’s annoying when products are packed this way without a sticker to warn me. Although I whine about the ones that are ridic sticky and leave industrial-strength residue on the product, so I guess it’s no big whoop. I used a pet-safe cleanser and later caught Amelia B sniffing the carpet with her mouth open. It looked so hilarious; I wish I took a photo.

I miss M. We’re quarantining separately, though we don’t live together. I didn’t fully grok how much time we used to spend together before the pandemic. It was typical for us to hang out when he wasn’t working or with his tribe. When I first recognized I miss his physical presence, it scared me. Then a friend told me it’s probably a good thing, and I got over myself.

playing guitar and singing

We’ve talked about what we want to do when quarantine ends. All my suggestions include traveling with both pets. Perhaps with an RV. It’s fun to discuss. It keeps me hopeful. I had a better week (and didn’t spend most of it sleeping or weeping.) Heh. I discovered my songwriting method. I have to start with a short melody on the keyboard, then listen to it repeatedly for a while.

Once it’s stuck in my head, I can add the bass, guitar, and then drums, (with lots of repetitive listening.) After I get those underlying bones, I can begin layering in harmonies with a violin and synthesizer. Last, the vocals. (I start with hums until I find the lyrics.) It takes a while, and my skill level varies by instrument.

I thought I would be able to play any instrument using a midi keyboard, but not when I’m creating a song. (I’m sofa king literal.) I don’t know if this is because I’m learning, or if this is just how my brain works. I suspect the latter. I thought computers would make the process easier. In my case, nope. They just make music production far more affordable for hobbyists. Still have to RTFM. Heh.

“Pamela Morgan Beesly, you need to apologize to your mother right now.”

sleeping

The Depression Monster has had me in a choke-hold for a while. I can’t recall ever spending this much time sleeping in my life. I broke the no napping rule with wild abandon. I didn’t even exercise yet, today. (I absolutely will before I go to bed tonight, though.) I need to locate my mouthguard and start over using my massager to force my body to unclench.

Even though I know exactly how to help myself out of this pit of despair, I’m glad I started therapy again. I appreciate the objective voice of a trained professional. It’s kept me from fleeing the state and hunkering down as far from humans as possible. (There are no limits to what I’ll do to prevent being incarcerated in the VA psych ward again.)

My fear is irrational because they can’t hurt me unless I go there and ask for help. Duh. (I forget this when my thoughts start to frighten me.) I’m not in my bed, which is a victory for today. It’s the first time in my life that I love my bed. I’ve always thought it was weird when people mention hating to get up in the morning, but now I get it. Sleeping can be a refuge from life.

late

I’m so grateful for Sheryl Crow. I’ve been streaming her songs whenever I’m awake. Sometimes while bawling. She’s teaching me the art of songwriting, and her songs soothe my soul in ways I can’t articulate. Between that and working on the drum part of Evanescence’s Wasted On You, I’m hanging in there. I’m good at drumming with hip-hop songs, but Evanescence’s music challenges me.

It’s hard for me to listen to just the drums when Amy Lee is singing. I got a book about syncopation, which is helping. I have massive kit envy over Evanescence’s drummer. He’s got the top of the line Roland electronic kit (drool.) I don’t have the drummer’s ear that would necessitate owning such a setup yet. It’s excellent motivation to keep practicing, though.

I got my Blu-ray set of the show The Good Place. πŸ˜†Β  I’ll be binging it as soon as I finish watching season 2 of Dead To Me on Netflix.Β Through podcasts, I’ve discovered so many shows I love are created, written, and or produced by a lot of the same people: Karen Kilgariff, Liz Feldman, Michael Shur, Marta Kauffman, Greg Daniels, Mike Judge, Larry David, and Whitney Cummings. (And those are just the names I can remember.)

feet

I’m delighted by how helpful my favorite podcasts have been during the pandemic, too. The episode of Good For You with Whitney Cummings talking to Kat Dennings is fabulous, even though I had to recharge my earbuds halfway through. Heh. I love longer episodes, which is part of why I love Armchair Expert so much. The ability to hold my interest that long is a skill.

Staying In with Emily and Kumail is another excellent podcast. All Fantasy Everything is one I look forward to each week. They crack me up, and I love the sound of them laughing hard. It probably releases dopamine in my brain or something. And of course, Conan O’Brien Needs a Friend. (Conan is like personified Prozac to me.) He just has to exist, and it makes me feel better. Heh.

Welp, I’d better go work on unclenching my body before I get on the treadmill. Hopefully, my coma-like sleeping marathon is over, so I can get some chores done. I hope your weekend includes lots of laughter. πŸ’œβœŒπŸ½

“Dinkin’ Flicka.”

evanescence
Evanescence – The Bitter Truth

I’m having a good week. I’m still floating pretty high from Sheryl Crow being on Armchair Expert recently. She’s funny! She randomly slipped into a few accents while talking to Dax, and Monica, which cracked me up. I knew she was playful from when she once told Oprah that Stevie Nicks said kids would ruin her career (while sitting next to Stevie Nicks.)

Stevie Nicks looked so betrayed and proclaimed, Sheryl Crow! I did not say that! (It was so cute.) Then Sheryl Crow dropped the deadpan, started giggling, and I lost it. Sheryl Crow’s rap name is Low Key Loki. Tell a friend. That alone was plenty for me to smile about all week, but then another event took place. Evanescence dropped a new single, titled, Wasted On You.

Naturally, I listened several times (so far) with different cans so I can hear every detail. I loved it immediately, and the video perfectly communicates how I feel right now with the pandemic. Amy Lee has been helping me express complex emotions since I first heard The Open Door.Β I listened to previous albums and everything since, solo or with her band. Um. Obsessively?

I have two copies all her CD’s. Shup, I’m 50 and CD’s grow legs. My zombie bugout bag has a hacked iPod with all my music on it and Koss Porta Pro’s. Guess whose entire catalog is a playlist to help me face the apocolypse if I’m still around? Depression Management 101, yo.

I freaking love Amy Lee so much. Her music speaks for me when I can’t find the words or identify how I feel. It held me when Heather passed, and I was sure I was dying from the loss. When I was finally ready to explore the rage I didn’t know what to do with, Amy Lee sang my anger, and I was able to recognize it, name it, experience it, and let it go. I didn’t know people could connect without ever even meeting until Amy Lee.

I’m getting choked up just thinking about what she means to me, so lets pivot. πŸ™ƒ Jerry Seinfeld has a new special coming to Netflix on May 5th. πŸ˜†

Also, Georgia Hardstark (!!!) was on the new Bananas podcast today. It’s hilarious, and the first episode had Kristen Schaal (Louise from Bob’s Burgers.) Thank you, dear universe. The Force felt out of balance, but things have a way of evening out. (Seinfeld reference. If you didn’t need me to reveal that, you’re fabulous.)

I installed a bidet seat on my toilet yesterday. It went well aside from a quick run to a hardware store. I practiced safe distance, wore a mask, and only talked to the cashier who was masked, gloved, and behind a plexiglass partition. I wore it until I was safely back in my apartment and deposited it directly into the washing machine with a load of towels.

I felt a little bit like I was on a mission for the Army, which helped. I was present the whole time, exercising my new skill. It’s the first time I went into a brick and mortar store that wasn’t a gas station in a very long time. (Hi. My name is Alison, and I’m addicted to Amazon.) I scrubbed up like M taught me, then installed, and test drove my new favorite gadget.

It was easier than putting together a Lego set intended for toddlers. My apartments just had a brass pipe to the water line that wouldn’t bend when I used The Force, so I had to replace it with a bendier one. As a new bidet user, I feel like I just leveled up in personal hygiene.

If you have the means, I highly recommend it. -Ferris Bueller

Jeff Bezos is behaving like a superhero again. Thank you, Jeff Bezos, for the gifts and the example. I’m off to listen to Evanescence in my car so that I can crank the volume. πŸ’œβœŒπŸ½

β€œI guess it’s goodbye, chunky lemon milk.”

Midi Fighter 3D
Midi Fighter 3D

The Depression Monster tried with me earlier. I couldn’t be bothered, (she said as if tears weren’t involved at any point in the thankfully brief struggle to regain homeostasis.) I’ve gotten good at doubling down on my best coping skills. Cut to me on the treadmill, singing while finger drumming on my Midi Fighter 3D. A girl knows how to clap back, yo. πŸ™ƒ

Singing cadence while marching or running in-formation was one of my favorite activities in the military. I’ve been fascinated by how well singing and moving together as a group bonds people, ever since basic training. It’s also helpful for depression. I understand why John McVie (Fleetwood Mac) walks around while he plays. Music demands motion.

All that you touch, you change. All that you change, changes you. The only lasting truth is change. God is change. – Octavia Butler

Octavia Butler
Octavia Butler

Since I know many people are grieving right now, here’s a book (When You Lose Someone You Love, by Joanne Fink) that might make an excellent gift for yourself or someone you know. πŸ’œ It turns out I was wrong when I thought I couldn’t be friends with my neighbor. All relationships hurt, sometimes. Fortunately, we seem to have figured out each other’s boundaries naturally, which made all the difference.

I purchased a Trikke PON-E 48V from her and am going to take full advantage of the bike trails on it this summer (pandemic permitting.) I did manage a test drive just before going total hermit. I had a blast. It felt so fast I plan on wearing my helmet even though I grew up in the ’70s and ’80s (when slamming a door was far more likely to get you yelled at than riding a motorcycle without a helmet.)

Side note: In South Dakota, you can’t cycle without a helmet anymore unless you’re over 18 years of age. (Then, the law allows for all sorts of bad decisions.) Perhaps the message is: Welcome to adulthood. I hope your head doesn’t get crushed, but if it does, it’s your fault, starting now. 😢

I was super thrilled when Pamela Adlon was on Anna Faris is Unqualified podcast recently. (She crushed it.) I discovered Ologies podcast with Alie Ward, and it’s so great I’m binging the back catalog. Joy Bryant was on Armchair Expert again. She’s a drummer. (!!!) πŸ₯° Also, Deon Cole was on 3 Questions with Andy Richter. Yep. I squeed so loud, dogs probably barked.

I just finished listening to D’arcy Carden on Conan O’Brien Needs a Friend. She shares what she’s working on now that The Good Place is done, and had me laughing so hard, Amelia B is still hiding. Also, Conan completely took Sona Movsesian out, and her laugh is hella contagious. My face still aches, but I feel that same level of confidence to face the world you get from a powerful buff in a video game, only it’s real. Bonus. I’m off to locate and comfort my cat. πŸ’œβœŒπŸ½

“We heard about the punch.”

gloved hands and mask
“Two by two, hands of blue.” – Firefly

I’ve lost my ability to speak again, but I can still sing. Weird, right? Whatever, embracing it. My band leader yelled (jokingly) at me to practice a duet on Skype, and it triggered my inner soldier who hears a firm order and obeys it without question, (then immediately questions thinks about it.) 🀭 I suppose I can’t whine about being easily programmable after volunteering for the military. (I’ll take Things You Don’t Consider Before Joining, for $1000, Alex. πŸ’œ)

I’ve been creating music ever since. I made a song, but it’s incomplete. It’s a sandwich with nothing in the middle because it’s not my song. I just heard the bread and created it because I’m a hopeful romantic. Sigh. I think it’s Karen Kilgariff’s song. I don’t know her personally, but I adore her. I’ve been listening to her comedy albums on repeat just to keep from having the panic attack that keeps promising to be a doozy. πŸ™„

I’m a little floored by how well it works. Usually, when I find a comedy show I immediately love, I savor it and only rewatch or listen when I’m stapled to the floor by the Depression Monster. However, both Live at the Bootleg, andΒ  I Don’t Care, I Like It (with Drennon Davis) are hilarious over and over again. Bonus. I decided to make a video for the empty sandwich because it felt a bit more complete (and I have mild OCD muted by Prozac.) πŸ™ƒ

(Below is just the audio in Creative Commons so other artists can play with it.) πŸ’œ

The Irish singers are loops with which I’m in love. πŸ₯° I don’t have words beyond Nah. Also, Guitar Hero said, “It doesn’t suck.” (Compliment in Babyboomerbonics ((say it three times fast.))) πŸ˜† Okay, I have to get back to pseudo-socializing (going to try the Zoom with M) because we all know I can’t slack off, or I’ll get too weird at the speed of light. πŸ’œβœŒπŸ½