“Sven-jolly? I didn’t say Sven-jolly.”

mother reading to child
The Invisible Story, I presume. Shh.

I’m presently re-reading A Game of Thrones in the A Song of Ice and Fire series, by George R. R. Martin.  I only made it to season 4, episode 8 of the HBO series.  (The Mountain and the Viper.)  I suspect I’ve witnessed too much real violence to find entertainment in (or much tolerance for) the acted versions.

Fortunately, I can handle the novels.  PTSD triggers are unpredictable and nonsensical sometimes.  I read the books before the series, but the actors are who I visualize while reading this time.  Props to whoever cast the show.

My perceptions of many of the characters have changed between readings.  For example, I felt sympathetic to Catelyn Stark ten years ago.  Now, I find her snobbery disturbing and am offended by how she mistreats John Snow.  I didn’t notice these traits a decade ago.

I’m fascinated by the details.  It’s like I’m reading the story in ultra-high definition, this time.  Heh.  I’m studying the writing and pondering all the data extracted so far, trying to build a sense of what’s to come (so I can brace for it.)

I haven’t read or discussed any series spoilers for the episodes I haven’t watched.  I’m curious, but I want to form a few theories of my own before I find out.  My ego can have this one since it’s harmless.  Yay.  🙃  I think the No! I Want To Do It Myself! Mindset was no phase.

That's no moon, it's a space station.

That’s no moon, it’s a space station.  – Obi Wan Kenobi

I knew once I was ready to make writing my career, something else would probably get neglected.  It looks like that something is video games.  I haven’t played Warcraft in a while, (even though my annual subscription just renewed.)  Usually, the guilt of having paid for it already draws me back.

There’s an expansion pack coming out soon, but I haven’t even read about it.  I feel grateful to Blizzard for all the non-violent and funny content they include for people like me.  Ah, well.  It’s there for me if I need it, so it’s all good.  🤪

M has been teasing me for using Game of Thrones words.  Heh.  Yep, I like the word, jape.  Yep, I plan on using it as often as possible in the foreseeable future.  Yep, I adopt dialect alterations based on novels that intrigue me.  Who doesn’t?  I’m off to practice.  ✌🏽

“An overdue book from 1971? This is a joke, right?”

The Outsider, by Stephen King

I finished reading, The Outsider, by Stephen King.  I read it over the course of two days because it wouldn’t leave me alone.  Stephen King is just showing off at this point.  He’s cracked the passwords to our private fear vaults, and rifled through that old shit we only think about in nightmares.  Then he baited the novels hook with psychological crack.  Even the artwork on the cover got me.

I didn’t get much sleep between readings.  At least not the type that leaves me feeling rested.  I had vivid stress dreams, but couldn’t remember them when I awoke.  My usual trigger of being stuck in an impossible-to-survive situation, no doubt.  Despite this, I’m glad I read it.  It will take some pondering time to nail down what I gained from the book, but I suspect it’s a better understanding of people.

Before The Outsider, I read The Plantagenets: The Warrior Kings and Queens Who Made England, by Dan Jones.  I learned a lot, and am surprised how much I enjoyed it.  It’s closer to a textbook than I usually read for pleasure.  (I heard the narration in the voice of Robin Leach because the author was also delightfully snarky.)  I’m such a doof.

curious kitten

I also produce the movie of whatever novel I’m reading in my head as I go.  I pick the cast using famous actors I favor.  Usually, Lupita Nyong’o, Charlize Theron, Rosario Dawson, Regina King, and Natalie Portman are in everything.  So are Denzel Washington, Tom Hanks, and Matt Damon.  Excellence is like play-doh.  You can mold it to any form.  And I still suck at analogies.  🙃

Now I’m reading a hilarious novel titled, The 100-Year-Old-Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared, by Jonas Jonasson.  It reminds me of Forrest Gump, so far.  It’s going to get me in trouble for laughing so hard after 11 PM.  I’m surprised by how (emotionally) uninvested I am in the characters while still enjoying it so much, though.  It’s likely to change as I read further.  (I hope.)

I’m guessing there’s a hidden symbolic character sucking up all my likes.  As much as I read, I don’t think of myself as a lit geek, because it takes me a while to recognize all the cool stuff in well-written novels;  like irony and hidden symbolic characters.  Let’s blame it on saccharin.  🤫  My band has a gig tonight, so I’m trying to fend off that bitch, Anxiety.  I’m winning, but the adrenalin is still releasing against my will.  I’m relying on the likelihood, whatever happens, will probably seem funny at this time tomorrow.  💜

“I’m queen of the castle.”

spring flowers

I’m shakily maintaining while adjusting to changes in the plan for my upcoming trip.  It’s happening in stages starting with a near complete meltdown and working back from there.  It feels like coming to an unexpected and abrupt halt after coasting quickly.  I guess I acquired a bit of whiplash.  I’ve spent a good part of today reasoning with myself, and have finally convinced myself it’s a mere speedbump.

I can do this.  I need to calm down and start over.  My new mantra is:  If the music is still playing, everything is alright.  (I got it from the last time I fell while running with music.)  Sometimes being literal is helpful.  I’m going to play pinball on PlayStation 4 later to resolve the knot in my gut.  I had fun practicing with my band yesterday, but unwinding afterward was difficult.  I’d like to list my tendency to become over-excited on eBay.  I’ll even throw in a box of Hot Tamales (because yum.)

It’s nearly 70° F today.  All the snow is gone from my balcony, although there are still little piles from clearing the parking lots.  There are lots of people out walking dogs and babies.  The birds are singing outside, too.  It’s a comforting sound.  I also like the music of cars driving by with their windows down and systems up.   And an airplane flying by every so often.  Outside sounds lovely in spring.

I’m reading a fascinating book by Octavia E. Butler titled, Dawn.  It’s part of a near-future speculative fiction trilogy.  (I’ll try not to give any spoilers.)  It involves a group of humans rescued from the dying post-nuclear earth by aliens.  And the price they may end up paying for the favor.  That’s probably all I can say without giving anything away.  I’m enthralled and already ordered the next two books.

I think my sporadic pleas to the universe to send some aliens already motivated my choice.  I think I love books as much as music.  I was going to say, and that’s saying something, but then it occurred to me it’s saying nothing to anyone but me.  😂  I just cracked myself up.  I finished John Scalzi’s latest, Head On, previously.  I suspect it’s going to be a favorite among several stories in the same universe, much like Old Man’s War series.  I enjoyed the book.  It changed the tone of the series a bit from the more serious first installment; Lock In.  I hope that’s not a spoiler.  🙃

Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor was another recent book I loved.  So much for my idea to curb my reading a bit this year.  I forgot why I even thought it was necessary.  😂  It’s not interfering with my writing or music, so it’s all good.  Oh right, it was something about sleep.  Over it.  I’m off to look for Coachella videos of Beyoncé on YouTube.  I heard excellent things.  😆

“Oh yeah, the nipple. But besides that, how did you feel about Kramer’s work?”

Laughing

I finished building my workstation computer last night.  I had to remove the enormous Cooler Master MA610P RGB CPU Air Cooler, and it’s going back to Amazon, along with the non-working cable extenders, and the extra Cryorig H7 ordered accidentally, (a $10 return shipping fee.)  I think it’s the last PC tower I’ll be building, even though I probably said this last time.  Heh.

It’s incredibly fast, so I’m pleased with the outcome.  I’m most impressed with the G.SKILL TridentZ RGB Series RAM.  It looks fabulous with its cycling rainbow LED lights.  I wish motherboard producers would stop putting their drivers on a DVD, though.  It’s time to use stick drives as Microsoft does with Windows, (at least the LAN driver.)  I haven’t built a tower with a DVD drive in ages.  Software distribution by downloading is nearly universal.  I can’t think of an exception.

inside new build

I’m heading out of town soon.  The Depression Monster still has me in a headlock.  I don’t want to do anything.  Everything takes so much effort and makes me want to cry.  I guess it’s a good thing I forget about this shit once I’m feeling better.  The downside is how surprised I am each time I experience an episode.  I hate having to give myself a pep talk just to get up and go to the bathroom.  Fortunately, Amelia Bedelia is a sweetheart, and she follows me everywhere as if she’s lending me some strength.

My appetite has fled.  I forced myself to practice my drums yesterday.  I’m also almost finished rereading Oathbringer by Brandon Sanderson.  I’m awed by its depth of understanding regarding PTSD.  It’s helping me in a manner I thought could be achieved through therapy, but unfortunately, I’ve never had a therapist who could see beyond my skin.  I regret how long it’s taken me to recognize it’s a dead end.  (I’ve met a few who saw me as human, but they weren’t available to treat me.)  Thank goodness for the incredible novels I’ve found, (Harry Potter series and the Cosmere stories.)

I listened to the latest episode of Gettin’ Grown with Jade and Keia on Tuesday.  They talked about how women of color are at a higher risk of certain diseases and conditions, and the necessity of maintaining checkups and preventative care.  They both admitted to neglecting to keep up their appointments and committed to scheduling them before the next episode.  I thought about doing the same, but then I recalled my predicament.  Subjecting myself to the treatment I’ve received at the Sioux Falls VA is sadistic.

I still liked listening to the podcast, though.  It’s something I look forward to each week.  I’m more interested in enjoying however much time I have left than potentially prolonging my life by enduring hateful people.  As much as I’d like to forget my experiences there, I’m grateful I remember because it prevents me from going back.  I could do without the nightmares, though.  The CBD oil has allowed me to sleep for at least four hours a night since I started taking it.  I only take a few drops before laying down (because it tastes horrible.)

I’m going back to Azeroth (World of Warcraft) to force The Depression Monster back into hiding.  Flying around and looking at the scenery while listening to my healing sisters (Stevie Nicks, Agnetha Fältskog, Lorde, Amy Lee, Beyoncé, and Sheryl Crow on my ultimate playlist) will help me shake free of this lingering melancholy.  Then I’ll follow it up with some comedians on Netflix and a lavender bath bomb before finishing my novel.  I’m feeling better just from typing this out.  Yay.

“Sleep is separate from that.”

Sleepy kitty

I need to focus on my sleep issues.  I haven’t been able to sleep for more than a few hours in a row this week.  While it’s enough to function, it’s not enough to interact with other people.  I lost count of how many times I’ve completely misunderstood what others were saying in the last two days alone.

I feel like I’ve been speaking English and everyone else is speaking Mandarin.  Only it’s worse because I don’t realize they’re not using English (in real time.)  My balance is wonky, too.  I slipped on some ice during my run this morning, and now I’m sporting road rash on my chin.  I didn’t even get to do the precarious dance first; just face planted.

Fortunately, I have clear band-aids.  Fabulous invention.  Now people who aren’t the shade so rudely referred to as flesh tone don’t have to announce their injuries from across the room.  Yay.  I reread Animal Farm by George Orwell last night.  Now I’m reading The Descendents, by Kaui Hart Hemmings.  It’s fascinating so far.  Next, I’m going to look for my copy of Watership Down by Richard Adams.

I thought I was going to stick with women authors this year, but it didn’t work out.  Plus, John Scalzi has a book release soon.  I did read lots of novels by Octavia Spencer and Ursula LeGuin, but then I decided gender is irrelevant in authors.  Women authors don’t write more gently, as I anticipated.

I built a soundproof chamber for Amelia Bedelia.  She loves it.  I can get in up to my shoulders, and it’s fabulous.  I’m fascinated by my cat’s personality.  When she’s in her chamber, she wants to be alone.  If I acknowledge her in any way while she’s chilling in there, she bites me.  That’s a stern, “no.”  Heh.

I ordered DirecTV Now (because M. had a cow.)  I didn’t realize I was an asshole for canceling cable without discussing it with him first.  It seems to be superior to Playstation Vue, and I discovered I get free HBO for life (not sure whose) for being an AT&T wireless customer.  Yay.  Sony rearranged which channels go with which tier, and the options suck.  It’s tailored to Fox News watching sports lovers.  Hard pass.

We’re watching Gattaca tonight.  It’s one of my favorite films.  M. hasn’t seen it yet.  I think he’ll enjoy it, too.  I’m off to make the popcorn.

movie night popcorn