“Moops? Let me see that!”

I’m having a zombie day.  I didn’t sleep well last night.  I probably got about two hours of sleep.  This insomnia streak has reached the point where I can only comprehend simple commands in real time.  The Depression Monster is peeping in the windows, but I’m just waving the bird.  M. is going to Puerto Rico and a few other islands to help out.  On his way out the door, instead of blowing me a kiss, he released the Kraken of all farts.  It was at least three Mississippi’s long.

I had to use my dwindling supply of Febreze.  He’s all mine, girls.  🙄😂💜  I’ll admit I laughed while Febrezing.  Mostly because the sound made Amelia Bedelia run for cover.  I finished reading, Sleeping Beauties, by Owen and Stephen King.  I enjoyed it immensely.  It never ceases to amaze me what King can convince me to believe in.  (Good thing he’s not a cult leader.)  I won’t mention spoilers because I think everyone should read it.

This is the second author team that wrote so seamlessly together you can’t tell there’s more than one author.  James S. A. Corey is the other.  I’ll be thinking about Sleeping Beauties for a long time.  It’s a thrilling tale, a reminder, not all men are evil, another reminder that an awful lot of them are, and an ethical conundrum.  I’m going to have to reread it, probably as an audiobook, because I don’t retain information as well when I’m not sleeping.

When I read his book about a walking contest, I was simultaneously trying to pull off four hours of cardio per day.  It made the story so intense to have sore legs and feet while reading it.  It’s the ultimate novel to read after completing your first marathon, assuming you have a wicked sense of humor.  It’s called, The Long Walk, by Richard Bachman, (Stephen King’s nom de plume.)

I took down my Halloween decorations, (creepy window.)  It blocked too much light during the day.  I’ll reinstall it the night before Halloween.  I went to work at 4:30 AM because I was up.  I work 5 hours a day, 4 days a week.  I sought this job to give me time to work for The Resistance.  I spent far too much of that time trying too hard to be neurotypical.  Habits are really pissing me off this month.  I’m going to think of another one and abandon it out of spite.  (I rarely pass up the chance to behave like a five-year-old when it hurts no one.)  Wish 45 used that stipulation.

I’m not missing Prozac in the least.  I had no idea there was a connection between being creative and being strong.  It’s an all-encompassing strength.  I think I finally get the Suzuki Method.  I thought I got it before, but this is a more profound understanding.  I guess lots of you already knew this, for me to pick up on it while so overtired.  I’ll say it for you.  Duh, Alison!  You’re welcome.  🙃

I have an idea building as a creative outlet, but it will require some new skills to realize.  Yay.  I should probably retake English 101.  It’ll be the fourth time.  I have a grammar retention difficulty.  (Only 1 duh per post, sorry!)  I should just resign to taking the course biannually.  I enjoy it, so there’s that.  I don’t retain grammar because it doesn’t interest me, which is odd, considering how much I long to be understood.  And that whole thing about the written word being my preferred method of communication.  Sigh.  Yep, biannually it is.  I’m confident J.K. Rowling would approve.

I’m not going to build another startup company.  At least not this year.  I’m going to use my time to teach violin to four-year-olds.  I got an excellent deal on 1/4 and 1/2 size violins.  I buy most of my stuff directly from China, these days unless it’s food, (direct from local farmers.)  I’m boycotting everything touched by the Koch brothers.  My food bill is more expensive, but everything else is usually less.  Pistachios are costly.  I should look into growing them.  They’d make a good flour, I bet.  I can buy them from Turkey if necessary.

I’m not a member of the “Buy American” movement.  I don’t want most manufacturing brought back to America because I like breathing and clean water.  I love them, in fact.  I also concede to the point I shouldn’t be able to own more than one computer, television, or so many electronic gadgets.  The reason I can afford them is that they’re grossly underpriced.  They’re grossly underpriced because the people manufacturing them are indentured servants, and China thinks anti-suicide nets are a better investment than a livable wage and health risk reduction and compensation.  (Short-sighted as Americans, eh?)

I buy from China because they’re moving forward (however slowly) from a horrible place in history.  I can’t say that about America.  They’re stepping up quality and design one small company at a time.  They’re out-innovating Apple and copying their design philosophy.  They’re also valuing sound design more than in the past.  I have a hand-held computer that looks like a Nintendo 3DS and functions as well as a mid-range laptop.  (I’d best not say what I recommend them for¹.) 😇

(¹I just said that to make you imagine.)  💜✌🏽

 

 

“And now, it’s payback time. Pottery Barn is in for a world of hurt.”

I’m scattered today.  I may as well apologize now.  This series of ramblings is going to be a doozy, I can already tell.  I finished reading Reckless:  My Life as a Pretender, by Chrissie Hynde.  I loved it.  I stayed up all night reading it.  I had to take lots of breaks to look up colloquialisms from her youth.  (I can speak 1960’s now.)  I took notes because I’ve never heard of a lot of bands she mentioned, but will rectify that situation soon.  I know a lot more about drugs, now.

I didn’t know much about Chrissie Hynde before reading the book.  I knew she was cool, and I could easily conjure her image and voice in my mind.  That about covers it.  When I found out she was touring with Stevie Nicks, I was ecstatic.  I saw some footage uploaded to YouTube by fans, (thanks!)  The crowds were unbelievably humongous.  Holy shiitake mushrooms, Batman!

The book kicked me in the nuts twice.  The first time, because Chrissie Hynde described a collection as Aspergian, the second because she has no idea how wonderful and brilliant she is. I got past the first kick instantly because she was descriptive, not mean.  No malice, no foul.  The second took longer because it reminded me of how big an asshole I was back when I thought my “superior” skill at learning from books, the only taught method for both our generations, made me awesome.

I’ve since learned the difference between awesome and asshole.  You’re welcome.  😂  I feel guilty because I know my former superiority complex has a lot to do with the lack of confidence I see in many brilliant people who were told they weren’t by influential people in their world.  And worse, because all my book learnin’ doesn’t seem to help me convince them they’re so much more than they’ve been led to believe.  Sigh.

Someone who works in a different office but shares the break area informed me my Ph.D. in Software Engineering is no achievement.  I laughed (pretty hard.)  Then I said, “I know, but I have a brown vagina.”  Then he laughed and said, “Expensive liability insurance.”  (That’s precisely when it stopped being funny to me.)  I appreciate him for comprehending out loud, though.

It occurred to me I have things in common with Chrissie Hynde.  Such as, we both knew what we wanted at a young age, and went for it.  We also both know that long, agonizing moment where we first recognize we’re about to suffer a fate worse than we ever imagined.  Her books’ content covered exactly what I would have asked her, with detail in all the right places, and that just blows my mind.  I read some reviews on Amazon and was surprised to see comments by fans who wanted tabloid content and were disappointed to get her history instead.

(As a recovering asshole, I can’t help but think…  Autobiography:  An account of a person’s life written by that person.)  So anyway, I also noted Chrissie Hynde can draw, created her own style, and is the boss.  So now I know she’s cool, a survivor, a good descriptive writer, and a vulnerable human, living her life out loud despite it.  I also know she’s the mum of two young women, and she’s a 🇬🇧 Londoner.  (She doesn’t fake the accent like Madonna.  Heh.  I suspect Madonna does it because it’s hilarious.  What Madonna may lack in raw musical talent, she more than makes up for in music industry acumen.  Come at me. 🙃)

I’m just kidding, don’t come at me, I’ve already cried twice today, and I’m a wee bit dehydrated.  😂😂  (Nothing to blog home about, just a typical day in the life.)  We moved M’s dresser and a chair into my apartment.  We’re going to take this s.l.o.w.l.y.  So slowly I don’t really notice the change, (and freak out because he’s in my space, and he’s this person I can’t ignore because it would hurt him and I don’t want to hurt him, and it will be hard until it’s not, then it’ll be the new normal, and the planet will continue hurling through space… Whew, almost talked me into panicking!)  I’m off to run in the moonlight with my new dog.  Yay.  🐕

So?! She used the toothbrush!

The sunset was beautiful tonight;  A dark orange and pink gradient resting on grey clouds.  I’ve been reading a book series; The Mists of Avalon by the late Marion Zimmer Bradley.  I love it.  I’m on the second book.  It’s the perfect series to tide me over until Oathbringer by Brandon Sanderson is released.  I played my drums today.  It’s the first time since I burned out.  It was weird not to need to play.

It feels like I’m squeezing back into my skin, in a way.  Like remembering what I used to do and trying it again with a foreign timidity.  My (weak to begin with) ability to track time hasn’t returned.  Reading is painfully slow right now because my mind wanders more than usual.  Good thing the story draws me back.  I’ve been playing with my cat.  She only plays one game:  I’m Gonna Getcha.

She’s really good at it.  Each time we play, I think it’ll be the one time I get her before she gets me.  That time has yet to come.  (She has better patience and is an athlete, where I’m merely athletic-ish.)  It always results in me laughing so hard my body forgets it has bones.  I’m so rich to have her in my life.

M. was in a car accident.  He hurt his hand, which is a problem for a surgeon.  He’s recovering with his cousins in Denver, but we’ve talked since.  He’s confident he’ll be back to work soon.  I haven’t met anyone in his family that doesn’t work in the medical field.

I’ve already thought of several jokes to tell about this phenomenon.  They’ll probably only work if the people who hear them are about four drinks into the gathering.  (However, I’ve never let this stop me before.)

I haven’t left my apartment since I crashed and burned.  Tomorrow I’m going back to work.  Mostly because I’m afraid if I don’t soon, I’ll convince myself I can’t.  That’s not entirely accurate…  I’ll convince myself I’d be wiser staying home.  That’s closer.

I enjoy being home alone way too much, I suspect.  It’s incredibly appealing to me, but if I allow it for too long, it becomes a comfortable cage.  Nailed it.  It’s too easy to work from home as a code monkey, but I’ve already sprung that trap.  I’m going to dress up just to put an exclamation point on it.

(Dressing up, when you don’t do it often, is an excellent anti-Depression Monster strategy.)  My usual uniform of jeans, t-shirt, and sneakers has regressed to yoga tights, t-shirt, and bare feet.  And a ponytail, because Amelia Bedelia is no fashionista.  I’d better give myself a lot of time to get ready in the morning.  I’m off to try on everything I own, then pick the first outfit I thought of.

 

Mom, Dad… I have fleas…

(Reads previous post and cringes.)  I’ve tried to hang on to my rage, but it fled about ten minutes after I published my rant.  I can’t stay angry for shit.  It takes too much energy for something that accomplishes nothing.  I worked on my quilt a bit earlier.  I’m hand quilting for the first time (though I wish I picked a smaller quilt.)  I understand why thimbles exist, now.  I discovered this after sewing through the top few layers of skin on my finger, (and wondered why my quilt was stuck to me.)  Still, no blood lost, though.  I’m using Wonder Woman flannel for the back, and black and white striped fabric for the binding.

I think drumming is improving my motor skills.  I don’t bother with the tools built in my module to test my timing anymore.  I get 100% every time now (which kinda ruined the fun.)  I think it’s intended for noobs who are learning drums as their first instrument.  Or people who don’t practice very often, perhaps.  I keep talking myself out of building my own drum module (and programming it not to suck.)  My brain won’t leave it there, however.  If I do that, I’ll want to sell it to others, which means I’d have to make it talk to Yamaha, Roland, Alesis, etc.  And that means coding for the proprietary hardware of competing companies.  (The horror!)  There, I just talked myself out of it again.

I watched Tina Fey’s Weekend Update segment.  I love her.  Oddly, it didn’t make me want cake.  (Probably because it got massacred hilariously.)  I lived in Boston while earning my Ph.D.  Watching 20k people show up to march today made me miss it.  It was incredible, and many pointed out they far outnumbered 45’s inaugural farce.  I hope they know their actions today healed some of the hurt, so many of us carry in silence.  I hope they know it made me so proud of them.  They are my America.  Sassy, bold, peaceful, and not having IT.  It led me to say something I haven’t in a while;  I love my country.

I spent much of the day doing chores and hanging out with M’s mom.  She braided my hair, (and it’s not tearful tight, yay.)  I finished Far From the Madding Crowd and began the last of the Thomas Hardy novels I downloaded.  Tess of the d’Ubervilles.  I’m going to read books by women authors for a while after this.  I need a break from the (Victorian era) misogyny.  I might give Ann Rice another shot since she’s mentioned in one of Stevie Nicks’ songs.  (Fan logic. 😂)  Five days and a wake up until Stevie Nicks performs in St. Paul.  😊

I learned some things when I watched her concert DVDs.  Turns out, they don’t do all the new songs on their latest album.  It surprised me, and I’m disappointed.  (Not terribly, though, as I’d still love to see her perform any song.)  The last concert I recall attending was DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince with JJ Fad opening.  (Supersonic 😂)  It was an outdoor concert, and when he began, Parents Just Don’t Understand, the crowd surged forward, and all of us up front got pushed under the stage for a bit, (at which point they stopped the show to let us out.)  It was 102° F, and his hip hop dancers were drenched in sweat and looked like they were on the verge of heat stroke.  They ended the show early to prevent that.  It was still cool seeing Will Smith, though.  I’m off to read.

“I want you to have this job, of course sodomy is a prerequisite.”

My prodigy is blowing my mind on a near daily basis.  She’s been having fun testing my memory.  I suspect she’ll grow bored of this soon.  I’m humoring her because I used to do similar experiments.  The human brain is so fascinating.  I used to “test” the foster babies as a kid.  My parents would inform me of their condition, and I’d design an experiment to determine its accuracy.  I remember when Angelique came to live with us.  She was taken from her family on the reservation due to abuse.

She had a traumatic brain injury as an infant and had a few surgeries.  She turned out to be far brighter than reported.  She had the most contagious laugh, too.  Full belly laughs, followed by post-laughter chuckles.  I loved hearing her laugh so much I became her personal slapstick comedian.  I feigned tripping and falling over invisible objects in front of her playpen while she watched and laughed her ass off.  Then I’d laugh at her laughing.  It’s an awesome auditory memory, and sometimes I dream about it and wake myself up from laughing.

I’m getting excited as the date approaches when Stevie Nicks performs in St. Paul.  Yesterday, one of the officers in my Resistance group flew over me, and I estimated the time and mentally sent a hug into the sky to embrace her.  (I know, I’m a doof.)  I believe we’re all connected and can send love and comfort through our spirits (?) to one another at will.  I remember doing this as a child, but I had an elaborate ritual.  We had a hill in our back yard, and I’d lay on top on a blanket and look up at the stars while sending love and comfort to heavy hearts.  It’s also how I cope with knowing there are people suffering on this planet at all times.

J.K. Rowling is demonstrating why she’s the Queen of the internet, and I love her for it.  Welp, I already did, but more if possible.  I’m reading another Thomas Hardy novel titled, Far From the Madding Crowd.  So far it’s hilarious.  I think I like old school smart asses the best.  They don’t just write the funny part, they build up to it with ambiguous words, so you’re not sure if it’s intentional.  That makes it funnier to me.  Probably because the few times I’m funny it’s usually an accident.  I’ve been acquiring more hilarious people to follow on Twitter recently.  They’re like an investment in my future moods.  I just cracked myself up.

I’m getting ready to go entertain some cows with my violin.  I’m going to the same spot I did last time because the land owner invited me back.  He came up while I was playing, (startled the shit out of me) and complimented my playing.  He has some bison on another field, and I’d love to see how they respond to my music, (but they scare me.)  I do like to stare at them from the other side of the fence, though.  They stare back and usually win the stare down.  In person, they’re powerful and intimidating.  I bet one of them could help me break my high school track record in the 400 meter.  Heh.  I run faster when I’m terrified.  A Drill Sgt. discovered this when I was in basic training.  (He didn’t know I was unaware of the existence of blank M-16 ammunition and decided to motivate us by firing it behind us.)

Unfortunately, I kept running all the way back to the barracks and refused to come out of the latrine until my buddy caught up.  It’s funny to me now, but at the time I totally thought he lost his shit and was trying to kill us all.  (There are some movies I regret viewing prior to serving.)  I’m off to test my ability to play while afraid.

You cannot buy half a can of soda

I went downtown to the vigil for Heather Heyer.  I’ll remember her forever.  I didn’t stay long.  The Depression Monster is thrilled I’m no longer taking Prozac and is just waiting for an opportunity to pounce.  I’m going to disappoint him.  I can feel sad without sliding into depression.  It’s been an odd day.  I did a freestyle rap about racism earlier, (and it astonished me.)  Mostly because I don’t rap.  Ever.  It was good, too!  The rhymes kept flowing out of me!

I just kept saying whatever came to mind, and hearing it at the same time, and thinking, “Yes! These are the words!”  I started getting louder (Me! Being loud!) and could feel the knot in my gut unwind a bit with every rhyme.  S. was sitting there watching me, looking stunned.  I was so excited, (and so many other feelings at the same time.)  Then I laughed really hard because The Muse is back.  Huzzah!

I’m deliberately not writing down the lyrics because obviously, they’re for someone else, (a rapper, duh.)  I’m just thrilled they passed through me on their way.  It. Was. So. Awesome.  (I don’t even listen to rap!)  I’ve gotten bits of songs in the past, but never this strongly.  If you’ve ever observed how experienced musicians can create music spontaneously together in jam sessions, you’ve seen the river of inspiration flowing from The Muse.  Jam sessions make me so happy I could cry.

I’ve received other hints she’s back, and am trying to be wise about it.  Naturally, I want to drop my life and go compose some music until I collapse from exhaustion.  Instead, I redid my schedule to allow a set amount of time each day for creating music.  See Alison adult.  (Takes a victory lap around the playroom office.)  I’m reading The Mayor of Casterbridge by Thomas Hardy.  It was mentioned in another novel.  I’m enjoying it so much I’m off to continue.

P.S. Here’s an update on the quilt in progress.

 

If anything happens here, can I count on you?

Today flew by.  Probably because I spent most of it working on a T-shirt quilt.  I haven’t made a quilt in a while.  This will be my 8th.  I listened to Be Myself by Sheryl Crow on repeat all day.  I’m glad I checked to see if she released anything recently.  I’m a little behind with her (but compared to just discovering Stevie Nicks, not much.)  I stood about 7 feet away from Sheryl Crow’s tour bus as it was pulling into the fairgrounds years ago, and waved, (even though I couldn’t see anyone through the tinted windows.)

I accepted M’s proposal.  I told him we should wait until after the national crisis, though.  He doesn’t want to wait so we’ll talk about it more.  Instead of rings, we’re going to think of something else.  My first wedding ring, engagement ring, expensive watch, and a few other similar items are somewhere under the sand in the desert outside of El Paso.  I lost one diamond stud in Grafenwoehr, Germany.  The other one disappeared along with roughly half my possessions when they were shipped stateside.  One rollerblade made it.  🙄

I took some pictures of my quilt in progress.

It’s not ironed yet.  I haven’t decided what I’ll use for the back.  I think I have some flannel left over from my Cookie Monster quilt.  I’m getting better at this because I didn’t lose a single drop of blood this time, (so far.)  I did all the cutting on a board on the floor, which made it easier.  From now on, I’m always going to listen to music when I sew.  (I didn’t have wireless headphones last time.)  I can’t wait to continue working on it, (but will till tomorrow, so I don’t disturb my neighbors.)

I finished re-reading A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving the other day.  It’s been years since I last read it, and I got a lot more out of it this time.  I’m reading The Rise and Fall of D.O.D.O. by Neal Stephenson and Nicole Galland now.  I don’t even read the synopsis before buying his novels anymore.  I know I’ll like it, whatever it’s about.  Excellence is dependable.  I’m probably getting loopy from lack of sleep, so I’m off to read, and hopefully, sleep.

You promised a kid in the hospital that I would hit two home runs?

I’m back in Denver.  S. went on the weed tour and has been stoned since.  She’s been looking at her hand for a while now.  I’m just giggling every time I look up at her.  I remember when I went on the tour.  I saw a former Googler who kept staring at me, (but it only creeped me out in hindsight.)  I remember being floored that it was legal for us to ride around in a bus while getting high.  I studied the people and noticed patterns.  The younger people smoked about three times as much as us middle agers.  They smoked pretty much nonstop the whole time and started before we even began moving.

The tour guides identified which of us were using weed for the first time, and I was relieved not to be the only inexperienced person.  I noticed we sat by age, too.  The younger in the back, inexperienced and older up front.  I sat next to a couple from Alabama.  I love the accent so it was deliberate.  They were cool.  Adjacent was the Creepy Starer and a couple from Chicago.  The Chicagoans showed me how to use a bong, (it was huge.)  It made me choke so hard I thought I was going to cry.  But then a wave of warmth and weight crept over me like a whisper, and I settled back and grinned.

It felt like being under my weighted blanket, but the positive effects were magnified.  I felt like I was standing on the border of my inner world while still able to observe and interact with the outer world.  I think it’s what it must feel like to be neurotypical.  I felt like my body was my violin.  My ability to control it required no thought.  I still felt unshielded, but I didn’t obsess internally about things I have no control over.  I didn’t feel anxious and realized I was previously unaware of how it felt to be free of…  Free of the exhausting compulsion to be neurotypical.  Oofda.  I’ll have to think about that some more.

I need to focus on rehydrating.  I can feel a headache threatening to take over soon.  I still haven’t started my vector art project.  I thought about it more and changed my mind about the photo of Stevie Nicks I’m going to use.  I’m using one from 2016 instead.  The Stevie Nicks that exists today is the Stevie Nicks I’m learning so much from.  After I got over feeling sorry for myself for not knowing about her until recently, (and it took a while,😂) I figured there’s a reason it’s now.  This is when I was ready.  I think I had to grow and experience some things first.

I’m realizing Stevie Nicks’ generation is presently guiding me in many aspects of my life.  Through music, The Resistance, and I’m reading novels by authors who are taking me back to the 60’s and 70’s and showing me how things were then, and how it’s affected them.  It’s not a conscious decision, but it’s the generation I’m hearing and heeding.  It’s fascinating and surprisingly comforting.  I finished Hearts in Atlantis by Stephen King earlier (and for me, that’s fast reading.)  I couldn’t stop.  I lay down to sleep and then got right back up and read some more.  (Being an adult rocks sometimes.)  I don’t have any criticism for Stephen King’s writing.  I’m baffled any exists, to be honest.

I guess humans generally don’t get art in general.  The inclination to criticize art is something that should be discussed with a psychologist or religious leader, in my humble opinion.  I think art is my second favorite thing about being alive.  People are my first favorite.  I’m just not certain they aren’t the same thing.  I’m off to find a new book.

 

Did you just roll your eyes at him?

Butterfly

I’m home for the weekend.  I knew I wouldn’t make it the whole two weeks uninterrupted.  S. stayed in Denver to visit with a family she knows.  Now that I’m home, I feel like I exhaled after holding my breath for too long.  I like the energy in Denver, but I don’t know how to relax there (yet).  I had fun this morning on our nature walk.  I asked them to notice any patterns.  The kids found some incredible examples.  Then we discussed beauty.

They’re going to think about it more over the weekend.  It’s fascinating to hear a child attempt to articulate complex ideas with a limited vocabulary.  I’m so familiar with that excitement mixed with frustration, and can’t help but stand on my tippy toes to try and meet them halfway.  I think they sense I want to understand them, and it encourages them to keep working at it.  We finished our day early by playing with our lunch.  I ordered a fruit and veggie platter, and we made patterns on our plates with cherry tomatoes and grapes, etc.

I forgot how spending time with kids reminds me why I love people in general.  Children are unshielded by default.  I think they can sense it about me, too.  I might have a touch of fascination overload, (and I love it.)  I talked to my doctor on the phone this afternoon.  We decided four hours of cardio per day is too much, and why.  Instead, one hour of cardio, and three hours of using different coping skills, (music, art, puzzles, etc.)  In other words, variety.  She was funny about it.  She asked if I’m training for a marathon.  Then she spelled out the correlation between body chemistry and exercise, and how too much of anything isn’t a good thing.

I’m glad as I was having a hard time getting in three hours in Denver.  The book I was reading all this week:  The Long Walk by Stephen King (under a pseudonym) is a hell of a story when your legs and feet are tired and sore.  I finished it last night and enjoyed it.  I predict his books will be studied in the future.  Same with John Irving and J. K. Rowling.  And Brandon Sanderson and Patrick Rothfuss, (stopping short of my full list.)  I don’t know if people fully grasp what they’re doing.  I don’t think so.  I just know it won’t go unnoticed forever.  In the meantime, I appreciate the shit out of their work.

I’m reading Hearts in Atlantis by King next.  I haven’t seen the movie yet.  (I’m still on the first season of Glee.)  I’ll catch up when it snows.  Better Things starts soon.  Yay.  My cat has decided I’m done typing, so I’m off to play with her.