“What’s your definition of scary cold?”

travel

I’m back in Sioux Falls.  We had a thunder blizzard last night.  It felt pre-apocalyptic, but I was overwhelmed at the time, (so assume a minor adjustment for reality.)   I’m sure I’ve mentioned how thunder freaks me out, (beyond my ability to pretend I’m fine.)  Strong gusts of wind against my improperly weatherized balcony doors made it worse.  The howling wind in my living room was creepy.

Today there’s a layer of ice covering everything, including my windows.  It’s as if it rained sideways, froze, then snowed.  I opened my balcony doors to have a look because the windows provide a trippy view.  It took lots of effort to open them.  Then after gawking for a bit, I struggled to close them again.  I had to dig through two feet of snow to step outside.

It’s supposed to snow all day, then twice more next week.  Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow shiver this year, I guess.  I’ve already determined my next travel destination:  Northeast to visit my sister.  It’ll be both visit and tech consultation.  I send her my former gadgets, knowing she’ll pass along whatever doesn’t interest her.  She’s repeatedly surprised me with her interest and eagerness to learn.

groundhog

I’ve made the drive before, and there are only three turns.  Heh.  It’ll be soonish (before my sister leaves for her summer place.)  I’m a bit leery of my niece who she’ll be visiting afterward, (her oldest kid.)   I still have the occasional nightmare of her beating me up.  She punches like Miss Sophia in The Color Purple, (and from a similar training ground.)  She knocked me out when I came home from basic training for Christmas.  (Just to remind me of my place in her world.)

My sister has that toughness in her, too.  But she uses it to endure rather than bully.  I’ve only seen her be violent to a brown bear who invaded our camp.  She calmly pelted it with rocks until it fled.  😂  I’m going to teach her a bit of Photoshop and lots of tutorial links since she has a DSLR camera.  I’m also going to give her my 25-key Novation midi keyboard to try some music apps on the iPad.  And a keynote presentation on why she needs to get broadband.  She uses her iPhone for all things interweb.  (!!!)

I probably have a Wacom tablet in my retired gadgets closet.  I’d like to see her embrace her creativity digitally.  I love teaching tech to people who are older than me.  They’re so easy to train it’s delightful.  The only thing you have to do is pretend you’re doing it for the first time, and say what you do out loud as you do it slowly.  Then give it to them in writing as an ordered checklist, and done, (they master it after you leave.)  They also usually end up teaching me about features I’ve never used before.  (Probably because of RTFM.) 😂

Baby boomers tend to be less intellectually lazy than Gen X’ers in my observations.  Let’s blame corn syrup.  😶  I’m going to try and watch more Star Wars:  The Last Jedi.  I’m already anxious as hell, so I may as well knock out some anxiety-provoking activities while I’m already maxed out.  Too bad I don’t need anything from the mall, or I’d throw that in, as well.  😂  Peace.

”Elaine, she’s a psychic. She knows how her kid’s going to be.”

16th St Mall, Denver, CO

I’m in Denver and am thrilled I haven’t lost anything so far.  It’s probably something to do with wearing my phone and wallet in a small pouch around my neck. I look like a doof, I’m sure. But it’s worth it.  I’m hanging out with M’s cousins while he attends a meeting. Then we’re off to discover pinball machines.  It’s around 70 F and sunny.  Much better than the snow at home.

I have no idea what we had for lunch, but it was delicious.  It was Indian food, but I forgot to ask further.  I learned as a teen never to decline food from people who invite me into their home.  I offended an African (university student) who was braiding my hair and didn’t realize my error until her son told me she cooked explicitly for my appointment.  I apologized and ate with them, (but I also cried at the same time, and had post-crying hiccups afterward.)

One perk of being a doof:  I learn the shit out of valuable lessons.  Sigh.  It’s barely a perk.  I’m super tired due to being too excited to sleep last night.  My mind is doing aerobics, but my body is whining.  I watched the beginning of Star Wars:  The Last Jedi, when I realized sleep wasn’t happening.  Love it so far.  Spoiler Alert:  I (internally) slammed my foot against the ladder along with the doomed rebel to get that damn remote to fall.  I bet every Jedi (dreamer) who saw it did, too.  The catch and press scene was brilliant.

Star Wars TLJ

Also, I helped General Leia Organa slap Poe for his ruthless priorities.  The timing might be a bit off for the humorous quips, though.  Or, more likely, I just wasn’t ready to laugh after all that loss.  And I have this bizarre need to touch Supreme Leader Snoke’s skin.  He’s scarier than Emperor Palpatine.  He also appears fragile except when furious.  Weird how that increases menace.

I asked M if he thought weed would help me tolerate intensely exciting movies, but he said it would make it much more overwhelming for me.  So I’ll be sticking with patiently waiting for the version I can control with a remote.  (And tossing it up and catching it while pressing pause, like some rebel in a galaxy far, far away.)  ✌🏽

 

“You know, he came by here at 3 o’clock in the morning to pick up the tape. I was scared out of my mind!”

cornfield on a sunny day

I guess I’m done messing with the design of this blog for a while.  Unfortunately, I seem to have broken several things in the process, much to my frustration.  I should have known better than to touch it with a hijacked brain.  As I recover, I recognize more things that are missing.  I’m a bit surprised I noticed, considering.  I’ll have a go at fixing shit when I’m back on my feet.  Hopefully, it didn’t mess with anyone, (else.)

Amelia Bedelia is not interested in accompanying me on my road trip.  She cried on the test run.  I only have one job:  Make sure she’s happy.  I guess being in a carrier for more than a few minutes sucks.  I know, a bit of forethought would have saved me the time and agony of hearing her cry.  Yo, Hindsight.  Go lay by your bowl, dammit.

I’m getting both nervous and excited about my upcoming road trip.  Apparently, I’m terrified of encountering road construction.  Driving in the midwest sucks in the first place because it’s so flat and dull.  I guess that’s why they call it The Great Plains.  Heh.  Having the rules of the road change with a short warning is challenging when you treat your car like a sound booth and let the music take you.  I’m hoping I can check online where to be careful before I embark.

I’m not driving past Sioux City (ever again) because they put cement barriers right on the edge of the highway when there’s construction.  It’s too close to your vehicle, and when you’re going 50+ MPH, a sneeze could end you (and many behind you) in that situation.  It’s like playing a twisted, high-speed game of Chicken for no reason.  Nope.

I need the whole lane to be free of barriers when I drive.  Call me picky.  I plan on going west a bit, then south through Nebraska.  If I see anything super cool, I’ll try to remember to take a picture.  (I’ve never even made a selfie, and it’s the midwest, so expect accordingly.)  I can’t see for shit, so I’m not very visual.  I navigate by sound and intuition.  I also have lots of bruises most of the time because I bump into shit often.  Heh.

You know how you feel right after you’ve had a full-blown weep fest?  The post-crying, post-face-washing time, where your breath still catches every few minutes?  I’m stuck there.  I’m hoping to shake free while I take this short trip.  I can’t be away from Amelia Bedelia for more than five days;  it hurts my heart.  I don’t know what my driving stamina is yet.  It’s been a while since I traveled by car.

I resent the shit out of passenger trains for not bothering to include South Dakota.  I think Omaha is the closest place I can go to start a train trip.  Or I could steal a ride on one of the many trains hauling other shit from Sioux Falls, but the accommodations aren’t up to my standards.  I need transportation that’s legal and reasonably safe for a woman.  See?  Picky.  I do plan on taking a train from Omaha to (somewhere cool in) California in the future.

scarecrow in a cornfield

For now, this trip is just a test run to see how I do.  I’m aiming for Wyoming.  I’ve never been there, and it looks beautiful online.  If I turn out to be excellent at driving on the highway, I’d like to go to the Four Corners Monument.  Otherwise, there’s probably some neat stuff in Nebraska to entertain me on the way.  Besides cornfields, because I read a lot of Stephen King novels.  Although, I’ll probably run around in one at some point just to scare myself alert.  (A little gift from the King of horror.  Muwahahahaha)  I’m off to beat my drums.

“It’ll be like a permanent road trip.”

open road

I’m doing better.  I think I lost a few friends, but I’m not sure. 😔 I decided since it’s outside my control, I’m not going to obsess over it.  It hurts every time, happens often, and I rarely understand why.  At least I learned something in the process.  I think forcing myself to practice my drums triggered my brain to stop spiraling down.  I’m almost positive playing music releases whatever hormone(s) I need to start regaining homeostasis.

The hard part is doing it.  It’s like swimming in a pool full of peanut butter.  At first, I have to keep stopping to give myself a pep talk just to gain an inch.  It’s like trying to read while sitting in front of Mick Fleetwood while he’s doing a drum solo.  I seriously think people living with mental illness would shine at using The Force.  Sometimes, just focusing enough to complete a simple task is like lifting a spaceship out of a swamp with your mind.

But when the clouds clear, I’m intensely aware of how a chemical imbalance can completely alter my perception.  I remember what I was thinking only days ago, but today those same thoughts seem extreme, and black and white.  When I’m not having an episode of depression, the difference in how I think is astonishing.  I find it disturbing.  I probably read too much speculative fiction, but it seems like mind controlling drugs are inevitable.  I only wonder how tailored to the individual they’d need to be to have any predictable effect.

I’m preparing for a road trip.  I’ll probably hit the road this weekend and begin ticking off locations on my bucket list.  I’ve never driven for more than five hours in a row, so it’ll be a challenge.  I have made it to Minneapolis and back in a single day.  Same with Des Moines, so I’m not too worried.  I haven’t broken 3k miles on this car yet.  It’s the last car I’ll ever own, so I’m going to drive the shit out of it until it dies.  I have an appointment to get a new battery and tune up Friday.  I’m taking a laptop so that I can write on the road.

I’m estimating it’ll take me at least a year before I finish writing my novel.  Maybe longer.  I’m going to look around during the process.  I’m heading south and west first because I’ve had enough winter.  I want to take my cat along, but I’m still working out the logistics.  I had a lengthy discussion with M. yesterday.  I haven’t processed most of it yet.  He wants me to call him daily, but I despise talking on the phone.  I don’t like talking at all, to be honest.  But I agreed to do it anyway for him.  I’m excited to hit the road.  I’m off to plan.   ☮️

“We just tease someone until they develop an eating disorder.”

old tires

Welp.  It’s been a long week, and it’s only Wednesday.  I stressed myself out and ended up seeking out my big sister for advice.  She’s close in age with Stevie Nicks. (Yes, it suddenly makes her cooler.)  She helped me calm down, mostly.

I freak out about things with which I have no control like I’m being paid.  I’m having a hard time refraining from beating myself up.  It seems like a logical reaction when I’m the cause.

I’m functioning on auto-pilot too much.  I burned my hand while soldering earlier by reaching for the iron without looking up.  I left my eyes in my other world again.  Along with my brain.  Sigh.  At least it’s not severe.

soldering

I’m assembling DIY kits for the kids in the afterschool program in Denver.  They teach basic electronics and soldering.  Today’s youth need to know how to recycle and repair electronics.

I’m still working on my guide to going off the grid (for free.)  Today’s trash is tomorrows treasure.  Scavenging, repairing, refurbishing, etc. are the skills I’m interested in of late.  Water purification and desalination are up there, too.

M. and I are headed to Colorado to plant more trees.  I’m not bringing a laptop this time.  I need to unplug for a while.  M. has a meeting in Denver, but otherwise, it’ll just be a mini vacation.  I’ll soon be off to play in the dirt and let go of what isn’t working, or needs freed.  Peace.