“I just didn’t have them back then.”

shipping containers

I’m having a fantastic week.  A few days ago, I watched Wanda Sykes’ Not Normal on Netflix.  (Cut to me grinning through tears when I found it on my home screen.) 😭🥰😆🙃 Watching was like getting a Prozac infusion while eating Jade-approved yellow cake.  I laughed so hard I’m surprised I didn’t get a noise complaint.  Especially since it involved a bit of involuntary running about, standing up like my seat was on fire, and hollering at the TV.

It’s just that Wanda Sykes is The Comedian Who Made Me Laugh So Hard I Hurled.  She knows how to make all my bones spontaneously turn into jelly.  She casually (and scientifically) explained everything I need to know about menopause (while I was winding down from ugly laughing.)  It all makes sense, now. 🤔👍🏽  Humans are even more incredible than I thought. 🤯🙃

Just when I discerned I’ve been playing a discreet version of Hot Lava, with my bed as the safe zone, Wanda Sykes pops up and says, hey, girl, it’s going to be okay. 🥰  (Oofda, I needed that.)  I finally got to compare notes with a woman who was also interracially adopted, recently.  It was fascinating, and my mom is now even more awesome than I knew.  She did things I didn’t realize at the time were so thoughtful and brilliant.  I’m so proud of her.

black hair

 

For example, she hired local university students to socialize with Heather and me when we were little.  (The only other black people we knew of at that time were Gary Coleman, Todd Bridges, Janet Jackson, and Kim Fields.)  My mom sensed we needed to meet black people who weren’t on TV.  I have fond memories of slumber parties in the dorms at Augustana with young women from all sorts of places that weren’t South Dakota.

We got our hair braided.  We went to concerts, plays, and sporting events with our new big sisters.  They invited us to their homes on school breaks in other states.  We visited a church with all black people, (and I wept uncontrollably from the moment we entered until a woman caught the spirit and started convulsing on the floor, and I ran over and hugged her and wouldn’t let go until I was pried off.)  I thought she needed holding, and the idea of not acting on it terrified me.  Heh.

As I’m sure you’ve imagined, Heather’s version of that event was a lot more detailed, protracted, and (evidently) hilarious.  (Recalling it was one of her favorite ways to shut me down for years afterward.)  😂 Remember that time we went to that church?  🤭 I can laugh about it soon.  Also, the convulsing woman hugged me back, so I knew she was okay, and I held on because I had so much to say to her, and no words.  Here’s a secret:  In my spirit, that hug was an I love you to my culture, and I never let go. 💜✌🏽

“What was a man with a cape doing with my father?”

flower pots around an entry

No Game of Thrones, I promise.  Heh.  I’ve been hanging out with Amy Poehler (as Leslie Knope, and in ((thank you, the universe!!!)) the movie, Wine Country, now streaming on Netflix.)  I’m binging the entire series of Parks and Recreation, presently.  (The scene where Retta loses her shit over someone shooting her Mercedes wrecked me for at least 30 minutes.) 🤣

I’m spending lots of time listening to Solange’s latest album.  Solange quickly went from Beyoncè’s sister to the second artist whose music wraps around my soul and rocks me until all the pain I carry stops hurting, and I can catch my breath.  (Amy Lee is the other.)  I’m tripping because I’m so blessed to have two.  Yay!  (Thanks, Fran! 💜)

the nerve

I’m having a weirdly beautiful day.  (I don’t have bad days, ever since I realized I get to decide.)  I made several mistakes related to common sense, this morning.  It’s just that in my case, common sense often means commonly expressed by someone barely suppressing a strong urge to slap me senseless.  Whoops.

I’ve arrived at that age where I recognize I’m doing tech wrong.  I’m the auntie whom the cool kid’s meme about when they compare notes.  (And I laugh along because even though I don’t get the joke, I love laughing.) I upgraded to the iPhone XR.  In the process of moving my data and learning the phone, I failed to activate the new one before boxing up the old (for shipping.)

cool kids

I found out about my error when my groceries didn’t show up during the designated delivery window.  I had to unbox the old phone while in a chat with customer service, where we walked through the process of activation step-by-step, hand held.  I’m a geek. (This event made my inner selves, ages 5-27, fall to the floor and weep with indulgent shame.)

I suppose outgrowing geek pride (see what I did there?) is alright.  Still flexing, because yes, I do have some nerve.  🙃 So far, the most challenging thing about being an auntie is refraining from perpetually gushing over friends, artists, and my favorite millennials who happen to create podcasts for which I live.

I know my love and enthusiasm for people who fascinate me can get annoying to those who don’t share my perspective, so I hold back.  (Mostly because I don’t want the subjects of my adoration to block me IRL.)  Plus, I have auntie instincts, all of a sudden.  (They help guide me away from sending Shit From Some Random Auntie -SFSRA, that could probably only confuse.)  So, there’s that.  👍🏽 I’m off to beat my drums with sticks.  💜✌🏽

“I choose not to run.”

Here be dragons

Warning:  There will be spoilers.

 

We’ve almost made it to the end of Game of Thrones.  What a journey!  I was exhausted, emotionally wrecked, and drenched in sweat after viewing the latest episode.  While spending 90+ minutes completely immersed in the horrors of war,  I forgot I was watching a TV show.

I was Arya Stark, chased through a city being systematically destroyed by dragon fire.  I almost died a thousand times, but it was nothing compared to witnessing the horrific deaths of so many around me.  I learned vengeance is indistinguishable from tyranny.

Sandor, thank you.  -Arya Stark

masks

I was Cersei Lannister, watching the world end to the beat of my unraveling denial.  As my defenses crumbled around me, the fear overwhelmed me, making my heart shake.  I died in the arms of the only person who truly understood me; loved me.  Finally, free of the terror that’s owned me since my mother was taken from me.

Everywhere in the world, they hurt little girls.  -Cersei Lannister

I was Sandor Clegane, confronting what remained of the man who failed me as a brother.  Blow after blow of hate-fueled rage, honed over a lifetime, against a mountain of evil.  My only remaining purpose to remove this towering hunk of rotting flesh from the world.  Convinced it’s all I ever wanted, I succeed and we both burn.  Victory is mine.

Do it.  Do it!  Just do it!  -Sandor Clegane/The Hound

I was Daenerys Targaryen, alone, distraught, and betrayed.  I wept as I lay waste to King’s Landing.  I felt everything and nothing at the same time.  I burned away the disease so healthy life can grow and thrive in the future.  If I can’t have their love, I’ll take their fear.

I am not your little princess.  I am Daenerys Stormborn of the blood of old Valyria and I will take what is mine, with fire and blood I will take it.  -Daenerys Targaryen

light dancing

When the episode ended, I couldn’t move.  I just sat there, stunned.  (Then I laughed at myself for confusing SD winter with a cessation of hot flashes.  Probably where most of the sweating came from.)  I had to sleep on it, then think about it for a while before I could process what happened.  I’m sure I’ll continue long after the series ends.

I’ve learned a great deal about human nature watching the series.  We’re all in the story in some aspect or form.  It has been fascinating to slowly gain enough information about each character until I could understand them well enough to see the world through their eyes (to a point.)

The emotional rollercoaster of triggers and disturbing scenes were a small price to pay for the many gifts of wisdom.  We tend to behave in accordance with our perception of the world.  Therein lies the value in understanding others’ viewpoints.  Without it, people are indistinguishable from monsters.

Do you lie awake at night fearing my gash? – Lord Varys

✌🏽💜

“I feel it would be best if you didn’t talk to Noreen for a while.”

Photo by namo deet from Pexels

I love Sophie Turner.  I read a rumor she was told to lose weight at some point while filming Game of Thrones.  Sansa Stark.  It fails the logic test, miserably, but who knows.  When people are traumatized, depressed, and overwhelmed, they tend to either lose their appetite or gain an insatiable need to self-comfort by overeating.  (There’s very little believable middle ground for TV, but either way works.)

I believe HBO decided Sansa Stark would lose her appetite, based on my wondering if I could encircle Sansa’s waist (fingers touching) with just my hands, after mentally compensating for the ten pounds added by cameras.  I guess what I’m trying to say, is if the rumor is true, may the fleas of a thousand camels infest the junk of anyone who suggested Sophie Turner needed to lose weight during filming.  And bacne.  Because no. That is all.

The latest episode of Game of Thrones had me so enthralled; my nose was practically touching the screen from trying to take in every detail. I didn’t notice a Starbuck’s cup, and I usually catch such things. (I think it’s a hoax.)  People trust social media way too much.  (It’s no wonder my literal ass couldn’t hang.)  Frankly, we don’t need this petty bullshit in a world where so-called leaders are above the law in an alleged democracy.  It’s half-past play-too-much o’clock, dig?  🙃

blue flame

Spoiler alert:

If you get only one word to express how much you want your best friend to melt your enemy’s lair with them inside, now you know it:  Dracarys, (said with bitch implied.) If you’re interested in telling a fantastic story on TV, and you want to nail it on levels that don’t even exist yet, put Game of Thrones on top of your list of creations to study.  It’s that good.  I’m so proud of the people involved.

The episode has me thinking about grief in general.  We should teach grieving to children.  Losing something or someone dearly loved, and figuring out how to go on living afterward, is a skill.  I’ve never met an adult who wasn’t grieving a loss of some sort.  It seems an inescapable part of life.  I think it would be better to have a clear understanding of the process in place, and a rote reaction to cuddle when devastated.  The whole not knowing what to do or say around loss is tired, eh?

I created a new category for humans (in my head.)  Padawans are now people who believe in a higher power and are practicing and living their values and beliefs.  When they accidentally step on you or your boundaries, you know you can bring it to their attention, and they’ll make the correction, usually graciously and apologetically.  You can trust they’re striving to be their best self.  So now there are padawans, people who are generally reasonable about sharing a planet with 7 billion+ other people, and assholes.  Guess which ones I like?  🤣 I’m off to entertain some cows with my violin.   ✌🏽💜

p.s. Cersei Lannister would make Darth Vader curl up in the fetal position and cry for his mommy.

“The only thing between him and us is a thin layer of gabardine.”

computer desk

How about the latest Game of Thrones?  No spoilers, in honor of those who need more time to take in the newest episode.  I had to break it into two viewings.  I was continually hitting pause, and taking several laps around my apartment (to coax Anxiety into allowing me to breathe like I wasn’t just barely winning a 200-meter dash away from White Walkers.)  I had to watch an episode of Bob’s Burgers before I could consider sleeping.  (Thanks for the tip, Narcoleptic Aspie.)

The second-half viewing, I watched while on my treadmill.  I figured if I was going to feel like I was sprinting, I might as well get the full benefit.  It didn’t hurt that it was on a much smaller screen, (laptop.)  I invented a new way of watching TV:  look just to the left of the screen, so you’re practically looking away when the tension rises.  For some reason, it’s less frightening in peripheral vision.

The soundtrack was spot on, as usual.  I’ll have to rewatch this season on my TV that has HDR, so I can see what happened in the shadows.  (And look directly at the screen with full knowledge of when to long blink.) The portrayal of PTSD is fabulous;  So many of the characters afflicted after witnessing and surviving unspeakable horrors.  Being perpetually stalked and chased by a supernatural entity whose only purpose is my utter destruction is how living with PTSD feels to me.  It’s no wonder watching a symbolic, on-the-nose depiction turns me (and everyone else I know) inside out emotionally.

shadow play

To refrain from speculating about the story, I focused on how we may be altering our DNA by programming our brains with entertainment so immersive, believable, and enthralling.  Our ancestors nights were dark and full of terrors of a different nature.  Did this program an expectation we’ve fulfilled with our imaginations?  Do we need to experience a full range of emotion and stress on a somewhat-regular basis as humans?  (It was a lot more interesting in my head.)  🙃

I did make it to the VA for my annual checkup.  I used Lyft, which eliminated the stress of driving there.  I met my new care provider, and she was kind.  I wasn’t present for as much of the experience as ideal, but I managed to get a blood pressure medication changed from one with a known carcinogen.  I mentioned I stopped having menses, yay.  Yay, again.  Heh.  Nothing problematic with my labs.  I got my tetanus vaccination and was out of there before Anxiety had a chance to ruin everything.  Uber yay.

I still feel powerful for the victory.  (Even though the side effects of the tetanus shot made me feel like I overdid it at the gym for a few days.) I binge watched the entire series of The Office (American version) over the past few weeks.  I loved it.  It’s brilliant.  It helped keep me from drowning in this awful round of depression.  I’m approaching it as if it’s no big deal and nothing to panic over, mostly because I can’t afford to add anything detrimental to this shit storm.  (The skin of my teeth, yo.)

Besides, Liana Mormont, Arya Stark, and Ser Brienne of Tarth wouldn’t freak out over a little despair.  Not today.  💜✌🏽