“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.

“Did you close with the swirl?”

 

Look awayI’ve had an exceedingly frustrating day.  It’s not over yet as I’m still waiting for a technical issue to be fixed after several hours of back and forth communication.  At least I can say I didn’t cry about it.  I came dangerously close, but I sucked it up.  I’m confident it will be resolved soon.

I’m still dealing with insomnia but I ordered groceries earlier, and they included a non-addicting sleep aid.  I’m not hopeful for tonight, though.  I figured out what’s going on.  It’s my method of coping with life.  I force myself not to grieve and agonize over how we humans treat one another during my waking hours.

Unfortunately, when I sleep, the bill comes due.  Everything I avoided thinking about plays out horrifically in my dreams.  I feel trapped by this strategy, but it’s the only way I can survive.  Now I’m going further by drugging myself, so I can sleep.  It feels like a chicken-shit option, but so does the alternative.

I honestly don’t know how others can sleep with even more knowledge about fellow humans behaving atrociously.  I avoid the news.  I can’t watch TV unless it’s a cartoon.  The Flintstones and Hey Arnold! are my shows these days.  I’m relieved I can at least read novels, although some of them level me in my sleep.  I just finished reading The Lords of Discipline by Pat Conroy for the second time.  My gut regrets my decision.

My inner asshole has been verbally hazing me for being incapable of coping with reality.  I’ve thought about phlebotomizing myself again, but not seriously.  It’s not a solution, just a concession that exceptional intelligence is more disability than a gift IMO.  (Especially when my avatar is black and female.)

Sad kitty

I’m hoping when I’m well rested, I’ll be able to see the positive aspects of my life as they also exist.  Exhaustion isn’t the same as depression, but it sucks just as much.  Both shine a spotlight on all things negative and exasperating.  I’m reduced to my pathetic facts list to help me cope.  Things like:  At least I’m middle-aged, and no matter what, it’ll all be over soonish.  I’m getting a lot of mileage out of that fact.

I feel like Miss Celie telling Sophia not to fret over spousal abuse because life is a temporary condition in The Color Purple.  Sigh.  I need to decide on a novel to read later.  I’ll probably choose something by John Irving or Charles Dickens.  For now, I’m off to watch Stevie Nicks on YouTube.  She can make me smile even through tears.

“Do you know what happens to a butter-based frosting after six decades in a poorly ventilated English basement?”

drum kit

I had a busy weekend, spending most of it practicing with my band.  We played two songs I created, and I’m thrilled by how much they liked them.  I would have strutted around like I’m Stevie Nicks or something, but it was also my first time singing while drumming.  I was pretty anxious about it because I figured it would take months of practice before I could pull it off.

I’m surprised to report I pulled it off to some degree.  The fact that I regularly sing to myself has finally paid off.  Instead of getting odd looks from strangers, I managed to provide backup harmonies with a headset mic.  I’m sure it helps that I know the songs better than anyone else.  Heh.  I used a poem I wrote as a teenager for the lyrics, (but only until I rewrite it.)

The poem is horrible, so I’m not going to share it.  I was going through a descriptive phase, and my subject matter mainly consisted of things I thought were delightfully revolting.  I was like a stereotypical boy for most of my childhood.  Watching my big brother swallow worms or goldfish on a dare was probably my favorite hobby; as well as the subject of the poem to which I’m referring.

He had god-like status in my eyes, and I wish he were still alive, so I could tell him I’m in a band, and I miss him.  He’d think my playing the drums is lame, but would still be impressed.  I suspect my band leader reminds me of Steve, a bit.  He’s somewhat mean but funny about it, so I don’t mind.  I’m content doing anything if I’m laughing through it.  It’s what most appealed to me about serving in the Army.  It’s full of should-be comedians.

When we did the gross song initially, I was able to sing but not loudly enough.  Plus, I dropped a stick and had to get up to retrieve it.  It led to a lesson on always having extra sticks close at hand, and not losing them while playing.  Emphasis mainly on the last bit.  I need to adjust my kit at home to mimic the acoustic kit’s positioning.  My muscle memory finally kicked in so I need to be mindful.  While I was up, I turned up the volume on my mic because duh.  😂

pinball

I’m supposed to work on not grinning like I just won the lottery while I play.  My band leader demonstrated what I looked like, much to my amusement.  At least he didn’t tell me I should audition for Disney; which is the feedback I received when kicked out of my first band, years ago.  I didn’t understand what “sing edgy” meant.  Thank you, Adele, Stevie Nicks, and Amy Lee.  Now I know.  🙃

Incidentally, that band broke up a year later over an argument about whether or not Hootie and the Blowfish sucked.  Heh.  (I think Darius Rucker is talented.)  M. has been planning our trip for next month.  We’re going to visit as many pinball machines as we can find.  We’re both obsessed with the game and highly competitive when playing on PlayStation 4.  I prefer the old-fashioned version, though.  The digital version is wicked distracting with all the animations (that sometimes get in the way while playing.)

He hasn’t managed to beat my high score on the Family Guy version.  I must still have a part of me that’s amused by fart jokes because it’s my favorite table.  I also like Thor.  I doubt they have real versions, though.  M. is an excellent photographer, so we plan on documenting them as we go.  I can’t wait.  I’m off to beat my drums with sticks while not smiling.

“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

“Well, it frees me up. No encumbrances.”

woman in pain

Welp.  I didn’t set off to explore America, today.  It’s probably a good thing I doubled over in agonizing pain before I hit the road, though.  It may be another kidney stone, or it may be the same one.  They sometimes to go back into my kidney rather than passing.  I didn’t think I heard it pass, but the pain was gone, so I stopped thinking about it.

It’s been a miserable day, but I wasn’t in constant pain.  It comes and goes in waves.  M. thinks it’s been hurting before today, but I was ignoring it until it got serious.  He’s probably right.  It’s a sensory issue, apparently.  I have a high pain threshold from my neck down.  I can’t ignore head pain or tooth pain, though.

Although, I did pull a tooth earlier.  I broke a tooth recently, and the tooth shard was hurting my gums.  So I used needle nose pliers to pull it out in front of the mirror.  At first, it bled a lot, but it’s stopped since.  It was nothing compared to Tom Hanks bashing out a sore tooth with a skate blade and a rock, in Castaway.

It’s not visible when I smile, but I’ll get it fixed, anyway.   The aching is starting to return, but it’s not bad yet.  M. didn’t suggest I go to the ER this time.  He’s awesome.  He got me a bendy straw and a big insulated cup of watery cranberry juice.  Bendy straws are fabulous.   I’m not up for connecting several so I can sip from another room, though.

M. is glad I didn’t go, and not even trying to pretend otherwise.  He asked me to wait until he can go with me.  I agreed, but mostly because it was much easier to nod than discuss it.   I watched the making of videos for Synthesis by Evanescence earlier.  I’m so glad Amy Lee exists.  It’s fascinating to watch it all come together so beautifully.  (It’s on YouTube.)

Amelia Bedelia has been super loving today.  I think she senses I’m sick.  She’s adorable and probably glad I put the carrier away.  M. said he’ll have time in early April to go with me.  It’ll still be fun with him along.  He has a lovely singing voice and knows all the Fleetwood Mac songs.  By the time we get back, he’ll know all of Stevie Nicks’ songs, too.  The pain is rising again, so I’m off.