Once, to a dog. He licked himself and left the room.

My left ear hurts.  I’m running a low-grade fever and just spent several minutes trying to remember why I entered the kitchen.  I also sound like Peppermint Patty, so I think I have an ear infection or something.  I’ll run it off tonight.  I didn’t sleep well last night.  I had stress dreams I forgot immediately after awakening, but the anxiety lingered.  I converted it into hyperactivity.  It’s better than feeling anxious, but the cost will show up tomorrow when the bruises appear.  I’m stuck in walking like I just learned how mode, so I’m bumping into everything.  I’m moving like my toon in World of Warcraft.  (I suspect I hold some sort of server record for most times dying from accidentally falling off shit.)  I’d better burn this off while running outside.  Staying on the treadmill while running is out of reach today.

I prefer running outside. However, the mosquito situation sucks when you run on bike trails that hug a river.  I have repellant, but it reeks.  I guess that’s better than skeeter bites.  My imagination usually suggests I may have bed bugs when I’m covered in skeeter bites and itchy while falling asleep, (despite my weekly linen rotation and daily bathing routine.)  My imagination is an asshole.  As an African American, I’ve never had head lice, but I’ve heard all about it.  (Most African Americans have square hair follicles.  North American lice affect round hair follicles.)  I guess it’s worth having hairs so thick they can defy the wind.  My imagination fucks with me about lice, despite this.  Hell yeah, I rub oil on my scalp to prevent itching from dry skin.  Still, my imagination has the gall to suggest I may be suffering from trichotillomania.  Ass. Hole.  🤣

I’ve been painting on my new iPad Pro with the Apple pencil.  Dear Wacom, thanks for everything, but I’ll no longer be needing your tools.  My iPad Pro made your company obsolete.  I’ll always remember our time together over the years before this innovative smack-down occurred. Buh-bye, now.  P.S.  Microsoft Surface line, too. Tut tut.  There’s an app that utilizes the iPad Pro as an outstanding wireless drawing tablet for your Apple machine.  Other apps allow you to use it as a standalone drawing tablet that far surpasses existing (consumer) drawing tablets.  As an Adobe Creative Cloud user, the Photoshop app was free, (included in rental.)  I got an outstanding drawing/painting app for $4.99.  (In the App Store, look under featured apps for the iPad Pro.)  I’m donating my Wacom to a public school art teacher.  (It’s still an excellent learning tool.)

I’m going to purchase another iPad clamp holder like the one I got for my drum kit.  It will allow me to adjust the position of the iPad as I paint, so it’ll replicate an easel on my desktop.  Actually, I think I’m just going to use the one I have now, and add a Bluetooth adapter to my drum kit.  I only use it to play along with music, so a dedicated resting place (for my phone) is unnecessary.  I forgot how easy it is to spend several hours painting.  I have a quirk that won’t allow me to listen to music while I paint.  I’m starting to think it’s a feature rather than a quirk because it prevents me from painting for too long.  Yep.  Going with a feature.  I’m having caffeine withdrawal.  (It took an embarrassing amount of time to figure out why I’ve had a headache for two days.)  I might have to do something I never thought I would do.  I might have to start drinking coffee. (It’s the only non-retail source of caffeine I can acquire.)

I like the smell of coffee beans, but I don’t like hot beverages.  (Not even hot chocolate with a gazillion marshmallows.)  It means I’ll have to acquire a taste as an American.  This is against everything I stand for!  It doesn’t make sense to repeatedly imbibe something that isn’t immediately delicious in a first world country!  Why have taste buds at all?!  (Calm down, Alison.)  Iced sugar water with enough coffee to prevent headaches, it is.  Sigh.  Dear Mountain Dew, I’ll always remember our time together.  You should divorce Pepsico and buy back all your stock.  Employee owned businesses are edgy.  Peace, out.  I should make a cape with my remaining Wonder Woman fabric.  Yep.  This is happening.  I’m off to make the ultimate empowering playlist for my run later.

 

Don’t you see what’s happened? I’ve become George!

The gym got new treadmills, and they’re fabulous.  I didn’t know the old treadmills sucked until I ran on a new one.  The deck is so wide and smooth, it felt like running in grass.  I listened to In Your Dreams by Stevie Nicks in order twice through.  I ripped it from the CD into FLAC files and loaded it on the DAP I got on MassDrop.  I listen to an album with various headphones and amps because it reveals details I miss otherwise.  (I take my music listening seriously.)  When I finished, I was all disoriented like I just woke up.  I’ve been smiling since.

I saw previews for The Dark Tower movie today.  It’s the first I’ve heard of it, and I’m ecstatic.  I want to see a lobstrosity, and all the other creatures described.  Especially Shardik.  I remember reading that in 8th grade.  It’s a good thing I finally watched TV today.  (I abandoned it in favor of Stevie Nicks, and Fleetwood Mac live concert DVD’s weeks ago.)  Now that I’ve seen Mick Fleetwood play Dreams, I’m copying his technique.  He makes the drums sound like a thunderstorm in this song, and it’s so good.

M. wants me to meet his parents.  They’re coming in August and will return home with his sister.  Naturally, I’ve decided to start feeling anxious now.  Sigh.  My virtual presence device project is at a frustrating point.  Basically, hiring a college student to carry a video rig is the most logical and cost effective solution so far.  It solves the problem of theft, vandalism, teasing, etc.  Not to mention transportation, and all the other logistical bummers I’ve encountered so far.  I was hoping for a robot, but it’s not looking good.  Ah, well.  Maybe I can find a college kid who talks about robots while being my virtual presence device.  I’m off to read.

This woman hates me so much I’m starting to like her.

I just realized I haven’t watched anything but Stevie Nicks documentaries and live concerts on DVD in a while.  Typically, I only allow myself to listen to music when I’m exercising because it’s the only way to get me to do it.  Lately, it’s all I do in my free time, but it hasn’t been long enough to mess up my exercise bribery scheme.  Whew.  (I don’t have a Plan B.)  I guess tomorrow will be a long run, and that’ll be my only music fix for the day.  I’m going to listen to In Your Dreams by Stevie Nicks, and The Open Door by Evanescence, and Tuesday Night Music Club by Sheryl Crow.

If it plays longer than my route, I’ll keep listening while I stretch.  I’m already looking forward to it.  I’m going to feel like Wonder Woman.  I’m off Prozac for the rest of the summer.  Or, I guess I should say until it snows.  So who knows, but as long as I can run outside.  I don’t like to run for more than an hour at a time on the treadmill, but I can break it up.  After my fall last winter, I’m too paranoid about falling again (on the ice outside in the snowy weather, where my imagination has assured me in advance I’ll die miserably.)

Note:  In my particular case, if I eat wisely, and do four hours of cardio per day, I feel exactly the same as when I take 20mg of Prozac per day, (minus the side-effects.)  If I do two hours of cardio per day, I’m uncomfortably close to frustration overload 24/7, but I can survive.  Less, and things go downhill quickly about two months after my last dose.  I’m weird.  Don’t try this at home.  Besides, finding out how many hours of exercise it takes per day to be the best me possible is exactly as fun as it sounds.  So do what’s right for you.

The thing about Prozac is this:  It interferes with creativity, sex drive, and for some people, appetite.  In my case, no sex drive, (and I started taking it soon after I realized I even had a sex drive.)  If you don’t know your sexual identity yet, don’t take Prozac.  I was a late bloomer.  I thought boys were gross until I met my ex-husband at nineteen.  If anything, it decreases my appetite when I’m initially adjusting.  It also makes me extremely sleepy for the first few weeks.  Others become overeaters for the first time in their lives.  It’s mean like that.

I want to turn off my Muse-repelling force field known as Prozac so I can do some artwork and find out the rest of this melody that keeps haunting me.  I don’t have it as bad as some.  I can ignore the urge to create if there’s something I’d rather do.  The Muse is a gentle whisper in the night for me.  For some people, she’s also a bitch with handcuffs.  But they’re usually outstanding at what they do so it might be fair.  I’m not sure how much choice they have in the matter.  They’re probably too busy being awesome to care.

I’m feeling balanced again, thank goodness.  You’d think after years of coping with PTSD I wouldn’t get so freaked out every time I hit a rough patch.  Nope.  I freak out every fucking time.  I imagine it’s like being in a fire.  No matter how many times it happens, it’s always alarming.  Plus, I think my mind lets me keep most of those times in short term memory.  Yay brain.  I finally let M. help me adjust my drum kit.  It was noticeably leaning because I loosened something I regret, and it just happened.

I was still playing on them after a few adjustments (without fucking with the rack.)  Now that M. helped, I’m a bit blown away by how much difference it makes.  It was worth the kick in the nuts to my ego.  I got over myself immediately after I started playing.  I’m starting to get pretty good.  I’m almost confident enough to start creating my own beats.  I only lack the practice hours.  My stamina is better, my timing is my strongest skill, and I rarely drop sticks anymore.  The part on my fingers where I lost the skin before getting gloves is calloused, but it’s barely noticeable (compared to what strings do to fingertips.)

I’m so happy to be feeling better.  I got busted singing twice today, but I tend to do it constantly when I’m happy.  It’s almost as good as the relief I feel after passing a kidney stone.  It’s a shame they can’t bottle the post kidney stone feeling and sell it as a drug.  On second thought, maybe it’s a good thing you have to suffer intensely for a while before you get to experience it.  It makes it addiction-proof as fuck.  I just cracked myself up.

I’m off to finish deep cleaning the carpet while listening to the rest of Al Franken, Giant of the Senate from Audible.  I love him.  I probably look silly laughing for no apparent reason every few minutes, but it’s excellent.  It’s helping me cope, and teaching me a lot about politics (in a way that doesn’t make my eyes glaze over.)  I forgot how powerful humor can be in learning.  If you want my full attention, make me laugh.  It’s my favorite thing to do in the world.

 

Cosmo Kramer. You ARE the Assman.

I had a productive day.  I’ve been overwhelmed for the past week or so.  Obligations with flexible due dates taunt me with temptations of procrastinating.  Instead, I took care of some early.  I’m just waiting for the relief to kick in.  I’m getting excited about my upcoming vacation.  The hardest part for me is exiting the airport.  I’m bringing my noise canceling headphones, which will help.  It reminds me of the obstacle courses in basic training.  I feel the same urgency, hyper-alertness, and potential peril until I’m back outside.

I still have a few things to catch up with.  I’m talking myself through an incident earlier in which I accidentally dropped my Kindle Paperwhite from my balcony.  I was well into The Witching Hour by Ann Rice.  I can still read it on a computer or tablet, but it’s not the same.  Fortunately, I didn’t get the flagship Kindle model which is ridiculously overpriced.  I ordered another one, it’ll be here next week.  It’s not a devastating event.  I can go a few days without reading and not expire.  (My feelings are getting on my nerves.)

I don’t know why my hands stop working spontaneously at times.  I have a recurring nightmare where it happens in slow motion while I’m holding an infant.  I’ve always been this way.  It’s frustrating.  I compensate by using pockets, backpacks, and I have a wheeled cart I use for packages and groceries, etc.  I use the rubber bumper cases meant for children on my tablets and phones.  Otherwise, there would be no point in owning them.  Sadly, it wasn’t enough protection this time.  I think my brain forgot to continue holding it because I was so absorbed in the story.  Sigh.

Damn.  Now I have to do something I didn’t have planned.  I would very much like to continue describing how utterly stuck I am, but instead, I’m going for a run.  It’s my quickest reset button.

I thought we all agreed on Soda.

I had a busy weekend.  I took a short jaunt to Denver, then began my spring cleaning when I got home.  I’m disappointed over the first period I’ve had since the election.  I was hoping so hard it meant I was done with them (early-ish.)  I knew it was too good to be true.  I’m especially eager for this event because I’m sterile, which means it’s unnecessary bullshit no matter my age.  There should be a consolation prize of no periods if you can’t make babies, dammit.  It was probably just stress.  My disappointment level is hovering around saw there was chocolate cake, then found out it was really carrot cake.  

I didn’t sleep at all last night.  I didn’t even bother laying down. I found myself in the middle of a mess at 2 AM.  I almost tripped into panic mode looking at all that stuff that needed to be organized and put away.  I broke it down into smaller tasks and soldiered through.  By the time I finished, my cat was ready to play.  Her favorite time to play is around 3 AM.  Refusing to participate often results in her walking on me like I’m playground equipment.  I’ve yet to successfully ignore this behavior.  Worse, I end up laughing which I’m positive encourages her.

My body is aching like it’s sleeping without my consent.  It’s pleasant weather today, aside from some light rain here and there.  I’m going for a long run in a few.  Exercise is the best way to get rid of cramps for me.  Hopefully, it will increase the chances of my sleeping tonight as well.

Is your father also in a Red Chinese prison?

Words escape me, so I’ve borrowed some from Nine Inch Nails (Every Day is Exactly the Same).  I’ll be listening to With Teeth on repeat while running on the treadmill until exhaustion because I fucking love irony.

I believe I can see the future
‘Cause I repeat the same routine
I think I used to have a purpose
But then again, that might have been a dream

I think I used to have a voice
Now I never make a sound
I just do what I’ve been told
I really don’t want them to come around

Every day is exactly the same
Every day is exactly the same
There is no love here and there is no pain
Every day is exactly the same

I can feel their eyes are watching
In case I lose myself again
Sometimes I think I’m happy here
Sometimes, yet I still pretend

I can’t remember how this got started
But I can tell you exactly how it will end

Every day is exactly the same
Every day is exactly the same
There is no love here and there is no pain
Every day is exactly the same

I’ll write it on a little piece of paper
I’m hoping, someday, you might find
Well I’ll hide it behind something
They won’t look behind

I am still inside her
A little bit comes bleeding through
I wish this could’ve been any other way
But I just don’t know, I don’t know what else I can do

Every day is exactly the same
Every day is exactly the same
There is no love here and there is no pain
Every day is exactly the same

Do you have any conceivable reason for getting up in the morning?

I’m not having a good day.  (It’s not over yet, and of course I’ll decide later that it’s a good day overall, but for now, it sucks.)  I find it disturbing that far too often, I’m as amused as I am offended by some of the things I read online.  Earlier, I mentioned to a friend a protest against Steam for hosting a game in which you organize slaves on ships, Tetris style, and listing it as an educational game.   They refuse to remove it.  Fuck Steam, this is offensive.  Unfortunately, my initial response was laughter…  Shit.  I laughed for half an hour.  But I still think it’s offensive!  I just don’t know how to process this information in a manner that isn’t hilarious to me, and I feel incredibly guilty about it.  This is the kind of day I’m having, so far.  Sigh.

At least it’s Friday.  Not that I physically went into work this week.  I was barely able to check my snail mail.  I just don’t want to leave my apartment.  There’s a reason I have a job that allows me to work remotely.  I dabble in agoraphobia.  Meaning I have the diagnosis, but in my case it’s not severe enough to call a disorder.  I acquired it after my brother died.  He was my anchor to this world.  My best friend, and the one person on this planet that I trusted without hesitation.  Even more than my Mom.  I was his sidekick growing up.  We got in a lot of trouble, but had loads of fun in the process.  He had Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, which in his case meant he was unable to foresee the consequences of his actions.  He used to make me laugh so hard, and he always defended me when other kids bullied me for having brown skin.  That alone made him my hero.

After he died, it was like having the rug pulled out from under me.  I was lost, and I was afraid I’d never connect with anyone on that level again.  I’m not afraid anymore, and I did manage to go on, but it was one of the biggest challenges I’ve faced so far.  I suspect it left me so numb, I didn’t fully process the loss of my parents and younger sister over the next five years.  Grief is a weird thing.  Recovery is cumulative and slow, but full recovery is a futile goal.  It becomes part of your baggage.  It was a relief to recognize I’m not failing at grief, I just needed to adjust my expectations.  It was the type of trauma that can lead to agoraphobia, but as I progress in recovering from loss, the severity lessens as well.  Whenever it resurfaces, I panic a little.

I remember too well what it was like to be locked into my home.  I’m not locked in now.  I’m just having to put forth extra effort in order to leave.  There’s a huge difference.  I’m also struggling with my frustration tolerance level.

  1. I’m stuck on several quests in WoW.  Usually, this means I’m too overwhelmed to be playing, and need to just step away, and calm the fuck down.
  2. I dropped my new insurance card, and spent 43 minutes searching for it.  (The ceiling fan must have caused it to float about 8 ft. from where it normally would have landed.)
  3. The man who parks next to me in the underground parking garage keeps parking ON the line, making it difficult for me to avoid dinging his car with my door when I enter.  (But I was too chicken to put a note on his windshield.)
  4. Something hurts, but I’m too agitated to narrow down where the pain is coming from.

I can’t remember what I should do to dig myself out of this pit before it becomes bottomless.  I’m going to go for a run.  It’s too hot, and the worst time of day, but I know I’ll feel better when I get back.

I hate The Drake

I just got back from watching Zootopia and eating pizza with other residents at my apartment complex.  The movie was funny, and had a promising message and undertone.  Basically, it was anthropomorphic animals playing out the human drama of racism, stereotyping, and intolerance, and where it inevitably leads.  Sort of an updated Star Bellied Sneetches.  Plenty of the humor was aimed at adults, with a few super cute scenes, and one anxious moment that caused the little girl in the audience to jump, grab her Mom, and giggle at her own reaction.

It didn’t frighten me, which is saying something, (when you consider the fact that Ghostbusters briefly scared me).  They ordered the good pizza, too.  Papa John’s.  It’s the best you can get delivered locally.  I had 2 slices.  Now I’m over-full.  There was a woman who ate 7 pieces, which I must say was impressive.  They purchased too much pizza, so they were encouraging us to return for more.  Some took that more seriously than others.  There were 13 or 14 people in total.  I sat in the back row because I didn’t want anyone to watch me if I got too into the film.  I usually get too into the film, and for whatever reason, I tilt my head to a 45° angle to watch.  It’s like my avatar’s rest mode.  It’s not really something you can explain to a curious stranger, and not come off as even weirder.

My strategic seating worked, and I wasn’t the only one who sat funny.  The guy a few seats to my right scrunched down until he was practically laying in his seat.  It was my second time seeing the movie, and I got a lot more out of it this time.  I acquired some new information, so one part that was confusing the first time became clever.  I love when that happens.  Also, I noticed something.  When I watch a funny movie with other people, there are times when they laugh and I don’t.  Then my mind rewinds the scene and replays it a few times so I see what about it is amusing.  This works about half the time.  So I get more out of a funny movie if I watch with other people.  Noted.

I was feeling poorly all day today.  I have a sinus infection, and just started taking meds for it.  Post nasal drip messes with my gag reflex, so I ended up hurling every time I tried to eat something.  Fortunately, it stopped before movie time.  My minor headache has been annoying me in the background.  If I’m not vigilant, it can leak out as crankiness.  So a movie was just the right level of social interaction.  I only had to talk to 1 person.  Two, if you count saying, “Hi”.  And she works in the office, so it wasn’t like we just met.  Yep.  Just right.

I’m banned from running until July.  I’m trying not to let that freak me out.  It’s happened before, so I can survive it.  My therapist said she’ll teach me some new coping skills in the meantime.  She gets that it’s my best way of coping because it’s also a stim.  I love everything about running.  The shoes, the track suits, the scenery, and music, and the feeling of strength and motion in rhythm.  It feels so incredible to have runner’s high coming on while listening to Amy Lee singing Lacrymosa with Evanescence.  Incredible.  I miss it already.

I make a new playlist every month, and create a mental video as I run.  A few days into each month, the mental video is tweaked and edited to perfectly represent the music, as well as how I’m feeling on my run.  I’m a bit of a gadget freak, so I’ve been using Nike+ and a Fitbit since they came out.  I’m on my third or fourth Fitbit.  The first one was my favorite, but it broke due to a design flaw.  Usually, the only thing I like about first generation gadgets is that they’re often built with better materials than the versions that follow.  My first Playstation 3 was significantly heavier and sturdier than my 3rd.  My original Xbox was built like a tank, (because Microsoft took a huge risk, and it’s payed off in a major way).  The original Playstation Vita had an OLED screen.  Now they have an LCD screen.  Second generation usually means cheaper materials and cost, but they address the issues most loudly bitched about from the first gen.

The Xbox 360 went a bit too far in reducing the cost of materials, and resulted in the Red Ring of Death.  But the Xbox One S looks fabulous.  I bought a Day One edition first.  Then I got disgusted with how greedy Microsoft was for my bandwidth and their always online, (and camera and mic) policy.  So I sold it on Amazon, and got a white PS4 Destiny Special Edition.  It’s lovely, and I keep it in the vertical position.  Then Tombraider came out, so I got the Xbox One Rise of the Tomb Raider 1TB Bundle.  And Halo 5.  That left with my nephew.  So now I’m going to order the new white Xbox One S 1TB Day One Edition.  They really need to stop with these ridiculously long names.  And you don’t go from 360 to 1, Microsoft.  Who’s in charge of this shit?

Wait a second. This book has been in the bathroom.

I’m not supposed to work on weekends anymore.  It blows my mind a little.  The people I work with don’t work on weekends, or after hours.  They don’t want to start working during these times.  They think work should be done at work, and when we leave, we should do other things.  They feel pressured by me to work more in order to keep up.  I never suggested this explicitly, but it’s the message they received, nonetheless.  So I’m adjusting to this change.  So far, it sucks.

I’ve spent too much time pacing on automatic pilot today.  My brain wants to build solutions to work puzzles.  I’ve finished my chores, and did a Twitter fly-by.  It’s nice outside.  I went for a run earlier on the trails.  I saw an older couple walking 2 cats in a screened in stroller.  It was adorable.  I starting imagining doing this with my cat, but when I came around the curve, I looked back and saw that everyone they passed stopped to chit chat.  So that’s not happening.  I run with headphones on.  Not in-ear buds.  Over-ear headphones with a twisty cable, an amp, and an iPod.  In winter, carrying this in a pocket is a cinch.  Now that it’s nice out, I carry it in my left hand, and my keys in my right hand.  This is so far from ideal, it’s ridic.

I’m on my third portable amp, and fifth iPod, from dropping them.  I think when I run, I let go as much as possible while I stride.  It feels a lot like dreaming.  I get my best ideas during my runs.  It’s when I’m most relaxed, and my mind wanders.  I should find a small padded bag with a strap I can wrap around my hand a few times to hang on better.  I hate running with sunglasses on, but it’s necessary in the daytime.  I do wish the R&D chemistry geeks for optometry would hurry up and invent liquid contacts you insert like an eye drop.  While you’re on that, could you also make an additional lens drop that causes a chemical reaction with the lenses, with the effect of protecting my eyes from bright lights?  If the tinting could be increased incrementally by adding more drops, that’d be cool.  Here are some other ideas for eyedrop contacts and tinting:

  1. Contact and tinting drops moisturize eyes.
  2. Drops last 30+ hours, but change daily for optimal use.
  3. Drops dissolve while sleeping, (closed eye trigger at x seconds).
  4. Dissolve tinting by closing eyes for x seconds, (then perhaps rapid blinking).
  5. Eco friendly packaging.
  6. Completely manufactured/packaged in USA.
  7. Employee owned (private?) company.
  8. Partner with Amazon, and have them do marketing and distribution.
  9. Have Amazon produce instructional video to stream on Amazon /Amazon Video.
  10. Pay taxes owed to America for the privilege.

I’m so ready to order mine.  So get on that.  I’m sure many other useful options will follow.  Like, liquid contacts that allow me to see better at night, or maybe even parts of the spectrum that aren’t presently visible to the naked eye.  Not to mention liquid contacts that make my eyes look differently.  There are people who will want their eyes to be solid black orbs.  Others will want every other design imaginable.  Sooner than later, there will be black market eye drops that grant abilities of a nefarious nature.  Then DIY drops, knock-offs, etc.

See?  This is why I used to work on weekends.  To prevent myself from running off on obscure tangents for no apparent reason.  Now, someone go pâtent that shit before a pâtent tröll does.