“An overdue book from 1971? This is a joke, right?”

The Outsider, by Stephen King

I finished reading, The Outsider, by Stephen King.  I read it over the course of two days because it wouldn’t leave me alone.  Stephen King is just showing off at this point.  He’s cracked the passwords to our private fear vaults, and rifled through that old shit we only think about in nightmares.  Then he baited the novels hook with psychological crack.  Even the artwork on the cover got me.

I didn’t get much sleep between readings.  At least not the type that leaves me feeling rested.  I had vivid stress dreams, but couldn’t remember them when I awoke.  My usual trigger of being stuck in an impossible-to-survive situation, no doubt.  Despite this, I’m glad I read it.  It will take some pondering time to nail down what I gained from the book, but I suspect it’s a better understanding of people.

Before The Outsider, I read The Plantagenets: The Warrior Kings and Queens Who Made England, by Dan Jones.  I learned a lot, and am surprised how much I enjoyed it.  It’s closer to a textbook than I usually read for pleasure.  (I heard the narration in the voice of Robin Leach because the author was also delightfully snarky.)  I’m such a doof.

curious kitten

I also produce the movie of whatever novel I’m reading in my head as I go.  I pick the cast using famous actors I favor.  Usually, Lupita Nyong’o, Charlize Theron, Rosario Dawson, Regina King, and Natalie Portman are in everything.  So are Denzel Washington, Tom Hanks, and Matt Damon.  Excellence is like play-doh.  You can mold it to any form.  And I still suck at analogies.  🙃

Now I’m reading a hilarious novel titled, The 100-Year-Old-Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared, by Jonas Jonasson.  It reminds me of Forrest Gump, so far.  It’s going to get me in trouble for laughing so hard after 11 PM.  I’m surprised by how (emotionally) uninvested I am in the characters while still enjoying it so much, though.  It’s likely to change as I read further.  (I hope.)

I’m guessing there’s a hidden symbolic character sucking up all my likes.  As much as I read, I don’t think of myself as a lit geek, because it takes me a while to recognize all the cool stuff in well-written novels;  like irony and hidden symbolic characters.  Let’s blame it on saccharin.  🤫  My band has a gig tonight, so I’m trying to fend off that bitch, Anxiety.  I’m winning, but the adrenalin is still releasing against my will.  I’m relying on the likelihood, whatever happens, will probably seem funny at this time tomorrow.  💜

“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.

You got a problem with paba?

The Depression Monster is kicking my ass.  I’m doing surprisingly well, despite.  Well, in that I’m too numb for it to touch my spirit.  The buffer has always existed, but it’s only recently occurred why.  I’m delighted by this new insight.  I’ve decided to accept it without analyzing it (to death.)  My understanding is enough.  How rare.  But I don’t dare linger here.  The brain zaps from Prozac withdrawal are happening every few moments, now.  It feels a lot like being excessively high on cannabis.  It’s almost out of me forever.  Yay.

I’m glad I went on the marijuana tour last year, or this would probably freak me out.  (Okay, definitely.)  I was awed by the amount of weed I was able to consume without consequences during the tour.  I watched the younger tourists consume far more simultaneously, also without repercussion.  It had the intended effect of eliminating rote fears.  Something about cannabis works the same way Prozac does on my brain.  Does this mean I’m going to replace Prozac with pot?  Nope.   😂  Fuck drugs.

While I had no compunction with legally consuming in the past, I’ve grown since.  People who were off my radar then are now present in my world, and their influence is intense.  I could legally smoke a joint in front of both Michelle Obama and Lisa Bloom (my imaginary personal life coaches) without feeling like I was hovering over a pit of doom.  I couldn’t do it in front of  Stevie Nicks, though.  I can’t even do it knowing Stevie Nicks exists.  So here we are.  Post pot life.  I’m glad I experimented, but fuck feeling like I’m hovering over a pit of doom just to get high.

It’s not even ironic.  Stevie Nicks specifically said to avoid cocaine, bourbon, and weed because she used the hell out of them, and it almost killed her.  She added Klonopin to the list of never do’s, too, stating it was the worst of them.  Through watching her documentary DVD’s and the interviews on YouTube, I learned of this dark chapter of her story.  It made me grieve for what she endured.  (That’s the only part that didn’t surprise me.  😂)   Do as I learned, not as I did before learning.  That’s fucking powerful.  I’m amazed by this turn of events, but not upset.

I’m pretty confident I was born high enough.  I don’t need mood altering substances to tease reality.  I can just read a Stephen King novel.  Or Clive Barker, who is rapidly gaining my loyalty as a reader.  I abandoned Tess of d’Ubervilles by Thomas Hardy quickly, and read Duma Key by Stephen King, instead.  If you’re an artist, read Duma Key.  You’re welcome.  (It’s an excellent story, regardless.)  I’m done reading fiction that centers on women as victims.  I’m basically abstaining from the Lifetime Channel variety of novels forever.  ‘Cuz holy shit.  It’s like forced empathy training for sociopaths, (as if that would work.)

What?  Your novel is about a woman who got raped?  (Visualize me running away, screaming “Fuck!”)  I don’t even watch TV anymore.  I have four TV’s, two of which are newer 4k LG’s with HDR.  I’m going to give away the other two.  The new ones are still useful for movies and video games.  And to watch Will and Grace when it starts, of course.  My other show, Better Things, I buy to stream via Amazon.  I’m going to give away my Fire TV, too, since I just realized I haven’t used it since I set it up a year ago.  Oops.  Roku made it redundant.  I haven’t even looked at the Apple 4k whatever.  I’m good.

I need to give away my excess computers, too.  My house AI can stay once I adjust her, but all the single card computers can go.  I don’t need to know the humidity level of my bedroom while I’m  sleeping, for starters.  I regret I’ve crossed the line between smart home and smart ass home.  Sigh.  I thought I would love it, but it turns out I find it incredibly annoying between the hours of 2 and 4 AM.  Even Wanda Sykes couldn’t make me laugh during that time…  On second thought, she probably could.  😂  But until she shows up to try, I’ll be sleeping during those hours.  I’m off to debug de-feature.

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.