“City so nice, they named it twice. The other name is Manhattan.”

laughing child

I’ve noticed comedians keep me from becoming too extreme in my views.  They generally do it by making me laugh at myself and recognize I can’t even see the middle from there.  I don’t suffer public shame as a result and can grow promptly.  Thanks, comedically adept people of earth.  Laughter is one of the best gifts in the world.  It’s up there with life.  💜

I’m officially an audiobook only person, now.  Dear authors, if you want me to read your books, make sure they’re available on Audible.  Otherwise, I won’t be reading them.  Audiobook listening is more intense than reading written words.  I get far more from the story in a much shorter amount of time.  I’m auditory oriented, so I’m extra excited about this.  Listening to a story reaches me more effectively because I’m not using part of my brain to translate symbols.

I’ve been processing information auditorily since birth.  Reading came later, and it takes me longer because I’m controlling the pace, and I pause to think about unrelated shit to distraction.  It’s natural for me to remain focused when listening to a story because I’ve been training for this my whole life.  I love that I can do it anywhere, (and now my Echo is more than a sleep noise generator and listening post for Alexa.  ((I’m too non-verbal to worry about training it beyond what’s already out there.))

laughing adult

Whew!  I almost got off on an AI tangent guaranteed to make your eyes glaze over.  My new favorite saying is, read the room.  I think I first heard it on Grace and Frankie.  I was unaware such a concept existed before hearing it, so imagine my level of obsession.  (It reminds me of stretching my superpower to encompass and protect a group of allies like in The Twilight Saga.)  I like long epic sagas, and I read several annually.  I’m going to save years by only using Audible.  I’m so thrilled I don’t care that Amazon isn’t paying me to gush over Audible.

The only must-read book I’m not going to reread as an audiobook is Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky.  That book put me in the head of someone else on a level so visceral it left a scar.  I would not like to experience a more intense version.  Heh.  I ordered some new coloring books so M and I can color while we listen together.  We’re going to listen to the Harry Potter series this winter.  (He’ll pick next.)

As a writer, I’m even more excited.  I already know who I want to read my books.  (They’re all podcasters.)  It’s made writing more fun.  It’s allowing me to read the room as I write, because I can hear the words in my mind, now.  Or something.  I hope all the people with Dyslexia and other issues that make reading less than fun have access to this medium because it’s fabulous.  It’s a sweet spot for me because movies so easily overwhelm; (my mind also uses a different operating system than typical.) Yay.  💜✌🏽

“Stop it, Kramer, you’re freaking me out.”

person in cosplay costume

I just got back from a mini vacation in Denver.  M thought it would be an excellent way to shake loose from the downward spiral into a pit of depression.  It worked.  I’m feeling so much better.  I’m nearly giddy — a pleasant side-effect of getting baked while in Rome.  I feel energized from reaching a state of zero anxiety.  Half the effect is from the sense of awe over the achievement.  I always forget how incredible it feels.  It makes for a delightful surprise each visit.

It also reminded me of the cost demanded in vulnerability.  In my case, partaking is a buddy exercise only.  Heh.  I cherish this knowledge like someone who thinks way too much.  🙃 (Jordan Peele made us cool.)  I slept like Gayle King after an R Kelly interview last night.  I woke up laughing, feeling like I could conquer my chores before noon.  (Done.)  I worked on my story in progress like Mavis Beacon was testing my typing for several hours.  The Muse must have been pleased to see me discover that headspace.

The only con is I didn’t do an ergonomic check before I jumped in.  I’m don’t stay in the same position for too long, or you’ll move like you’re 100 for an uncomfortable minute years old.  It’s still funny every time I forget;  bonus.  I had a great time in Denver.  I behave like someone who hasn’t been around enough diversity for a long time and can’t reign in the huge grin.  I strongly suspect it factors into why I find the people of Denver so kind.

cute bearded person

I beta tested a prototype while visiting, and it’s triggered all sorts of thought paths for potential usability.  Air traffic controllers, surgeons, and neurodiverse people were obvious beneficiaries immediately.  By the time I strayed onto a different thought tangent, I had decided it would probably be useful to everyone who wanted to use it.  I merely applied a bit of capitalist tinged triage on the fly.  (Those are people I know are often under tremendous pressure.)

Despite having fun, coming home was the best part.  I longed for home while enjoying myself.  It’s confirmation I’ve successfully configured my living space.  It’s where I want to be.  I had no idea this was the prize.  It’s fabulous!  The funny part is I think it’s going to weaken my tendency toward agoraphobia.  When I know, I have a place where I can genuinely exhale, awaiting my return, going out is a lot less painful.  Yay.  Thank goodness for Marie Kondo.

I think the most important thing she taught me is organization and awareness of my connection to my stuff is a beautiful coping skill for anxiety and depression.  (Usually, what’s good for us is good for most, because many don’t know they dabble in juggling these challenges, too.)  I didn’t bring my new camera because I’m not even sure which parts of it I’m not supposed to touch yet.  I only know those parts exist.  (I’m such a noob.  😂)  I’m off to continue re-reading A Wise Man’s Fear by Patrick Rothfuss.  (We’re in Fae.  😆)

“I don’t know about you, but I’m getting a hankering for some Doublemint gum.”

whale kite

 

Welp.  I didn’t wait for spring to begin rearranging and organizing my living space.  I’ve suffered far fewer minor injuries than usual in the process.  Being present in my body helps, indeed.  Who knew?  (So many people I won’t bother to list them. 😂)  If not for repeatedly reinjuring the same spots, I’d be pain-free right now.  I haven’t purchased a bunch of storage containers (yet.)  Using what I already have is proving sufficient, so far.  Yay.

In the past, I’ve always completed this task in a single day (lasting into the wee hours of the morning.)  This time, I’m using a tailored version of Marie Kondo’s method.  It involves a lot of thanking inanimate objects for their service before donating or tossing them.  I’m only keeping things that spark joy™.  The process makes me happy enough to cancel out the anxiety over making a huge mess, then slowly unmaking it.  Mostly.  Music helps with what remains.

I’ve uncovered a lifetime supply of velcro cable ties.  (I didn’t realize I took cable organization so seriously.)  I’m collecting them in a laundry basket until I’m done setting up my home studio/playroom.  Knowing me, I’ll spend at least a day making all my cables look pretty at some point.  Even though I recognize I’ll forever be adding and swapping out equipment as my synthesizer obsession grows.  (It’s a sickness.)  🤣

seek no approval

 

As I’ve stated before, I’m very literal.  Whenever I rearrange my physical possessions, I spend the time also mentally processing and discarding false presumptions about the people in my world.  I’ve always been like this.  As a child, I substituted my space with Barbie accessories and the multilevel mansion my brother built me out of wood scraps.  I would spend hours trying to wrap my head around the complexities of relationships and communication while lining up tiny plastic shoes and reupholstering cardboard furniture with glue and quilting scraps from my mom’s stash.

It’s funny how little we change in some ways as we age.  My main focus is on tweaking the lighting and flow of furnishings.  I’ve eliminated several things I used to bump into as I move about my space constantly.  (I’ve accepted I’m likely never going to be very good at controlling my avatar.)  The sofa is history.  I’m a floor sitter.  All it did was get in my way.  M has a beloved recliner for gaming and watching TV.  I have a floor cushion.  The gaming computers are in the living room, now, and the chairs can be turned around to provide guest seating if necessary.

I’ve never owned a dining table.  The kitchen island suffices for that.  The dining room isn’t a room;  More like an afterthought near the kitchen.  I put my drum kit there, instead.  I couldn’t stand having it in the small bedroom.  It felt too closed-in.  Now it’s perfect.  Music is the heart of my home.  Everything is centered around creating.  I can already tell it’s working as I’ve thought of a new story and have half composed a song in my head.

swings in the snow

I have two novels in progress at the moment.  It surprises me, as I expected to only work on one at a time.  The stories are unrelated, but my process seems to entail learning from one and using the new skills in the other.  As I bounce between them, it’s occurred to me I’ll likely produce several incomplete books I’m not ready to finish yet.  I have to dream them first, and much of dreams birth from experience and observation.

I’m delighted by how much joy I’ve found all around me.  I used to roll my eyes at sentimentality, but it turns out I’m one of them.  Heh.  I have a pile of things I no longer want to own, but love.  I’m going to photograph them and store the images in the cloud before purging them.  It’ll be fun to browse through the photos years from now and remember all the stuff I’ve loved at various points in my life.  (Good thing my new camera came with a photography tutorial.)  😂 I’m off to beat my drums with sticks.  ✌🏽💜

“Sven-jolly? I didn’t say Sven-jolly.”

mother reading to child
The Invisible Story, I presume. Shh.

I’m presently re-reading A Game of Thrones in the A Song of Ice and Fire series, by George R. R. Martin.  I only made it to season 4, episode 8 of the HBO series.  (The Mountain and the Viper.)  I suspect I’ve witnessed too much real violence to find entertainment in (or much tolerance for) the acted versions.

Fortunately, I can handle the novels.  PTSD triggers are unpredictable and nonsensical sometimes.  I read the books before the series, but the actors are who I visualize while reading this time.  Props to whoever cast the show.

My perceptions of many of the characters have changed between readings.  For example, I felt sympathetic to Catelyn Stark ten years ago.  Now, I find her snobbery disturbing and am offended by how she mistreats John Snow.  I didn’t notice these traits a decade ago.

I’m fascinated by the details.  It’s like I’m reading the story in ultra-high definition, this time.  Heh.  I’m studying the writing and pondering all the data extracted so far, trying to build a sense of what’s to come (so I can brace for it.)

I haven’t read or discussed any series spoilers for the episodes I haven’t watched.  I’m curious, but I want to form a few theories of my own before I find out.  My ego can have this one since it’s harmless.  Yay.  🙃  I think the No! I Want To Do It Myself! Mindset was no phase.

That's no moon, it's a space station.

That’s no moon, it’s a space station.  – Obi Wan Kenobi

I knew once I was ready to make writing my career, something else would probably get neglected.  It looks like that something is video games.  I haven’t played Warcraft in a while, (even though my annual subscription just renewed.)  Usually, the guilt of having paid for it already draws me back.

There’s an expansion pack coming out soon, but I haven’t even read about it.  I feel grateful to Blizzard for all the non-violent and funny content they include for people like me.  Ah, well.  It’s there for me if I need it, so it’s all good.  🤪

M has been teasing me for using Game of Thrones words.  Heh.  Yep, I like the word, jape.  Yep, I plan on using it as often as possible in the foreseeable future.  Yep, I adopt dialect alterations based on novels that intrigue me.  Who doesn’t?  I’m off to practice.  ✌🏽

“So, you’re still master of your domain.”

Adidas Alphabounce Em

It’s hot today (86° F.)  The outdoor pools opened and are already busy.  I’m happy because I’m wearing my new running shoes.  Adidas Alphabounce EM’s.  They’re fabulous and bouncy.  They also make me an inch taller.  Bonus.  New sneakers bring me so much joy.  Props to Adidas;  the quality is impressive.

I can’t wait to break them in.  I’m changing up my fitness routine.  Running alone isn’t a sufficient exercise regime for me.  (I’d have to run a lot faster and farther for it to suffice.)  It’s more a stim with minor cardio benefits.  I’m going back to what Jane Fonda taught me, (because she’s 80 now, and she could probably kick my ass.)

 

High-impact aerobics is the best workout I’ve discovered so far.  It’s a full body workout in an hour.  It includes music and dance-like movements, which make it fun.  It sucks at the beginning because it’s 45 minutes of cardio similar to running at 75% speed, 10 minutes with weights, and 5 minutes of stretching.

My 5-miles a day runs at whatever pace I feel like running won’t save me from huffing and puffing my way through the first few sessions, (at least.)  I plan on using my marathon stick often to prevent soreness.  I have one for my feet, too.  I remember how fantastic I felt when I was at my peak fitness level.  I’m going back there to stay.  Bring it, menopause.

It helped so much when I was in school, too.  I’m planning to take a writing course next semester.  Now that I’m writing a novel, I want more information, and I have questions.  None of my previous coursework dealt with things like character development.  Most of what I know is from being a voracious fiction reader.

Aside from feeling like I don’t know what the hell I’m doing, the writing is going well.  The novel I’m creating is series of interrelated short stories of a speculative fiction nature.  I’m having fun in the process.  I write for a while, then sit on my balcony and think for a bit, with a little pacing in the mix.  It seems to be my method.  I’m off to band practice.  ✌🏽