“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.  ✌🏽

 

“I wouldn’t drink anything called Moland.”

pain

I’m still trying to pass this damn kidney stone.  I’ve not fought one this stubborn since my first, when I was 18 and in the Army.  I had surgery to extract it, then had a stent installed.  I remember my roommate telling me I looked like I was in pain all the time.  That’s when the pain became conscious, and it explained why I was peeing blood.

I didn’t become alarmed until the pain overwhelmed me.  Invincible youth.  I was living in an apartment with my husband, who was away for training.  I low-crawled to the next apartment and beat on the door.  Two sleepy men opened the door, then looked down at me and called an ambulance.

I also recall I took a bath just before that, because I knew I needed medical intervention, and I was all sweaty and gross.  The paramedics kept trying to give me oxygen while I fought them to quit messing with me, I was in pain, dammit.  Finally, they figured out I was a soldier and took me to William Beaumont Army Medical Center, where I had the surgery.

While being assessed in the emergency room, they gave me a morphine drip to help with the pain.  It didn’t work.  It just added hurling to the party.  I remember a nurse putting a tiny kidney-shaped basin under my chin to catch it; only I looked at it, then puked on the floor.  I wanted to ask her if she was kidding first, but couldn’t speak.

I’d never heard of a kidney stone and thought for sure I was dying.  It was the first time I had surgery and turned out to be quite an adventure.  My mom said it was from eating meat, candy and drinking Mt. Dew.  I figured she was right; she was almost always right.  I didn’t realize it would continue plaguing me long after I stopped, though.  Sigh.

sad

I still ate in the mess hall, even after moving off-post.  I wish I still had access to one.  My unit was attached to the International dining hall.  It was awesome.  There were TV’s all over the place, usually on MTV.  The salad bar was divine.  And I got to eat with Japanese Air Force members, and soldiers from the United Arab Emirates.  When we ran PT, the Islamic call to prayer blasted over the quad.  It was my favorite unit.

I observed UAB officers prefer driving Mustang’s in custom painted neon colors, exclusively.  You could tell which units were American by what was in the parking lot.  The GI Cadillac back then was the Nissan Sentra.  There were over twenty in various colors parked outside our barracks alone.  I was friends with a guy who was a prince of some sort.  It was a cultural mishmash of awesome.  I miss it.

I miss living in the desert, too.  Today, I awoke to rain, followed by hail, and then snow.  It’s still snowing.  I’m tired of this damn stone and want to get back to my life.  At least I’ve done a lot of thinking about my novel.  The last time I was in Denver, I saw a homeless man on the street outside my hotel.  (I still say, “hi” to strangers I encounter briefly.  In Sioux Falls, it’s rude to walk past someone without acknowledging them.)   We made eye contact, and I recognized him from somewhere.  Probably the Army.

I could tell he recognized me, as well.  But we just stared as he walked on.  I’ve been thinking about him since.  I can’t remember where we met before, so I’m going to include him in my novel with an imagined life.  I’m trying to reason with my ambition since I read a lot of epic serial stories.  Part of me wants to write one, but Logic thinks it’s adorable.  Logic is mean sometimes.  Heh.  I’m off to practice cussing during another wave of pain.  (I’m an ace swearer when pain is the motivation.)  😂