Saturday, September 28, 2013


Yes!!! I got my French horn! It's so beautiful!

It's also really light because it's an inexpensive student horn and also a single, not a double. I must have played double horns most of the time because this is astonishingly light to me. Or else am giant strong Hulk person now. Hulk play music!

You know Hulk is on my phone case, right? But I was thinking I'm more like reverse Hulk. When I get all happy and excited I run around all over the place and exercise like a bandit (do bandits exercise? to practice for getaways?) and get much, much smaller.

Don't make me happy. You'll like me when I'm happy. Wait. DO make me happy! Wait. 

That means I'm angry right now, if I'm figuring that out right. Am I angry? Is that why I'm all Hulked out?

I THINK THIS MAKES SENSE. But then I can read my bath towel, so....

I graded some papers in McDonald's. And I drank some kind of blueberry pomegranate smoothie. It's moments like that when I think: this is some poorly drafted Matrix type reality, because obviously there is no earthly way that McDonald's sells fancy chicken wraps and blueberry pomegranate smoothies.

But then I dribbled chicken wrap sauce on my cardigan so I knew it was the same old reality as always.

I did not get done with today's grading. I have nine more to go out of 21. Tomorrow! I decided I'd stop by 11:00 in honor of trying to live a reasonable schedule at least some of the time. Ha! Not that I was up doing a puzzle of MOSTLY SKY last night until 3:00 a.m. and then couldn't sleep anyway after that. 

It's blue and gray and clouds and mottled and pretty. I love sky puzzles. But it doesn't exactly zip along. The mental health people say not to RUMINATE on things, but you are allowed to think about things, aren't you? What's the difference? I really don't know. Let me ruminate on that for a while.

Hmm, lately I keep having unpleasant interactions where someone who shall not be named keeps on picking fights with me and then starts actually hollering nasty insults at me. It's kind of amazing, because who talks to people that way? Insults. They start with "You are..." and go on to contain a lot of seriously unpleasant and also untrue (incidentally) things.

Yeah, I can't figure why I'd be angry. Heh. 

Picking a fight = getting in my face about things that she knows we don't agree about and digging at me over and over and over, trying to get me to get mad, and then when I don't, insulting me every way she can think up. Obviously you choose topics that you know will get someone riled when you do this. But I don't get riled. I say things like: "It's a free country. You can think whatever you want." 

It's sort of hilariously YA, isn't it? In a bad way. Like, in other words, literature that is AGAINST this sort of thing, I mean.

What else? Surly anger about anything I get excited about, like oh a French horn! Telling me I went on a shopping spree when I bought deodorant and stockings and puzzles. Yeah, your basic line crossing. (The Mary Janes haven't started to arrive yet, hee!)

So I came home with my French horn all excited and got cold shouldered and haven't been spoken to since. It's good to remember that this is someone else's problem! Your stuff! Not my stuff! I refuse to make it my stuff, though it's irritating in the way that, say, a sleet storm might be irritating.

I'm still excited about my lovely (cheap) French horn! It might not have the best tone in the world, but then, it cost me very little, and now I can learn to play all over again and wrap my head around playing in F. And it was SO FUN to be out at the little stone table outside McDonald's trying out the horn.

I picked it up and blew one note first thing, a big long B flat, to the surprise of a man getting out of his car, and then on that same note I sang to him, "I played a note! I haven't played since 1985!" and he laughed, delighted by surrealism, yay!

It's so weird to be so very into raining on someone's parade. What a misery. What a constant unpleasant misery! Sleetstorm, that's what. I want to do the opposite. I'm like, "Yay, a parade! I will bring fun stuff and march in the band! Oh boy!"

This! This is rumination! See how I did that? I know!

Now I need to figure out what music to play to learn again. I might have a beginning horn book somewhere. Surely you can get music as ebooks? 

Time to go figure that out. And incidentally take out some seams to resew, such that my black jeans will no longer feature giant ankle pavilions. Oh! And sew Nimona costume! Oh boy!

Your brain is chemical soup and someone added too much thyme

There would be thymus and thyroid jokes in there somewhere, but they aren't in your brain. Oh well!

Here's what else is not in my brain: peace and quiet, time off, patience, rest, sleep.

In TOTALLY UNRELATED news, I decided to taper off my meds a week ago because I was a sluggish pudding and could not keep my thoughts straight. Which was probably true all along, but I wasn't teaching then, was I? Also the doc upped my thyroid meds by half again, so I'm in a bit of a medically induced tizzy just now.

I cut them in half and BOY do I not forget to take that half a pill, I tell you what. Withdrawal is a beast. It's funny because when we doubled the dose a few months ago, I didn't even notice. But cut it in half and I sure am paying attention.

Here are some cascading effects: 

1. that insane urge to eat everything in sight has gone away. YAY!

2. spent every possible unscheduled minute last week in bed. Eh, not ideal, but then again, so what? I don't see the intrinsic value of sitting in a chair versus in/on the bed. Because there isn't one.

3. feeling all spry and bounding about when not actually huddled under quilts

4. reawakened that hideous foot thing by being all spry and bounding about

5. foot thing (Morton's neuroma) now hurts so much, I can only walk in relative comfort wearing Dr. Martens. Otherwise I scream, it hurts so much.

6. fortunately I have several pairs of Dr. Martens...but they're all boots.

7. and via ebay I have several pairs of Mary Janes en route 

8. because I was like, "Spend $100 on one pair, or spend $100 on four pairs? DOY."

9. there may in fact be more than four coming. see above re: reducing meds by half. 

10. isn't it good I didn't go and take the as-needed anti-anxiety meds that reduce spending inhibitions on top of all that? I KNOW. I would now own all of the shoes. ALL OF THEM. Yours! His! Hers! Theirs! ALL OF THEM.

11. I don't even care about shoes. I just want my foot not to make me cry like a coyote every time I take a step. It's a weird high coyote noise, for real, the kind where a coyote is saying hi to another one after they've been apart.

12. that thing where you see patterns in everything. Woooooooeeeeeeee. I could read you my bath towel. Yesterday I really was reading my bath towel. It does not actually have any words on it! 

13. I don't know why but I suddenly started wearing skirts instead of all those pants.

14. people are far more respectful and whatnot when I'm wearing a skirt. Why the hell would that be? But yay!

15. Also if you noticed #1 up above, I've lost nearly ten pounds in a week. Which kind of frightens me just because that medication apparently gives you this huge voracious insatiable appetite. But on the other hand, yay!

So anyway. Causes! Effects!

I did a whole frakload of work already this week and there is SO MUCH MORE to do. Like all the rest of today and all of tomorrow and all of Monday until class time. 

And then they're going to give me JUST AS MUCH MORE on Monday and Tuesday so I'll be right back here. Oh man oh man. It's daunting. It's alarming. I feel like going for a walk and going to sleep! Simultaneously!

Oh and I have wicked insomnia again. Awake until four! Up at eight! BLARGH. I hope this wears off, jeez.

Yesterday I ran all these errands. It was brutal. But I got brake pads, because the left rear one has gone all funky, which I'll definitely investigate in terms of cause, since those are not that old. And four prescriptions. And a big sheet of aluminum to make Nimona's round collar thing. And a selection of deodorants because mine suddenly stopped working a couple of weeks ago even though I've used the same kind for years and years and years. Which is where the smacked with a pine tree thrill of today is coming from. Holy cow, piney scent. DIAL IT DOWN. Actual pine trees do not even begin to approach this volume of pine. Sheesh! I can smell myself coming from rooms I haven't even been in yet. It goes beyond the limits of space and time. PINE.

Then I had to go out to the Amish store with the clerestory way out in that town where I once delivered a birthday cake to some people in a trailer. There I got some knee-high black stockings that won't cut my legs off. Amish people know from good stockings. And some puzzles. Yep! Puzzles and stockings.

The French horn person might or might not be driving down today instead of waiting for next week like we planned. You will have to deal with this story in medias res, apologies. However I don't KNOW whether she's coming today yet. I hope so, because I'm too agitated to sit here grading papers, however much I absolutely have to do that, so a nice break would be great. Driving into town, coming back with the most beautiful horn. Having donuts in between. 

Anyway. Writing! Writing is great. I've cracked a couple of story blocks and now I get to do that glorious thing where you charge ahead and have a blast. You cannot resent me for this because I've had ages of frustration. So chill. 

Yay, ipad just suddenly started playing the Wilhelmus!!! Een prinzen van Oranje! And so forth! Happiness!

Also I love having an office mate at work. I never expected to love it. But it's awesome. And teaching! That goes without saying, huh? It feels like all's right with the world except that I feel a bit like a tornado instead of the usual teapot. My normal ideal mode is tempest IN a teapot. Just got to get that balance back where it needs to be again. This too shall pass!

I shall now devour Smartfood and candy corn as part of my usual work mode when I want to jump out of the chair but need to stick to it instead. SIT DOWN. Candy corn and popcorn go together very well but I feel like there should be some third corn to go along with them. What is the third corn? Is this a snack food koan?

Oh! News on French horn! It looks like we can meet up tonight at eight. Since it's at a McDonalds near campus, I absolutely vow to you that I will run into a student in this process. It's like the law of the universe. Now I want to wear a trench coat and fedora pulled low and look left and right all shifty. 

Plus side: I can get my goddamn grading done before then if I stop noodling around and GET ON IT. Okay! Sheesh! I heard you the first six times! 

French horn day TODAY!!! YAY!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Better late me out, here

Better late than acetate?

No no no. That makes no sense. 

Better late than...

1. Sharon Tate
2. obfuscate
3. terminate
4. Terry Waite
5. empty plate
6. trucking freight
7. ?

Nope, no more, I'm done, because "trucking freight" sounds like such a great expletive. Trucking freight, Lazarus, if I told you once I told you a thousand times!

Holy trucking freight! It's been ten days since I wrote here last. Readers, forgive me, for I have flaked.

My time seems to be divided between aggressively relaxing in the manner of a frantic vacationer and racing around doing ten million errands. Oooh, the aggressive relaxation is my favorite, though!

Here are some but not all of the awesome fun times I've been engaging in:

1. watching lots of Warehouse 13, season four
2. reading and reading and reading and reading and reading a lot more
3. sleeping, mmmmm
4. fixing stuff up the way I like it
5. eating ridiculously great food
6. playing basketball
7. doing puzzles until my dog makes me stop
8. snuggling the animals
9. cutting brush (you know I love to cut brush, though I really don't know why, given that it is an objectively miserable activity)
10. fixing things that have been irking me for a long time
11. preparing for the sudden surge in busy-ness that is definitely coming soon, I just don't know when
12. writing in coffee shops, for real! yes!

Okay, twelve is enough. 

I got the fabric for my Nimona costume. Awesome! I'm so excited about it, I can't even tell you. Nimona boots bottom, I tell you what. Boot!

The ibook function on this here ipad creature has me all agog. I can think, "Hey, I want to read Eleanor and Park," and then download it right exactly then, and then start reading it. It's the ultimate book addict's instant gratification wish fulfillment device! Oh man oh man. Eleanor and Park!

I have wanted that book for so long, which makes it actually kind of hilarious that I had to resort to instant gratification to get it. Hee. That's so me! I wanted it without knowing anything at all about it. Kind of odd, huh? I've just read enough people whose opinions I value totally flipping out about how great it is. 

And they were so right! In fact they did not flip out ENOUGH. Trucking freight, is that book ever fantastic. It kills you dead. You can't stand it that things are as they are and aren't as they aren't. You want it so bad that you need to dive right into that book and make it so. But you can't! Because you are boringly real instead of in this much more vivid and mind-breaking book! Aaaaaaagh!!!!!

Now I want to read Fangirl and of course Rainbow Rowell's earlier book, but I have to pace myself a little bit here. Pace! Yourself! A little! Bit!

Here is something I'm not doing: going to the fabulous gym yet, even though I finally got myself an expensive pass. I had to force myself to get that pass. It was really hard. I feel like that sort of thing is fraught with doom for some reason. Honestly I don't know why. But I DO know that if I don't do it, I'll wish I had so bad that doing it is better than not doing it, even given the aforementioned fraught with doomness and terror and whatnot.

That is actually a fair picture of most things I do. Which is a whole issue unto itself.

I'm kind of looking forward to the hilarious spellcheck autocorrect things that I'll see soon. I keep remembering the old ones that people wrote LO these many years ago. Achilles, the great Greek worrier. Telling me that someone in Song of Roland is pudgy because he was described as a "doughty warrior" and the person thought the word was "doughy." Doughy warrior! I am filled with joy, no joke. 

People don't talk about warriors enough, do they? Because then I'd be reminded more often and that would be GREAT. Except wounded warriors, but that's a terrible thing and doesn't lend itself to wordplay. 

So, snakes! Snakes in a house! Every other day for five days now. Today was a snake day so I had to catch and release a quite young garter snake in the garage. The last snake day was a baby ringneck in the front hall. The one before that was a baby rat snake or possibly also a ringneck just outside the family room.

I know all snakes are mysteriously drawn to me (why? why? why?) but is this really necessary? Snakes in the house? Come on now.

Once I watched a great big rat snake shed its skin in the clear rectangle of drop ceiling under a fluorescent light fixture in our family room. Oh yes. I have pictures. And we got the skin out. It was a yard long. Or maybe a foot. All of a whole entire measuring stick is what I'm saying, just not sure which one. I can't really remember and I'm too tired to go fire up the desktop computer and find those old pictures. But point being: snakes and this house. There's history.

There have even been baby snakes before, wriggling out from near the family room fireplace and across the floor and into the hallway. So it's not like there isn't precedent.


Did I mention the blue/gray timber rattler I saw the other day? I didn't even know they came that color but when I saw it curled up in the rocks I grabbed my dog. Always a safe choice! Separate dog from snakes. 

I concur, vehemently.

I wonder what snake I'll have to put out in two days? How long will the every other day thing continue? How many more times will my mom yell, "Get the snake jar!" before I go totally blibbering?

Stay tuned, that's all I can say.

Well. I haven't been to the gym yet despite my constant yearning for racquetball and my new gym pass because a) aggressive relaxation seems to keep me from driving places and b) I really am a doughy warrior because all the basketball has utterly wrecked my left shoulder. ALAS!

I can play racquetball right-handed. I mean, obviously. Which is why I don't know why that's even on the list of reasons. It's not a reason. But then I'm all, "Woe, I cannot go to the gym of exercising because of my sore shoulder! And all my busted-up toes! Woe!" 

Even though you totally wear shoes and they would be fine.

Poor toes, they really have taken a terrible beating this year. I walk into everything. HARD. And I'm always rushing around, so that's a really fast whack on the toes. I smashed up the second one in ways I'm still not sure about so that it seems to come apart when I bend it and stretch it? That can't be right. It makes strange noises and can be utterly excruciating but then it's fine. Who knows. 

I managed to cut a huge hole in the ball of my foot by walking into a rawhide. True story. It caught in the rug and so the sharp end ripped a piece right off my foot. Ow. Maybe that's my actual good reason for waiting a bit, since that just happened. 

This is me:

[rushes around barefoot]
[crashes bare feet into large immovable objects with sharp edges/corners--doors, walls, etc.]
[time elapses]
[more rushing around]
[notices blood on floor]

Me: That's weird, blood. IS THE DOG HURT??? Come here, let me see your paws! Nope, nope, nope, nope. 

[dog sniffs at my bloody swollen foot, attempts to lick it]

Me: Oh, hey, it's from my foot. Better clean up that gaping wound and all that blood on the floor. I wonder how I did that?
[rushes around barefoot some more]


Sometimes I also manage to drop things like axes on my feet. And today, the huge heavy sliding desk drawer/keyboard shelf fell off the desk onto my big toe. Ow! Oh my proximal whatever that bone is!

I really need to learn all of the anatomy right now now now. Ooooooh....I bet you can get that type of thing on the ibook too, huh? 

Sometimes I have to sit around with a needle or other super sharp object and dig all the embedded thorns out of my hands. You can't always tell they're there until they get healing up. Plus they're the same color as my freckles, the little bastards. 

The drought or some bug or both are killing a lot of the rosebushes, plus a nasty freeze a few nights ago killed off all or nearly all of the gypsy moth caterpillars when they were just little fuzzy critters a half centimeter long. I kind of feel responsible, what with all my animosity toward both, but I can't really be responsible in any way, I realize this. 

Still, if this were a murder mystery, you'd totally point the finger at the person known for roaming the mountainside and fields with large shiny cutting implements, screaming "Die! Die! Die!" at the wild rosebushes. Circumstantial! I demand a lawyer!

I've read several Horrible Boyfriend books lately. Did you know this is a sub-genre of YA? I just made that up, shhhh. But oh my, the horrible boyfriends are so very well written, and the things they do that are huge red flags are presented really well, and the reasons why people ignore those huge waving red flags are completely sympathetic and awful and true. I have survived the horrible boyfriends! When you see these red flags, run! Do not look back! Say goodbye and get your cheese out of the fridge and hit the road!

Maybe get the cheese first, come to think of it. And you don't need to say goodbye. 

Excellent [Horrible Boyfriend] books: Lola and the Boy Next Door, a TRULY FANTASTIC book in every kind of way! And Dreamland, another from my beloved Sarah Dessen, which tells all the truth and doesn't flinch one bit. Not that anyone's ever done what that dude did, but they've sure done it emotionally and all that. Ugh, may they all be miserable and bald and eczema-ridden, or something. Make like the rosebushes and get all bug-et and leafless and yellowed about the leaves! Metaphorically!

Hee, I always imagine myself explaining why I do not trust their ilk. "Well, they're monsters. Trolls and orcs and warts and poisonous newts and bad news. I'm not sure why you DO trust their ilk. Maybe you could explain that, huh?"

I will tell you more positive things!

1. gave blood last week, WOOHOO! good for me for overcoming needle terror and making it happen!
2. got the initiative to get some bloodwork done, which meant getting it drawn from my hand because I'm hard to get blood out of. We knew this.
3. put my desk back up because I missed it so much
4. got out paints and canvas paper and a wee little palette but haven't quite painted yet
5. cleaned off my whiteboard of awesomeness
6. mailed little niece a whole whack of books and fun stuff like a banana bag full of letter tiles like from Scrabble
7. put everything I might conceivably want to do into ipad's calendar so I know when it is, even if I don't go. Knowing when things are really helps, oddly.
8. other lovely furniture rearrangement that makes kitty and puppy very happy, creating nests and caves and feelings of security and comfortable workplaces

Oh, argh, I'm very tired now and must go to sleep. Tomorrow is another day! Of the Wednes variety! 

Look at that comfy bed. You can too get out of the comfy chair and stagger the five feet over to it. Moooooove the cast iron music stand so you don't break your toes on the base. Do not smash your shin on the corner of the bed frame--the most recent bash is nowhere near healed! Relocate the giant pointy rock serving as a doorstop so you don't walk into it in the dark. Hazards! But you can traverse them and arrive at the comfy destination. Come on. Come on, hup hup!

And good night!

Sunday, September 1, 2013


It's sad to have your mind blown by the change in months, what with how they're predictable and all. But that's what happened this morning. Woke up, looked at my phone, saw the big number 1 on the calendar app, walked the dog in a daze, went back to bed for five hours.

Also I lost my glasses in there somewhere. I have a clear memory of getting up (probably the second time) and picking up the ipad and my glasses. And now they're nowhere to be found. Where are you, glasses?

Hello, I'm struggling with a powerful urge to eat some candy corn over here. Do not do it!

School started last week so I was an absolute bananacakes basket case, which meant the anti-banana meds, which meant I was really looped. I dislike those meds so much. I tapered off and last night didn't take any, with the expected nightmares as a result, but then today I was all full of energy (once I got up at 3:00, ha ha) and accomplished Many Things.

I don't like the "don't stress about it" aspect of those meds. Idiotic, considering that's exactly what they're for. But everything just gets let go! The result is things left everywhere, things undone, forgetting, making odd choices, and general disorder in life, the universe, and everything.

In related news, I seem to have some new gym shorts that I don't remember acquiring. But once I saw them there in my drawer, I did remember that they were on the sale rack over at Walmart's. (Sorry, people keep saying that and it bugs me. Over at K Mart's! It's possessive, I swear. Oh man.)

What have I missed? Oh! Rugby. I went to the games yesterday, but they were a) the first of the season and b) alumni games, so they were variably terrible. But they did feature a lot of dogs on the sidelines, including mine, and so much athleticism that I had a dramatic renewal of athleticism purpose! Yes!

Gawain and I sat on a towel with my big blue umbrella to keep the sun off. But it was still ungodly hot. I got a little burned but not bad at all due to hat and sunscreen and lovely umbrella, ella, ella. It was the heat that wrecked me. That and being a giant pudding. Oh, being a pudding at sporting events is terribly disheartening.

And now that umbrella song is on repeat because it'll be on repeat in my head anyway. Rihanna is the prettiest name.

Today in my energized state I finished sorting and labeling and organizing all the stuff in the garage. GOOD GIRL. Picked up and put away ten million things in the house. Did my work. I have all these jobs! Goodness. Watered the orchids. Found some surfaces that had been buried. And so on.

Let's have some New Month Resolutions, shall we?

1. Major movement of the exercise type, you guys. A lot.

2. Go to the sporting events! Inspiration! Fabulousness! Goodness! I printed several schedules.

3. Get cracking on unfinished projects. Unfinished projects drain your soul or something, I'm sure of it.

4. Spinach and squash. Do you know I adore them? Why don't I eat them more? I don't know.

5. Go to all kinds of things. Hup hup!

I did some great fun stuff. Again I say GOOD GIRL because my favored state is air raid shelter.

Fun and/or awesome stuff already accomplished:

1. Sewed up my leather professor bag.

2. Fixed up my beloved and ridiculously expensive black leather backpack purse that's been busted since I kid you not 2005.

3. Played basketball every day, oh yeah. Just ask my left knee. I need one of those yellow return the ball things though because half the time the ball shoots off down the driveway or into the woods and I have to spend 7/8 of my time chasing it around.

4. Conceived of a professional outfit plan (as opposed to my various tatters) and carried it out. It involves awesome boots and black tights and leggings and it's fabulous and easy and I will be so very set, once I resolve the top question. Thinking required.

5. Did this huge online thing for Online Job, phew! It took all last week and ate my brain and was hard and time-consuming and stuff, but now I'm golden. I am totally printing out the certificate to put on the fridge.

6. Began the process of figuring out this terminal degree program I'm interested in. This is huge. I ran across it and it said "Apply now!" and so I DID. Preliminarily, I mean. I have to go see them and talk about making up prerequisites and all that. We'll see, huh?

Sometimes reduced inhibitions have really good results. And you get gym shorts! So that's great. Whee!

I have to go make some squash and spinach now. Mmmmmmmm.

Happy New Month!