Sunday, May 24, 2015

We did it! We did it! We did it! Hurray!

Apologies for all Dora the Explorer earworms you might suffer for the rest of the day.

We did our trial boarding at the kennels. It was insanely stressful and exhausting but obviously everything was perfectly fine. The part I didn't like was Gawain turning around and looking back at me as I was leaving. Betrayal! Confusion! What the hell is going on here! This is not what I want!

Me neither, Gawain. Walking out of there with his leash and collar in my hand was seriously unpleasantly reminiscent of having my old dog put to sleep. Actually the whole thing was. Clinical setting, other people and dogs around, doing this hard thing that ends in separation.

You can't tell my subconscious anything, that's the thing. Like I KNOW it's not that, but my subconscious is all THIS IS THAT THING, CRISIS ALERT!!!

I was supposed to drop him off on the way to the psychiatrist, but was running too late, so took him with me to the doctor's office. She loves dogs. I checked beforehand to see if it was okay for a previous appointment. Dogs: good. So he got to go with me while I told her about the horrific violent bloody nightmares and Gawain dog noticed me getting upset and climbed onto my lap to comfort me. Isn't that awesome?

He's the best. Sure, bossy and likes to herd me around, but the best.

She got all worried about the violent nightmares. But as my friend D agreed, they're just school stress nightmares carried to the extreme. See, I was running two hours late to take the GRE, so I only had an hour to take a three hour test, and everyone else was done and horsing around. So I had my two #2 pencils and they kept breaking and I couldn't get them sharpened and nobody would shut up and I couldn't concentrate. They kept harassing me and pushing me around and I ended up stabbing someone in the face with a pencil.

It got worse from there, but that's the worst thing I did in the dream. Not too bad, right?

I told her that I used to play rugby and for two years my job was basically to beat the crap out of people. Knock them down and fall on them. Like, blood is not unusual. We all got bruised and bloody. It's not like it's an unfamiliar milieu. 

Anyway I'm sure it's just school anxiety ramped up by boarding the dog.

That was as stressful as driving cross country or having an MRI. Maximum stress. And I didn't dare take panic pills because I had to drive in unfamiliar locations.

Anyway.

Then I went to visit my potential future site of awesomeness, where there was nowhere to park. This is reality here. So instead of walking around campus, I just drove around a bit and then left. I spent ages driving around the beautiful hilly countryside, all llamas and goats and hazelnut orchards patches of woods and grass farms (where they grow grass seed) and berry farms and alpacas and bison. In other words, my favorite kind of landscape.

I was starving because I'd utterly failed to feed myself properly. Oh and I forgot my cup of tea at home.

This is because I was going to drive down to Crater Lake this weekend and camp in the car while the dog was boarded, since you can't take dogs on the boat in Crater Lake. Except the boat isn't running yet, and I forgot it was Memorial Day weekend, and there isn't really enough money in case of emergencies (like a flat tire, even) and hello, I was a BASKET CASE from boarding the dog. But I had packed up the car all ready to go in case I was feeling capable of a road trip.

Set yourself up to succeed, that's what I say.

I also managed to cut my finger somehow packing the car so there was blood on everything. Ack!

Anyway that's why I forgot my tea. And food. Getting the car packed. For the trip I didn't go on.

I still call it a win of a weekend because I did the hardest thing, boarding the dog. I got ready for the trip, also very hard. And I made a hard call not to go, which is always disappointing, but was the right call. Also visiting the campus should help reduce stress about going to that, since now I know where it is and how to get there from the boarding place. Okay!

I spent a lot of time last night with a magnifying glass and my Oregon map book, trying to figure out a better route. Honestly, GPS. It took me this incredibly complicated back route, when there's a very simple go north, then go west route I could have taken.

Also I need new glasses. Before this trip in June. Because I cannot see, you guys.

Anyway that was my fun weekend, whee! I'm wiped out. But I get tomorrow off! But not this afternoon. It's okay! I already ran around all morning doing stuff, like cutting down all of the insidious blackberries and tidying up the house, and doing all sorts of other yard work.

Yesterday I just came home from the boarding place with my dog, ate food, then crawled into bed all snuggled up with dog and slept for four hours. Maybe five. Possible five and a half. Then I was a useless potato all evening and just watched Leverage episodes and knitted things.

Right now I'm also utterly failing to feed myself. Jeez! Feed the human! The human needs food!

Other things the human needs to do include: wash the dang dishes, vacuum the dang house, mow the dang grass. Ugh! So much to do! It's not so bad. It just feels like all work and no play. Must play! Yes! Am working on it. Wait....


Wednesday, May 20, 2015

My secret lair

I have totally decided to run with thinking of my house as a Secret Lair. A Secret Hideout. Because it is where I hide out, secretly! And keep all of the awesome fun things!

I'm about to go run around and diminish my possessions right now. And get prescriptions. But they're small. I have stuff to donate to Value Village, where I got all of those wonderful sweaters, so I totally love them forever. And I have cans and bottles to return for the nickel or whatever. I have no idea how to do that here. I've lived in this town collectively FOUR YEARS now and I don't know where to go to return bottles and cans for the deposit. Lame!

So I'm figuring it out today. They're in the car and ready to go.

I may end up camping in the car, which is my impetus for getting the donations and cans out of it, see. Oh, I should vacuum the poor dirty thing too. All that dog park dirt and gravel.

Ha ha, so remember I had this blue vacuum, and then it got SUPER LOUD, like ear-shatteringly loud, so I replaced it with (this is the questionable part) another identical blue vacuum. Because: blue. Guess what the new vacuum is starting to do? Ha ha ha! Genius, man!

It's not ear-shatteringly loud yet, but it's louder than normal and louder than it needs to be.

I'm rethinking the whole vacuum thing, honestly. I like the washable ones because you can get them super clean. But then there are days and days where the vacuum innards are drying. Not ideal.

I'm working very hard on the psychology of LEAVING my secret lair for brief periods of time. It's super hard! I got a new therapist person! She's awesome. I think everyone is awesome when I first meet them, I know. People mostly don't grow on me, but more like the opposite. Recede? People recede on me. At least these days when I'm a crankypants.

I have to go see the psychiatrist this week, too, ugh!!! I hate going to doctor types or anyone even doctor adjacent. But whatever. I'll go. I'll say: I'm really super cranky all the time and don't do things I want to do even though I want to do them! Instead I sit around being cranky! Fix it!

And then she won't. Or will double my medications again, or something. I'm sure it'll be expensive and unpleasant, or else she'll do nothing at all. Did I mention crankypants? You were warned!

I'm trying not to be cranky about my upcoming ventures, though. There are four. Four! Four different times I must complete an exodus from my secret lair! Argh! All four are within a four week period, too. Oh dear.

Well, anyway. Superheroes have to leave their lairs to go fight crime, right? Or in my case, avoid people as much as possible while being in their constant company. Except for anabasis #1, where I get to be all by myself, whee! And go see something I've wanted to see forever. Oh yes!

If I go. I'm just saying, it's entirely possible I'll bail, despite dog and cat boarding reservations and whatnot. I won't bail for the other three things. I have to go to one, and I'm into the other, and the third is a gigantic big thing I really want to do despite absolutely not wanting to do it.

Hello, inner conflict, table for one.

New therapist was good. She had to ask me to explain a lot of things that I said. But that's all right. And she kind of almost didn't believe the thing the old one said about how if I don't have friends, I should go out to the same restaurant at the same time every week and that way I would make friends.

I know, it's so mind-bogglingly off base that it's hard to comprehend that a professional teller of things to people would tell it to a person. Like, was she thinking of Cheers, or something? Who knows?

If you are that bad at your job, you don't get to do your job to me, is all I'm saying. New one seems awesome. She's gone next week, though.

Could anyone really not be clear on this? I know where the people are. That's why I intentionally don't go there. I don't want to be around the people. I do not like people in groups of more than two, one of which is me. AT MOST.

I have to figure out a non-ridiculous doctor person, too, to sign my measles form. Or maybe I don't. Actually I just looked at the form and only I need to sign it. I happen to have in my possession the actual note from my childhood doctor with my measles immunization dates on it.

Wait! I cannot find it. It's not in the file folder. Hmmph. Well, I know I got immunized.

Anyway. Sorry to be cryptic about BIG PLANS but I'm in constant terror that they'll fall through somehow or I'll freak out and be unable to cope and utterly fail to go. But I'm plotting and scheming to make it so that I CAN go, including massive preparatory planning, so here's hoping. Here's intending, in fact. Here's to making it happen.

What else has been going on? Oh, I got a massive but brief Christian Kane obsession, culminating in his  surprise visit to my very own town, which kind of made my brain explode. It doesn't matter how much I know that events are unrelated to me and no doubt planned weeks and months in advance, etc., it just feels weird and strange and intentional when I get kind of focused on someone and they show up on my doorstep. Or a mile from my doorstep, in the state capitol. Whatever!

Boy is our capitol ugly, too. I apologize for that dome. I used to work across the street from it for three years, so I've gotten an eyeful of that thing. Not good.

Anyway. Great actor. Leverage is a silly show and tremendous fun, but after I watched five seasons of it, Christian Kane was clearly a standout powerful actor among others who are truly excellent too. So there you go. He just kills you dead with his acting. I don't have acting vocabulary so I don't even know how to describe it, except it's plain and real and infinitely moving, even in little things. Also brilliantly funny. So. Yes!

Like I had this whole revelation and epiphany about intensity and how the glory and joy of intensity is what we're really after in life, all from what he did with that character. And THEN I had a massive epiphany about what to do with my Perfect Monster main character, who is now forever played by him, but it also included huge ideas about all sorts of other things I think big thoughts about but hadn't put together. Anyway, Perfect Monster owes a lot to Christian Kane, for his sheer awesomeness, so thanks!

So now I'm watching The Librarians, which is not giving him scope for his insane skills at all. It's just starting out, though. I mean, I'm only like 2.5 episodes in. I stopped in the middle of one, which does not bode well, though.

The show matters. I know he was in Angel, and I saw every episode of Angel, but I don't really remember much about him at all. I think he was in a suit, though. Suits make people invisible to me. They're like a force field through which awesomeness cannot pass.

What a head full of intense ideas and emotions I had this weekend. And Monday, when he showed up in my town. Not that I saw him. But still.

It reminded me that I felt this way ALL THE WHOLE ENTIRE TIME when I lived in L.A., like just amped up to eleven nonstop, full of joy and excitement and possibility and ideas and potential and intensity. THAT is what I miss. And I'll tell the psychiatrist that. That and DOING THINGS. Get excited and make thing is my whole goddamn raison d'etre and these days I don't do either! UGH!!!

Fix it, professionals! If that means taking me off the stupid drugs, then do that! Gosh!

I did shoot baskets today. See, there's like this inhibitor on my carburetor. I think, "I could x," and then I go, "Eh." I could paint that picture I've been wanting to paint. I could finish that quilt. I could read this, or make that, or whatever. And then I'm like: slump.

At least the dog makes me go to the dog park every day. Good boy! Now I need the oil painting owl to swat me with a wing and the quilting koala to...I don't know, look cuddly, and the aardvark of destiny who pushes me to my laptop and bites my ankle whenever I stop writing.

It's a combination of agitation and slump. Like I can't settle to focus on anything, but I can't get up the energy to do anything else, either. Dislike! Dislike intensely!

Right, well, I'm off to figure out how to turn in cans for nickels or something. Cleaning the car out, that's what I'm doing. We'll see how well the car camping thing turns out. I'm perfectly willing to go to a motel if it's cheap enough and not creepy or scary or awful. Substandard locations for lairs. See, this is why I need an RV! I absolutely do. If I don't get hold of one this fall, I'll be VERY surprised, is all I'm saying. It will be my mobile lair. Then I can leave my regular lair with no worries! I know!

I predict it will be blue on the inside, with cute curtains, and bookshelves, and bunnies. And snuggly quilts.

Saturday, May 9, 2015

The people! The...other people!

Restaurant at the End of the Universe. No?

There are a lot of people outside the windows. It is People Season. They are everywhere! Having picnics, having parties, having weddings! In the park! 

I will be found in the windowless spare room during weekends this summer, I suspect. Or in the back yard. But it's super hot out there, dude. It's 80 in the shade today. 

Summer. I like how pretty it is. And it's nice when my feet aren't numb from cold. But oh, the heat, and the sun, and so many people.

The latest group to jump out of cars in front of my house has a boombox. Wow! 

I'll tell you an awesome thing about people, but it's partly about dogs, because: DOGS! We love the dogs. 

It's actually two things.

One: The dog party! This is very nice, now that my dog has chilled out about it. It's a bunch of people I'm familiar with and all their awesome dogs. I like to sit on the grass so my dog doesn't worry that I'm going to get away. And then all of the dogs come visit me and lick my face and get snuggled. It's the best thing ever. The only thing better than dogs is MORE dogs so hurray!

We have to walk pretty far to get Mr. Puppy tired enough that he doesn't mind the dog party. And if it's too raucous, he barks and nobody has any fun. Tired is key.

Two: My dog park friend mentioned her phone was croaking, kept crashing, which is bad enough but it held the only copies of pictures and videos of her dog who had died last year. No computer, for complicated life reasons, so I said I'd bring my laptop to the park and put them on a thumb drive for her. Easy! Except every time she's trired it with other people's computers, it wouldn't work.

I was determined to make it work. Of course, my laptop has Windows 8, which is so impenetrable and counterintuitive that I have no idea how to do basically anything still, and I bought it in October. Like I finally figured out how to make the font big enough to see *this week.* But I sat down at home yesterday with my phone (same type) and asked questions and figured out how to make my laptop do the work of downloading pictures off an iphone and saving them in a way that I could easily copy them to a jump drive.

And so it was! We set up on a picnic table with dogs all around and made it happen. I had a (blue, of course) jump drive in the drawer that I'd never used. And now she has all of her old dog's pictures and videos safe! Yay! I kind of want to burn them to cd or put them in the cloud or something, because even that feels so fragile and endangered, one little jump drive you could drop in the soup.

But oh, what a relief, huh? I'm so glad I could do it!

I downloaded all my own pictures in the process of figuring out how, too, of course. I've been backing it up to my old desktop computer. But. It's so chancy having things only in one place.

Basically I will never feel secure about having pictures saved anywhere, whether electronic or physical. I have a big wooden box of pictures that are the only copies. How safe are those, huh? I know!

This is the point where I have to admit the fragility of life and move on. 

Hi! I've been doing nothing all week except 1. work, 2. go to the dog park, 3. binge watch Leverage, 4. drink margaritas because I got too many limes and they're already trying to turn into squash balls, and 5. not surprisingly, stay up too late, and then 6. also not surprisingly, sleep far too late.

How dysfunctional! I'll run out of Leverage soon, though. Oh, I've been knitting while watching, or working on the eternal puzzle, or cooking, or building post-it outlines of books, or doing my checkbook or whatever. I watch on the iPad so it's very portable. And you know I'm incapable of sitting still that long.

But still. It's making me grumbly, the lack of accomplishment. Or just the eternal sloth of it, I don't know. 

I had a fun birthday. I had to make myself sit down beforehand and think through what I actually wanted for birthday dinner. I have this terrible ingrained "don't even consider what you want because you won't get it" problem. I do! It's bad. It makes it hard for me to figure out what I DO want. But eventually I figured out: pretty bright colored veggies and cheese! Mah favorite! And margaritas, my patron beverage!

So I got snap peas, bright colored bell peppers (not green), and grape tomatoes. And cheeeeese. Mmmm. The veggies are nearly gone but there's still a hunk of cheese left, which tells you I was on the right track! Oh, also cake. Yeah, I ate up the cake. Fortunately it's kind of small. Unfortunately it has approximately 5000 calories in the whole thing. (I did the math once long ago.) I don't ice this cake or it would be a lot more.

Mmmmm, Mississippi Mud Cake. SO GOOD. 

I had to work on my birthday, but that's no big deal. 

Mmm, I read all these great books this week, too. It's been all books and good tv and veggies and cheese and delicious sugary margaritas and cake cake cake. Yay!

At some point I have to wash all those dishes, heh. And, like, vacuum. Okay, it's not bad at all, because I did every possible thing last Saturday when I was so grumpy that my siblings forgot my birthday. They were just late, though. I mean my sister's thing still hasn't showed up, but she sent me a picture! 

I have way more fun giving than receiving, don't I? I have a blast putting together presents for my family peoples. Fortunately, I get to give more often than receive! I win!

My brother sent me this hilarious framed picture of my niece and nephew dressed up all in blue, holding cups of tea and bunnies, each kid with a foot on a soccer ball, with the gnome I gave them in the background. It's AWESOME. It's all the things I like in one picture! If there were dogs, that is. So funny and so great!

Here is how I cheered up from an inexplicably bad day earlier this week: looked up Corgi mixes on Google. So fabulous! They're all so goofy and silly looking and adorable and short-legged and cute! And they all have that excellent derpy Corgi face! I love it. 

In fact I was telling dog park friend who also has a Corgi mix about it when lo! Another Corgi mix ran right up to us! Mine is Corgi/yellow lab and hers is Corgi/beagle and this new one was Corgi/miniature Doberman. Just utterly freaking sweet and cute and snuggly. 

There's also a Corgi/Border Collie who comes to the park sometimes. And a Corgi/Husky/Australian shepherd who is the single most focused dog I've ever seen in my life. Focused on fetching the ball, that is. Throw the ball! Fetch the ball! It's so funny to see my own dog's bossy and controlling traits manifested in another half Corgi. 

Awesome! Just, gloriously, transcendentally awesome, all the dogs. I get especially wigged when a Brittany spaniel shows up, because my childhood dog was a Brittany. They got him two months after I was born, as my mother will tell you grimly. So yes, she had a two year old, a baby, my cousins who were three and four, I think, and a puppy. 

Ooooh, plus I got to HOLD a SLEEPING Brittany spaniel PUPPY two weeks ago! AMAZING!!! Even though that's the day I picked up Gawain dog and gave myself wicked sciatica and costochondritis and spent the next week and a half all wrecked and saying oof and ow all the time. And not walking much. Which at least allowed that stress fracture in my foot to heal. You know, the one I pretend doesn't exist?

I was going to go to the beach today, but a) slept all day, b) kind of don't wanna, c) no money. I know! It's the last week of the no money effect from paying down everything. Like I had to figure out what I might cook to take with me to eat because there'd be no buying of food en route. Maybe that's why I kind of don't wanna, eh? Like what if I need oil?

Sometimes my "don't wanna" is some other, quieter parts of my brain giving very good reasons for not doing things. I'm exceedingly good at weighing dangers versus possible benefits, but also very biased toward giving the dangers more weight. Which is another word for "anxious." But, like, mathematically anxious. Anxious because of probabilities. Risk averse. Especially when the positives are unknown, which, face it, they nearly always are. I mean, all of the most amazing things come out of the unexpected. 

Just because I know the system is flawed doesn't mean I can just up and stop using it, though. Anyway I'm going to wait until next week to go to the beach. If then. Heh.  

Maybe it's just that staying home here in my glorious life is so flipping great that anything else has to be outrageously amazing to top it, eh? Like a field full of dogs! Things are ridiculously good here. It's totally like the hideouts and secret lairs my brother and I used to draw when we were in grade school. There's a table with a puzzle! And food in the fridge! A kayak! A canoe! A basketball hoop! A bike! A car! All of the best books ever! A big comfy bed! A trunk full of yarn! Look at the action figures! Ooh, canvases and paints! A laptop to write on all day long! Tv if I want it, which I mostly don't!

In other words, I'm pretty much extremely happy to stay here and do stuff, though I do want to get to the beach at some point. Right now I hear there are a million rotten dead jellyfish washed up, so maybe another weekend would be better, eh? 

I had forgotten about that until just now. Someone told me this week. But I bet you anything it was in the files being taken into account. 

Part of the reason I broke up with my therapist (I know!) was because she would hear that I had a goal and then think that any objections I had to the process of completing it were somehow excuses or something? I don't know. There were lots of reasons. That last visit was the WORST. But if I have a goal, I also consider changing that goal. For good reasons sometimes. 

In other words, there was a very dangerous "don't listen to yourself" thing going on that reinforced my original "don't listen to yourself" programming in highly distressing ways. Look. If I don't want to do a thing, but I kind of think I ought to do it, I have to figure out whether I'm going to do it or not. It's up for question. It's not like I always have to overcome any objection and bulldoze myself just because I came up with this idea. There's no moral weakness in saying, "I'm going to the beach this weekend," and then thinking, "Eh, maybe I'll go next weekend when there's more than five dollars in the bank and I can afford lunch and motor oil. Not to mention the jellyfish." That's actually a GOOD decision, see?

So I guess in shedding some light on the decision making process, by ignoring it, she did some good in the end. By accident, though. I'm still mad about that last visit, huh?

Here's another reason I like the dog park people so much. Something fell out of my laptop bag yesterday and someone found it, then not only did they know whose it was, without ever having seen it before, they also went to the trouble of finding me and telling me where it was. And so I got it back. How great is that?

It reminds me of that time my neighbor M. knew I liked soccer because once months before I had used a soccer ball post-it note on my door for the landlord. Makes me feel not invisible! Maybe you have to spend time around people who think you're awful and do their best to pretend you don't exist in order to appreciate that fully, huh?

Guess what else? Remember my friends who were so awful at Thanksgiving, who I haven't heard from since? Their house is for sale! Dun dun! Which I only know because one of my old students on Facebook reposted the listing because it was her grandma's old house. All of which gives me twisty twirly brain, because, what happened, did they break up? Which I thought they were about to, honestly. Or did the dad die? And also, so many connections! And also I'm giving my old student the bulbs they gave me because now we know they used to be her grandma's.

That sort of thing, that's like, ROOTS in the community or something right there. That's why I came back here. I'm not from anywhere but I'm more from here than any of the other possibilities, I guess, huh? Life, or something! The people! The other people! I know!

Friday, May 1, 2015

Inspiration magnets

Ah! I accidentally bought two identical inspirational magnets at Powell's instead of the different ones I had intended. That is because I was wigging out! I was! I was all addled and hyper and leaping about!

The reason is: I got to meet the fabulously awesome Maggie Stiefvater, author of the unspeakably brilliant Raven Boys books. (And many other books! I'm getting there!) And not only did I meet her, but as she was signing my books, she asked, "Have you read them?" and I was like, "A dozen times! They're some of the best books I've ever read!" Which is true. And I've read evvvvvverything. 

Not true, of course, but I've read more than anybody I know. And that's saying something. I read everything I can get my mitts on. It's only a matter of how many hours are in the day.

Anyway after that I was stricken with adrenaline and had exclamation points shooting out of my head and tried to pay for my books at the information desk. So by the time I got to the magnets, I was completely carbonated in the brainbox.

I got one that says MAKE YOURSELF PROUD, which is about the most awesome thing my refrigerator could say to me. It doesn't have to be there, except there's nowhere else for it to stick.

How come I always think mirrors are metal? Honestly, I am an intelligent person, but I have this sort of block, no doubt from being told at a young age that the back of a mirror is silver or something. (Magnets do not stick to silver either, I know.) (Wait, do they? Am I even from this planet?)

Point being, I tried to stick one of the duplicate magnets to my bathroom mirror, but it just slid sadly to the vanity due to the laws of physics and gravity and all that. 

I could use that blue sticky stuff, though. I keep meaning to fix that one shower curtain ring with it anyway!

Ooh, I also bought a bunch of tiny Oregon shaped stickers with green hearts in them. They're small now. They used to be big. Now they're little. Or maybe I'm just standing farther away! Ho ho!

I had a fun time at the talk despite the excruciatingly awful sound system. I sat by this other knitting person so we could reinforce our Knitting Is Okay And Polite, See We're Both Doing It activity, because boy is it hard for me to sit for an hour without knitting.

As it was, I realized halfway through the talk that I'd left my actual money in the car, so I had to scoot out there and get it and come back so I could buy books. I've read these books a billion times but always on my tablet or library books. 

This is the thing about ebooks. I end up buying them in three dimensional form anyway half the time. Sheesh! Like The Goose Girl, I should totally own that, plus the other Bayern books. Exceedingly good. I need to buy copies of those Melina Marchetta books, too, Finnikin of the Rock and all. Amazing books!

I was in Powell's, I know! But I was exceedingly addled. Also I am in a slight financial lockdown until I get this cat vetted. He needs his shots! No extraneous lavish book spending! Good thing I was too addled to think up reasons why it would be okay, huh?

So go find Maggie Stiefvater's Tumblr and read all of her stuff written there. The reason is: she's not just a supremely gifted writer. She's also totally life inspirational or something. Like I read her writing and then I get all riled up and ready to go out there and live my life the way I want to and not compromise and go after what I want and then I'm all charged up and it's great. 

I forget this sort of thing! I was definitely raised to believe that what I wanted and needed did not matter in the slightest. Can you imagine? It's true, though. It's what I fall into if I'm not actively resisting it. 

But what do you WANT? I know what I want! Once I remember that I am allowed to want things! And that it's possible for me to get what I want! Because my default is: there's no point wanting it because I'm never going to get it. Yucky! But boy was that the truth, hoo!

I've gone to this therapist a couple of times now and she's really good with practical things, like how do I make myself go to this thing when I really don't want to go and have ten thousand reasons why not? And so that's super useful. But then it's my birthday coming up Sunday (feel free to shower me in loot and alpacas and Winnebagos!) and I expressed that I'm bummed about having no friends to do something with on my birthday. Like, duh! That is to be expected!

Only her response was: Well, one time on her birthday she lived in a town where she didn't know anyone and she just got herself a present and got on with things.

Which is missing ten thousand percent of the point. And also, are you paying me to talk about you? Because I sort of thought we were here to sort out my various tangled up threads. But most of all, hello, it's not about presents, did I say I wasn't getting any presents? No! I have presents from family! Hello! I said I don't have any friends to hang out with. That is a different thing.

So anyway because of various scheduling type things I had to call the awful psychiatrist's office and the awful doctor's office and then I was standing there at my desk thinking, "Why do I have not one single healthcare person who listens to me and who I feel like I can actually trust with my care?"

My friend D. said our town sounds like a factory where the poison and the antidotes are labeled backwards. Which is vivid if mystifying! But she's right, I go to them for help and I get these terrible experiences. That is the sort of thing my mom would say to me!

Look, unpack it a bit: what she was saying was that it's no big deal to be alone on your birthday, that *she* could handle it fine, so I should be able to do that, too.

That is not something a therapist should say to anyone. It belittles my concerns. It tells me that what I want and need doesn't matter. HELLO. Here we are again.

So I guess I'm in the market for a therapist again, as well as a psychiatrist and a regular doctor.

My regular doctor is being so awful. She's holding my prescriptions hostage and refusing to refill them until I go in for a "well woman" exam, which is to say, into the stirrups with you, missy. This is cholesterol and thyroid medication, completely unrelated. What the hell with the bullying? 

Also, guess what? I will NEVER EVER go to a doctor for gynecological matters who is using bullying techniques to get me there. Who on earth would do that? 

Personal goal: get a new set of healthcare people, stat. (Heh. Stat.)

I guess they did a good job distracting me from the solo birthday, party of one, though! Ha! Okay, I normally have holidays alone and I do not care, but last year I had my birthday with my friends and now we're not friends anymore, so that makes me sad. Also, I don't know, Christmas and Thanksgiving are family holidays and I'm a family of one plus two furry animals, and I'm GREAT with that, not just okay. But birthdays to me are about friends and going out and eating and having silly drinks and cake. Come on!

I just don't get the tone deaf nature of these professional listeners. The psychiatrist telling me to "be in a relationship" by May. Sure, after 16 years of not being even remotely close to that, I'll get right on that. Idiot. And then the therapist telling me that I need to go out to the same restaurant every week and get to know people that way. 

Like, what is that? First of all, I don't want to get to know people. People are the problem. Second, I had just told her I'm allergic to, like, everything, so going out is fraught with peril. Third, I can't be in most public places without severe anxiety, which is why I was there in the first place. Jeez!

It's not like I don't know where the goddamn people are on this planet. The problem is that I do not want to be around them because so often they are unspeakably awful, and even when they're not, they don't want to be around me. Basically, people and I, with rare exceptions (you know who you are!) don't work out very well. I like people *in theory* but in practice they like to be backstabby or they believe terrible things or they are sarcastic and mean or did I mention they just don't like me sometimes?

If you're not a hundred dollar bill, not everyone is going to like you. I am okay with that!

Anyway I'm thinking I might procure a slab of meat and cook it up. I was thinking pizza, but I've been making that every week. And I'm baking a cake, once I buy some butter. Where did all the butter go? 

I haven't gone to the store in a super long time, that's where it went. And when I do go, I just get veg and fruit and tortillas, basically. Because of self-imposed financial crunchiness! Which soon shall pass. 

Mmm, Mississippi Mud Cake. You know how cake can be sort of spongy and dry and flavorless, or sometimes spongy and dry and yet still greasy somehow? Gross! Well, Mississippi Mud Cake is dense and rich and moist and delicious every kind of way. 

I'm a little nervous to try out my new (a year old) Ikea pan, though. This cake tends to stick. I might end up using my seriously antique springform bundt type pan again, the one I've always used since forever. It's one of my oldest possessions, seriously. And I don't just mean it's old. Longest-term possessions.

Well, last week I up and watched Showrunners without any conscious thought about it, and boy did it fire me up for the writing! The logic went something like this: look at all these awesome people! I've met freaking MOST of these awesome people! Therefore I am a person who does awesome things and is at minimum awesome-adjacent! I want to be fully awesome! Let me therefore write the awesome things!

It was something like that. I decided to skip the quilt show I'd planned for Saturday. It was SO WEIRD the way this went. Like I'd fully planned to go, but then once I watched Showrunners, it's like I got my old glasses back and I was like, "Why the hell would I go to a boring quilt show? I don't care about that at all!" and instead I spent the whole Saturday working like blazes on writing things. Figuring out which was what and what was where, printing things, working up a plan, finding long lost documents. It was amazing.

And that carried on all week until Wednesday when my tonedeaf healthcare posse wrought their usual swath of destruction.

You can't wreak a swath. A swath is a path. I mean, in Anglo-Saxon, the word for path is swath. Like in Bede, where the pagans are discussing whether or not to convert to Christianity (spoiler alert: they do) one says that our forefathers have gone on before us but all we can do is follow in their swath but we don't know where they're going because they're ahead of us. What a great image, right? I admit I think of this all the time when I'm walking down a path in a field. Of course others have walked down this path ahead of me, but I can't see them or even know who they were.

Makes you think, huh?

Tromping through the tall grass, thinking about the Venerable Bede. That's me.

We were in the dog park and I was bending over to say hi to this Corgi when he jumped up to say hi to me and our noses met with more vigor than was strictly necessary, especially since his nose is closely followed by a lot of strong teeth that bashed into the bridge of my nose. He also managed to lick my sunglasses somehow, not quite sure how he managed that, geographically. 

You can't tell--well, now you can--but I keep stopping to slide my glasses back up because they like to slide down and onto the large sore Corgi-induced bump and bruise on the bridge of my nose. 

Just the other day I was absent-mindedly making my nose click where it got broken. It doesn't click more than before, so I guess it's okay. In fact, it clicks less, with the swelling. Corgi fixed my nose!

Oh! And I cut my hair. Just the scraggly bottom of the back, and trimmed the bangs, but now it's all page boy purposeful and neat and Mom-like. I very nearly chopped it all off when I saw how doll-like it was. But I have this goal of long hair plus bangs, so I'm going to give it a shot, now that the horrible part is all over. This is like a normal haircut now. SO WEIRD.

Oh, right, I was telling you about reading Maggie Stiefvater's Tumblr etc. and how she writes about stuff like making the outside of you look like the inside of you, and that sort of thing. And all this week for whatever reason, partly the doll haircut, I guess, I've been having mirror rage, like I get dressed in whatever drab yoga pants and murky shirt and then I look in the mirror and I'm so mad! It's been taking me forever to get dressed lately. Partly because of warmer weather. Give me a giant sweater and I'm so happy, but less than that, oof.

So tonight I got all dressed and put some lotion on my face and instantly got it all over the drab shirt I'd put on. But given the occasion I'd been rethinking that "make your outside look like your inside" type thing and also incidentally thinking about the stress fracture in my foot, which needs a stiff-soled shoe. So then I found my ridiculously awesome big black boots and my red sweater and I was SO HAPPY.

Not about the broken foot, which incidentally isn't new, but I've been ignoring it assiduously for a month now. It has not gone away! And won't until I quit walking so far every blessed day. 

Yes, so this is great. Broken metatarsal, typical stress fracture for someone who has recently dramatically increased their activity level. I picked up my dog the other day and set off massive sciatica in my right hip. I also managed to give myself costachondritis at the same time, if that's how you spell it, where you mess up the muscles and whatever between/among/around your ribs and it hurts like hell when you breathe or move.

Yesterday I totally face planted in the yard, too. Stepped in a hole the previous dog dug. It was invisible in the long grass! Boom, down. 

Really the sciatica has died down a lot. But the ribs are seriously unhappy after I picked up my dog again today, because he had a seizure. I take him outside for those because he pees himself. First one in over a year! No idea why they happen! It was a mild one, though it lasted longer than usual. 

So between the broken metatarsal, the sciatica, the costachondritis, and the Corgi nose, I'm a little bit beat up lately. And oh, as soon as I slowed down, my body was like, "Yay! Time to get fatter again!" and there goes all the progress I've made, woe is me! Except of course muscle tone stays around. I'm going to have to ride my bike or something, though, until this foot heals up. 

Come to think of it, standing at my desk all day is probably not doing it a world of good. Hmm.

Hey, I guess I am making myself look on the outside the way I feel on the inside, so good job, me! 

I am pretty excited about the cake, I have to tell you. And the ice cream. I am totally getting ice cream. This might be a really good time to get that recumbent stationary bike I've been meaning to get, come to think of it. 

I can totally picture myself riding a stationary recumbent bike while wearing motorcycle boots (stiff soles!) and eating a bowl of chocolate ice cream. It's not even a stretch! Hurray!