Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Face to face with what I do not know

Ack! I do not know how to write a short story. Which I suspect means I don't know how stories go, really, because short stories (I think) are just shorter versions of long stories, aka novels, right? Anyway I bonked into that realization and went and looked up how to shape a short story, and then realized I was not going to do it that way anyway.

I'm in the process of translating a tv spec script I wrote in 1996 into a short story. Very interesting and strange process. For one thing, this is when I really started writing, around 95-96. I'm constantly banged on the head with the terrible way things went back then, which distracts me from the actual writing, which is how I ended up here, trying to sort it out so I can get it OUT OF THE WAY.

I was on track and doing all the things and everything went right. Actually I was doing two huge things at once. One, I was in grad school, in a PhD program. Two, I was pursuing tv writing. And then three, this dude pursued me and even though I had forsworn relationships entirely, to the point of going to the clinic for a vial in order to pursue offspring on my own, after a year of being chased around in a sort of tone deaf way by this guy (and getting no results from the clinic) I decided to give him a chance.

That sounds like 20/20 hindsight but it was that pragmatic. Like, heck, maybe this will work. I don't have a lot of illusions about me and men. I mean, they are socially programmed to be assholes, it's just a fact. They have to win all the time, especially over women. Imagine spending all your time around someone who wants to get you to do everything and also wants to be a lazy jerk. Just my experience 100% of the time, heh. So, you know, blame the culture or whatever but why would I want to deal with that? In fact, as a nanny, I would never even work in a household that had a man in it. Single women or lesbian couples only. Seriously.

I don't know how everyone doesn't see this, but whatever. Blah blah, not all men, yawn. Read that emotional labor article. Listen to any conversation where the guy constantly talks over the women. I could have a llama in the living room, too, but why would I want to? Why?

Anyway. That relationship turned out very badly because the dude was a raging narcissist with no empathy or even a grasp that other people had whole lives of their own. I'd say only a bit to the right of the middle of the spectrum of normal guy stuff. Before he bailed on the plan, however, he got me to give up my assistantship and therefore my income and also incidentally my degree, it turned out, as well as my house and my support system and all my friends, and got me to sign a lease in another city and accept work there. And THEN bailed.

That derailed my education and obviously my tv writing plans.

My advisor was already fighting me on the writing, though. She hated it that I liked to write and tried to sabotage it every step of the way.

I work so hard these days to avoid getting into positions where people can control and/or sabotage anything I do. It's seriously one of my biggest motivating factors. Do not control me or wreck things that I want to do! I'm sure a nice therapist person would argue that I'd have to allow for the possibility of things getting wrecked in order to get good stuff. Like llama fur. But then I'd have to have the llama. No thank you!

Writing, man. I LOVED writing all those specs during grad school. I even liked writing papers and things for grad school. I was doing all the right things for both. I only stopped when that dude bailed and the whole emotional rug got pulled out from under me in every possible way. I think I'm still looking for a rug, you guys! I do not trust any rugs no matter what! I am rug wary.

Also I'm super associative so I didn't really want to write either type of thing after that. I started working on novels instead. Also full screenplays. And teaching a lot. I love teaching. And here we are.

I write lots of things, but I don't finish them, and I don't do anything with them. That's my central issue. I'm in school for writing and it is FLIPPING GLORIOUS because I'm learning so much and because I'm actually doing the work, which did I mention I love to do? I love it. There's nothing I love as much as writing, except maybe my animals, and tea. And not being controlled or manipulated or bullied or whatever. Right.

The only thing that keeps sidelining me is that I'll be charging along and then I'm like, "Wait," and I look around, like something is creeping up on me. Like I have to be ALERT or it will GET ME. Writing is scary because I'm submerged, see? I don't like going off guard duty to sink into it. Same with music, painting, even watching tv or movies, or reading.

I don't know how to solve the security/confidence problem of writing. I want to stop and go do something else, fidget and rattle and distract myself.

It certainly helps a lot that I got off those meds that were making me so freaking anxious. But look. Right now. I'm on the couch. I'm not that comfortable physically, so I want to get up and do something else. (My back always hurts, so that's typical. The couch is a day bed, which hurts less than any other couch. New mattress coming tomorrow for it!) There's a plastic skull looking at me. That's really bothering me, just at the edge of my peripheral vision. The dog stopped fussing at me finally, thank goodness, but now the cat wants his dinner. I'm balancing the laptop on the edge of the table and on a pillow to get it close enough to me to write on. It's tippy and not working very well at all. I will stop in about two seconds because there's enough annoyance to bug the crap out of me.

This is the most perfect writing house I've ever seen, especially now that there's snow on the ground, which makes it infinitely quieter. I will get up and sit in the red chair by the fire soon. And turn on the fire. That will help me sit still. Headphones also really help, so I should get those out. Look, problem solving! I always have to thank Laurel Violet in my head every time I start figuring out how to fix things. That was just not how I was raised, y'all! I was raised to focus on the annoyance.

I'm working on it. Focus on the goal instead. I need 7500-10000 words of this story. I have 9353 words of spec script. Obviously a lot of that has to go, because it's all scripty layout words and things.

Lordy, I'm so focused on pushing away the bad stuff, I have no frame of reference for going to get the good stuff. You can definitely date it to 1998-99. I wish I could delete some files! Change some habits! Fix my wagon!

I do actually need to fix my wagon, in the sense of get the Outback fixed. Apparently they'll fix it while you're out of town if you park it at the airport. How about that? Must look into it.

Anyway. I feel like a coach who is looking at the amazing player who is running around the field carrying an anvil and somehow unable to play the game up to her potential. PUT THE GODDAMN ANVIL DOWN.

It doesn't matter why you have trouble doing something. Just make it better. Set a timer. Put a seatbelt on your writing chair. Kick rocks. Set pictures of past offenders on fire. Draw pictures of your goals. Put the tiny little soccer goal back on the table. Do something to make it happen.

Oh, and I need my desk back. I just decided. Screw this stupid writing on the couch thing, man. Where did I write all those specs? Where did I write every book and every movie ever? Sitting at my ancient oak desk. The one my neighbor and I rescued from the salvage at Penn State the day I moved into that house where I wrote all the specs, while I still had the truck. The one I stuck under the window in my tiny kitchen in L.A. and wrote at even when the sound of typing kept the guy in the house next door awake. The one with the Christmas tree on it right now. And the skull, for that matter. I WANT MY DESK.

Guess what? I get to have it! Yay!

I want that frame of mind back. I have so many of the parts of that life right now, it's amazing! I live somewhere quiet, with wonderful neighbors. I have one big room, just like then. I have excellent work to do that I enjoy. I have mental free space. I have my dog and cat with me. And I have windows with lousy glazing, oddly enough. That house is where I learned how to glaze windows because the panes were falling out. Huh!

Someone loves moving furniture, it's true, but it's all in service of the good. Laurel Violet! This one is for you! I really feel like this will help me, in a Room of One's Own kind of way. Plus I'm going to think about this story the whole time. Oh, that's the other thing I used to have: lots of boring physical activity for thinking time, since apparently my brain is connected to my feet. I mean, everyone's is. But you know. Mine works best when I'm in motion, and then I get tired enough to sit still and write. Exactly! Right.

Please please please let me remember all of this tomorrow and not have to work through the whole dumb series of thoughts again, okay?

Here, I'll write a reminder code:

idea in brain
exercise
sit at desk
headphones
write

Focus! It's like the gas fireplace. Turn it ON. When you're done, turn it OFF.

I will get this thing written, you know it. I read it through and the last page made me tear up, oh my goodness. Something I wrote twenty years ago! Amazing! I didn't even know what happened in it anymore. Ah! Go go go!

Monday, December 28, 2015

Many sharp and pointy things

Ooh, you cannot take those on the plane! I just took everything vital from one bag and put it into another, except I had to keep out all of the dangerous and confiscatable items. So many! I think I packed this backpack (like a purse but for someone who has to be ready for ANYTHING) for my move, so it had every possible kind of survival gear in it.

handwarmers, four
nail clippers, three
butane lighter
tiny crowbar
epipen, two
safety pins, five large
very large bowie knife, good grief
multitool, large and heavy, with, like, a SAW in it
swiss army knife
about six chapsticks
about thirty giant lifesavers
dental floss
dental picks
two bottles of ibuprofin
four bottles of xanax, all nearly empty (what an image, actually)
seven sets of earbuds/headphones
two backup power sources for cell phones
two pairs of glasses
three notebooks
a bandanna
a handkerchief
a million pens
two and only two hair elastics
a rubber band
a blue carabiner

Well. I took out all the scary, pointy, dangerous, forbidden, or insane items. I'm a little alarmed to discover I've been going to Walmart with a giant flipping bowie knife in my backpack. I'm pretty sure that's illegal, for one thing, hello! The laws are different everywhere but generally you can't carry a knife more than about six inches long unless you're out in the woods and vouched for by a dead deer.

I mean, honestly.

Anyway my bag is much more innocuous now. And not surprisingly: much lighter.

Today I keep thinking about how Anglo-Saxons described people as having one head, two arms, two sides, two legs, and so on. Two sides. We don't think of our sides as body parts so much. I probably would have said "one torso" or something like that. But I will tell you, right now my sides are lit up in neon from the coughing. It's hard coughing, kind of uncontrollable, so all the muscles in my sides and chest and back are very sore, symmetrically. Two sides. Maybe the Anglo-Saxons coughed as much as I'm doing right now. When were chimneys invented?

Lithuanian has a dual case! I just discovered Lithuanian is sort of a modern living fossil of Indo-European! Anglo-Saxon had a dual case but it was dying out by the time we got all the writing we still read. Now I'm all fired up to learn Lithuanian, with all of its outrageous number of cases and tenses and things. They have the aorist! They have like three locatives! So great!

There's a Leverage episode that hinges on some guys arguing in Spanish about whether something is "in the car" or "inside the car," thinking it was one, then finding out it's the other. One would be on the back seat, but the other would be in the chassis, see? I love it that this argument happens in Spanish and is about this distinction as it happens in the Spanish language. Awesome.

They are very good at casting Russians with people who have this one particular Slavic white/Asian look, do you know the look I mean? It's something I honestly never even knew existed until this show kept casting people with this look. Of course I keep thinking about it because of Bronze Age migrations, naturally! Everything comes back to Bronze Age migrations. Unless it comes back to paleolithic and neolithic writing systems. But that's all one obsession, really. I keep trying to figure out who went where when and where they came from and what language roots they had and what writing systems they used.

It's perfectly reasonable when you think about it.

Culture can stay in place even when populations move, but other times culture moves with the populations. Which is why you'll find me staring at language roots and migration paths and hunting for cultural clues that have withstood multiple layers of migration and colonization. Like place names. This area of Maine is totally full of place names like Sedgeumkedunk and Penobscot and all that. But on top of it is names like Calais and Hancock that show where the people came from who moved in.

So I look at maps and look for patterns of root words and distributions. Oh yes I do! Especially along the Danube.

Some people build ships in bottles! Some people read Reddit!

So I was exceedingly excited to learn about Lithuanian and its crazy living fossil existence. I must immediately study it and learn learn learn! I was struck immediately with how Indo-European rooty it is, and then realized, oh, of course, they derived Indo-European roots from Lithuanian, duh. There are certain patterns of vowels and a lot of z and dh and so on.

I do love my Dictionary of Indo-European Roots. More than one person has tried to buy it from me. Nope! Mine!

Anyway, today was the day I got to feeling better finally, after being knocked flat for a week. Hurray! Not 100% yet, still coughing a lot, and I talk like a frog, but I got the dishwasher emptied, washed the rest of the dishes, did some cleaning up and tidying up, found and paid all the bills (which was like one bill, but it took a LOT of finding--it was in a tote bag underneath my library books) and set up autopay for everything. That kind of thing. Cleaned the vile kitchen counters. Took out the trash. Sorted the recycling. Found the thread. I was going to sort it in color order as usual but hit the wall right about there.

I do have a LIST, though. I have a blue whiteboard (shhhh) about five by eleven inches, with its own little marker in a holder on the top. I'm knocking things down, bang, bang! Very satisfying. I might have to fall asleep soon, though. I was going to drag the tv out and watch Community but it might have to wait. 

It's sort of extra exciting taking the dog out now because a) it's 16 degrees and b) yesterday's sleety snow froze into a slick ice coating on the deck. It is useless to remind dogs of the layer of ice on the deck! You can say, "Watch out for the ice or you'll fall on your cute little fuzzy butt!" and he will still dash out the door and slide around and fall on his cute little fuzzy butt. Fortunately he's like five inches off the ground so he doesn't fall far.

The days of shoveling a path for the dog are coming fast. Possibly tomorrow. We're getting a storm of some kind. How big? How bad? How much? Don't know! There's fuel oil and propane so I'm not too worried. Also half a turkey. Jeez, food is gross when you can't taste or smell. I had chips and salsa tonight just to experience a flavor. And guacamole that was half onion. I actually ate onion sandwiches last week, hoping they would clear out the breathing apparatus. Nope! They sure are good, though. I love an onion sandwich.

Yes, I was IN LOVE with the book Jennifer, Hecate, William McKinley, and Me, Elizabeth, when I was that age. And I still have a copy. Two copies. It's a really good book, okay? Onion sandwiches are super good.

I'm burning my bayberry candles down to the socket as required by family myth. I think it was supposed to be finished on Christmas, but I didn't remember to light them until about 5:00. And then I couldn't find my butane lighter anywhere. Then I couldn't make it light. Today I found the butane and filled it up, but it's still acting very iffy. You click it on and it only makes a flame for a second. So I had to click it on about seventeen times to light a candle with it. Then I remembered where all the matches are: in the round nut brown container, on my work station ladder bookcase. In other words, right in front of my eyes for most of the daylight hours of every single day.

There's another lighter in the box of incense, but where is that? NO IDEA. I may never find half this stuff in this house. Seriously. It's bad. I'm just going to have to wait until I can fully unpack. Unacceptable but oh well.

It was very funny when I was running all over, trying to find matches or lighters or anything that would start a fire, even my survivalist firestarter stone, wherever THAT is, with the magnesium or whatever on it that you shave off. Because the whole time, there was a blazing fire in the fireplace, but it's a gas fire--you can't get at it. So I would run around and then stop and stare at the fire, trying to figure out a way to light candles from it, then decide I couldn't, then run around and search hopelessly through fezzes for matches, lighters, or firestarters. Repeat.

I felt like a disgrace to our neolithic ancestors, who could start a fire any day of the week with a bow drill. I know how to do that! I did not go that far, though. Anyway I'd probably use my more recent ancestor's drill that goes left right left. Um. Do you know what I mean? Round handle on top, then it goes straight down, then makes a right angle out, then a right angle down, then a right angle in again, then back to straight down. You hold the top and put a drill bit in the bottom and turn it around with the middle piece. Yes?

What on earth is that called???

A hand drill!

Yes! So I did not get as far as starting a fire with this kind of drill, since I had an actual fire already going IN THE ROOM. But the possibility was out there. Just so we're clear.

That is a very cool invention, by the way. To put a bend in a straight pole and be able to turn it? That is super smart. Don't you think we're still going to invent things that clever and seemingly obvious that we just haven't thought up yet? I do!

Wonderful sharp and pointy things.


Sunday, December 27, 2015

Making a list

I really like living in a room that has a whole wall of windows. And a giant tall ceiling that goes to a point in the middle. It's a big square room with almost no walls made of walls. It's all space and doorways and windows and the fireplace, with one corner of walls where all my boxes of books are still stacked up.

I'm making a list of optimal housing traits, based not just on this place, but on everywhere previous. That's a long list of places I've lived.

Things my house needs to have:

wall of windows
gas fireplace (natural or propane, doesn't matter)
body of water outside
extremely minimal neighborage
quiet
DSL

No wonder I'm happiest in a vacation home on the ocean. But then again, who wouldn't be?

There was this Icelandic man screaming about how the super short days mean he has to spend an hour a day under ultra-violent light. Yes. He said that. I think he meant ultraviolet, though. Yesterday I woke up at 2:00 and it got dark by 4:00 so I started looking up the effects you get from those artificial don't go crazy from the short days lights. But apparently my wall of windows has the same effect. Tons of natural light! No worries!

Getting off that medication was rough for a little while and then became TOTALLY AWESOME. It turns out it was making me super agitated. And now I'm not! At all! Not agitated at all! Not anxious, really, either. Like I'm all mellowed out and able to do stuff like:

sit in a chair and read a book!
work on a puzzle for so long that the dog comes to get me and makes me stop!
cook fancy meals!
not eat!
go for walks!
write things!

I didn't know it would be this awesome or I'd have done it a long time ago. I'm thrilled. Thrilled! It's like happiness in a lack of pill! And just...mellowness. Calm. In other words, my own usual self. I remember you!

Yesterday I sorted out a lot of the mess in the basement, then sorted my sock drawer, finally. After I moved I just dumped all the socks in there. Dear oh dear. I put the Vlogbrothers on my phone and watched a couple of videos while matching up and organizing all my socks. And now: order. Yay!

The basement is not 100% orderly and I still haven't found the putty knife, which I need to pry the last of that horrible veneer off the cedar chest. It's probably stuck somewhere strange, since it was one of the last things I used before moving. I may never get quite unpacked here. I'm only here for 5.5 more months after all. Heck, it's nearly time to start packing again.

Last night it rained rocks and this morning there were shoals of sleet all around the house. The lobstermen were out in it, brrr. They came back and leaned their rowboat on a tree, which is driving me a little nuts. Lay it flat! But the tide was super high and there wasn't room. Also I bet that boat is an awful lot heavier than I think it is. I was making raisin toast and watched the whole thing from the kitchen. I mean, I did say, "Not on the tree!" but only inside my kitchen, so they didn't hear me.

They made the barge disappear. Where did they take it? How did they get it there? So many mysteries. I miss a lot by not being in the kitchen all day long. Now it's just the two fishing boats and the open motorboat tied out there, with the two rowboats on the shore.

I think I decided to take between Christmas and New Year's Day completely OFF. I have work to do but it's going to be outside those boundaries. I never, ever take actual time off. Also I'm super sick which helped motivate me, heh. So instead of racing around and doing every possible thing like building those bookcases and sewing dresses and baking pumpkin pie and going to Other Acadia to walk the dog, I'm pretty much taking it easy.

Oh, I got the bronchitis. It's not too bad. I mean, I don't have a high fever or anything and the cough is annoying and gaggy but not too painful. It's only on the right side. Honestly, it could be much worse.

I'm busy obsessing about the paleolithic and neolithic civilizations of Europe and the near east and figuring out their symbology and scripts, anyway. I'm nearly done with Lost Civilizations of the Stone Age and then I can move on to this book about the Sea Peoples that I got myself. Ooh!

Also, of course my Dictionary of Indo-European Roots is one of my treasured possessions, but I really wish I had a comparable dictionary of Finno-Ugaric roots because that would really help. And I want to learn some Parsi and Sumerian vocabulary. Even just knowing the most basic words helps enormously with pattern recognition. Give me some 3x5 cards cut in half or in quarters and a pen and some word lists and I'll have flash cards and learn them up.

It's just a puzzle that I keep working on in my back of my mind, sliding pieces around and seeing if something will click. I need more pieces, though, see?

I keep wanting to call the lobstermen the Sea Peoples.

It did occur to me that a wall of windows with a body of water outside could describe *a boat* but I like having the water over there where I can see it and potentially can go away from it, on walks, among trees and blueberry bushes and things like that. It's true I'm itching to get out on the cove in a boat, but when it's warmer out, for sure.

Candy canes are exactly perfect for a nasty cough. Also the Tiffany Aching books by Terry Pratchett. I'm not saying I'm going to start them over again after I've read all five, but it's a definite possibility. Very very very good books!

Time for more tea. Isn't life cheerful and undramatic like this? I know! Reminds me of, you know, basically ALL OF IT, except the past year. Ha ha! Awesome! Oh yeah, I have a painting I'm working on, too. Yippee!!!

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Break!

I'm on my break! Sort of! I mean I am, I'm officially on my break. Two weeks of doing things that are not my usual work things but other things, some of them for work. Though today I worked as normal anyway because I have to get it done because of other stuff coming up that will overlap and conflict.

Things to do! Lots of things! To do! I'm enjoying great swaths of sloth, though, have no fear.

I am just terrible at sloth, heh. I have plans. I want to sew some more jumpers like the ones I made that I wear all the time. I'm thinking of some shorter ones, too. Hmm. Might be good! The long ones are good for my freezing drafty house where the wind and the *actual rain* blow right through the windows. They're replacing those windows but I don't know when.

Yes, as in: I wonder what the dripping noise is and then discover that rain is pouring in. It's not even a window that opens, so it's not like it's not shut properly. Ha! Cups of water. Raining into the house. Through the window frames.

I keep on meaning to make Christmas cookies, to the point where the butter has been on the counter for days, but then oh, I'm reading a book, or cleaning (pre-sister visit) or working on my puzzle of a snowy cabin by a creek.

We are having NO SNOW. It's tons of rain (as mentioned) and just a little bit of snow that doesn't last long here and there. I want snow. I mean, not on days when I have to drive anywhere or anything like that, though. But other times! Pretty, picturesque snow! Okay, I want the scenic kind of snow and not the annoying kind. Really it's ridiculous to have rain at Christmas, though. The ground isn't even frozen. What the heck?

We are all going to bake and croak, I'm afraid, planet Earth. It is not good out there. This feels all armageddony to me, unfortunately, much like last summer's unbearable heat and fires in Oregon, which is now underwater. I guess they got over their drought, ha ha!

It used to start snowing in October. The bulbs are blooming. Bulbs in the ground!

I saw it's supposed to be 70 in New York. That's proportional to how much hotter it is here than it should be. It's 45-50 lately and should be about zero to twenty, maybe.

Not sure what I can do about it except not commute, which I've already got under control, so yay for that!

I had a totally fun visit with my sister but she made killer margaritas and I'm still recovering from those a little bit. Woo! Goodness. I am a total lightweight. I made our mom's recipe of chicken enchiladas and boy was that ever good. Finished the last of it for lunch today. Stupidly good food, mmmmmmm.

I'm going to get my work work done tomorrow and my other job done this week and then hopefully will take all of next week to do this other writing project, if I can. Where is my energy? At? I thought I'd be diving into everything that I've been waiting for time to do. But instead it's like Olympic slacking around here. Oh well!

That is my lack of news. I walk the dog! I drink my tea! I consider vacuuming up the great clouds of black fur that my sister's dog left behind! But then I don't! Snuggling ensues! I'm on break!

Friday, December 11, 2015

Impossible!

Apparently the impossible is not as impossible as I thought. We shall see. I have been doing scary things like calling up mortgage lenders and whatnot. At some point I really have to get inside that house and see what it's like, how it feels, beyond the hideous wallpaper and unfinished renovations.

Seriously, I'm thinking about wallpaper steamers and where you rent them. Actually I think I know. Sunbelt? Is that the name of it? I used to rent things from there for a place I worked.

This town, man. I was thinking about neighbors on that road for obvious reasons and the I was like, "Oh yeah, Sheila's son lives up the way and does snow plowing." She trained me at one job. And her husband is the guy who fixes small engines for me and my brother. And remember I bought my generator from my current landlady's brother.

I got in touch with someone I worked with back at the casino who is from that town to ask whether there was anything weird or ooky about that house, but she hadn't heard anything. Good to know! Actually I should bug her brother, who has done construction with his dad's company (down the road from this house) for many years and knows all the insider scoop on this sort of thing.

Or I'll ask her to ask him.

I told the mortgage lender lady about my old landlord kind of as a reference since I rented from him for 3.5 years and of course she totally knows him, so that's good.

I have no idea whether any of this will lead to anything whatsoever, but I was out running errands in Bangor yesterday and went to see the bunnies and talked to my brother about the whole deal and he was basically like, Just get the ball rolling, and then you'll know. What! Do a thing to find out whether I can do the thing? That's crazy talk!

Presumably at some point I'll have to produce pay records and tax records and whatnot. I should probably find my box of paperwork. But I can print probably almost everything off the computer.

Guess what else? I got overwhelmed yesterday, between the actual house possibility and the giant new information thing and worrying about this other thing (but I asked and got it fixed and all is well) and buying a plane ticket for school and visiting the old vet for my dog and getting info on where to board them. Yes. It overwhelmed me.

And then I fell down. Twice! Once I landed weird half on a chair and reinjured that old spot where my friend Richard hugged me so hard he busted two or three ribs off the cartilage on my sternum. It gets costachondritis and now it has it again. I laid away yesterday forever whimpering with pain. At least I figured out what it was and stopped worrying I was having a pulmonary embolism or something.

And then today I fell crossing the creek on the beach. I had a cup of tea in my hand, too, but only spilled a little into the creek. I smashed up my knee pretty good, in a bloody mashed up kind of way. Not cut, but smashed. And got all bruised up on hands and knees and elbows.

I got the dangly icicle lights put up yesterday, hurray! Now I get to hang up my lovely sparkly glass ornaments that my godparents always give me. I only hang them on the string of lights because there is far too much kitty disaster peril down here on earth. And they are SO pretty up there! And some big sparkly snowflakes.

Another thing I did yesterday that I think wigged me out was make a list of everything I have to do, so I could cross things off. But instead looking at three pages of things to do just made everything completely too much. Even though it's not, honestly.

Operation finally replace the frakking evil corsetry that's been persecuting me is underway! The first options arrived today. One is all stiff and itchy and the other is perfect but not far enough around. So I ordered another one farther around. Soon I will have proper delightful supportive comfortable corsetry! It'll be so nice!

I don't know timelines on things like house buying or whatever. How does that work? Like should I be thinking about getting ready? I imagine these things take time but what do I know.

Maybe I can get in there this weekend or early next week. UGH, driving all that way. It's not that it's so far, but the route is narrow and congested. Also my car needs fixing so I can stop breathing exhaust, which is unhealthy, dude.

I have to nail 24 slider things onto the feet of my dining room chairs so I can get up from the table. And do, like, a million other things. I am jitterbugging. My sister is coming in a week so I need to get her room put back together and cleaned up as well as cleaning everything else. Jitterbugging out! This is *with* xanax, too, so be afraid.

Do one thing, then cross it off. Do another thing, cross it off. I've got it. And I have the most interesting and glorious work to do, very mentally engaging, very cool indeed, so that helps a lot. I can really focus on that stuff. I did a ton of it last night while being insomniacal in the extreme.

No more falling down. That alarms me. Because of falling down patterns in the past. It's been gone for quite a while now, almost a year, so I would like it to stay away forever. No more of that! It is hazardous to tea and knees. And sternum cartilage.

Oooooooh, I love decorating for Christmas SO MUCH!!!!!!! Eeeeeeeeeee!!!!! Wait until I start baking gingerbread people and sugar cookies in the shapes of stars and trees and bunnies and snowflakes and such! And decorating them with icing and sprinkles and all that! Wheeeeeeeeeee! So fun!


Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Slightly caught up, but not really at all

Oh, poor internet, I have neglected you terribly! I am so sorry. I seem to have an absolutely insane number of things to do every day. I did get mostly caught up with one of them today, as caught up as I can possibly be, which is a great feeling. But that just reminds me that I have umpteen million stacks of things to do in all these other areas.

Because dreams are good to have (I just rewatched Tangled, because I just visited my mom, ha ha!) I've been looking at houses for sale. I am in no way even remotely situated to buy a house, let it be stressed. Like, I have no deposit, just for starters. But I like looking because of education and starting early and learning things and so on.

I accidentally found the perfect house yesterday and told my brother and he said, "Jump on it!" because it's a really good deal in a perfect spot and costs $69,000. Unlike on the street where I'm renting now, where houses go for 1.5 million actual dollarses. And then some are shacks, too. It's quite a mixed street. I like it. There is an actual falling down shack two doors down from me, and lots of tiny little houses heated with wood stoves along the way, and then plenty of medium normal houses, and then ludicrously gigantic mansions.

There's a total tumbledown hovel for sale "as is" (alarming) for $40,000 up on a different road a ways but it is deeply unprepossessing to say the least. There's a mystifying pile of children's bikes and ladders in the driveway. The house is not cleaned out. Where are the people? Why didn't they take their ladders and bikes? What on earth is the story there? Why do I suspect it involves blood spatter?

The perfect one was built in 1899 and apparently someone has been flailing about trying to fix it up but has failed. Like, there's a bathroom that they totally didn't manage to put in but all the stuff is there and comes with. Okay!

The biggest employer over by where I used to live went under, so a lot of people got laid off and moved away and foreclosed upon and it's a giant property free for all. I can't even believe how many houses are for sale over there.

Anyway that's where the perfect house is. I shouldn't even call it that. I've seen it a million times but never really stopped and gave it an assessing stare, know what I mean?

It's glorious to imagine getting to peel off wallpaper (why, people, why? wallpaper is like being hit on the head repeatedly) and paint things and rip out horrible old carpets and lay down floors and get an antique bathtub with feet and put that in there and be terrified of the ancient basement made of actual rocks and go adopt kids to put into the kids' rooms and have bookcases and family and stuff. I know! Right? Can't you picture it?

You can only get into the basement from a little shed entrance outside. As it should be! Basements, brrrrr.

Mmmm, dream house. I sure like thinking about it!

Meanwhile my wee rental house is fantastic. It's more or less whacked into shape. Okay, I lied, not really. I mean I'm not unpacked by any stretch of the imagination. At all. I keep making big bunches of progress, like getting the laundry room cleaned up and moving the tools in there, but then I still haven't found my *washcloths* for crying out loud. I had to buy new ones weeks ago. Washcloths! Where are they?

I'm going to unpack the fabric into this empty dresser in the freezing cold sewing room. It has a faulty sliding door. Actually the carpenter is supposed to come by soon to replace the sliding door and I think all of the giant windows in the one big room, the main room. The room where my office is, and the dining room table, and the couch, and the writing chair, and the tv. The room where it happens!

Sorry, I got the Hamilton soundtrack for my horrible drive for Thanksgiving, should have been 13 hours, was more like 15 or 16 due to traffic and disasters (not mine), slept in a rest area, then spent my time there sleeping on a couch. Urgh, physically disastrous trip for me, haven't been right in the back/hips/knees since then from all the awkward and painful sitting and sleeping arrangements.

I guess I've only been back a week and a bit. Catching up from being away was also horrific and exhausting. Oh my goodness gracious me.

And the nightmares! Do not vacation with your lifelong abuser! That is a poor choice. They've faded out now, but I had a week of the worst nightmares, ugh, horrible. Nightmares and night terrors, both. Not good. I took some of the dreadful pills to help with it but the side effects are awful. Anyway I had to make all my phone calls Friday and Monday so I have to take the xanax for those or I won't do them, so apparently that fixed my wagon. Yucky!

I got most of the chocolate and liquor required for the holidays. Except I need those little foil wrapped Hershey chocolate balls. I have to get those! I couldn't find them in Walmart at all. This gigantic fancy Walmart, seriously, I need a map. And the raisins are not near the nuts. Why? Why are the raisins by the coffee and tea? It makes no sense. I don't even eat raisins and it drives me crazy.

I got slidy feet for the dining room chairs because if I have fuzzy socks on (as always) I can't get traction to move my chair back from the table and I'm stuck. Don't laugh, it's happened many times already! I end up shoving the table away to stand up, which is just silly. Friction!

I finally got my Christmas tree out of the basement today. Baby steps! I haven't fluffed up the branches yet, never mind decorating or anything. Ooh but I got a wreath and hung it on the fireplace. Looks so great! And a swag for the door. Swag!

I feel like such a muttonhead, being unable to get everything done EVER. No catching up at any time! So much to do that I just want to lie around staring at the walls! Like, Christmas shopping? Must fall semiconscious and horizontal amongst the pillows and blankets!

This R2 unit has a bad motivator. I seriously need to figure out how to get myself moving. I might even try drinking coffee. IT'S SERIOUS. I am doing a whole lot of work, but I'm also doing a whole lot of nothing, and doing nothing makes me angry and anxious. It's not fun or refreshing for me. It just makes me mad. Because I'm not getting anything done *and* I'm not enjoying it! Like procrastination, I guess. A miserable experience!

Coffee it is. Thanks, internet, you're such a good listener!

I did get the standing desk set up this week. I just could not sit another day. Sitting murders my back and my knees. Apparently I push my feet way way back under the chair, which puts maximum stretch and pressure on my knees and strains my lower back extra hard too. Let's not!

The very worst thing is carrying anything down into the basement, going down stairs with weight. Oh my heavenly days. I really damaged my knees with this move, I'm not kidding. I hope they can recover, that's all.

Standing helps, also ibuprofin, walks, not sitting, and knee braces. Jiminy.

Also I'm officially old as of today because I had to ask this nice woman in Walmart to read a label for me. I didn't have my glasses with me! And then tonight I went back to my stupid trifocals because I need the middle distance part for my laptop. I can't see the middle distance with my new glasses because they're only for close up. And then I get a major headache and eye strain from trying to type anything. Awesome.

Old! Old and creaky! And I have to find a new place to move to for June. Unless some kind of miracle falls down from the sky it won't be the perfect house, but you never know, I suppose?

I wonder what presents the yard there would come up with? Remember how my old yard in that town used to produce presents for me all the time? Model T license plates, many whetstones, all sorts of springs and coils and gigantic bolts and things?

It's funny, I looked at my old yard on Google and you can see the path I cut around the field as well as my garden. So either the next person kept the garden and mowed that same path (it wasn't there until I put it there) or their image is several years old. I wonder which?

Now I want to look at the aerial view of every place I've ever lived and see if I can see any of the marks I made on the landscape.

Mostly I kind of want to shake myself and get some FOCUS so I can get this project I've been working on all semester finished up and put together into something gloriously publishable so that someone can give me a nice advance for it and I can buy my perfect house! Hello!

Actually I just read Valerie Laken's novel Dream House, which is kind of a nightmare house and things do not go well, but that is coincidental, and oh my, amazingly well written! Glorious writing! Miserable people one and all, but that's normal for contemporary fiction. Jeez. It's so funny, I feel much more capable of tackling home renovation after reading this book. I should actually watch how to videos instead of constantly rewatching Leverage on Netflix. How to hang drywall. How to lay flooring. How to tile. How to do all of this when your knees feel like they've been hit with sledgehammers, ha ha.

I get to see niece and nephew and brother all the time, yay yay yay, like for walks in the woods and lunch and stuff like that. So great! On this last hike, little nephew held my hand walking through the woods and told me he wished I could come live with them and be part of their family. Bawwwww! Little niece is the best ever, too. My golly. GOOD CHOICE, self! The bunnies!