Thursday, March 30, 2017

Destructive conditioning

Good grief.

This is from Shahida Arabi's fantastic blog post on narcissists' tactics. There is a great big picture of you know who on the top of the page. Okay, there isn't, but there should be. This one hit me the hardest because I hadn't been aware there was a name for it before.

Link here.

"10. Destructive conditioning.

Toxic people condition you to associate your strengths, talents, and happy memories with abuse, frustration and disrespect. They do this by sneaking in covert and overt put-downs about the qualities and traits they once idealized as well as sabotaging your goals, ruining celebrations, vacations and holidays. They may even isolate you from your friends and family and make you financially dependent upon them. Like Pavlov’s dogs, you’re essentially “trained” over time to become afraid of doing the very things that once made your life fulfilling.

"Narcissists, sociopaths, psychopaths and otherwise toxic people do this because they wish to divert attention back to themselves and how you’re going to please them. If there is anything outside of them that may threaten their control over your life, they seek to destroy it. They need to be the center of attention at all times. In the idealization phase, you were once the center of a narcissist’s world – now the narcissist becomes the center of yours.

"Narcissists are also naturally pathologically envious and don’t want anything to come in between them and their influence over you. Your happiness represents everything they feel they cannot have in their emotionally shallow lives. After all, if you learn that you can get validation, respect and love from other sources besides the toxic person, what’s to keep you from leaving them? To toxic people, a little conditioning can go a long way to keep you walking on eggshells and falling just short of your big dreams."

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

And she's back!

I have returned from the deep south of Pennsylvania, where I liberated a snowblower, lawn mower, and rototiller at the request of their owner, my mom. I think we took away a bunch of other stuff, too. I hauled a lot of stuff that she wanted gone over to the Salvation Army, and took all the recycling, and emptied a year's worth of bagged compost out of the chest freezer into the compost pile, and also emptied the contents of some ancient turkey stock (including BONES) into a hole I dug in the woods. Ew!!!

Oh, we brought home the stock pot. Funny, she didn't want it anymore.

I'm the one who made the turkey stock, which tells you how long it's been in the freezer. Does it? No? Well, let's see, since probably late 2012 early 2013? Anyway MUCH too long, but in my defense, I didn't live there after that. Oh so gross, though. First of all, digging a hole in the woods and burying it (homeowner's request) felt way too much like a sort of funeral. And second, just gross, all that antique stock and skin and bones. Brrrrr, shiver, gross.

I also got shredded by wild roses on my way to the hole digging site. And the dog picked up ticks. It got super warm there, as you could have deduced from the very fact that I dug a hole in the ground. You cannot do that here! In fact the jack stand that was holding up the trailer is still frozen to the ground.

The trailer performed like a champion and now I'm thoroughly laden with lovely lawn and driveway and garden machinery that will enable me to manage my environment with mechanically assisted vigor.

I did not get much sleep there on the horrible (but brand new...hmm) guest bed, and had terrible nightmares the whole time, and sweated like crazy because it was ungodly hot in the house. Very old people, huh? They like hot houses! Anyway now I'm home and super comfortable in my 62 degree house.

My friend and I are having resolutions about fitness so I'm doing all this working out and stuff, by which I mean lifting tiny weights and walking half a mile on the treadmill. You have to start somewhere, man! Also trying to channel anxiety into exercise instead of into, you know, the fridge.

I'm way backed up on both writing and reading because of the trip, argh! And I'm not going to have time to watch all of Buffy after all before the 1st of April when it goes off of Netflix. Drat.

Oh and I'm making this utterly fantastic thing for my sister but it is a SEKRIT until after it has been received. I am super excited about it, though. Because of how it's super cool.

I'm down to one class as of this week so that's making alarm bells ring all over my whole head. My cohort of fellow laid off people are having a terrible time finding work, so that's distressing. They're all going through the same stages of shock and distress as I am, though at slightly different speeds. Aww. I hate to see that.

Anyway I have a story to write today, woke up with it in my mouth this morning and wrote all kinds of notes before even getting out of bed. Those are the best. I've been mulling and putting it together for days now. Must remember to count that as writing, because it is! The type type typing part is only one facet of the whole process.

Must walk the furry hound as required by a) the furry hound, b) compulsion, c) fitness and whatnot. We will get totally filthy from all the dirt they fling all over the roads, but at least there's no new snow. The field I walk through is ridiculously perilous, though, layers of snow and ice with deep holes punched into it but covered up with more snow, so we are going to go AROUND today on the actual ROAD where there are actual CARS. I do not like doing that. I bet you I come back through the woods and the field despite all that. If I'm feeling energetic I could clear out the spiky burdocks and walk through where they are, a much less treacherous route. But I will be covered with burrs if I do that. Which is why I haven't.

Mmm, must collect many outdoor physical details for story en route. Such an odd phenomenon. I know all this stuff, but I never think of it until I'm looking at it, know what I mean? I think that's odd.

Happy Wednesday!

Saag paneer and butterscotch chips,

Your homecoming queen

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Chip, chop, shovel, go

Chipping away at the cedar chest work. The interior veneer had a learning curve. The outside layer has to be pried off and if it gets wet, that gets harder. The layers beneath that need to be soaked and then it will come right off and otherwise it'll be a nightmare. I've been watching all the Buffy while doing it so some areas have certain episodes permanently affixed, like the left of the latch opening has the one about that evil cyborg guy Ted now fused into it.

One long side is done and one short side is nearly done, on the inside. The outside is almost totally done but some of the glue could still use soaking off.

I just finished reworking my story that's due tomorrow and sent it off to my friend K. to read. It's so much more fun than the true-to-life stories I've been writing! Also I got to destroy the enemy and find people for the heroine. And a lovely silky doe goat! I'm in love with the goat. And the guy. And the troublesome child raised by demons. And...anyway, I'm crazy about the story, so that's awesome.

What on earth am I going to write next? I have to think about it. Like, a lot, and fast, and with great energy, dude!

Oh, I had an idea. Well, we'll see.

I wish I'd finished chopping the wire fence out of the ice yesterday before the storm. I was out there going chop chop chop and saying: "Chop chop chop!" out loud, but I was wearing the wrong gloves, with the slippery palms, so my hands kept sliding right down the ice chopper. I need to be able to move the fence to get the trailer out to go to my cousin's for the trunk and down to grandma's for the snowblower (and hopefully mower) and who knows what-all else she will foist upon me. Probably many things.

Chip, chop, shovel. Oh! I shoveled out the driveway but not the area at the top where the car is supposed to go. At least, I cleared enough of a spot for the car to fit. But not enough room to turn around or the usual place I like to keep the car. It was TOO MUCH. The plow wall was easily seven feet wide and five feet high. I did the narrowest possible opening for my car to fit through, but it was still murrrrrderously hard work.

Afterward I had a hot bath and drank tea and read about the Blitz. I mean, simultaneously. Baths are so weird. You're going about your day as normal and then all of a sudden you are sitting in a big puddle with no clothes on. What is that about?

I really love the baths. But it's sort of an odd endeavor.

Then after that I couldn't really walk or think or anything until finally I overcame inertia and ate a can of peaches and suddenly I was a human again. So now I know about exercise hypoglycemia and how to avoid it. I will take steps never to have that happen again! After I shoveled I did eat some cheese, but I guess that doesn't give you enough sugar or something.

I'm feeling positively giddy about the prospect of being able to exercise without feeling like the heavy boot of doom has come down to crush me afterward. Combined with the stupidity effect, it's not great. I even googled "stupid after exercise" to see whether this was a thing, and lo, it's a thing! The solution is to eat some accessible carbs after working out. You just run out of glucogen, that's all. I mean it's a simple physiological thing. Presumably more healthier people are better able to cope, I guess? I didn't bother reading up about them. Ha.

Anyway then I got my work done and my writing/rewriting done and then it was now. I ate all sorts of things in an effort to cure my exercise stupidity. So I guess I don't need dinner, eh?

Tomorrow I'll try to do the rest of the shoveling, possibly while waiting for my brother to appear to take me to get my car back. Car is done! I'm only slightly confused about why they called to say my registration had expired, since I put the stickers on the license plates when I registered it. Whenever that was. November? It was the day I walked down to get my car back from the terrible mechanic who didn't fix it. I stopped in and registered it on the way home. Anyway it's done, I'm just not sure why they didn't know it was done. I'll have to ask.

Now that exercise stupidity is over and I'm all full of writing bliss, life looks pretty wonderful! Dog is sleeping in the green chair. Cat is sleeping in my usual spot at the other end of the couch. I'm at the unusual end of the couch because the folding table here had space. My usual writing table is covered with cedar chest legs and glue and paper and clamps and things.

Oh boy, I'm going to be a car-having person! I can go for frivolous drives if I want! I can get a job I need to drive to! Oh boy! We can go to the beach! I love going to the beach. Though I probably won't go while there's still two feet of snow on the ground. I haven't even stomped down a path for the dog yet. He just has the one I shoveled last night, plus his own self-plowed path into the woods.

There's a hard icy crust on top of the snow from some freezing rain last night. It hurts my legs to walk through it. I can't imagine it's comfortable at all for Mr. Dog.

I have a terrifying new medication to take. I mean, it isn't--it's totally normal. But one in a thousand people who take it get a horrific reaction to it that starts out like the flu and turns into a terrifying disfiguring skin necrosis thing where you can totally die. I mean, I probably won't get that. I understand statistics and probability. But I'm scared enough of this medication that I'm waiting to start it until I have my car back. Yep.

What a recipe for paranoia, I tell you. If I get anything flu-like I'll just be freaking out, especially since I have no insurance, which usually means I wait and see when anything seems amiss. Waiting to see is the wrong way to go with this thing. It shows up as a rash before you get giant disastrous zombie-like black rotting skin craters, though. Oh boy. I wish I had never seen those pictures.

The information I read said that this almost always happens, when it happens, in the first two weeks of starting the medication. So that should be fun, eh?

Yesterday I was talking to a guy who had a terrible allergic reaction to an antibiotic and was still covered with big black spots the size of dimes months later, even after benadryl and steroids. just seemed like an alarming juxtaposition to see that the same day I picked up this prescription.

The nice nurse thinks it'll help me a lot, though, so here's hoping.

Reminding myself right now that cars are much more dangerous than any possible side effects and yet I'm excited to get my car back. Of course, my car just got a lot less dangerous, so hurray! On the flip side, I've lost my excuse for staying home when it snows. No more bald tires! Also, though, no more pumping up my damn tires every single time I need to leave the house. If I go out to the car two days from now and a single tire is low, I'm going straight back to the mechanic, let me tell you. I am DONE pumping up the tires all the time.

I had to do it literally every time I went anywhere, and sometimes again to get back home. Yes. It was awful. It's snow or mud out there without any other real options. I mean, where the car parks here is not paved. There's no garage. Mud! Snow! Ice! Gaaaah!

I keep having a funny series of thoughts where I think: "I'd like a tent, but more solid than those fabric things, so like, I don't know, wood. A wooden tent. But maybe taller, so there's more room, so give it walls on the sides, and then like a door on one end, and a window on the other. And a floor, give it a floor. Okay, so: a house. I want a tent that is a house. Okay!"

Then I think about how to build it with hinges and latches so it folds down and sets up again, and should the roof have shingles? What about along the center where the hinge is? Or should that not be hinged? It could have a raised vent top like a chicken house.

Then I realize I've gone down the same rabbit hole again that I always go down and I'm imagining buying lumber to build myself a wooden tent house with hinges and a window and curtains and a rug on the floor. I could build it on my trailer!

There's actually a wonderful little shed for sale that would fit right on there and only costs like $250, and it's light, so I could haul it with my current car. Can you imagine? I think it would be brutally hot or brutally cold at any given time.

I like buildings. Actual buildings. It's true. Buildings are GREAT. More songs about buildings and food!

Please don't let me work on that dang cedar chest any more tonight. My hands! My poor hands! They are in such bad shape from yesterday's excessive chipping fiesta! But it's going to be such a nice thing when it's all done.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

The day of doing many things

I did too many things! I had a 2:00 appointment and then a 6:00 meeting so I figured I'd run all my errands in the middle there. And I did! I went to the library, the pet store, the grocery store, the fancy hippie store, the post office, back home to walk the dog, back up to the meeting, to Lowe's, to the gas station, and then to Five Guys for a distinctly sub-par but still relatively awesome dinner.

It was sub-par because I asked for fried onions and mushrooms on my cheeseburger and they let the patties get cold while they fried the onions and mushrooms. The cheese didn't even melt. I mean, I ate it! What am I, a person who doesn't eat a cheeseburger after not really eating all day?

Anyway. The meeting was good. I'm training to be a literacy tutor. Good times! It means twice-weekly meetings for a month, which is already exhausting to contemplate, but then I can do the thing, hurray!

I seem to have contracted some sort of ailment of the innards this afternoon and now I feel like death's sickly maiden aunt who ate some iffy squid. Yes, I think that sums it up nicely.

I have to get up super early tomorrow to take the car to the car fixing people. For fixing! Finally! If it works out. If the snow starts early (we're getting some massive blizzard tomorrow) then I'll have to postpone. But I don't want to postpone!

Exhausted and sick and have to get up early tomorrow to spend like $3K. Yippee!

I got my work done tonight, though. You know, I should print out my story so I can work on it even if the power goes out and we revert to the 14th century all of a sudden.

Everybody and their dog was in the grocery store this afternoon. Man, I bought all the kimchi. How come my grocery store doesn't carry that kimchi like all the other stores in the same chain around town? I just have to ask. I bet they'll get it for me. And then at the fancy hippie store I bought six huge jars of Bubbe's fermented kosher dills. I had half a jar for supper, along with cheese curds, which given the information I have now about the state of my insides, in retrospect I would not have done.

I suppose that on the plus side, my ailing innards might make it easy for me to get up early in the morning tomorrow?

I returned all the beautiful but too flimsy hinges I had bought for the heptaptych and got shutter hinges instead, which I think should make it so the paintings can fold up into a screen like fold-up shutters do. I think? It might take some hefty three-dimensional thinking, but I like that, so.

Much rewriting and editing to be done on story before Thursday, ack! Usually I like to have a whole week to let it simmer and bubble so I can get some distance. I've been struggling to write the thing for weeks now and only was able to get to the end last night pretty late. Yes, must print. I'll do that tonight. As a girl in the store and I were saying today, it's not so much the snow that knocks out the power as some idiot driving too fast on snow (Maine macho) and hitting a power pole. Human error!

So I have plenty of bread and cereal and cheese and apples and fermented pickles and kimchi. Everything a person could need in case of power outage, but please let's not have one anyway. Do not want.

There is the greatest silky doe goat in this story. I'm such a fan of the goat. I never know where these things come from but now I am in love with the wonderful doe goat!

Dog and cat and I are zonked out on the daybed in the office, but I must insist that we relocate this party to the actual bed upstairs. Really this is the coziest room, though. And I'm not tempted to watch eight million Buffy episodes on the big old tv in the living room when I can't see it. Nor am I tempted to wrestle with the cedar chest and neglect my studies. Cough cough!

Fine! Print story then bed. Oh, morning is going to be rough!

Sunday, March 12, 2017

So many things!

This is so typical of me. I'm doing so many things! But I don't feel like I'm doing any things! I fight this by making lists of all the things I've done at the end of the day. Then I'm amazed and impressed and also completely surprised, because truly I never feel like I'm getting anything done.

I am, though. Raaarrr!

I just took the tarp outside and shook off all the chipped off bits of cedar chest veneer. Guess what, you can't shake dust off a tarp. It's staticky in here. Dry, I guess? Time to make soup! Or beans. Or bean soup! Actually I'd like to make chili tomorrow in case of power outages to follow. Nice thick meaty chili full of big red beans. Mmmmm.

I have to go do things tomorrow. I have a LIST. Item #1 on the list is drop off two (at least) fezzes of things at the transfer station, in the little shed where people give things away. I'm pretty excited about that part because it'll clear out my own shed even more. For which hurray!

No reason anyone but me should remember this, but I tore the place apart last summer looking for the magnifying glass that goes on a stand. I found it this week! It was in the other box for my work computer that I forgot about and didn't use to send it back! There was a laptop and a dock, with separate boxes, but I fit them into one and it was fine. No worries. Anyway the magnifying glass was in the second box. And now I can use it to look at that map with the tiny tiny lettering!

Very satisfying to know where that is. Dang!

Also I found the jigsaw, which I knew I'd seen recently but could not lay my hands on. Now I can cut that lumber to make the stretchers to paint the saints for the heptaptych! I know!

Again, very satisfying. I also have to cut the bottom to fit in the cedar chest. But that's not urgent because I'm still peeling veneer out of the inside of it. I finally stopped last night when the chisel slipped and I slammed my thumb into the wood. It's all big and purple and shredded up now. I had to put a bandaid on it so I wouldn't have to see it, because it gives me actual physical involuntary shivers to look at it.

I'm the exact color of these bandaids. So weird. It's weird because I'm super white. Shouldn't they have made them more toward the middle of the spectrum? Or do they manufacture special super pale and sickly ones for melanin-challenged states like Maine?

Though I suppose it would have to be purple to be flesh colored for that thumb, come to think of it.

Today is actually Sunday but I've felt like it was Monday all day long. Quite irritating because I get in a panic that I forgot all the stuff I have to do on Monday. But also perplexing because I did all of my Sunday stuff. Who can fathom the ways of the brains.

I'm in the weirdest limbo. Am I moving away? If so, where? When? Or not? If I'm staying, how the heck am I affording that? Nobody knows. I don't know. I go like this: tizzy tizzy tizzy, okay, focus, just do the things you need to do either way, like working and getting rid of crap, and then do the things you'd need to do to move, like packing up and sorting everything so you know where it is, and label all the fezzes.

The upshot is that I'll be either super ready to move or super ready to stay here and be very organized.

My landlord came by a few days ago to ask whether I was leaving, even though I had already told him I wasn't planning on it, because there was a possible new tenant in the offing. And that gave me much food for thought. Not good thoughts. The thoughts were: he's afraid I won't be able to pay the rent and doesn't want to be stuck with me if I can't.

Those are reasonable thoughts, if that's what he's thinking. And then I realized: what sane person would rent to a person with no job? Which also means: how do you move when you have no job? Tricky.

Then I went and sorted and culled more stuff, because those were alarming thoughts.

Right now I need to be finishing my current story for school. And editing/rewriting other stories to go into my senior thesis. That's mostly done. Half of it is due this Friday and I certainly have half of it done. This current story is being slightly difficult.

However, this semester I've learned this whole new thing, which is to take stabs at a story, see what works and what doesn't, and then stab again, over and over until I find the way that works. Yes, this is new to me! How about that?

The other main thing I've learned in school is how to rewrite without being tentative or trying to save everything. I mean, I'll just jump in and chop and cut and rewrite and won't even care. It's awesome.

And restructuring. That's super valuable also. I'm a big fan! In summary, many new skills acquired, truly awesome, yay!

What else is going on? Oh, I cut the ratty back parts of my hair that were clearly just overgrown and grown out, so now it's a very cute haircut that looks quite deliberate. Dude! I was worried yesterday because one side was sticking out, but today it's fine. It might be a little emo, but I can live with that. At least it looks like a thing that *someone* would do on purpose, if not necessarily me. Definitely progress.

I even sorted out my rocks this week. I mean, seriously, that takes some sitting still and focusing. Everything has become infinitely easier since I stopped taking the terrible antidepressants that were giving me daily panic attacks with chest pain and speeding heart rate. I'm going to see the person who prescribed them tomorrow. I don't know what she might suggest instead, but I'm highly dubious. I do not do well with antidepressants for whatever reason. They always cause intense anxiety.

The living room is pretty hard to focus in right now between the deconstructed cedar chest, its various legs lying on my work table all glued and clamped, the tarp the cedar chest is on, the tools everywhere, the little baby vacuum to clean up the dust, and so on.

Actually I've been completely allergified and sneezy and coughing all week, but after I took the broken off veneer outside today, it suddenly got a lot better. GO FIGURE. The reason I removed the outside veneer (mostly last year, but the last of it this past week) was that it was crappy and falling apart and awful. The reason I started removing the interior veneer yesterday was that I realized it was split apart from the main boards on the bottom six or eight inches and mold had gotten in there.

It's very pretty paper thin cedar veneer on the inside, but it had to go. It's not going willingly, the rest of it, though. They glued that stuff on there pretty fiercely. I'll try water, heat, and steam, which I suppose is water and heat. (Another cure for the dry air!) And I'll try not to smash any digits doing it.

Right now my hands are so sore and swollen, they feel like I'm wearing oven mitts, or Mickey Mouse hands. I worked on it forever last night. I'm on a mission to watch all of Buffy before it's taken down from Netflix streaming on April 1st. I'm already 1/3 of the way through season two. Progress, huh? It's really fun to rewatch it. I haven't seen most of these episodes in years!

I think I'm older than Giles and Joyce both now. Gosh! I was always older than the kids, so that's the same.

It's amazing how many rocks are still all around the house. I took tons of them, about half, outside and put them in the rain ditch out back, where rain hits the ground from the roof. I mean, there are no gutters except around the front door. I thought I had collected the rest of them, but I found more in here (my office) and by the front door and in the kitchen and I just remembered a big one upstairs. They're everywhere! Rocks! It's like the bunnies! They're everywhere!

Seriously, I just turned my head to the right and there's one on the printer, a fist sized water-rounded granite rock that is very nice to hold. It fits perfectly in my hand.

I even sorted out the contents of the filing cabinet one day. Can you imagine? I didn't get around to labeling all the folders yet, though.

Nor have I tried on all those tights in the basket upstairs. So many tights!

I'm getting my car fixed Tuesday, though because of the giant storm I might not get to go back and get it until Thursday. I have a big phone interview the week after and then we'll see about going out into the real world, like with parking and tights and a lunch bag. Dang, where is my lunch bag, the blue one with the insulation and the little zippered compartments?

This house does not have enough places to put things, I tell you what. It's true! There isn't even a coat closet, or a pantry, or a linen closet, none of the usual places to put things like that. And the tape rollers to remove fur from a person's garments. And so on. Harumph! I bought a free-standing coat rack thing (very flimsy) and put it in the mud room, with the shelves of shoes. And the generator. I mean. I'm not sure I've ever lived anywhere this awkward, though it seems like such a big house. There's no way to make use of a lot of the space, though. Well, anyway.

I might switch the filing cabinet (huge) with the treadmill because there's this nasty pointy arm of the day bed right behind the treadmill and I'm unsteady and I'm constantly terrified that I will fall right back onto it and brain myself. Let's not do that! Okay!

Don't you think about ants when you're wrangling stuff? I sure do! I think about ants rearranging their little pieces of sand and dirt. So anyway!

Off to write the story, or at least that's the plan. I have to figure this story out. I mean I know what it is, but getting from A to B is another thing entirely. Here's hoping!

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Perpendicular Gothic sculpture

Thursdays, man

I'm all up in anxiety's grill today with the various things that are about to happen. To wit:

1. Waiting for feedback from last week's writing submissions. Which is totally okay, there's no rush, but I am just eager to hear back and see what worked and what didn't. (There's a lot of what didn't, I suspect.)

2. Waiting to get paid tomorrow. How much will it be? I did the math as carefully as I could, subtracting taxes and whatnot, but I don't know how to figure it exactly. I hope it's a lot more than I think. But in the general course of events, things tend to be less than, not more than.

3. Trying to write these dang stories while my brain is fizzing and bubbling about everything else going on, or rather not going on. Oh, I've been writing things. But they suck. Plus I'm super avoidant about the usual topics even when I'm all, "I will specifically write about these topics!" It's kind of funny, except not.

4. I keep on refusing to do anything fun until my work is done, because that's sort of my rule, you know? Do your work and then have fun. But that system doesn't work when it's always work time because of online job (still extant, just not reliably and for half the pay) and writing for school and also hello, trying to get this dang novel rewritten and sent out. Which means I NEVER do the fun things because I'm never off the clock.

I need to get off the clock.

Here are some fun things I really want to do:

1. Refurbish this cedar chest that is upside-down on a tarp in my living room. I already put drops of oil on the screws and ancient nails so I can get the feet/brackets and the broken bottom off it. And I have a board to go in its place except it needs to be cut up with the circular saw, which means I need to get the folding trestles out of the shed and set them up with studs for support and find the giant clamps....anyway I could go ahead and take the feet/brackets and broken bottom off, is all I'm saying.

2. Quilt my flannel quilt. Come on, man! My knee even healed up, which was my biggest reason for not crawling around on the floor to baste the quilt together.

3. I dunno, read some books. Granted the last fiction I read was traumatic. But I should still be reading for school. (Whoops, back on the clock.) Basically I won't read for fun because I should be reading for school which means I don't read at all, which is not like me one bit.

4. Paint some perpendicular saints! There is a good pragmatic reason not to do this, in that oil paint takes forever to dry (react/oxidize/whatever). But it's March. I'm definitely not going anywhere until the end of April at the earliest and probably not even then, because where? Why? How? See. I also don't have the lumber I need to build the stretchers to stretch the canvas to paint the saints. Why not just buy lumber? No money, not sure how much I'm getting paid, or really even when, because of the wacky way online job works.

Jeebus. No wonder I'm a basket case.

I did pay my rent, though. Hurray for that! I mean, I always have a terrible time organizing walking over there because of the treacherous snow field and the dog and whatnot, plus it has to be after the mail has arrived but before they have taken the mail in, or the mailman might take my envelope in the morning. So tricky!

Sometimes I just tape the envelope to their door. But not when it's windy, like today.

Probably I should just get in the bathtub with a Meg Cabot book and an adult beverage and stay there until things look less complicated and thwarty. Oh, I got a rejection from a job today, which is no big deal, it was a strange thing and whatever, but I hate rejections. Nobody likes rejections, doy!

Today I started looking at lots of land for sale in the area. There are some for less than $10K! Dude! Of course that's without a well sunk, which costs at least that. And no house. Then I started looking at the high cube 40 foot shipping containers available right up by the grocery store. They will rent them out for $125 a month, and will put doors and windows in them. Wow, huh? It doesn't say what they cost to buy. But I know it's not too much.

This is my relatively pragmatic way of fantasizing about having a place to live that doesn't cost me a ton of money every month but is within the reach of a person who can't buy a house.

Houses are nice, though. I like houses.

I wonder why that land is so cheap? I sort of want to drive over and look at it. Are there bodies buried on it or what? Is it by a gravel pit or a landfill?

There's a beautiful piece of land for sale at the end of my road for $76K, right on the river, but also with no well and no house. I mean, I'm not in the market, nor do I have $76K or even $1K, but I'm curious.

I had the best talk with my landlady yesterday about introversion and the workplace. It really validated a lot of the things I've been thinking about that. We really get along great but we're such devoted introverts both of us that we've lived next door for almost a year and seen each other only twice, both times by accident.

I was over there getting my mail from the temporary the-plow-knocked-down-my-regular-mailbox mailbox. But I've since put my real mailbox back up (again) and today got an actual bill in it, woohoo! It wasn't a large check or anything, but it did arrive right on this property and didn't require slogging through the treacherous snow field where I keep falling through up to my knees and flailing about comically.

That's the first mail I've had on this property since what, the beginning of February? Except for the UPS/FedEx guy bringing my boxes to return my work computer, and my severance paperwork that I had to sign for. Woo flipping hoo.

In summary: outlook feels grim, future is uncertain, anxiety levels are high, but I'm working and earning income, rent is paid, bills will be paid, stories will be rewritten and written again. I'll get feedback eventually and have a conniption over it, no doubt, and then later realize it's fine. And that is the state of things. It's a Thursday of a time of my life, that's what!