Tag: Dear Diary

Social Networking and Issue Resolution

(Writing from August 3, 2011.)
***
Below is a Facebook message conversation between the high school boyfriend who dumped me, and then beat me up in a moment of sudden, jealous rage months after we’d both moved on to dating other people.
I pressed assault and battery charges. He got a little fine and some community service, and I was left with a permanently damaged finger.
He kept trying to friend request me on MySpace and then later, on Facebook, as if nothing had happened. I finally confronted him about this because the last time we communicated it was via prosecuting attorney.
We resolved our issues because he apologized for his behavior. I’m surprisingly forgiving for a Scorpio, if a person will simply apologize for making a mistake. I’m human. I make mistakes too. I get it. Just be sorry, please. I need to hear the words, and we’re good.
I don’t understand why apologizing is so hard for some people?
***
Facebook Message Inbox — August 3, 2011

“Hi Tawni,

Long time since I last saw you. I regret my behavior on that aspect of early life. I often thought about how you were doing and honestly hoped you found your niche in life. As I can see you have: handsome men in your life and you are still a fun-loving person. I have carved out something of my life as well. I’m still a smart ass, but with two beautiful, smart daughters who are very creative and loving. I hope to hear from you, and once again, sorry for all that is bad between us, and hope you can accept me as a friend.

Respectfully with a smile,
Aaron”

Facebook Message Inbox — August 3, 2011

“Hi Aaron,

Thank you. The word “sorry” is really important to me. All I ever wanted from you was an apology for the permanently-crooked finger of mine that you broke during your rage in the Holden High School parking lot. The finger still turns to one side and won’t bend properly. Because of this, the tendons feel tight and it aches much of the time. I would like to have it surgically corrected, but lack the funds and vacation/recovery time to ever make it happen. The odd angle of the finger also made it harder for me to form chords to play guitar when I was in bands.

My parents were not the most caring/selfless people in the world at the time, and I had definitely worn out my welcome via typical teenage rebellion. So despite the fact that the Holden police told me, “Yep. It’s definitely broken. You need to have it set by a doctor,” my folks told me to skip going to the hospital. This is why it healed in the wrong position (kinked sideways).

My parents’ lack of concern for my bones is not your fault, but the breaking of my finger was, because it was broken as I attempted to defend myself from your fists swinging at my face.

My point is not to whine about a twisted ring finger, or my parents. I have the life perspective to know that in the grand scheme of things, a mildly bent finger is ultimately not that big of a deal, and my parents and I have a much better relationship these days.

I share these things to let you know that because of this physical reminder, I have been forced to think about what caused this minor deformity (your anger) ever since the incident, which has made it harder to put it behind me or forgive and forget than something impermanent.

(Another example: When my biological father beat the shit out of me at 15 and chipped off a chunk of my left front tooth, it created a similar lifetime reminder. I am still waiting for his apology. We haven’t spoken in years.)

While I am a forgiving person, you have never actually apologized until now, and honestly, that’s all I was waiting for. So please know that I appreciate your kind, thoughtful words and hold no continued resentment toward you. We were kids, and I’m old enough to realize that kids do stupid things. I know I did my share of stupid things. I only hope that as I age, I do less stupid things. I think that’s the most any of us can hope for, really. Wisdom and serenity would be great, but mostly, we just hope to do less stupid things as we get older.

Congratulations on your beautiful daughters, and for holding on to your inner smart ass. Life is so much easier with a sense of humor, isn’t it?

Your friend,
Tawni”

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Like I Do

(Writing from September 12, 2011.)
***
***

I think it might be prudent to rename this blog: Tawni Channels Your Crazy Grandmother. Sometimes I feel like all I ever do here is whine about my latest health malady. Recipes, pictures of questionable quality, and bitching about my new and exciting versions of physical weakness. Yep. That pretty much covers it. I’m a kvetching old lady trapped in a middle-aged woman’s body.

So… pink eye. Pink eye is sooooo last week. I went to the doctor, I got the costly eye drops, I can once again open my left eye first thing in the morning. Such a luxury.

Today, however, to quote my son in the middle of the night when he woke himself up hacking like a baby seal and I was putting a blanket under his pillows to raise him up and he coughed a wet, sputum-filled cough directly into my mouth… today, “My thwoat feels like it has wocks in it.”

Ahhhh, public school infections. The gift that keeps on giving.

But I got a major perspective check yesterday. Like I do. A few of them, actually.

First, I spent the day (9-11) avoiding Facebook and the millions of trite feeling, “I was eating a sandwich and scratching my ass when it happened,” types of posts.

(The winner: “Today is a sad day for many reasons, but one being….It’s the last episode of True Blood for the season. *sad emoticon*”)

(Copied and pasted directly from Facebook. I’m not even making that up.)

I mentioned to my husband that I was avoiding Facebook for this reason, and sensitive, psychologically healthy human that he is, he gently explained that people need to share their feelings with each other to move past grief. (He didn’t even call me a cold, unfeeling bitch! Special man.) And I agree. But still. I guess I am just not grief-friendly. I’ll work on it.

***

Our son goes to church with his grandparents, my husband’s parents, on Sundays. My husband and I are not religious, but our social butterfly kiddo loves Sunday school, the grandparents love the time with him, and we love being able to do the week’s grocery shopping together in peace. It’s a win-win-win.

So we finished the grocery shopping early, because if you go before the non-heathens get out of church, the store is a ghost town, which is awesome. Then we turned on the television and watched the horrifically scary and heartbreaking-ly sad 9-11 ten year anniversary coverage. I sobbed on the couch watching children who lost parents and parents who lost children. Like I do. And I read the Sunday paper on the couch, which was full of more of the same, and cried over that. Like I do.

Then, right in the middle of my media-induced, nervously worked-up, heightened state of emotional vigilance, the stupid city I live in decided to sound the tornado sirens for a few minutes. Yes, the creepy fucking tornado sirens that scare me the first Wednesday of every month at noon when they test them. And even though I know it’s a test, there is a part of me that thinks, But wouldn’t it be brilliant to launch your attack at the exact time of the monthly siren test so nobody would take it seriously? Because my brain is actually neurotic enough to go there.

But the test never happens on Sunday. Wednesday, not Sunday. And it was the anniversary of major terrorist shit going down, which makes it more likely that shit will go down, according to America. And with everyone already thinking about shit going down, and scared of more shit going down, why would you ever set off a fucking warning siren across a city?

So even though it was high noon when they started up, I absolutely freaked out. Like crying and shaking. Full panic mode. Obviously it was intended as a tribute or a show of respect, but really, my city? Really? How about we just fly the flags at half-mast and call it good? On a day when the media has been scaring us about another potential attack, on a day when there is possibly a higher chance for a terrorist act, on the anniversary of something so unimaginably horrible… do you really think it’s a good idea to sound the fucking emergency sirens?

It felt like a bad joke. Like a mean prank. It felt apocalyptic, like the tornado sirens always sound to me during tornado season, and I hated it, like I always do.

(I have had a monthly post-apocalyptic nightmare since childhood. I blame The Day After. They showed this terrifying end-of-the-world movie to us at school. We lived in Lawrence, Kansas, one of the nuclear-destroyed cities. I’m certain I wasn’t the only one traumatized by it.)

There has to be a better sound they could use to announce the arrival of our impending doom. Like if it’s a tornado, maybe they play “Somewhere Over the Rainbow.” (Actually, nix that. That would be way creepier.) Or maybe if it’s a terrorist alert, they could play, “You Dropped a Bomb on Me” by The Gap Band over the speakers. You know. Have a sense of humor about it. Why not go out laughing, right?

But no. We just have those awful, haunting, ghoulish sirens, howling mournfully like the dogs of hell coming to take me away.

Or something less dramatic.

In the middle of my psychological meltdown, sirens still wailing, me still shaking and crying and pacing, my sweet husband tried to hug me, saying, “It’s a tough day.” He was just trying to make me feel better, or possibly trying to make me feel less stupid for reacting like a four-year-old to scary noises. But I snapped, “It’s not the fucking day! It’s those eerie motherfucking sirens! Why the fuck would they set them off today? Who decided this was a good idea?”

I was really pissed off at whoever decided to set them off. But it wasn’t my husband’s fault. I shouldn’t have snapped at him. I should have called the non-emergency police number and asked them what the hell they thought they were doing. (At least print something in the local paper, warning people that you’re going to use the same sirens that tell us we might die soon to do some sort of 9-11 tribute. Please.)

***

The sirens finally turned off, and I stopped pacing around the house while weeping and looking out all of the windows. I collected myself and felt stupid. Like I do after an emotional outburst. I was about to apologize to my poor, long-suffering husband when his phone rang.

It was his aunt telling us that his dad had collapsed at church. The paramedics were there. And we needed to come get our son.

We got in the car and drove quickly. The ambulance was leaving for the hospital when we arrived. A paramedic told us what had happened. I guess his dad’s blood pressure was rapidly dropping while they checked him out, and it took them awhile to stabilize him for transport.

My husband handed me the keys to our car and left immediately for the hospital with his mother and aunt because they were shaken up and needed a driver for their car. I had the job of collecting my son from the Sunday school nursery and getting him home.

Luckily, my little guy had seen none of this, as the church ladies were kind enough to entertain him in the back of the church, which I appreciated so much. I found him surrounded by adoring women, which is his favorite place to be in the world: amongst his fans (I birthed a major ham… shocking, I know). He was blowing some bubbles someone had given him, and of course, when he saw me, his first question was, “Where’s Granddad?” Sigh.

I fake-brightly told him that Granddad wasn’t feeling good, so he had to go to the doctor for a check-up. He was disappointed, but came with me when I promised him a stupid Happy Meal. His grandparents always take him out to lunch after church and he was upset, so yes, I pulled the classic Happy Meal Maneuver shared by parents across the land. It worked. I have no shame.

We got home and waited for updates from my husband. They are hoping the incident was caused by a too-high dosage of blood pressure medicine, but they are keeping him in the hospital for a few days to run heart tests and other such scans. I’m keeping my fingers crossed for the blood pressure medicine thing, because obviously, that would be an easy fix. I hope he’s going to be okay.

***

One important thing I’ve learned at this point in my life is that whining has absolutely no place in it. Ever. The minute I complain about anything, the universe has a way of making me feel ridiculous, almost immediately.

And I should feel ridiculous. Because somebody always has it worse. It’s funny how life finds ways to remind you that it can always be worse, isn’t it?

Oh, you have pink eye and a burning throat? Poor you. Would you rather be jumping from a burning building, or taken by ambulance to the hospital today?

No, thanks. Turns out, I’m doing great. We cool.

Hope you’re having a beautiful week, friends.

xoxo.

Better Late

(Writing from September 22, 2011.)

So I do this thing where I discover new (to me) music in a weird way.

I played guitar and sang in rock bands for 12 years, and spent the last couple of years before I got knocked up playing in a band in Los Angeles with an amazingly talented filmmaker/guitarist/singer/songwriter who also happened to be a really cool, funny, smart human.

He always wanted us to learn new cover songs, and would give me a new CD he’d burned every week, loaded with potential cover songs, plus songs he’d written, songs we needed to learn for band practice, etc. When everybody in a band works 40+ hours a week, it’s hard to get together for practices as often as you need to in order to not suck at your live shows.

So he’d drop them by the grocery store at which I worked, and my managers would tell me, “Hey. Your band-mate brought this CD by for you.” And I would take the latest CD home and ignore it. Or give the songs we were going to play at practice a fast pre-practice skim. I’m a quick study with music, so I managed to get through practices and shows this way.

But of course now I wish I’d really listened to them and applied myself in the way that we all do later in life when we realize we were only doing ourselves a disservice by half-assing through the important things. I feel like a complete dipshit now for not giving the CDs and the band the attention I should have.

Cut to years later: I have a child, I’ve moved to the Midwest, and the only music time I get, aside from occasionally grabbing my guitar and locking myself in the bathroom to bash and sing, is during my exercise walks. So I have an iPod. And headphones, because I can barely say the word “earbuds,” let alone wear them. And I put every CD I have on my iPod, including the ones my band-mate once made for me.

Now, during my walks, I have the curious phenomenon of having these utterly fabulous songs constantly pop up as unknown artists, the songs my band-mate wanted us to potentially cover that I never really listened to, and I fucking love them. And I have no idea who they are because they were loaded onto my iPod from CDs burned by my band-mate. It’s really weird. It keeps happening.

When it happens, I come home and immediately Google some of the lyrics, trying to find the artist. Some of them are a bit obscure. Tonight I got only one hit on my search, and it was just the name of one of the band members. And the only reason it popped up was because the blogger had quoted the one line of the song I put in, even though it isn’t the title. I had to figure out the band (now defunct) and then the song name to find them.

I obsessively listened to this song over and over again for nearly 3 miles tonight, because when I discover a new song, I do that. I play it over and over again and pick it apart and try to hear all the different melody lines and instruments and parts and words and harmonies and try to figure out exactly what is making me love it.

I found the song on YouTube, so I’m sharing it below. Check it out if you feel like hearing a cool song.

“Calling on Columbia Pike” by Speedwell:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=84fL8FnP_nE

Phone Calls, Missing Places, Cold Kitty Noses, and Odd Dream Statements

(Writing from September 26, 2011.)

I got a call from my son’s teacher this morning.

I had just sent him off to school in the big yellow bus. Walked back home. The phone was ringing when I opened the front door.

It’s always a little scary, getting a call about your child.

One time, it was because he’d hit his head and I had to come decide if he needed to go to the hospital. (He didn’t.)

One time, it was because he was crying inconsolably and telling the teachers that his stomach was hurting really badly, prompting me to make the 10 minute drive to his school in about 5, followed by a race to the Urgent Care clinic. The x-ray showed that he was in pain because he was full of shit. I gave him a laxative and vowed to not be so neurotic next time. (And then I opened a window. Seriously. It was impressive.)

The last time I got a call about my son, it was a few weeks ago, from a neighborhood mother. She was letting me know that her daughter told her my son was pulling down his pants on the bus, and flashing his ass at the kids in the back.

I was mortified.

She was extremely cool about it. She did it the nicest way anyone could ever tell another parent that their child is acting like an absolute hooligan, but still. She told me she thought it was funny, but that the bus driver is kind of a tough cookie, and my kid would get suspended if caught. I really appreciated the call, as I do not want to have to drive my son to school and sit in the Drop Off Line of Doom every morning for an hour. We are also a one-car family, so that would be a pretty major inconvenience.

I let my husband talk to my son about the incident. We take turns with discipline so the boy doesn’t feel like he’s being ganged up on every time we have an issue. My husband definitely scares him more than I do, so I figured he should handle this one.

But today, the phone call from authority carried good news. His teacher said that they were able to do aptitude testing on all of the kids last week, and my son tested well into second grade levels. (He’s in kindergarten.)

Rather than pull him out of class to go read with the second graders, they are going to instead pull him out of class every day until lunch to go learn English with the smartest group of first graders — the ones who tested at second grade levels like him. She said she had to consult with the principal on this decision, and explained it to her by saying: “The other kids are learning the letter sounds, and he’s signing his name in cursive.”

I’ve been worried that he might start acting out and misbehaving because he isn’t being challenged or stimulated enough, so I was thrilled to hear about the plan from his teacher today. His teacher is awesome, too. She’s young, fresh, and childless, and in it for the right reasons. I have adored her since the first parent-teacher orientation.

Unlike his math-challenged mommy, he also tested at second grade levels in math, so rather than taking him away from his kindergarten friends for the second half of the day for math, they are going to supplement him with extra work during the math his classmates are doing. I am pleased that his teacher is looking out for his interests this way. Really pleased.

So that’s cool.

***

I spent last weekend with my parents in Lawrence, Kansas. If you’re one of my Lawrence pals reading this, don’t get mad at me for not calling to let you know. It was just two days of total family time… no going out to bars drinking and carousing and such for me.

My parents got a big hotel suite on Friday, and we hung out together there all weekend. One of my sisters lives in Lawrence with her husband and two kids, so they came over to the hotel (and we also descended upon their house one evening). I had a great time. I cried like a baby as we drove out of the city on Sunday afternoon. I miss my family. I miss Lawrence. If I have to be back in the Midwest, I want it to be Lawrence, damn it. It’s an amazing city.

I miss California too. Basically, I just don’t really like it here in Tulsa very much.

But maybe I haven’t given it a fair chance. I moved here when my son was two months old, and I was exhausted from a C-section recovery period and new parenthood. It’s not like I ever got to really explore the city and see what it has to offer. I’m not really being objective.

So, okay. That’s enough. Enough whining.

***

On an adorable note, my newly adopted cat is sleeping on a blanket I put on the file cabinet in front of the office window. Her name is Cali, short for California. Whenever I write at the desk, she comes in here and sleeps next to me, or watches birds eating at the feeder I’ve placed outside the window. It’s an idyllic scene, and it makes me feel really happy and peaceful, writing while my cat hangs out nearby. I can feel my blood pressure dropping whenever I look at her. Visual Valium.

Behold The Cute:

When she puts the kitten mittens over her face, I die a little inside.

***

Before I go, I want to share a weird statement that floated through my thoughts right before I woke up today. It was announced, like it was being broadcast over a loudspeaker in my brain. It was the last thing that went through my head before the cat woke me up, purring and rubbing her cold nose on my face like she does, so maybe that’s why I remembered it.

The loud voice announced: If you spend your life intellectually beating people down, you will eventually join them.

I don’t recall seeing that sentence anywhere, so it was really weird. I scribbled it down on a piece of scrap paper while stumbling on my way to the coffee this morning. I don’t really know what to make of it, but I’m trying to listen, in case the universe is talking to me.

I hope I’m not intellectually beating anyone down.

I also hope you’re having a good week, my friends.

xoxo.

This Is Why We Can’t Have Nice Bones

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Hi. I’m your cat. I’m going to sit on your lap and hold you hostage with my love or desire for warmth, and glare at you if you try to move. Enjoy!

***

I’m writing this with the kitty above awkwardly lying between my legs as I balance the laptop on my left thigh and she sleeps. Her name is California. I had just realized I haven’t eaten since 9 this morning and it’s now 2:30-ish, which might explain my headache, and then California got on my legs, simultaneously paralyzing and starving me. Oh, cats. How do you always know when the most inconvenient time to snuggle might be? It’s their superpower.

Since I’m trapped, I decided to write about how my last bunch of months since I last wrote about how things are going has been. Because you care. No, you DO. I know you care, and I believe in you, and also you look extremely pretty/handsome today. Did you do something different with your hair?

Let’s see… what was happening the last time I blogged? Ugh, I hate the word blog… can we please come up with a word that doesn’t sound like a bodily excretion, or take itself too seriously, like piece? I feel like I’m 12 when I talk about writing a blog, and like a pretentious twat when I talk about my latest piece. It’s just writing, not an art installation.

Anyhow.

Last time I wrote a writing thing, I was trying to lose some depression weight I’d gained. And then I got all hardcore about it and stopped eating enough food, and my metabolism stopped. And then I decided to eat little snacks between meals and stop starving myself, so the metabolism was like, “Okay, we can work with this, you self-loathing freak… finally!” and I lost 20 pounds in 2 months.

And then I broke my big right toe.

Because that’s just how I roll. What? What’s that, you say, Tawni? Achieving some success? Well, we can’t have that. I think you know what you need to do.

I was writing on my laptop, which must be done on a couch because I broke the end of my tailbone off in college when I was hung-over and running down a really steep flight of stairs to get to the bathroom because I had to pee. I was groggy and out of it, so that whole walking thing wasn’t working out so well for me that morning, and I missed the last 5 stairs. I landed square on my ass and my legs felt numb, which freaked me out, but only my tailbone hurt. Yes, I literally broke my ass, and had to sit on one cheek or the other for months or the loose piece would wiggle and rub against my spine, causing a disgusting zinging feeling to shoot up my back. I don’t recommend it.

This means no desk chairs or delivering babies without C-sections for me. Desk chairs make me hurt so badly I can’t walk and have lower back pain because of my stupid coccyx. Also, My Stupid Coccyx would make a great band name and I’m calling it right now. Dibs.

SO… to self-sabotage this time, I decided one morning in August that I needed another cup of coffee, like I do, stood up from the couch, put down the laptop, and twirled around to grab my coffee mug. While doing this, I unknowingly wound the laptop cord around my upper right foot, much like a snare wire trap might entangle an animal in a field. Because I’m a tall, clumsy girl with nearly zero self-awareness. It’s a living.

When I turned and briskly began to walk in the direction of the coffee pot, I was snapped short mid-air, and fell to the ground like the majestic she-beast I’ve always known I was inside. I hit so hard I don’t remember the fall, and only remember my son, who was watching television next to me exclaiming, “Oh my GOD, Mom! Are you alright?”

I pretended I was okay like all parents do when we don’t want to scare our kids, and sat assessing the damage. I couldn’t move my right big toe at all, and the pain wasn’t going away or even starting to fade like pain usually does after an accident. I walked on the left foot and outer edge of the right foot to the freezer for two bags of peas, and sat on the couch icing the top and bottom of the upper foot area.

It never stopped hurting. I kept waiting for the ice to numb it and the pain to subside, but nope. Still hurt like I’d just done it a minute ago an hour later. Uh-oh.

This is what it looked like:

hurtyfoots

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I added the dogs because I was badly in need of a pedicure, and also so I could make a really lame “Man, my dogs are really barking today!” joke on Facebook. Don’t hate.

***

The husband got home from work and asked me if I was going to drive myself to the Urgent Care and I was like, “Um, sweetie? It’s my driving foot,” and I watched his face fall as you would imagine the face of a man who just realized he no longer has a wife, and has instead acquired a new larger, more awkward child might fall. The realization that this could be a really shitty thing dawned on him all in that moment. Poor soul.

So we spent a nightmarish amount of time getting x-rays and being told by the doctor that I’d broken my right big toe in “a really weird way” and would need to see a specialist as soon as possible, for sure. The lower big toe bone had pulled away from itself to form two weird empty zigzags inside of the bone, as if it imploded and was all like, “Ouch! That hurt! Let’s get out of here, inner bone!” And then the outer part of the bone was like, “No, you guys! I’m going to try to hold you in and not let you go, because walking is something I know the clumsy she-beast will want to do again someday! I know her better than you do!”

The specialist confirmed that I’d broken my toe “in a really weird way” because I can’t even do something as simple as breaking a toe in a normal way, apparently, but that because the outer bone had held it somewhat in alignment, we could probably get away with the annoying support shoe and medical wrap, rather than surgical screws being placed. (Way to go, outer bone! You know me so well!)

So I just barely didn’t need surgery, and had to have x-rays every 2 weeks to make sure the bone was filling into the empty places where it tried to escape the other bone. My right toe is now thicker than the other one, and the doctor said it will be 3-4 months before the swelling will go away because it was a weird break, but I can drive again, so that’s cool.

The toe will always be a bit bigger than the other because we didn’t go in and screw it back together with surgery, and I will have arthritis in it, but I don’t care. Feet are inherently disgusting no matter what, so it’s not like I’ve really lost anything.

The crutches made a gland under my right arm get all freaky-swollen and weird so I stopped using them and went crazy sitting on the couch for endlessly boring weeks instead. Good times. I had some Hearts of Darkness moments. My husband is a very patient man. That’s all I have to say about that.

I had to quit my gym because it will be months before I can put weight on the toe, so I’ve been trying to gently walk it for physical therapy. I’m working up to twice around the block, which is totally depressing, but whenever I get pissed off that I can’t even walk distances for exercise anymore, I remind myself that there are plenty of people who would love my stupid broken toe problem and I get over it. I’ll work back slowly to walking more, and that’s fine.

I’ve been wanting to practice yoga regularly, so I’m trying to look at the loss of my beloved weight lifting regimen as a positive, because I used to wear myself out too much at the gym to feel up to yoga. We’ll see how that goes. (Look at me bright-siding that. I’m impressing myself. High-five, me!)

***

What else? I’ve only gotten one call about my son’s behavior so far this school year, and another kid started it, according to the very nice teacher, so I didn’t have my usual panic attack because I’m the worst mother in the world who ever existed like I normally do after being reprimanded for the behavior of the small human they cut out of my stomach when he’s completely out of my sight and therefore control. So that was progress. For me, I mean.

My husband won a work incentive trip to Mexico for being great at his job, so that was fun. I only barfed one time, and that was because I forgot that my body should only be allowed to have wine or beer, ever, and had way too many cucumber martinis. And bonus: I don’t remember puking at all, or even walking back to our hotel room, so yay!

I asked my husband if I made an ass of myself and he said I actually got quieter. Oddly, I am usually a quietly-blacked-out-but-still-moving drunk on anything strong, which is dangerous for all. At some point in my twenties realized I had to quit vodka and gin and anything hard. But in my defense, there was a martini bar at the resort, and those things were damned good.

I’m growing shaky from hunger and will now try to carefully slide my legs out from under the blanket and cat lying upon them so I might find sustenance before I have to go pick up my kid from school. Wish me luck.

Dear Diary #572

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572. That’s a random number. I don’t know how many times I’ve actually taken to the Internet to ramble about the mundane details of my life to nobody and everybody, depending on how bored the people of our fine planet may be, but it’s probably not in the 500 range. I’m a liar. Sorry.

I call these ‘Dear Diary’ entries because they’re extremely random, and make me feel much like a 13-year-old girl whining in my journal. It’s a living.

I’m writing. I haven’t done this in a long time. I’ve had a bad case of the why-the-fuck-should-anybody-care-about-your-stupid-life writing yips, and I’m trying to move past it. I write words for me, just like I used to write songs for me. It’s cathartic. If someone wants to read it, cool. If not, also cool. I used to not give a shit what anybody thought because no matter what, I was being authentic. I wrote songs because I had something I needed to get off my chest, not to impress anybody else, and I need to get back into this mindset.

This is not a fuck you mindset, just to be clear. It’s a fuck me and my stupid insecurities mindset. Fuck me. Stop caring what people think, you big dork, I say to myself. It’s only life. Don’t take this, yourself, or anything too seriously. Someday none of this will matter, so don’t let it get inside your head and matter now.

Nothing matters. Say it with me, kids. Nothing matters. And everything matters. All at the same time. Nothing and everything matters. Now who wants cookies?

This is also why I turn off the comments beneath my writings. Because I’m not writing to chat about or listen to notes on my feelings, and I’m definitely not wasting precious time responding to trolls. I’m writing because I feel better inside after I write. The end.

And because hot damn, I need a creative outlet. A stress outlet. A nervous energy outlet. A pull-up-the-lid-and-let-out-some-psychic-steam-before-I-explode outlet. Kindergarten through high school, I took dance classes or danced in my bedroom until I was soaked with sweat, sang in every choir class I could take, and I sat in my bedroom endlessly singing to music. In my 20s, I lifted weights, I ran miles, I learned guitar, I wrote songs, played guitar and sang in bands… and then I had a child. Insert screeching brakes noise.

My musical life stopped as my child and heart grew. But my brain never stopped moving. And my brain will slowly drive me crazy if I don’t give it anywhere to go. My brain is a hyperactive child tugging at my sleeve trying to show me all of the things in the world while pulling me in infinite directions all at the same time. My brain never stops. Viva la ADHD.

My brain then demanded I start writing words because pretending to be a poorly-aging rock star in crap bars doesn’t work so well with the whole breastfeeding and being the mommy thing. And I suck at drawing, painting, and art. So words it is, for my much needed creative outlet. Lucky you.

***

I’m about to take an Internet hiatus because the political screaming and racism all over social media and news sites has been doing my head in. I hate to hide when I need to be a voice, but I’m no good to anyone when I’m an anxious mess. And if I see one more hilarious hashtag with the word “matter” and ANYTHING in front of it except “blacklives” I am going to throat punch someone. People’s children are dying and that shit’s not funny. Check yourself.

Another stressor: my husband is in the process of scheduling hip replacement surgery, so I’ll need to be strong as he goes through the operation and months of physical therapy afterward. I’m going to be single-parenting while taking care of my healing life partner and two cats, and I don’t see anywhere jacking around on social media sites can reasonably fit into that schedule. Without the throat punching feeling, I mean.

***

I take these breaks to secure peace of mind from time to time, but this is the first time I’ve decided to put my computer away and completely abstain. No email checking. No Facebook. No news sites. Nothing.

I have a cute little writing-only laptop I use to work on the book a chapter at a time (you know… THE BOOK all writers are working on forever), and it doesn’t allow the Internet, so I’m going to write on that. Only that. I’m forcing myself to be productive and stop playing in the comments sections of Facebook, hoping for peace and productivity. Fingers crossed.

(Humiliating aside: I once said “Fingers crossed!” in a meeting with a college advisor who happened to have a hand condition. It looked like a possible thalidomide-related issue, as her fingers were fused, leaving her two on each hand. She typed faster than I do, and I was genuinely impressed. And then, because I’m an awkward idiot, I used the term “Fingers crossed!” about being able to finally finish my degree, and then I died inside a lot. We exchanged a look. There was a pause. And then I died inside some more. And this is why I don’t like to leave the house. Because I should probably not talk to anyone ever.)

***

My husband isn’t 70, by the way. We’re both middle-aged. We remember where we were when we first heard Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit” song. He was really active in his youth, damaged his hip joint, and that caused a bad condition called avascular necrosis. (You know… the Bo Jackson/Brett Fav-rahh thing?) A lot of football players and people who throw their bodies very hard at not-soft surfaces have his issue.

This is because pretty much, when you beat the shit out of any part of your body, the tissue dies. Avascular = blood flow. Necrosis = death. Damaged bone loses blood flow, and the bone eventually dies. So my husband is on crutches and in pain. He had an MRI that revealed his hip has withered away and he needs the replacement he was hoping to stave off until retirement, which is over 20 years away. Didn’t quite make it. (He’s 6’5″ and gravity is a harder on his bones.)

He had a surgery in 2001 where they drill into the bone and try to make it grow back stronger, to no avail. He was on crutches for eleven months after that surgery. (He learned to play guitar and cook really well during that time, from which I now benefit.)

We checked out his MRI, and rather than looking smooth and round like the hip ball joint on the other side, his right hip ball looks like the surface of the moon. After mice have chewed on it. Giant space mice, I suppose. Anyhow, it looks bad. So the main body part thingy that holds him up on the right side is crumbling, and he can barely sleep because what used to be an often-pain is now a constant-pain.

It’s hard to watch someone you love in constant pain. I’m moving into depression when I need to be not-depressed for someone who needs me, because I will not selfishly make my poor husband’s dying hip about me. I’m really fighting the urge to slip back into the “my mom has stage 4 cancer” depression cocoon I crawled into a few years ago to join my good friends Netflix and too many carbs in a melancholy quest towards unnecessary weight gain. This means I’m drained, pissed off, and looking for an excuse to take out my frustration on anyone who fucks with me… and it’s definitely time to get off social media. (At least I’m mature enough to recognize this about myself, even if I can’t quite fix it. Sadly, this is progress for me.)

My Depression Netflix Jam was all seasons of Gilmore Girls during my mom’s cancer battle; this time I’ve been enjoying House, M.D. when wallowing freely about the cabin. I have been on my own financially since barely-17 and could never afford cable, so I didn’t bother with a TV. This means there are many shows and culturally significant events I completely missed. Thusly, I’d never caught an episode of either of these shows before Netflix. God bless Netflix.

With the need to be stronger than usual, getting away from the soul-draining bigotry, xenophobia, and other awful stuff online seems like a step in the right direction. I’m also grabbing naps without guilt where I can, and getting to the gym for gentle cardio. I might start yoga again. I’ve been reading a lot. I’m doing things that build me up, because the world seems to want to tear us all down right now, and I can’t handle that.

***

I’ve been spending a lot of time putting articles I wrote and sold when I worked in native advertising on this site because I have them on an external hard drive, but nothing lasts forever. I want to have them safely somewhere else for storage, and also, if I decide to write for a similar company again someday, I’ll have an easily accessed example of my “articles for people without much time to read” here for them to peruse.

I used to call them “articles for dummies” because the format is so basic: bold subheadings, numbered lists, titles that let the potential reader know there won’t be a huge time commitment involved if they click, etcetera. That’s the point. But they convey information I avidly researched and tried to present in a somewhat interesting manner, so I don’t consider them articles for dummies: I consider them articles for busy people.

You say “clickbait,” I say “people don’t want to spend 30 minutes reading long essays anymore… deal with it.” Technology is rapidly changing the average American attention span, whether we like it or not. (I actually don’t like it, but I accept it. I rebel against the dying of the attention span by reading multiple books a week and raising a child who loves to read.)

The job was great training for me, because as I’m sure is apparent while you skim this hot burst of my current brain steam, I’m a rambling writer. I write very stream-of-consciousness style, and don’t bother editing if it’s not a professional piece. But the native advertising job forced me to write within a 700-1000 word format, and it was excellent training. Concise has never been my strong suit. I can admit it. (I can also pose the question, “Why does everything need to be concise?” Can’t a girl ramble once in awhile without being shut down? WHATEVER, OPPRESSOR.)

***

My son has been nominated for the National Elementary Honor Society, which is really great because it’s not only offered to kids who get straight As; they have to meet behavioral standards as well. He’s working grades above average in all subjects, but this can often lead to boredom and disruptive behavior, like not being able to sit still or talking out of turn. So I was more impressed by the behavioral standards being met than the academic requirements. I tell him all of the time that there are many people out there with smart brains, but the person who works the hardest will win the job over the big brain every time. Work ethic > intelligence.

His teachers have also had to ban him from the computers because he hacks into them and changes the code. And they’ve told us verbatim that the FBI or CIA need to recruit him now because he’s so smart. I should feel proud, but I’m a little bit scared because we have no idea how to navigate the “learning about the online world versus keeping our child safe” conundrum. So that’s not causing me anxiety at all. Nope. No red wine being consumed in alarming rates in this house. Not here.

Anyhow… that’s my latest. If you’re reading this, I hope you’re well, friends.

xoxo.

 

P.S. I took a stupid Facebook quiz recently, called “What Is Your Subconscious Hiding?” and I got this:

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I laughed pretty hard at this result, but probably for the wrong reasons.

Join me?