Bare Minimums: Day 28

This has been, unintentionally, a day spent in bed.  Not out of illness, but because my desk is too uncomfortable to sit in for long stretches cross-legged which is my wont when I’m doing anything computery, and today, the sky decided these coordinates are where all snow must fall.  Eleven inches of it right on this little part of the world, while other places, namely places like where my work is, had less than half that.  So you begin to feel when you call out, that you’re both justified and quite insane.

It’s too late now.  I have plans in the morning to take the bus.  This means doing the little walk too and from work to accomplish it, but this, this is something I need to do anyway.  Accidental, magical exercise.   I’m embracing it.

Meanwhile, my mother apparently nearly choked on her water today.  That was big news.  I watched and felt moved and encouraged by Kamala Harris’ Town Hall.  I feel good that at this stage of the game, there’s someone who I actually want to pay some attention to and hear what they have to say.  It is going to be a painfully long two years or so.

What else?  It was work, and then a brief conversation, and then work, and the YouTube videos and salsa chicken and a queasy stomach and me doing my damndest just to get myself together enough where I could get in the position to go to bed without the whole world falling on my head in the morning.


Bellini: Day 19

Even on the weekends, the toll must be paid.

I am a strange one.  But that’s a good thing.  Strange and weird and ready for work.

You become far less interesting when you stop – even in the short term – working on yourself.  You sort of turn into a putty.  A paste.  You need that latticework to rise up, the trellis to climb, little clematis.  You need the idea of a self that could do so you can lay down in the chalk of what that shadow was and bend and move to fit.   You need to know what to do with yourself otherwise you start to get dumber and dumber ideas, eventually, you stop bothering with ideas at all.

A laziness in language is far harder to read, I suppose, than it even is for me to write.   Let’s not aim for the freedom of inactivity, but instead, the freedom of design and order.   Not order v. chaos, but a thing has a purpose and a place and letting it be purposeful and placed means an efficiency of a psychic field.  It means you can trust reality enough to protect you when you go way out onto the Zee and sail into blackness.

The internet has died aggressively throughout the day.  Each resurrection has been incredibly short lived. I’ve been supplementing with Sunless Seas and watching my boat explode if I try and speed it up beyond the MPH of a snail on quaaludes.

But there is light at the end of the day, having escaped the terror of the snow and things largely returned to normal.   The sister has returned from Portland, this is good news in that she would eventually need to come home, though I will not argue that I could have used a good weekend here.  Not that I was wildly productive with the slab of Saturday I ended up with, but some laundry got done.  Some recycling got out.  The Mississippi Pot Roast was carved into.  I drunk half a Smirnoff Peach Bellini thing until I started to feel something and immediately quit.  I spent an hour on the phone with J speaking about the Gillette ad and moral marketing and everything else under the sun.

He was chipper as all hell.  More productive than he thought.  My attempts to cheer him seemed to be absorbed, which is always a bit more gratifying than it should be.  “There should be a character in my game that reminds me of you…the beautiful woman from the mountains.  That’s you.”  “If there’s anything you like, just tell me and if I see anything related to it, I’ll send it to you. I just want you to be happy.”

I mean, I’d had a drop of alcohol, so I could only take this in the extremely earnest way it was tendered. Funny how both of us seem so capable of completely strangling our own happiness in the hopes it could somehow inflate the other person’s…it doesn’t work that way.  But still, I said “No, no, no, be happy on your own and then I am just the cherry on top…”

Things, whole armadas of things, were said unsaid.

I need to sleep.

The Curious Tale of Alexandria Alexis


Clue has clued me in to the fact that I feel like a ravenous, raging, terrible beast for an evolutionary reason.  All this insanity is for some future peanut to be allowed to be shot through my particular goal posts.  Is that better than just being maniacal for shits and giggles? More noble or moral?

Let’s not try and answer the bigger questions tonight.  Tomorrow’s Friday.  We don’t even have to time travel far to get there.

Cooking.  Made chicken thighs in the dutch oven.

Here’s what I put on it.  This all came about by guessing what might not taste horrible.  I sauteed some garlic with some dried chicken stock starter seasoning the tiniest bit of of olive oil. Once those were browned and smelling so good you wanted to just lick the hot pan, I added maybe a 1/3rd of a cup of water and splashed that around.  That looked questionable, like…just garlic floating in water, so then I threw in a plastic punnet full of grape tomatoes and cooked those down until they were soft and easy to smash.  Cooked the smashed tomatoes, added a bayleaf, some salt to taste, a bit of garlic powder, and a tiny splash of the oil from the chicken thighs.  It thickened up gloriously.  Added some red pepper flakes and cooked it just a bit more.  Poured a nice heap on the chicken and roasted cauliflower I made (with some rice, but I decided not to eat so much of it as it was leftover rice, emphasis on the leftover – all fridge-hardened and lifeless).

This was very good for fucking around in the kitchen.  Also, I spazzed out (exercised) for half an hour and then ate some ice cream.  I feel pretty alright about all of it.  Funny how getting food in your stomach, and some movement after sitting all day stressing about projects and boys and things yet and never to be, can straighten your head out a bit.

The trip to Seattle is coming up in a few months and one of the lovely, darling, effervescent ladies who will be there (and might read this, so hello, if you do!) shared a picture of our last gathering.  I had the usual picture response I have where I just hate myself from top to bottom for not appear in reality remotely like I recognize myself to appear internally.  More cherubic than elfin, stubby, not lithe and capable of leaping tall buildings in a single bound.

But at the same time, I also remembered how amazing a time that was.  How fun to be with people I shared stupid inside jokes with and people willing to be dumb and happy in public.  How much I admire each and every one of those who took part in that.  How beautiful I thought they all were.

So I can’t really get to elfin.  I can’t really get reborn on Krypton.  Not in 3 months.  But I can get stretchier and have more endurance and overall better ability to enjoy everything this convention of like minds in Seattle will offer.  I can do this.  I can do this.  I can do…something more than nothing.

Also wrote some.

Nobody died.  Can you believe it?  We braced all day, clenched and squinted, shuffled and shambled as though the blade were at our throats and nobody died at all.

Knowing What I’ve Done

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  • I am grateful for having a space to express what I feel, relatively free of judgment.
  • I am grateful for this good habit and for everything it’s allowed me to work out of myself and teach me about myself.  That it doesn’t feel like a burden five years down the line.  It feels like my meditative practice.
  • I am grateful that I can stop sometimes when I am rolling too fast downhill.
  • I am grateful to everyone along the way who has cared about the effort.
  • I am grateful for the ability to respond.
  • I am grateful that I am excited about writing lately.
  • I am grateful that even though I keep panicking, I keep driving.  The second day is easier than the first, the third is easier than the second.  Even though the spikes still occur, sometimes flare up to scary places, today feels better.
  • I am grateful that I could set the fear next to me and drive with it.
  • I am grateful that I can make something that helps.  That I can step in and give and see my small effort multiply.
  • I am grateful for the little kindnesses over the course of a day, being given lunch, being
  • I am grateful that I can absorb, on some level, the kind things said to and about me.
  • I am grateful for asking for a favor and people saying yes.
  • I am grateful for connecting and locking in and caring rather than detaching and floating away right now.
  • I am grateful for being that one step closer.

The rest is doubly paid for in story words.

The Ghost Club

625633_41927220We shall no longer be starting these posts with an interjection. Well, at least not until tomorrow, maybe.  Sometimes being here, even though I am more or less talking to myself, feels conversational.  Casual.  After 4 years, one would maybe think I would stop needing to feel like I should turn up wearing the Good Fairy’s pink dress from Wizard of Oz.  That level of ostentation is appealing when you’re standing still, and a little girl (or if you’re me and you would wear such a get-up to the grocery store if you could get your hands on one).

As for today’s attire, I thought they fixed the boiler here, so in lieu of a giant hoop-skirted ballgown, I went with tights and a skirt and a thin slip of black cotton to wear over a sleeveless blouse.  They do not appear to have fixed the boiler. Right now, I could use a bit of a sweater/sweatpants/pelt of a Yeti combination.
Another good, fine day.  The window behind me reflects on the glass panel in front of me so I can see the treetops without having to turn around.  My bamboo hasn’t died yet, I have artwork all around me including a couple postcards I bought in Italy.  There is some sort of Audubon-style image of a pheasant hung up behind me, too, which I don’t quite consider art, but it doesn’t reflect so it’s not so much of a bother.  I look around and click between paragraphs, or even between sentences, to refresh my email, but it’s rare anything comes through.  My boss is out today as well, so I feel once again like a layabout, but I’m bored of talking about it as I’m sure anyone reading is bored, so let’s just pretend we’re 6 months from now when I know what needs doing and I’m doing it like some sort of genius.
Thursday is writers’ group and I have to sort out how I feel about that now that it isn’t so convenient to access.  Assuming we can just leave work, there’s enough time for me to get home and then drive myself down to the city where I used to work, but all of this is irritating me when it should be exciting and good.  One more task, one more check-off list to maintain.  I don’t want to slip down into the dark places I’ve been before, not for more than a look-see.  The agoraphobic, insensible, unheroic place where Mildred rules and if we begin, we begin to fail. All the danger lives there, so that’s where we must take the most care.  It’s happening anyway, so I don’t even know why I bother with the hand-wringing.
I should write these at home.  I really should.  The soul-baring does tend to go better in private places, but tonight, I get to start Dragon Age: Inquisition properly. This is as necessary as a junkie’s fix. A frantic tussle with my graphics card drivers last night left me a bit overclocked when I went to finally start the game and try and futz around with my Inquisitor’s face.  She ended up okay, but I definitely want to try again with a little bit less anxious desire to PLAY THIS GAME pressing down on my temples.
Is this 500 words yet?