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?

Echoplex (Not Quite Albion): Day One Hundred Seventy-Three

128038_1092Specimen jackpot! Albumen! I know words.

Okay.  Serious talk for serious folks.  I have too much on my plate.  This is not new.  My legs are sore and cramped up like the rest of me, thanks to the magic of womanhood.  Not new, not new since our kind first got split and learned the dark art of bleeding for five days and not dying.   But we pay for our powers, in one way or another.

It’s only an hour left until today’s word debt is called due and I’m tap dancing away on the keyboard trying to bring in a whole dictionary where five hundred is all we need to hit.  I want to make this five hundred word list of everything from essential to invented that is called upon for me to handle.  Every task, goal, dream, half-cooked idle fancy that has ever leapt across my mind like a frog on a hot rock in the middle of summer.  Then, spent in the head like a Deep Rock tank glug, glug, glugged until there’s no glug left to glug, I would be able to concentrate on doing.

But, as Amelie noted, or Amelie’s narrator, there are more links in the human mind than there are atoms in the universe.  So where I begin, wherever that is, I take all the rest with me.   I would love a new slate, a new chalk, a new lesson, untaught, but there’s no such thing.  We drag the flotsam and jetsam of ourselves, a glorious, technicolor failcoat that hangs with a train fit for a hundred thousand bridesmaids, up to every precipice we linger at.   When we jump, for a brief instant, all of the mess can fly, too.  Before it drags us down.

I’m fine.  Just wanting to somehow take off the coat, lay on the grass, be kissed fervently, and assuaged.  I can do only the least necessary parts of this self-proscribed solution.  I can only take one spoonful of the medicine and wait, half-ill, half-cured, for the sugar.

No writing group.  No good sense, a lot of trying.  I have a hotel in Florence where they will be expecting me.  A place in the universe where I could tell them I was a writer and they’d believe me and I could walk in the gardens and nobody would know that I was so out of sync with myself.  Or if they suspected, at least, we’d have the language barrier to keep me from knowing their thoughts.  I feel weird about it, but also, somehow, really determined about it, too.  Like even if I stayed in bed for 48 hours (not the plan, but even if), I would be staying in bed in Italy.  Alone, sure, but there.  A fact of location that couldn’t challenged or erased by any power of Mildred or anyone else who thinks I can’t ever get better than alone and in my bed at home.
It’s not been rough at work, I am blessed a thousand ways.

I just keep feeling like I’m not handling my problems and that’s what makes me sad at night.



A Farty Sausage: Day One Hundred Seventy-One


I have to write this and I don’t want to.  I am incredibly disinterested in German food which is where we are headed in a few minutes.  Going to a biergarten.  Can’t drink it and don’t want to.  I feel so fucking get back, get away, fuck off, shut the fuck up and leave me alone.   Thanks, Fred.  Thanks, idiotic idea to say that I have to start dieting today of all days.  All I want is a damn pretzel, but that’s not allowed.  And if I order one, I will get the evil eye and the we know better tsk-tsk.  Ugh! I need to eat, but we’re hurrying off and I have to post this first and I want to start crying as my back is itching and the day has been so long and so unproductive and I just want to claw my own skin off and eat something full of guacamole and lime-flavored and full of chicken.  Not a farty sausage.

Sorry.  I know that’s incredibly annoying.   I  just don’t know how to stop the log flume of pissant comments and flagrantly willful behavior.

I ate a farty sausage.

It was also relatively expensive, as far as a bill goes, for just some sausage and some additional red cabbage (which I failed to understand was not a crisp fresh red cabbage salad, but was essentially just some farty sauerkraut) and some diet coke – as well as my sister’s meal and cider, but also relatively inexpensive because I hope I have bought my sister’s good favor with it to sort out Friday’s business.  Fucking driving.  How do you (I) do? That whole thing reminds me that I still have to reschedule therapy, because I’ve gone too long and my head is all swollen up and in desperate need of shrinking.  It’s probably not a good idea to post about those issues here and assume she reads it and then we’ll be like two ships passing over the Friday night…prairie.  We’re landships in this analogy.  Oh, fuck.  Just leave it.  We had trivia and sausages and made jokes, etc.  This evening.  We did not win trivia, but we did well, as always, for three people generally more interested in lip synching to Styx’ Sail Away than answering the questions.

I have started the diet, like it or no.  It’s happened today mostly out of apathy, because I’m hard-pressed to recall why I need so terribly to do this when I am, as everyone has already settled on and agreed, a spinster who couldn’t turn a man’s eye if she had it on a spit over a hot fire.  I’m hard-pressed to recall, if not for a man’s attention, why I should do something that makes me so unhappy.

I have to correct that.  I’m not unhappy about it…I just am unnerved this time of the month, by something lurking around behind my shoulder that I can’t quite make out.  And it’s not that having a piece of cake will make this thing leave me alone, but it’s that I think it will help me make friends with it for a good few hours before it stabs me in the back.