Category Archives: geek

You Need to Calm Down: Dear all of US,

It looks awesome. You just need to calm down.

I’ve become a huge T. Swift fan. That’s a lie, obviously. She isn’t from England and/or Ireland. But the fact is that I was on my way to therapy, concerned that the driver was a bit late. When this song came on. It topped the hour of the driver’s station. Suddenly, and to my continued surprise, I found myself listening to the song on the radio. I had an idea that it was Taylor Swift only from reading about her lyrics, and sure ’nuff.

If you live under a rock like me, then enjoy the song and video here.

OK. So obviously this is about a certain Individual, we’ll call him Individual #1. The video added a colorful depiction of all sorts of folks doing their thing and just being happy. And the end has a pro-LGBTQ rights message. It was fun. I hadn’t seen the video before. But I’d seen headlines, the pictures of the dress and knew that there was some controversy over the entire thing.

So. Then my brain shattered as I had a terrific brainstorm in the back of the Uber. Everybody. You need to calm down. I need to calm down. So do you. And your mother. And your cousin Frank. (No offense, Frank. You’re calm.) Even the song and the dress became a big deal between pro and anti-gay and LGBTQ rights groups, and some simply criticized her for cashing in on Pride Month.

Let me tell you something. You need to calm down. It’s a damn pop song. And artists want to make money, LGBTQ or not. I couldn’t rock that dress, but she can. It’s cool. So you need to calm down. But so do I. I just gave several minutes of my life to typing the above sentences.

Enter the need to make more of an effort at being calm and doing your thing, despite the haters. Yes, The Hater in Chief, but also all of them. And quit hating on others and yourself. Just, calm down.

It may seem silly, but I found it cathartic to hear this woman slice into Individual #1 without apologies. And if that upsets you, then you need to calm down.

Wistfully pining for the death of Prime Minister Thatcher in Margaret on the Guillotine, by Morrissey happened. Biggie wrote a song in which he brags about robbing “pregnant bitches.” Um, John Lennon posed naked with his wife in bed. You realize that’s how they get attention right? Courting controversy. Famous people like attention.

Anyhow, this tune is dead basic pop. But its spirit and message is the response to the world and life that I have been searching for. I did anger, and depression, and I’m just over who said what on social media today. Blah, blah, blah. Life has become The Walking Dead, and someone needs to stab it in the brain. It just became too awful, too convoluted, too unbelievable, and just too painful to sit through any longer. It needs to stop.

Or I need to change the channel. I need to calm down. I’m just going to stay chill and focused on me, while you do your thing, and we’ll see how this turns out. It’s like feeding Tribbles. The more you feed a relationship tribble, the worse you’ll look and feel when all that tribble drama comes tumbling down on your head. When I am thinking about the Picard trailer, the more likely I’ll compare relationships to tribbles. See?

We all know the rainbow, glitter, star-studded video — or the rainbow dress — reflects nothing in reality. No one’s experience of life is that simple. If I could just calm down, I wouldn’t still require therapy or medication to help me work through and/on myself. But there is a nifty, gestalt, zen, Bob Newhart about “You need to calm down.”

We’re all like the guy in the joke who beats his head against a wall because it feels so good when he stops. We need to calm down. And, it is a wise-assed swipe at people who don’t help. Because, on top of the horrifying absurdity of life, do we need unhelpful people? They need to calm down or be out of my life.

The magnificent American, Carl Sandburg declared in his epic poem The People, Yes. “Sometime they’ll give a war and nobody will come.” I don’t know if that day will ever arrive, but these days, everyone is enraged and looking for a Casus Belli. And when you look for trouble, or violence, or war you usually find it.

Why go looking in the first place? Do you wear orange to a bar named Tir Na Nog on St. Patrick’s Day? And yet we have actual citizens calling for the deaths of — or actually have killed — other citizens. Over what? You need to calm down. Now. Nobody should die or be hurt or commit suicide because you can’t control yourself. Because you need that much attention. I don’t have it for you anymore.

There are those who will misread everything I wrote above as an attack. Like tile yields in a strategy game, they see the world through lenses of interest. I can’t help that. But I can stop seeing the world through their eyes. Let me show you the world through my eyes! I could worry about what my abusive ex is up to. I could communicate with him. But I’m not gonna. I don’t care. So, you know what? I got 99 problems, but that guy ain’t one. I need to calm down, and he wouldn’t help.

So, yeah, that’s the tale of my Taylor Swift related revelation in the back of an Uber. ” You need to calm down.” We all need to calm down. Down the line. Et al. Every single one of US. Because if we are all miserable in our private or personal lives, we’ll continue to cross new Rubicons on the social front. And the public strife works to make us terrible/miserable human beings. We cannot sustain relationships in this way, nor can we reestablish our nearly broken public trust in government and laws and morals. I promise to calm down if you do. You know, give peace a chance. 😉

✌💚🖖

-J.Lakis

While you’re here: check out the wonderful work done by the people at The National Alliance on Mental Illness and donate.

Check out my Instagram! There are pictures of stuff I like and hate.

Got a COMMENT? Click below. I love the feedback. If you like what you’ve read, tap the star LIKE button! LIKE and SHARE on Facebook. Follow and share on Twitter.


For Hate’s Sake I Spit at Thee: Moby Dick

The name Moby Dick is a byword itself. So why am I offering up my experience after reading it five times in a row since winter? It has been rough. A rough time. And I’ve been breaking my mind to come up with a response. But I have none. Except that I feel as though if I don’t find a way to express this growing surge in my chest, well there will be some trouble, is all.

This will be the fourth blog post I’ve written or rewritten since I last posted. I haven’t been able to publish one.

So, I am just going to write through this writer’s block by writing about my recent experiences with Moby Dick.  It reminds me of when I read Homer and think: ooooo! This thing everyone has thought was so awesome that it has lasted 3,000 years is really great! Bravo me? I just caught up to basically literate in 800 B effn C and E. There really need be no award for that. You’re simply punished if you don’t. I dunno. Maybe it’s some kink of Greek thing.

First off, there’s Ishmael. Now this guy is easy to like. For one thing, he is a depressed school teacher, who refers to whaling as “his shot and ball.” So basically, “I don’t want to shoot myself, so I’ll go do this crazy thing that’s sure to kill me!” But then his gentlemanly acceptance of Queequeg as his sleeping companion, stating that it’s better to sleep “with a sober cannibal than a drunken Christian” makes him seem amiable, worldly and thoughtful. And so he proves.

Then, Ahab. He is great and terrible. This wounded genius and twisted greatness. He uses his skill at leading men to convince a cross-section of the races and religions of the world to madly rush towards death for him. And gentle Starbuck. With neither just enough courage to kill Ahab nor just enough capacity to convince him to stop through love. And, yes, I love Stubb. Who doesn’t love the guy who sees the world coming to an end, and his first thought is to strip buck naked? Ishmael says Stubb would face death as just another order from above his rank to be followed. So, Stubb just follows orders.

Ah. And the way Ishmael explains everything! It’s beautiful. Trying to show off. But I love his meditations from the look outs. I love to follow his mind out ranging over the azure below to where it meets the azure above. It reminds me of being lulled to sleep by the song Breathe before every clock in the world wakes you up for Time. On Dark Side? You get relaxed into a lack of care, before suddenly reality rushes back on you.

Oh, and duh, Jess. But there really are two Ishmaels. One is the younger man in the story, and the narrator says this happened “nevermind how many” years ago. So, finally I realized, Oh! so this is why I can hear Ahab speaking to Starbuck in his quarters.

My other big bangs from my recent reading of Moby Dick are more pop culture. Well, for one, Gregory Peck is Ahab. He just is. I know that’s not a faithful rendition, but it’s John Ford? Houston? I don’t know. Ahab is Ahab is Gregory Peck. In the big stove pipe hat.

And my second pop big bang is Star Trek II: Wrath of Khan. I realized that there is a coffin at the end of each. In Moby Dick, it’s QueeQueg’s coffin refitted as the life buoy that saves Ishmael. And in Khan it’s a photon torpedo outfitted as a coffin for Spock shot at the Genesis Planet where life renewed. Apart from Khan quoting Moby Dick the entire film, and having a copy in his bunker.

Oh yeah, and Jaws! Jaws is Moby Dick if Starbuck had lived or won. And the three day chase, the three whale boats, the three barrels. And both are a sequel for one character, so this time it’s personal. I love that movie. It has traumatized me for life though.

Not only am I glad that Ishmael gives us as much whaling information as we need to follow the action, but his  anatomical descriptions, particularly o fthe head. Because the head of this animal is like a monolith. Like THE Monolith from 2001. Unseeing, unfeeling, unstoppable, unknowable, with a jaw full of teeth attached to this monolithic front. It’s terrifying. And it’s white. The whiteness of the whale made a chapter name, why do you think the whale’s head is white?

Ha. I guess sometimes it’s just relaxing and easy to talk about a book because I could go on and on. What have you all been reading?

Comment and Like below! Trim topsails! Up anchor! Ten degrees to leeward laddies! Did I mention this book is both extensively brutal, with homosexual themes?

While you’re here: check out the wonderful work done by the people at The National Alliance on Mental Illness and donate

Check out my Instagram! There are pictures of stuff I like and hate.

Got a comment? Click below. I love the feedback. If you like what you’ve read, tap the star LIKE button below, & LIKE and Share on Facebook. Follow and share on Twitter.


It Doesn’t Matter What You Do: The Importance of Farting Around

My man Kilgore.

Depression paralyzes. We all know the story of the Prince of Denmark whose grief did passeth shew, but not enough for him to really do anything about it. Everyone dies in the end. It’s a mess. I don’t want to be like that guy or his dippy girlfriend. Except that I am. I’m wearing a long black cardigan over a Darth Vader shirt and listening to The Smiths. I am drinking tea I made from herbs I grow. But at least I’m doing something.

Putzing around, farting around, puttering, tinkering; I’ve done them all. I have big projects, one involving terracing out a garden on a hill. There is my guitar of course. I’ve been serenading the neighbors as much as weather permits. Breaking in my new Doc Martens. I’ve become quite a hand at making granola bars and veggie burgers on an industrial scale. Watching the tomato and other starts, start. Making and using my own potting soil, thank you.

I suffer from some hypo Depressions. So, I’ve adopted a “just do stuff” code. I mean, some of what I’ve been up to has been intense. I was on steroids for two weeks after I cleared out this one overgrown area behind the house. I had poison oak on my arms. It wasn’t that bad. The steroids helped. But yeah, I don’t care what I do, so long as I do something. Sure, I cleared that area, but I also worked out a lot of aggression!

I can’t sustain whatever overcomes me (sudafed) when I Hulk out on a hill or garden or whatever project. But I can sustain a good putz. Sometimes I do a small thing. Like clean and oil my fisker’s and lose them immediately. Sometimes I make a mental Scarlett O’Hara note: “I’ll think about that tomorrow.” But you know what? Aside from just getting me up an about and not languishing in the depths of despair, I do feel like I get things done. It may not always be a super lot, but doing stuff at any pace is good for me. I get to think “Hey! Look! I did this stuff!” And people are like “Nice stuff doing, Jess!” And I’m like “thanks.”

Putzing around has more benefits now than ever. I mean, did you notice the Constitutional Crisis and other troubling developments in the news? I did. So I just keep doing stuff. Breathing and doing stuff.

The more meaningless the better, really. Butterfly gardens. Blogging. Playing guitar. And now I finally have an idea for a bigger writing project I have in mind. We can talk about that later. But I have been out of writing form for about two years. It’s painful now. So I have to write. In this sense, the putzing lead to further putzing with the world, and now I have a new writing project.

Something else to do. Something to wrest my mind back from the anxiety and depression. And from yeah, That Thing. The Thing that won’t just frakkin go the frak away.

Writing is just a way to fart around, and give my brain a good long, meaningless problem to work out. It’s exactly what I need. Hopefully by the time I’m finished, the weird scary shit will have gone away. Especially the big scary man. ugh.

Nothing seems to matter anymore. And there’s not much we can do but look through our fingers for a time. So why not fart around!? I’m going for more brain activity, and some small rewards to help check my Depression and Anxiety. But I firmly believe we should all fart around. I mean, what else is there to do? Wait for Barr to be stabbed behind the curtain? Just go fart around. That’s an order.

While you’re here: check out the wonderful work done by the people at The National Alliance on Mental Illness and donate

Check out my Instagram! There are pictures of stuff I like and hate.

Got a comment? Click below. I love the feedback. If you like what you’ve read, tap the star LIKE button below, & LIKE and Share on Facebook. Follow and share on Twitter.

.


My Rock God Delusion Therapy

May kill fascists?

Oh you all are missing out! I’m telling you. If you were my neighbors you could enjoy the joyous noise of my totally sweet guitar stylings every evening. And, if you were super lucky, the dulcid tones of my voice echoing up through the valley. It’s so sad. I’m so sorry.

I haven’t had any official complaints yet, but it’s THERAPY. OK? So go ride your ATV around and let the dogs chase you, noisy. You’re missing out. Anyhow. It’s true. I live in a sort of natural amphitheater back here in a hill at the bottom of a big open valley. And I have a kitchen porch that is one floor up. And that is my stage. And on it I am a rock god, and all my neighbors, my adoring fans.

I can’t help it. I’ve experienced difficulties lately. This is how I’m adapting to my new reality since I moved here and, you know, when we fell into the Twilight Zone in November twenty billion years ago in 2016? There were two main offshoots of that. First was that I had no idea what to do. I felt overwhelmed and PISSED. I’m in a new house. Totally inundated. My dog had just died. I did not know what to take care of first. The second became an inability to be articulate. To speak, yes, but mainly to write! And that’s me. My thing. La cosa mia. Writing.

So much flew out of my control, and my world was turned around. I felt powerless. That spiraled into rage, constant anxiety, and abject depression. So, I tried a lot of things. Coloring, gardening, playing Star Wars Battlefront II, vegetarian and vegan cooking, making gardens with a pick axe, but I was also led back to the arts. I painted again. And then I picked up my Dad’s old guitar. And that was it.

I practice guitar whenever I have a moment. I always want to play my guitar. I always want to bring it with me. I don’t know why. Maybe it’s because music can express what other art forms cannot. A sort of soul-longing. And in general I play The Pogues, Woody Guthrie, other traditional music, and The Smiths. I have the same music as a Spotify playlist that I call Pissed Poor.

This music reflects struggle with a world that doesn’t really like the fact that you exist. Okies, Irishmen, Morrissey. And hard times and a bad place: The Dustbowl, the history of the Irish, Thatcherite England in a post-industrial town. Playing this music helps me engage with feelings that are similar to my own. It’s a way to sympathize and not be alone. Be connected by the feeling in the music.

Music became a new tool to experience and process more complicated emotions and difficulties than I could in words or pictures. Partly this is because it is instant. It appears, exists, then disappears. Like magic. But I credit the emotionally honest state that I achieve when playing with my complete lack of musical knowledge. It is by far my worst “art.” Medium. Whatever. What sort of medium is music anyway? It’s mathematical vibrations in the air.

I don’t get music. But I think that’s why it works for me. I know how to draw. I know how to write. I understand the concepts and practices of those art forms or media. So I can contrive to achieve a feel, but music for me is just raw, how it comes out. Like Shane MacGowan spitting out a song while wrestling with gravity.

It’s not important what I do anymore, so much as that I am doing something besides freak out with rage, depression, or anxiety. And music helps me achieve that. I have a system for my daily routine, but it’s wide about edges. I just need extra time. That’s all. I usually use the rule of three. Whatever you think it’s going to be in time, or money, or whatever, multiply that by three.

Music comes in because I want to squeeze every second of time for practicing. It gives me joy. So I look forward to when I can play. Of course, sometimes I cheat. But I can’t just drop a song I just picked up at prime time like that. Jeez. I have to have time to practice the song before I debut it. But I do that when no one can hear.

So this late Spring season we’ve added some Guthrie and Pogues, but my current musical therapy session is focused on learning “I Know it’s Over” by The Smiths. So my neighbors are no doubt happy about that. Lucky them. I don’t normally play six and a half minute songs. So my fingers get tired. But don’t you worry. I’m getting close to it. You’ll all hear the full performance, sobbing and all, someday, live, on my porch, in my rock god delusion therapy session. Lucky.

Check it out: I’m writing again, about music. Nice trick, huh?

While you’re here: check out the wonderful work done by the people at The National Alliance on Mental Illness and donate.

Check out my Instagram! There are pictures of stuff I like and hate.

While there: check out my BFF’s Instagram and share some love.

Got a comment? Click below. I love the feedback. If you like what you’ve read, tap the star LIKE button below, & LIKE and Share on Facebook. Follow and share on Twitter.

 


A Rainy Night in Soho: Loneliness & Song

I never made a point to go back and speak about the trauma I suffered at the beginning of this summer. It was a deep betrayal of a bond that kept me propped up emotionally. And I collapsed with it.

As I pointed out in an earlier post (In Which I Sing), I did pick up my Dad’s old guitar and have been practicing.

I suppose I enjoy it because my brain is full of words. Words strung together around an idea. Words to songs. Words to stories. I’ve never been short for words, until I was.

I suppose the answer lay the nature of the betrayal I experienced. That relationship was built on words. My words, mainly. And my words were suddenly turned against me, and worse, didn’t matter. I didn’t matter.

I’ve always been a talker. I have opinions on everything that I’ll back up with reams of words. I don’t even have to understand what I’m saying, or why, so long as the words sound good. That they string along well. They’re unusual or surprising, alliterative and witty.

But I can’t say I’ve ever been the popular type. I am exactly what I seem, the former editor of my high school literary magazine.

But I’ve always had friends. Until I was married, really. By the time I came to leave that relationship, I can’t say I had a friend. No one knew me, and I knew no one. My family and old friends had become strangers to me, and I to them.

One of my joys in piecing my life back together was rediscovering friends. Old friends and new. Renewing bonds and learning to understand what had changed during the gap in my life. Some friends took longer to regain, some I never have. I accept that.

Individual therapy has saved me more than once. In therapy, beyond the formal learning, I am able to practice being me. I was no longer sure who “me” was. I had a memory of me. Me healthy. Me full of confidence. Me the pain in the ass who wants to explain evolution to you. But who is “me” now? I knew I was deeply changed. In some ways irrevocably. But therapy gave me a safe space to explore this new “me.”

I suppose such a bond as that with a therapist becomes like a friendship. Mainly one-sided, but an open, honest, trust-based relationship. I like to wear my nice clothes and put on makeup to see my therapists. Present myself well. I want to impress, to prove I’m learning.

So, it was what I view as a betrayal of that bond by a woman I’d seen for two years as my therapist that sent me quiet.

I live with someone I love very much, who is good and kind to me, and who needs me too. I have family close by. But I don’t drive, and there is no public transportation here. I can’t say that I’d see many more people if my situation were different. But I would get out more. And a betrayal on such a personal level makes me less likely to seek people out.

The most helpful friends I’ve had lately are those like myself. Old and new. Involuntary hermits. Kindreds in mind and spirit.

As I said, I haven’t been writing as much. But music seems to help me channel some of that shattered pain, and the frail shards of happiness I’ve recollected.

Instead of speaking, I’ve become a prodigious doer of stuff. Good stuff. Extreme stuff. Gardening, fixing this old house, etc. I’m actually tough! But it all would be empty without my music. And if I feel nervous or unhappy, there is my music. I need my music. But what I listen to most is the words.

I’ve found a lot of solace in the music of resourcefulness. The kind that people make when times are hard, on what instruments they have. When work, if you can get it, doesn’t necessarily pay, and music is a chance at release. The music of folks who make a great noise at the passing of a loved one because they’ve earned their rest.

I like music about the confusion. About the search. Music to raise the dead. I’ve been working on this song above for some time. There are layers of meaning in it that speak to me of misspent youths, friendships come and gone, and somehow, purges my own demons. This song tells me “It’s OK.” Music to soothe. Music so I don’t feel alone.

I’ll borrow the words of others, until I regain my own.

While you’re here: Please check out the wonderful work done by the people at The National Alliance on Mental Illness and donate.

Check out my Instagram! There are pictures of stuff I like and hate. 😊

While there: check out my BFF’s Instagram and share some love.

Got a comment? Click below! I love the feedback. If you like what you’ve read, tap the star LIKE button below, & LIKE and Share on Facebook! Follow and share on Twitter.


YOU DON’T KNOW WHAT PAIN IS!: The Buffalo Bill-ing of America

Ted Levine’s portrayal of the serial killer Jame Gumb, AKA Buffalo Bill, in The Silence of the Lambs, remains the most chilling portrait of a socio/psychopath in film history. And while the character from Jonathan Demme’s 1991 classic psychological-thriller has more famous lines — Put the fucking lotion in the basket! — his most chilling comes during his mockery of the pain of the young woman he has trapped in his basement. When she takes his dog hostage in an effort to escape, he shouts at the woman at the bottom of the filthy well “YOU DON’T KNOW WHAT PAIN IS!”

Jame Gumb

He can’t understand or feel the pain of another, let alone validate it. And this is exactly where we are as a nation. We have all become so wrapped up in our personal axes to grind, whether they be based on gender, race, religion, class, etc, that we cannot see past our own pain, however valid. I’m not discounting the value of spreading awareness while making the case for change in our culture. Exactly the opposite. Call me crazy, #livingwithmentalillness, but I don’t view compassion, awareness, and political equality as a zero sum game.

If The United States holds out one great Promise, it’s that the constant work of making truer that original promise that we are all equal, and entitled to equal rights will bear fruit. I have no idea where the notion that there is a limit to the number and type of human beings with equal rights under the law came from. But I want to blow it up.

The #MeToo movement is as valid as #BlackLivesMatter as #BlueLives as #SupportOurTroops as #TakeaKnee as #LoveisLove as #CatholicChurchMolestation as #SecondAmendment as #GunControl as #NotOneMore. It’s only when these causes separate into little mutually exclusive cliques that we end up shouting down the well at our fellow human beings.

Is there room in this nation to support Colin Kaepernick and #BlackLivesMatter, be a Quaker who does not stand for nor salute any man-made symbol, live with a former Marine, #SupportOurTroops, and just want to celebrate The Eagles Superbowl win (finally!)?

May I support my #SecondAmendment rights, while still believing in common sense #GunReform? Can I suppot #Legalization as well as #RuleofLaw? Can I be #MeToo without incurring the wrath of males? Can males molested by the #CatholicChurch be #MeToo as well? It would make sense.

#Sexism #SexualAssault #EqualPay #ReproductiveRights and other #Feminist issues affect women of color far more than my (admittedly fine) white ass. And desiring to raise awareness about #PTSD #Depression #Anxiety and #LivingwithMentalIllness doesn’t mean I don’t also care about #PrisonReform. These issues can, and should, coexist.

Now, I absolutely do not want to associate myself with the mealy-mouthed #bothsides are to blame, nor enable the Fascist “I don’t do politics” appeasement movement of #Quislings and #Collaborators. I really don’t know how else to demonstrate my liberal cred than by practicing empathy and compassion.

I believe that this nation is big enough for all comers, and that Freedom and Equality have no limit. In fact, the more freedom, the more democracy, the more democracy, the more equality, and the more equality, the more freedom! On a purely pragmatic level, it keeps the creep of fascism at bay. And it’s also truly American and Patriotic. If America is about Freedom, let’s have it! There is enough to go around in a nation this large and diverse.

All I ask is for the practice of the compassion and empathy it takes to recognize and feel another’s pain and want to help. That’s how we humans survive, right? Working together.

I heard something that the Dalai Lama said once. I cannot remember the exact quote, but the gist of it was: When your fear touches the pain of another, you feel hatred and disgust. But when your love touches the pain of another, you find compassion.

If we don’t all embrace that as a rule to live by in the world’s oldest modern democracy, we’re all just Buffalo Bill shouting down the well in our basement at our fellow human beings. Mocking their pain. Bust down the door to your heart. And, like Clarisse Starling, save that suffering person. You never know when your turn in the well will come.

And if you really want your voice heard: VOTE! I don’t care what Russian propaganda you’ve read to the contrary, it’s the only way to gripe that really matters. Election Day is Tuesday, November 6th. Uber is offering free rides to polling places. And it is illegal for your employer to punish you for leaving work to vote.

PS – I know I teased a vlog earlier this week. It’s coming. But, as always seems to be the case anymore, current events outpaced my ability to edit. Especially with my arm still injured.

While you’re here: Please check out the wonderful work done by the people at The National Alliance on Mental Illness and donate.

Check out my Instagram! There are pictures of stuff I like and hate. 😊

While there: check out my BFF’s Instagram and share some love.

Got a comment? Click below! I love the feedback. If you like what you’ve read, tap Like and Share on Facebook! Follow and share on Twitter.


In Which I Sing: The Pogues

As you may have noticed, I have not been particularly active on this or other written social media. There are good reasons for that, which are for another post. However, I have been finding an outlet in music.

I refurbished my Dad’s old 1964 Guild guitar, and have been reteaching myself to play. I look for songs that say something to me about my life, and just let me work out difficult feelings.

So, I’m taking a bold step in posting a piece of music I’ve been working on for a bit. The name of the song is The Old Main Drag by, The Pogues. So, check out my cover! I can take the criticism — a positive legacy of art school. Singing and the guitar have saved my life this summer. But that doesn’t mean I can’t take a hint.

Let me know what you think in the comments below! Should I post more music? Lemme know!

While you’re here: Please check out the wonderful work done by the people at The National Alliance on Mental Illness and donate.

Check out my Instagram! There are pictures of stuff I like and hate. 😊

While there: check out my BFF’s Instagram and share some love.

Got a comment? Click below! I love the feedback. If you like what you’ve read, tap Like and Share on Facebook! Follow and share on Twitter.


Antici….: Jessie’s First AMA

tim-curry-rocky-horror1-165937

I see you shiver!

Hello my lovelies! I asked for it, and you gave it to me. So here you are! Answers to the AMA (Ask Me Anything) questions I requested on Facebook and Instagram! Excitement abounds, as we hold our breaths in antici….pation!

Let us begin, shall we?

  • Chad jumps in with a toughie! He asks: “How hard is it to continue to blog? Do you run out of ideas? What percentage of comments about your blog do you find frustrating?”
    • I’m overlooking the three-for here, Chad, because they are interesting questions . To your first point: yes and no. It’s something that I enjoy doing. It makes me happy to toss my brain droppings at an unexpecting world. But it is one of those things that can get easily lost in the shuffle of life. I try to schedule out a day or half-for blogging once a week. And, of course, it limbers me up to work on other writing, as well as helping me schedule that other writing work in. It’s a practice, like Kung Fu or something.
    • Do I run out of ideas? Oh good gracious no! I hold extensive conversations with myself, and sometimes I just have to settle the issue in a blog. Or I can always do an AMA…
    • The comments that frustrate me are the ones that are never posted.
  • Jenny asks: How does she get the black, henna tattoo she gave herself while mildly intoxicated and disturbed by puppies, off her hand?
    • Baking soda? Strong detergent that removes oils, rubbing alchol, mineral spirits? Good luck.
  • Deborah asks: Is there another job or skill, trade, or occupation that you ever considered trying or at least learning besides your writing?
    • Kudos on a good question. I actually didn’t formally study writing in college. So, I suppose the answer is, I have! I took an audit on small business planning and propsal writing at Temple. I trained in ESL and taught in Costa Rica for three years. I also trained to be a paid, written translator, which I did more towards of the end of my time there. I gringofied text to ensure native usage.
    • I also studied film and art, and that came with some unusual uses, and joys. Including: screenwriting, story boarding, classical oil painting, how to coil a cord, wire things, sound edit, sculpt, draw from life, draw the human form. I also took a lot of wonderful humanities courses, such as Shakespeare (history plays and tragedies), Medieval European History (plague! yay!). I even took a class in which I wrote both Jungian and Freudian analyses of fairy tales. That’s how I discovered Joseph Campbell. Yeah, so no regrets there really.
  • Charles asks if I have any advice for aspiring writers. Mos def!
    • Firstly, write. Write some more. Then more. Just, you know, write a lot. Write about your characters, write about the setting, the view point, what you want to say. Write everything about your story. Then forget about that stuff and let it inform your work from the background. And keep a way of recording your thoughts with you at all times. Ideas are slippery.
    • Secondly, STUDY YOUR CRAFT! You may have the bestest idea ever ideaed in the history of ideas, but execution is everything. There are standard guidelines regarding formatting, beats, plot points, etc. Learn these things! Find freedom in the form. Practice writing synopses. If you see a film or read a book, ask yourself: What genre is this from largest concept to smaller? For example: Comedy, Crime, Heist. Base your stories on one or two word ideas, such as “unrequited love.” Constantly challenge your characters, and raise the stakes. Conflict is drama. Try explaining books or movies in two sentences or less. “While facing threat X, hero must deal with Y and Z, , in their struggle to accomplish A, while learning the value of B and C along the way.” This will keep your mind right when you find you get bogged down in details in your work. Fake being a Pro until you are.
  • Lisarae desires to know: Who inspires me the most, living or dead and why.
    • Everything inspires me. Life is. And it doesn’t last. I don’t need to say “Yes!” to it all, but if something bothers me, that is inspiration as much as any joyful example. I make my meaning and justice as I can. I question everything, find what’s interesting, satisfy curiosity, take in what is good for me, reject what is wrong and try be free and young of mind. And when I fall, I just drag along until I can stand again.
    • Mente sana en corpus sanum.
    • Also, I totes made up that answer because I can’t think of just one person. But it doesn’t make it less true. Carl Sagan & Walt Whitman are big influences.
  • Barbara wants to know my shoe size:
    • Six female. Exactly six. And no other size ever. Just how it be.
  • Barbara also was interested on where she could see my answers.
    • Here, darling.
  • Dave demands to know why reality programming is so popular.
    • Money. A little while back the writer’s union striked. The studios realized it was cheaper to just send out small video crews, use non-union talent, and no script. Pay your writers!
  • Seth states that his questions are too niche to garner much reaction.
    • Well, you write broad statements.
  • Jo Ann has a thought experiment: There is a room with a single light fixture in the ceiling, no doors or windows. Turn off the light switch, where did the light go?
    • Oh my god why am I sealed in a windowless and doorless crypt! Is there a bottle of wine down here? And I can’t reach the light, which is on the ceiling.
  • Mark got all deep with: Do the answers meet my expectations?
    • Do I have a choice?
  • Jak came in with: Have you seen “The Witch?”
    • Yup. Loved it.
  • Jezebel wants dirt: And asks if I could marry anyone else, who would it be? (proviso: cannot be Morrissey)
    • I’m not married. I tried it out, and I’m not a fan. The legal and health stuff is important, and I kinda like Quaker weddings, which are legal in the Quaker State. But, yeah, in general not a fan of weddings, and marriage just seems artificial, and harder to get out of than in.
    • And, Stan, obviously.
  • Joe asks: What is the best, Baltimore-based, crime/drama that he should absolutely watch?
    • It begins with a W and ends in IRE. Jerk.
  • Sue wants to know my favorite food.
    • That which I grow myself, of course.
  • Kelly Anne asked a question about event horizons
    • Kelly Anne thinks I’m Neil DeGrasse Tyson.
  • Marilyn wonders what advice I’d give to an eight-year old.
    • Run!
    • Get dirty, turn over rocks, ask questions, question authority and received wisdom, read books, try something that scares you regularly.
  • @sperzeproski Wants to know which is my favorite Star Wars movie, and why?
    • The first one. Star Wars. It’s a revolutionary sci-fi-action, drama film that changed how films would be made forever. The story follows a young farmboy named Luke Skywalker, who dreams of leaving his nowhere planet, until he discovers a message in a second-hand space MacGuffin that contains a desperate plea for help from a beautiful Princess dressed in white. Luke’s search for answers soon leads him on the adventure of a lifetime, as he joins a group of rebels fighting an Evil Empire with the power to destroy planets, and discovers that he can control a powerful Force that can work for good and evil. This film changed the cinematic landscape forever. Gone were the taut, pessimistic dramas of the early seventies, while the film industry embraced an optimistic view of good vs evil. The models, and computer tracking developed by the need to shoot realistic models with complex movement, introduced film to computers.
  • Fruitocrat came up with the winner: Why are you scared [to do an AMA]?
    • Tom Hardy says that he looks both way before he crosses one-way streets because he has no faith in humanity. Personally, I find that revealing personal information can be used against me. And faith in humanity or no, people terrify me.
    • But, to by honest, I had a fun time! Although I had to skip a bunch of questions that assumed I was Google, I enjoyed answering, and evading, everyone’s questions!

So! What do you think of my answers? Should I do this again? And, if you want me to clarify or call BS on my answers, drop a comment below!

While you’re here: Please check out the wonderful work done by the people at The National Alliance on Mental Illness and donate.

Check out my Instagram! There are pictures of stuff I like and hate. 😊

While there: check out my BFF’s Instagram and share some love.

Got a comment? Click below! I love the feedback. If you like what you’ve read, tap Like and Share on Facebook! Follow and share on Twitter.


The Anals of History

giphy-2.gif

” I spent a great deal of time sitting in the bedroom writing furiously and feeling that I was terribly important and that everything that I wrote would go down in the annals of history or whatever. And it’s proved to be… quite true.”

That magical time of year has arrived, my friends. Morrissey’s birthday? My birthday? Well, yes, but more importantly, it’s that time of year when I get pinned and mounted like a butterfly by my former mental health provider! And damn but they must hate butterflies. Yes, I’ve gone through proper channels, but in honor of Big Mouth’s birthday, and Morrissey’s, I’m about to write some highly inadvisable wroth born of misery.

So, if you follow my blog, you may be familiar with last winter’s hits, The Soil Falling Over my Head, and Much Ado About My Last Post , which detailed my previous encounters with the bloated Alien Queen that dwells in the gaping and unshaven cave where the heart of my former mental health provider should be. And while my previous, purely satirical, hypothetical post by Kylo Ren First Order Counseling Kinda Sucks, By Kylo Ren/Ben Solo may or may not have reflected anything IRL, I cannot say. What I can declare without hesitation is the full-on, non-consensual, raping my last few weeks of “therapy” felt like.

Just like Kylo, it began with a bad match for psychiatric care, which happens. So what’s a compliant client/patient to do? Like a pale, wounded Frodo asking Sam to move in with him — read the book! — I spoke about it with my therapist. Obviously, I was asking for it because we all know Frodo gets screwed, and definitely not by his “beloved Sam.”

Somehow, I forget how cruel people are, even those you’ve shared your troubles, wishes, hopes, sadness, and regrets with. I feel as though I have been beaten about the head until my ears ring, my other front tooth broken, and I have to call out of work again. But enough about my attempt at marriage. I have never personally experienced such cold, callous treatment from a mental health professional.

It was as if, this woman who had greeted me with warm smiles for two years transformed into the Bitch of Buchenwald before my eyes.

The first session after my complaint about the psychiatrist consisted of her trying to sign me up for an “intensive anxiety group” at another facility. Besides my general feelings on “group,” which essentially consist of abject terror of people, and the notion that someone may want me to friggin’ pray. I can’t pay an Uber to take me there 3-4 times a week. She knows this. But when I asked about keeping her as a therapist, she sunnily declared that I’d get a new one there. Not one word about what we had been working on in therapy was uttered by her. I brought it up. She swatted it down.

First off, I thought she was trying to be slick and get me to sign myself out of care there and into another program of my own accord. I later learned, by calling this other facility, that the program was a 60 day, out-patient, Benzodiazepine detox consisting of Group several times a week, and a once a week a check in with a psychiatrist. It was their doctors who raised my dosage of those by a milligram in less than a year. So now they kick me out for it? Not only was the program grossly inappropriate for me, but it did not consist of individual therapy at all, and they had no therapists taking new clients at the time.

After leaving and feeling dead inside for a day or so, I thought perhaps I wasn’t seeing things clearly. So I went back to her the next week. Again, no talk of the issues we had been working on. She started in asking about drinking and marijuana use. I responded as I always do, I have one or two drinks sometimes, and once and a while, with months passing in between, I may have a draw off a bowl.

Now, I have zero money, live in the midle of nowhere, with someone who doesn’t care for it, and I wouldn’t know where to find it if I wanted. Furthermore, I don’t know what’s in that stuff anymore. I don’t eat meat because, besides the inhumane treatment, its contribution to Greenhouse emissions (between 75 and 85%), but also because I have no idea what they feed or inject or do to those animals.  And while most doctors I report this to are mainly concerned with the alcohol because of my medications, she declared that I needed to accept a drug and alcohol diagnosis for marijuana, along with mental health to continue on there.

But no, apparently I’m a vegetarian, asthma and sinusitus sufferer who tokes up any old street weed and smokes cigarettes? Yeah, she added that to my diagnoses as well. I am that jerk who coughs when I smell cigarette smoke. It just makes no sense, unless they are bilking Medicaid, or have been all this time. (Yeah, I saw that segment on John Oliver on Rehab and “Liquid  Gold.”) It’s like they think those with mental illness don’t use the interwebz or like the phone. Urgh.

Now, to be clear, I live in a Medical Marijuana state. And in the past, like a dumb, young farm-boy trying to bring his droid into a cantina, I had asked about it because of my diagnoses. At the time she said she had referred other clients to prescribing doctors, but now my diagnoses, my mention of the state’s program, and my honestly reported use of marijuana became bargaining chips. I was told I had to accept the Drug & Alcohol diagnosis for marijuana to have PTSD on my chart, or I was out.

I had a heroin problem in the past on and off, between my dad dying a few days before I began my senior year of college, and my ex-husband who broke both my front teeth, on separate occasions, stole my money, beat me until I told him where I hid my money, etc. But I have 10+ years in full remission, not that I count, because I don’t for some reason. I was NOT taking a drug and alcohol diagnosis. After what I went through to lose that stigma and regain my life.

I left the lilacs I had picked from outside my house on her couch, and left. And now I’m out in the rain. I do have things moving through proper channels, etc. I had an intake elsewhere, and I’m waiting for an individual evaluation. But, yeah, I was fucked. Hard and without mercy.

So, in honor of my Mozzy, myself, and the three day weekend everyone gets because of my birthday (you’re welcome), I’m just laying this out there. Not to be spiteful. Not to hurt. But to help…me. Because I know my value now. Sure, I have my Morrissey/Smiths playlist on. It’s raining. And I spent the past few days crying into my pillow. But seriously, those unholy assholes. Without mercy. Kicking down a person they are sworn to protect. Thanks for the sodomy without the reach around!

Truly a story for the anals of history.

PS– I bet they never have optioned IP and never thanked the Academy. Ya know, like I have.😘

While you’re here: Please check out the wonderful work done by the people at The National Alliance on Mental Illness and donate.

Check out my Instagram! There are pictures of stuff I like and hate. 😊

While there: check out my BFF’s Instagram and share some love.

Got a comment? Click below! I love the feedback. If you like what you’ve read, tap Like and Share on Facebook! Follow and share on Twitter.


First Order Counseling Kinda Sucks, By Kylo Ren/Ben Solo

last-jedi-kylo-smash-helmet

I’m now in treatment for my RAGE issues. It’s not easy.

Today we have a guest-writer. His name is Kylo or Ben. Give him a warm welcome.

-JL

Hey, it’s your boy. Kylo. I’m feeling pretty fed up today. Like I’m busy. It’s not easy to finish what Grandfather started. And now I’m like Supreme Leader Ben or Kylo or something, I haven’t decided on my Supreme Leader name yet.

So, here I am, and I’m totally trying to stop myself from destroying shit with my light saber. I have recognized that I’m not great at controlling my RAGE. And it’s not really a Supreme Leader thing. I’ve also got this Rey thing going on still, but I feel cool about it. I mean, like why wouldn’t she want to kill the past and rule the Galaxy with me? I don’t really get it. But you know maybe it’s like a girl thing. Like hormonal? I don’t really know much about girls. But I feel we can work it out. We just need time to talk. Maybe I’ll show her my swoll chest again. I don’t know.

But, like I said, I’m trying to work through my destructive RAGE tantrums. So I’ve been working on it with my space shrink. I just started to see this new guy. Apparently space shrinks are super rare or something. Because I’ve seen three different space shrinks in 6 months at First Order Counseling. And I find this taxing on my faith in the First Order to really provide me with adequate mental health services, without me RAGE-killing again. So I think that’s counter-productive to like stated treatment goals.

I mean, they actually gave me to some nobody, who is definitely not anything like Grandfather. And he barely listened to me, Supreme Leader Solo…no!….I’ll figure the name thing out later. Anyway, like the first thing out of his mouth was how much he’d like to cut down on my anti-RAGE pills. So, naturally I immediately needed an anti-RAGE pill. But like this guy just like totally couldn’t even read me. Even though I’m sitting there wearing all black because that’s how I feel on the inside. Not to mention my throbbing red facial scar.

Then I told him about how my sometime Father, and my royal, politician/general Mom totally made me go live with my weird Uncle with the creepy robot hand. Then, I mean get this, my uncle tried to kill me. IN MY SLEEP. I was fourteen. Fourteen. And you know what this guy said? He was like: you should totally go volunteer at an orphanage. Like what part of “I killed my own Dad” do you not understand?

Moreover, I don’t need to just have something to do with my time. Seriously like this Supreme Leader thing is way harder than I thought. Plus ya know, the Rey thing. I mean that doesn’t worry me too much. But like I’m busy here Dude! Not to mention that if I volunteered at an orphanage the only advice I could give them would be: burn down your enslavers, kill the past, then go start up your own badass club with some OG space-wizard dude and a ginger kid with space lasers. Huh. Hux. He’s such a bitch, but now he’s my bitch.

Anyway, so this guy sucked. And First Order Counseling is like: this our only dude right now. I hope they can work something out, or then I’ll be RAGEing out while having to find some space shrink out of First Order coveRAGE. Yeah, people will fall by my hand and sick Force skills if this doesn’t work out. From the very people who are supposed to be helping me with my RAGE issues.

But anyway, so I do get to see my space therapist tomorrow. I really like them. They like actually pay attention to me. But their power is limited. And I may have to get my Knights of Ren (is that still a thing?), anyway, I have back-up. I’m primed to order those dreadnoughts out. And you know, my sweet TIE Silencer.

OK, my point is: I have to worry about being Supreme Leader now, Force-slapping Hux, and the whole Rey thing, which ya know, is still sorta on my mind a little bit. I don’t need more crap on my plate right now, especially not from the people I’m trusting to help me work through acting out in RAGE. So yeah, that’s sorta where I am now. Thanks for listening. RAGE out.

(What? You thought I’d say “Peace out.” 🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣 Losers.)

By,

Kylo Ben Ren Solo

While you’re here: Check out my Instagram! There are pictures of stuff I like and hate. 😊

While there: check out my BFF’s Instagram and share some love.

Got a comment? Click below! I love the feedback. If you like what you’ve read, tap Like and Share on Facebook! Follow and share on Twitter.


%d bloggers like this: