Category Archives: geek

Puddems is Murder

“Hi, my name is Puddems, and I love murder.”

Delayed onset hangover today after the Eagles Super Bowl win! Go birds! But don’t expect my cat to celebrate a bird win. He’s into MURDER.

But he’s also working on a budding musical career! This is my translation of his latest hit in waiting. He based the lyrics and melody for this magnum opus on the The Smiths anthem Meat is Murder, from their 1985 album of the same name.

Listen here to compare!

Puddems is Murder

The mouse I make shriek and cry
And the frog that is full of slime
These awesome creatures must die
These awesome creatures must die

A death for no reason
And death for no reason is murder

And the baby bird that can't fly
It's not succulent, tasty, or kind
It's death just to please me
And death just to please me is murder
(I love making animals die)

And the vole that I toss with a smile
It is murder
And the legs that I pull off the mice
It is murder

I'm just a natural, normal feline
The shattered creature I leave to die
'Cause I got wetfood inside

I don't eat my kills
I don't eat my kills
It is murder

Because I'm a flippin' cat
A cat who loves murder

Oh sweet murder!

Oh murder!

Tune in later for Abbey’s new song: Take Me Home Abbey Road!

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.

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Misery Dizzery Dock

red ridimg hood

A hey there little Red Riding Hood! *shiver*

Misery Dizzery Dock

Misery dizzery dock
I can’t out-run the clock
Bread crumbs and pies
and pluck out the eyes
Misery Dizzery Dock

Ring around the rosey
a pocket full of fleas
Ophelia and her posies
will force us to our knees

Misery dizzery dread
streams of whiskey and not bread
The Wolf in the bed
Or trusted by children instead
Izzery mizzerly doc

ADdercop! ADdercop!
SiT not by me!
It STings! It Bites! It Chews!
Kiss a cop! & Take a knee!
And please ignore the news

Misery dizzery red
Computers in my head
Rosebud his sled
Luke and Leia are dead
Misery Dizzery Izzery Pizzery
Dizzily head to the block.

by, J.Lakis, Feb. 2018

Hey-oh my friends! Thank you for tuning in to my doggerel, but I’ve been really sick. I spent a lot of time bored, hopped up on meds, and in between sick-sweat dream naps. So I wrote some of what I’ll kindly call poetry. This is the first bit I cleaned up some. Let me know what you think in the comment section below! Or add your own verse! Go Eagles! 🙃

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.

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Self-Portrait: Mid-Winter

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Self-portrait, oil on canvas paper, Jessica Lakis  (WIP)

I have to light a fire. Every morning I must clean and light a wood stove. Sweeping before and after fire-making.  I empty the soot and ash into a black metal can with a handle and shovel. (Is this what is called a “scuttle?”) I will empty the ash on the compost. I let the dog out with me while I gather the tinder and wood from under the kitchen porch over the basement entrance, where Stan has stacked it.  Hauling the wood up the curving basement stairs, all the stairs curve here, I trip a lot. It’s been below zero C for weeks. I detest the cold. I curse a good deal. Sometimes it’s my Father’s voice mixed with Walter White. “Jessie! Your mind isn’t on what you’re doing.” Fair enough.

After earning the Tom Hanks moment of achieving the early human magic of fire, tea or coffee may now be had. And that’s how about every day has begun for weeks. I place humidifiers and air cleaners to protect my assaulted sinuses and lungs. I long to open the windows. But still I must clean. I have finally begun to realize and actually do what I need to survive this bleak, blear of holidays and the long nothing afterwards.

For weeks I waited for Star Wars. Stan and I made a date of  seeing the new Star Wars: The Last Jedi, which I adore. I even like Rose. She seems closer to me. I tingled to the new connection between Rey and Ben Solo (I suppose that’s what everyone calls Kylo Ren now). It’s unexpected and gorgeous. But a dark and heart-gutting story. Leia’s key role underlines how much I miss her, and will. My champion on screen and off, she’s gone forever. Nevertheless, my bright spot of December unleashes sobbing. I feel as though Star Wars has caught up with current events and the current mood. And I think of what Yoda tells Luke: failure the best teacher is.

Although I am back in therapy, my mood drops. I still had two weeks until Stan’s vacation. I begin to feel lonely and sad. I cry everyday, and every Sunday night sends me into a terror facing the loneliness of the next week when Stan goes back to work. All through the freezing weather and short days. I am tired of telling others that I don’t have the money for presents, so please don’t get me one. Even though Stan and I have permanently sworn off Christmas because we are both unbaptized nonbelievers, and we don’t have children, I am still sad. Like the O’Henry story, but neither of us has hair to sell or an expensive old watch to pawn. We instead spend our gift cards on gifts for each other. Trips to Michael’s! See Star Wars again. We are very happy.

I start recovering myself by doing more. I decide cheese sandwiches is not a healthy diet, and begin working on vegetarian cooking. Cooking in general. And Stan roasts a pork loin and eats it with my cabbage, potatoes and beans the week of the New Year. I shoot the old shithouse on the hill with a 20 gauge on New Year’s eve. I am ashamed that no one had shot the shithouse with a shotgun before. Stan throws M80s. It was dangerous, and fun.

Having found myself utterly without words to express what is happening to me, so I draw. My mother buys me a portable easel with a large, partitioned drawer. She’s also added a large tube of Titanium White, medium, and turpentine. So I begin to oil-paint. And without having used oils or drawn the human form for ages, I obviously attempt a self-portrait. I cannot correct the fractured skull I under-painted.

I start again. I suddenly realize that, better than the small makeup mirror, are selfies I take under the light I want. I suppose I never thought of it because I’m old. I began painting for an hour in the morning and one in the evening, to let the paint dry. The under-painting worked. Suddenly I’m doing classical thin to fat oil. What I learned in college and from my father over years rush back. Every piece of advice. Every admonition. Suddenly, a passable painting emerges from the cheap canvas paper. In the background I paint the design of the carpet at The Overlook Hotel from The Shining. It seems appropriate. I am proud, even seeing the flaws. Soon the crying drops away, and I just paint.

I become a happy hermit again. Oblivious to the problems outside my door. I chuckle at the ridiculous headlines of “like, really smart” and “a very stable genius,” which pops up as Breaking News from the NYT to my inbox. “President Trump declares self “very stable genius.” tee-hee-hee! The anxiety is a bit harder to ditch, but somehow I manage. Black box pinot noir contain four bottles of wine, and cost 22$. I add seltzer, and let myself have one or two in the evenings.  My tongue loosens with Stan, and we communicate and assist each other with each others’ “goals” for the New Year. We play games and “art” together. Talk about improvements to the house.

I lose some of my cool when my Mom texts me, at an inopportune moment, with several times and dates to choose from to see my sister’s show.  I feel hassled and annoyed. And again someone wants to pay for the tickets I cannot afford. The internal drama and stress family issues cause me ensues. Does my sister still hold a grudge over me? Is she simply the same little sister who tortured me between play? My younger sister who convinced me to clean her room for her. Made me feel guilty unless I slept in her bed. And would wait at the top of the steps for me, then jump out and scare me. I was certain I’d find my end at the foot of those long wooden stairs. I get the distinct feeling that I’m someone she calls on a schedule, like a grandmom. I wonder if it’s possible to love without liking. Perhaps I am to her a childhood playmate from whom she has moved on, but calls on birthdays. But she never speaks of it to me, so I don’t know. My Mother wants to keep us together as a family.

That drama still ongoing, I have fitful desires to go outside because the temperature is just above freezing. I enjoy being the local hermit again. I race Abbey down the lane because it’s too cold to walk. And then there’s my four sets of curving stairs. One second floor bathroom. I suppose I’m exercising. I still dance in the morning or whenever I really feel the urge. I stretch to the rhythm of The Smiths. My body commanded to move as though I were leisurely yodeling, or growling and gargling over a sharp, embarrassing and private pain. I add The Pogues. Angrier displaced Irishmen. Infinitely unhappy, but determined to live while they can.

At last, I find myself able to write and paint at once. Something I haven’t done since high school. So, I suppose I’m managing myself better. Perhaps in a few months Scatman Crothers will have to save either Stan or myself. Save us both!

In the meantime, I have a fire to tend.

 

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.

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Much Ado About My Last Post

morrissey-cereal

I adore watching Morrissey toss his Fruit Loops at a skinhead in the Alma Matters video. It feeds my soul.

I really need to thank all the folks who responded with encouragement to my last blog.  I had reached that “I just ran out of bullshit” moment from Network, that proceeds the more famous line, “I’M MAD AS HELL, AND I’M NOT GONNA TAKE IT ANYMORE!” And yeah I proceeded to reach that moment, and a lot of the reason was down to the equal amount of flak I took for my last post.

In my last post, I questioned my very right to ask questions, have feelings that are uncomfortable yet are still legitimate, such as anger from feeling as though I had been wronged in some fashion. Even though I have mental health issues. I decided I did have a right, just like everybody else does.

Let’s posit a purely hypothetical scenario in which my attempt have a phone call returned somehow became just stupid crazy. In fact, in this scenario, the call that eventually resulted not in an apology or explanation from the individuals involved. It came from an an unrelated person I’d be soft for, calling to ask whether I was considering suing their organization (just weird), and whether I wouldn’t mind taking down last week’s blog. (Hell naw! And you gotta earn those Google stars, baby.)

But, we’ll say, I did reach out to people and organizations that could help give me answers, encouragement, and advice. How happy I am for hypothetical people like that. And the support from my family was and remains beyond anything I had hoped for. So, I’d like to thank all of the good folks as well. The people who did agree that I had a right to be upset, and to be treated better than I had been.

I only feel bad that the earful I had to give to the only person who called me from the other side of this hypothetical scenario, was completely innocent of the bullshit I had called out. But, hey man, I hadn’t even showered or brushed my teeth by whenever near noonish it was.  I was spending the day in bed breaking down Hamlet’s soliloquy into modern language, and wondering whether anything in my life is worth enduring the pain I’ve been feeling. So, I don’t feel that bad that the right message went to the wrong person.

One thing I have certainly learned, in this purely mental exercise, is that there are people and organizations that can help advocate for my rights, that I do still retain. The woman  from NAMI was interested in my hypothetical tale, and she gave me a bit of advice and kind words. You know, treat me with the dignity and respect I deserve, just like everybody does.

 

*I also want to thank my oh-so patient Stan, and my dear friend Nicole, for insisting that I fix my hair color yesterday, get a shower, and have something to look forward to. *smooch* And thank my parents for calling me Ralph Nader all my life! 😁

 

While you’re here:  Check out my Instagram! There are pictures of crazy 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.

 


Just Like Everybody Else Does

 

 

“I am human and I need to be loved, just like everybody else does.”               – Morrissey

Invalid feelings and desires. That’s how I feel when I express myself as someone suffering from mental illness. It’s as though — once I’ve come out and said, “Yes, I suffer from Depression, Anxiety, PTSD, fill the blank” — that even the others who I’d expect to understand, write off every feeling or thought I have because I’m crazy.

It’s soul crushing. Admitting to having mental health issues demotes me from the status of human being to somewhere between a dog and a chimpanzee. Like maybe I can qualify for “personhood” and humans can’t use me for inhumane cosmetics testing, but other than that, my feelings and rights don’t count.

A man kills a church-full of people, and suddenly the talking heads are on about “mental illness.” Because, crazy people! People with mental illness are 10 times more likely to be a victim of violent crime than the general populace, and no more or less inclined towards violence, but so what? It’s much easier to discard a human being’s rights than the NRA’s cash. It doesn’t matter how you feel about the 2nd Amendment, the pattern of dehumanization is there. Crazy people check your rights at the door, maybe we’ll treat you as well as a dog.

And that’s just one issue in the public sphere that has me pissed again. But do I have the right to be pissed? I mean, seriously, if I’m crazy then you don’t have to listen to my crazy thoughts and feelings, right? I must be having “a bad day,” or be “overreacting due to past traumatic stimuli.” My thoughts and feelings are invalid. Perhaps my family has changed from using the term “dramatic” to “sensitive,” but I still feel limitations.

But, family, eh? What are you going to do? What about when it’s my therapist or psychiatrist? Then what? When the very institution I’ve given myself over for treatment for the past five years, suddenly makes it glaringly obvious that my questions are not welcome. I can follow all the damned rules, but why can I not question my psychiatrist’s “discomfort” with helping me through something? Is there “a no questions” rule for crazy folks as well?

I use Pennsylvania Counseling. I’ve been receiving my therapy and psychiatric visits with them since 2013, when I moved from Philly. In Philadelphia, I worked with Thomas Jefferson’s various outpatient clinics since I was 19. I am committed to my treatment. I spent 2009 until 2013 with Dr. Serota at Jefferson. And before the Obamacare federal expansion, he’d help me renew my Medical Assistance every year. He’d fill out the “Health Sustaining Medications” form. And he’d mark me as disabled, so I could still work if I could and get Medicaid. More than that, he was a kind and gentle man. And he liked to talk about film and literature with me. He made me feel like a human being. I wasn’t just “good girl.” *pant pant pant*

I always feared, when I moved to the Susquehanna Valley, I’d get some friggin Mennonite with a stick so far up their asses it kept their bonnet on. And wouldn’t you know it! Bingo! 

If Pennsylvania lost the Medicaid expansion, I’d be shit out of luck. Forget how long I’ve been receiving treatment at my current facility.

This place won’t touch a thing that would help me get services I need. And I’m a compliant patient. I go to my therapy, when I remind PA Counseling that my therapist has been out since Labor Day, and I’m in a bad way and get a damned appointment.

With a few exceptions, I have not generally experienced that Germanic, Prussian tendency to “just follow orders” and expect everyone else to goosestep in line that I expected here. Although I’ve had my share of nightmares in which I’m in a re-education camp though. And some printed dress down to the ankles wearing, post-stroke Nurse Ratched, Sarah Huckabee Sanders bitch wants to usher me to the gas chambers. Usually because I didn’t take Jesus into my heart.

Pennsylvania Counseling won’t just won’t return my calls. Or they call at 4:59, leave a message then bugger off. Talk about treating the mentally ill in crisis with dignity and respect, and generally making me feel as though I don’t matter.

But now, having experienced it, all I know is I have very limited options for care in my area. And no one cares because I’m crazy. And definitely not a human being with the right to a question, feeling, or opinion of my own, just like everybody else does.
“Sit crazy girl! Sit! Good crazy girl.”
Rough! Ruff!

 

While you’re here:  Check out my Instagram! There are pictures of crazy 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 Soil Falling Over My Head

“I know it’s over, and still I cling. I don’t know where else I can go.” – Morrissey

Last few weeks were so bad. How bad were they? I’m glad you asked. So bad that I tried to watch a David Attenborough nature program, and my mind over-dubbed his narration with Werner Herzog. “The screams of the infant monkey will not bring back its dead mother. But merely fall silent on the pitiless jungle of life, bent on meaningless slaughter and overwhelming murder.” Morrissey was too cheerful to listen to, even when safely in my bed. So, we’ll go with “very bad.”

I felt, and still do to a point, as though I was slowly being buried. And each good thing that brings me joy was like a gasp of air, but each gasp seemed shorter and shorter, and provided less air for less time. Eventually I was buried under. Nothing meant anything, even my life. Even my life.

My mind is my favorite organ. And it just could not work.  I started being more flighty than usual, then forgetting dates in history, people’s names, what day it was, what time it was. I began losing things, too. And I don’t lose things! I just don’t. So when I do, I feel like I’m losing my mind, and I — tentatively using the past-tense — was. I had days lost in bed in silence. I didn’t want any sound or light, just to fall back to sleep. I was staying in my pajamas, not showering. And I simply could not handle anything anyone else said, or communicated in any fashion. There was no room or ability to pay attention, or listen, or just have others’ thoughts in my head. I didn’t even eat.

I considered entering inpatient psychiatric care. I got this bad for many reasons, some of which I can control, and others that are completely out of my sphere. And part of it that I could fix came down to my therapist. She has been absent since just before Labor Day, and she was helping me with some difficult issues. But after some naturing over the weekend with friends, and a desperate visit to my psychiatrist, I was finally given a new therapist. And she’s great. She has an extremely positive vibe, but manages to not be punchable because of her tremendous empathy and inner beauty.  So, I’ve climbed off the literal and figurative ledge for now. But it’s not as though I’m raring to freakin’ go this week. Poco a poco.

I still feel the need to constantly excuse myself to my family and loved ones for asking for anything.  I fear over-taxing them and that my crazy is contagious. But I’ve found all the people that truly love me are happy to help me be happy. And I want more than anything for them to feel good too.

To accomplish this, I took the unprecedented step of looking for good things in my life. And stuff I enjoy. It began with my dog, Abbey, the go-go Border Collie who keeps me outside and moving despite the weather or how I’m feeling. She also gives excellent morning cuddles. And then there’s Mr. Puddems, my fancy kitten man, who is a world-class lap-warmer. The Stan-man, of course. Our home. And going to friends’ houses. And golly-gee but I started taking showers, dressing nicely, dressing in general. Coloring, and I even started an oil-sketch. Gosh darnnit, I even cooked and cleaned in the same day. I honestly have to stop all this or people might get the idea that I’m a capable human being, and like *gasp* expect stuff from me. I may have to go to family meals! They may expect me to be on time!

But, let’s not get ahead of ourselves here. I’m back to taking a lot of emotional strength and capacity to live and love from Mozzy and The Smiths. Some folks might mistake this as indulging in depression. But it’s not so. Morrissey is just on my level. All the right amounts of passion, aggression, gentleness, strength, weakness, frustration, and joy however fleeting, just suits me fine. And keeps me going. He still is. So, everyone just deal with my love of Morrissey. It’s difficult, I know, but I’m not going to desert the music that’s gotten me through my teenage years, and through many troubles in between then and now. I’m more sorry about asking others’ to accept this than for most anything else.

And then there’s this blog. I started it over a week ago. And I’ve written maybe a paragraph or two a day. I used to be able to do these in one afternoon. But it’s been rough to communicate at all, nevermind attempting to explain these feelings to others. I feel extremely vulnerable, and of course sorry for anyone reading this, and sorry for perhaps upsetting them. Some habits are harder to break or reinstate. But, hey, at least I can write this much again.

What I hope is two-fold. Firstly, I want my friends and family to know why I’ve just not been present for a while. Why I may not be liking your blog, or Instagram, or even engaging in the Book of Faces. Secondly, I thought my story might help both people living with a depressed person to see what goes on in their brains. And all of the people living with depression to see that they are not alone, and that, as Morrissey croons: “there is a light that never goes out.”

I’m still working through this extreme debilitation of my mind, I have a lot of work yet to do. I’m happy to have found a new therapist to help. I’m also glad that when it came to it, I grabbed the tool-kit I worked on in therapy, and not some rather more dangerous object.  I’m not gonna lie though, the Mueller indictments and that one guilty plea really helped. 😀

 

While you’re here:  Check out my Instagram! There are pictures of crazy 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.


How Soon is Now? #Resign

#resign

See, I’ve already waited too long. And all my hope is gone — until the next WashPo article.

It’s hot. Very hot. And humid. I just cleaned my house. I’m wearing fleecy gym shorts. I have a sweaty bandana on my head. And I want a mojito…at a Trump Impeachment Party.

But, while I was cleaning the rug beater attachment to the vacuum, I came up with these minor alterations to Morrissey’s solo and Smiths songs to make them relevant to Donald Trump. (Inspired by Andy Serkis’ reading of Trump tweets as Gollum on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert. )

Ideally, Mozzy should sing these directly to me, so I made a set list for him.

#1) Putin, you Handsome Devil  [Handsome Devil]

“Lit me git the handz on the mammary glandsAnd lit whore pee on head in conjugal bed.”

#2) How Soon is Now?  [How Soon is Now?]

“There’s a summit, and you’d like to go. You might meet somebody who really loves you. So you go and you stand on your own. And you leave on your own. And you go home, and you cry, and you want chocolate taco bowl pie.”

#3) The More You Ignore Putin, the Closer He Gets [The More You Ignore Me, The Closer I Get]

“When you sleep he will creep into your head like a bad debt that you can’t pay. Take the easy way and piss off.”

#4) Heaven Knows I’m Tremendously, Hugely Sad Now [Heaven Knows I’m Miserable Now]

“I was happy in the haze of Fox & Friends, but Joe and Mika know I’m hugely sad now because I tweeted at them during their show.”

#6) Everyday is Like Sunday, Except I’m not Golfing  [Every Day is LIke Sunday]

“Hide in the White House, etch a Tweet storm. How I dearly wish I could fire Mueller.”

#7) Donald on the Guillotine  [Margaret on the Guillotine]

“The kind people, have a wonderful dream. Donald on the Guillotine.”

#8) Last of The Infamous, International Puppets [The Last of the Famous, International Playboys]

“And in my cell — well I followed Kush — and here’s a list of who I colluded with. Schneiderman! Can I keep my stuff? Oh please say I can! Don’t say I can’t! OO-OO-OH-OH!”

#9) Disappointed [Disappointed]

“Ivanka, one day you will be old. But the thing is, I love you now.”

#10) Vladeane [Jeane]

“I tried, and I failed. I tried, and I failed. I tried, and I failed. Now I get nailed.”

*Encore*

Big Mouth Strikes Again [Big Mouth Strikes Again]



Leave a comment below if you have a song about Donald Trump that you’d like to hear your fave singer do. I’ll be bored until the next Trump scandal drops. (Whoops! Too late! Extra-curricular Putin meeting.)

While you’re here:  Check out my Instagram! There are pictures of things 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.

 


Panic and Peace for Nerds

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“You enter the forest at the darkest point, where there is no path. Where there is a way or path, it is someone else’s path. You are not on your own path. If you follow someone else’s way, you are not going to realize your potential.”  – Joseph Campbell, The Hero’s Journey: Joseph Campbell on His Life & Work

Two weeks ago, I awoke on a sunny day with the intention of weeding my garden. Instead I ended up at my doctor’s office convinced I needed emergency asthma treatment. Turns out my lungs were fine. I had a panic attack.

I felt silly. I mean, I ought to know a panic attack by now, right? So I began a renewed interest in my mental health, in what, let’s face it, are trying times for anyone who cares about anything anymore. At least here in the US, and anyone watching us thinking, “Well, this can’t be good.”

After checking all of my vitals and listening to my lungs, my doctor asked me what had I been doing when I first felt I couldn’t breathe. She nodded at my answer: I was reading the morning news. I had a psychiatrist and therapist appointment in a few days, so she referred me to them with some questions. And she told me to stay away from the news.

That last bit really ticked me off. I felt like she was talking down to this “mentally ill” child. But I did lay off the news. When I met with my psychiatrist, she understood my panic attack perfectly well. She did ask me to challenge myself to find more ways to cope with and manage both my news intake and my anxiety. Although she did increase my anxiety medication a small bit to help ease me through.

My therapist was also understanding, but again she admonished me against news. And she challenged me to find more ways to use my energy towards that which made me feel peace. She suggested “simple” things. She also asked if I had a more “spiritual” back up plan for strength.

I was totally pissed again. Am I so gaslighted and fragile that I have be both ignorant, mindless, AND reliant on unknowable whims of unknowable sky fairies to live in Trump’s America? Seriously!?

And then I did some really hard work. I did my monthly budget. I carefully looked for where we were leaking the ten and twenty dollars here and there that kills our finances. I fixed it. I felt better.

After a few weeks of hemming and hawing, I redid my student loan repayment, and got back on track with that. I felt better.

I returned a book to Audible and got a credit for the book of Roman history I wanted. I felt better.

And, when my friends suggested a hike-in and camp trip on the Appalachian Trail, I signed on. Like Bilbo Baggins, I was going to have an adventure on my birthday! I was excited, and terrified. But there was a lot to do. Firstly, the house needed to be cleaned for when they came over to plan. Did it! Felt better.

Then they came over. We had a fire, toasted my birthday, christened my new knife Uncle Joe — to match my machete, Killary. And we all sang along to Abbey Road loudly. “Boy, you’re gonna carry that weight a long time.” I felt better.

Saturday dawned, and I knew we had to get ready for the trip. Having read The Zombie Survival Guide, by Max Brooks, and being old hands at camping, we were mostly ready…mostly.  Even our dog Abbey got her own backpack because she was carrying her weight, too! She liked it. I felt better.

But I was still nervous. Until my friend told me something important: It’s safe to be cautious on a trip like this. What we were doing was unknown to me, and potentially dangerous. But we would be with more experienced campers. “It’s a dangerous business, Frodo Baggins, going out your door.” How I felt was normal. I felt better.

We set off on our trek as on a 14:00 away mission, but with hobbits. But that exciting vibe fell away quickly. After struggling a third of the five miles straight up — carrying one third of my body weight– everything became so clear. All I had to do was keep putting one foot ahead of the other. “Simple.” I remembered what my Dad said about Korea. The marching back and forth in the cold and mud. “Your feet are the most important thing.” Simple isn’t mindless. It’s mindfulness itself.

My life became my feet. One in front of the other. “I am one with The Force. The Force is with me. I am one with the Force. The Force is with me.” One foot in front of the other.

Well, suffice to say, I made it there and back again. And I felt washed clean, although I was filthy.  I had literally bugged-out. Now what? OK. Clean up all the dirty and wet gear. Now what? Make an action list for materials I need to gather for an appointment I have soon. Ok. Now what? Write.

And I feel better.

I did eventually get the news via my Mom.  That’s not such a bad way to stay informed. As far as my “spiritual” strength, I realized  that comes from the same places as always with me: Tolkien, Trek, Star Wars, history, The Beatles, challenging myself, my writing, and things my Father’s Force Ghost still says in my ear.

So, what’s my point? Firstly, it’s OK to feel anxious. It’s normal. Life, more uncertain than usual, will try to gaslight you. Secondly, you may need to “bug-out.” I don’t mean that you need to walk 500 ft up and sleep in the rain. But a change and a challenge you feel you are ready for…mostly. Something that reduces life to essentials and is “one foot in front of the other.” Simple.

Finally, you don’t have to give up your mind’s critical ability, sacrifice what is yourself and be a mindless sheep to get on in the brave new insane world. We rented Rogue One when we got home, and watched it twice since. I’m now convinced that I adore that movie!  I don’t need no religious education. An exciting and dramatic daughter-daddy Star Wars movie, a trek through the forest of the adventure with my mythological companions, taking care of my life, a bit of help from my friends, a bit of writing, and a book of Roman history, and I’m good.

Now what? Make food.

I am one with The Force. The Force is with me.

Maybe tomorrow I’ll weed the garden. 😉

How are you all holding up? What is helping — or hurting — you right now?

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

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

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The Zen of Colbert

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Stephen Colbert is the hero we need. Ever since his excruciating, live Election Night broadcast, the beloved leader of “The Nation” has been so much winning. And then there’s Trump.

I have a new mantra. It’s something Stephen said in a bit on Trump’s Nuclear Plans, 20 years ago in January. He said, “It’s funny because nothing matters anymore.” Michael Che let the line slip during last Saturday’s “Weekend Update” on SNL. And I find myself repeating it constantly. “It’s funny because nothing matters anymore.”

“Anymore” is the key word here. Stephen Colbert has become every thinking person’s voice. We are people who thought things mattered! Where we once had our pet causes, now we merely have dumbfounded, flabbergasted, confused and fearful ANGER. Stephen made a brave choice to embrace that fear and anger and give into the cray-side. He models the courage all we snowflakes need to embrace.

“Let your freak flag fly,” is the phrase my partner has been using since the election. “If crazy is the new normal, I’m gonna have my freak flag at full mast every second of the day,” he repeats.

Me being, well, me, I found it in a quote by Camus. “The only way to deal with an unfree world is to become so absolutely free that your very existence is an act of rebellion.” In other words, “It’s funny because nothing matters because anymore.” “Let your freak flag fly.”

And Stephen keeps winning! The Late Show with Stephen Colbert is now the highest rated late-night show. Which hits Trump where it matters, in the ratings. The President told Time magazine:

Trump disses Colbert ratings

Image from: The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, CBS

Stephen wasn’t shy in his reaction, squealing, “I won!” Nothing important may matter anymore, but nothing is sweeter than high ratings! CBS will pay any “potty mouth” fine. They will never cut lose this golden egged goose. He certainly makes better news than Trump.

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Stephen shows how it’s done.

Stephen Colbert gets it. Even crazy has rules. Play by them! So while Anderson Cooper is now openly rolling his eyes at the creepy Nazi from Raiders of the Lost Ark, Kellyanne Conway:

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Real-time footage of Kellyanne Conway.

Meanwhile, I’m expecting my afternoon, BREAKING NEWS! humdinger about Trump, treason, obstruction of justice, and Russian disruption of our democracy.  I call it my “Daily Constitutional Crisis.”  What!? What do you call it?

I’m just going to keep letting my freak flag fly, Stephen! I get it! I’m  going to be mad, be rash, smoke and explode, burn all my clothes.

Thanks to Stephen Colbert, I will live my exquisitely nerdy life down on the farm with my bandana made of Superman sheets, my overalls, and Eau de DEET parfume, while doing whatever I damn well please.  I’m living so free that my very existence is an act of rebellion.

You either get it or you don’t. Only Stephen Colbert can explain it to ya.

But, it’s funny because nothing matters anymore.

 

While you’re here:  Check out my Instagram! There are pictures of things 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! Click here to follow on Twitter.

 

 

 

 


Tea Lights to Shakespeare (And other ways I force myself write)

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My writing space.

You know what’s worse than writing? Not writing. And it’s something I perform a good deal of self-flagellation over. Life is a mercilessly busy thing with so much to do! It’s hard get myself at my desk writing, especially when I’m out of the habit. Which I am! What do I do?

Space-Time holds the planets in orbit. I need it for writing too. My little Space. This is my spot in the pic above. It’s one of favorite I’ve ever had. It’s a work in progress, but it’s got the basics. Firstly, the desk:  I use the same writing desk I used growing up, which gives me a sense of continuity. Then I added a laptop, somewhere to put Mr. Tea (it’s a Mr. Coffee cup warmer that I use for my tea), and charge my vaporizer batteries, and a lamp.

But honestly, what is my writing desk without a plant, my Sherlock Holmes magnifying lens, some calligraphy, and my bust of Shakespeare? It is definitely corny, but it’s part of my thing. You do your thing and don’t hate.

Shakespeare is up there for obvious reasons, but the other thing he really helps with is that Time bit, through the candles I light to him. I mean, if the problem is time, make a timer, right? I write in tea lights to Shakespeare. Sometimes I write longer. But seriously, if I do one tea light, I feel like I’ve done something. Some work. Thus, I am liberated from hating myself for not writing for at least 12-24 hours. That’s a lot of time to hate myself for other reasons!

I also plan time to write. I just figure which days I can get a tea light of writing in, and I put it in my little coloring-planner, et voila! For me, it shifts the focus. I plan when to do other stuff around my tea-light writing time, as opposed to looking for that elusive moment when I don’t have other work to do, and I can write.

It also seriously helps if I know I have leftovers or something in a crockpot. I mean, just because I don’t think about eating until I’m ready to chew my arm off, doesn’t mean I can’t learn to take some consideration of the basic needs of life. I just have to plan it out a bit. It’s actually possible! And here I am, not dead of starvation, and with both arms.

But, ehy am I writing this? To remind own damned self, of course! I didn’t even blog for a few months between last May — when my dog died and I moved — and last fall. I managed to write in my journal, The Red Book of Westmarch, but no other writing. And recently I’m thinking/writing about and looking over my other writing projects, and it seems they were either finished or begun ages ago.  I haven’t finished a project in a year, and I was doing at least two or three a year until then. I had a stable routine. There were dry spells, but man, not like this past year.

I eventually started blogging again sitting on my front porch. Then in the unboxed living room. Or at the finally functional — and not covered in random crap — kitchen table.  Then one day I just picked a spot in my front room, cleared and cleaned it up, put up some curtains I had, and put my desk there. Shakespeare, plant et al went up. And there ya go. I felt like uber-writer right then and there, yo.

I made it a nice place to be, although I will not reveal the reverse shot of my little angle-in on my writing corner because Oh dear genius of the place, give me the strength to make book shelves! Or give it to Stan, rather. I can’t walk in straight line, nevermind hang something in one.

But, you know, I had forgotten something until today — which is obviously why I am writing this — Oh! Can you guess?! (It’s the tea light.) Yup, tea-light timer, which feels as though it’s burning longer today. But, in all fairness, it’s a votive and not a tea light. Votives burn longer.

Anyhow, so yeah! Tea lights! You can get a bag of a hundred of them at the dollar store. Or at least at those dollar stores that aren’t really dollar stores. My point is they’re cheap.

So yes, my friends, I am feeling better after my tea-light — which did burn out! — session despite the hectic nature of the earlier part of the day and week. Join me next time! Or even better, do your own version of tea-light to Shakespeare time.

Share what your version of tea-lights to Shakespeare time is in the comments. I won’t hate. 😀

*I’ve gotten some fun questions and responses to last week’s post. It was a little story challenge I asked a friend to give me, which was surviving after an EMP apocalypse. So I imagined myself years hence as a post-EMP apocalypse survivor, smoking homegrown tobacco with a homemade pipe, with (more) wild, staring eyes, reflecting back on my life. I had fun with it. But I am so stuck in not writing descriptions anymore from writing screenplays. I forget I can describe things in prose stories. Throw me short story challenge in the comments so I can practice! 

While you’re here:  Check out my Instagram! There are pictures of things 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! Click here to follow on Twitter.


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