Dear Joel

Dear Joel,

You died on the 17th or 18th of March, I don’t know which.  They haven’t told me yet, haven’t looked yet – I guess they have other people to process before you.  I know that life is measured in energy, heartbeats, electrical impulses in the brain, but when I found you in the morning you were long dead, long gone, all your energy had gone.  I can’t cope with you being gone.

I tried talking to you, like prayers.  But the pale air is a terrible conductor of energy, and my thoughts just rattle around in my head, endlessly circling. I am writing this here, maybe some part of the network is reachable if you’re there.  Please I hope you’re there. People keep saying some crap about me being strong.  I am not.  I am so many little screaming pieces. Nothing fits together. I move like a pile of leaves, in agony. Always agony.

I pretend I am okay.  I am so not. I have lost you.  I have lost the house.  I had to give away the cats – lost them too, I lost the garden.  For a while there was movement in the apartment, cupboard doors opening, front door swinging open wide, but that has ended.  Was that you?  Were you here?  Did you leave?  The only thing keeping me here is the fact that I don’t know if you’ll be there.  I don’t know what comes after.  I wish you hadn’t gone.  I miss you horribly. I miss your screaming and shouting, your sarcasm.  I miss your humor, your intelligence, your charm.  I miss your cooking, I still can’t cook for shit.  I have lost so much weight my clothes fall off.   My every bone hurts.

I am having to pull out every last thing of the house and pick it apart to decide to keep or not.  People are breaking into the house to steal.  I was always safe before.  Even when you were in full rage.  Now I am alone, exposed.  I have to take care of myself.  I suck at taking care of myself.  I am so scared.  How do I eat?  How do I sleep? How the fuck am I supposed to do this?  I have two cars, a pile of stuff, a pile of bills, and a pile of me.  It is everything I can do to sort through it all.  I wrote programs to take care of bills.  I set alarms to make me get to work.  These machines are cold. I have to pretend you’re at home to get through the workday but if I slip I crack more and I bawl.  Endlessly.  Even now. I should be at the house sorting, shifting but… I can’t sleep and it is too dangerous to drive.  I am too dangerous.  I mostly don’t give a crap if I accidentally hurt me, but I am not intentionally masochistic.  I shouldn’t have listened to the doctor.  I should have worked myself to death two years ago, and then I could have waited for you.  I would have waited for you.  Why did I listen?  Christ I shouldn’t have listened. I am so sorry.  So stupid. I didn’t want to worry you, I didn’t want to leave you alone with noone to take care of you. Are you there?  Can you find your way back to me?  Please?  I know the thing was until death do us part but it is not enough.  I am not enough.  I never was.  I am disintegrating.  I pretend.  I even laugh.  People buy it if they don’t look close.  How the hell am I still alive? Why am I still breathing?  Who designed this life?  I should have dropped down dead when I found you.    Nothing should have to endure this agony.  Nothing and noone.  It’s like I am burning from inside, twisting and rending at the ends of all my bones.

I just woke up to the phone ringing and we were reading together and it was good and then I was awake and you’re fucking dead oh honey I am so sad you’re dead.  If I could I would fix it, I would get you back.  But I am so fucking useless.  I had to talk to the police about the burglary through a panic attack.  Officer wanted to come and GET me.  How would that help?  Nothing helps me but work work work.  Do something do something oh god don’t stop do something.  What do I do when its done?  Oh god what do I do?  Where are you?  I had to have them come get your body off the bed.  Your hands were black, your feet were blue.  Oh Joel you were so dead.  It is burned into my eyes.  Can you please not be dead anymore?  Is all you are just a jar of soot now?  A pile of laundry? A stack of boardgames?  Some cramped crabby chicken scratch on DM’s notes?  Old character sheets?  Dice?  Can you please come home?  Push into some one whose soul has left, hitchhike here and come to me. I will believe you. However you can.  You know I will know you.  I can’t live like this forever.   But I don’t know how to find you. Can you find me?




So.  I am currently a one-job person, but that hasn’t always been so.  When things were tighter, I worked many jobs, up to 7 at a time, filling almost my every waking moment with income producing labor to pay down a bill and keep the lights on.  I worked alot, and barely slept.  It got so I worked constantly and never slept.  I managed this schedule for about a year before I started to, literally, die.  It came on gradually.  My memory, which is usually razor sharp, was dull; I would forget my hat, forget my briefcase, my password, lose track of where I was, where I was going, what I was doing.  Then I started stumbling, tripping over my own feet.  I didn’t think too much of it, getting one or two hours a night of sleep due to financial worry, it seemed to me that I would be a little addled, no big.  But then came the nightmare, where I was dreaming a long headed alien baby was bursting it’s way out of my chest.  I woke up and I could FEEL it in my chest, a terrible pulsing pain, seemed to go right through me, even after I woke.  Wow, I thought, your imagination is working overtime.  Must have hit yourself pretty hard to hurt this bad.  It was still early – about 1am, I had to be to work at 4am, and I had gotten home about eleven.  It was a little early but I was not about to try to decend back into the alien filled dream pit, so I got dressed and drove to work.  And my chest still hurt, not a crushing pain, but more of an impaled straight through my right  side near my sternum pain.  I was still pretty sure I must have hit myself, but it didn’t explain the pain in my back.  I got to work and got into my computer and got situated, lined up my proverbial ducks and knocked them down.  The pain didn’t exactly grow, but I started feeling peculiar.  Sweaty.  Shaky.  Lightheaded.  I turned to my firend Google, who told me I was dying, heart attack most likely.  For men the symptoms are left arm goes numb (usually) and crushing Chest pain (usually).  But for women it could be Jaw pain or weird feelings of dread or Back pain…  I gave Google a serious eyebrow, as I didn’t believe it one little bit.   I called the Nurse On Call at my clinic who was downright going to call me an ambulance because I was clearly about to die.  I didn’t believe her either.  I didn’t feel like I was dying.  I felt peculiar, definitively not normal, but not like I was about to freefall out of existence.  I took my ‘lunch’ early and drove over to the urgent care near work and they were all business, all seriousness with their 50 stick on sensors to check my heart rhythms and blood pressures and brain activity, telling me to lie back, to stay calm, to stay still .  Given my degree of denial, all that was pretty easy until they asked who to call in case I needed someone to make medical decisions on my behalf.  What? In case I lose consciousness or go into full cardiac arrest before I was done filling out all the necessary forms.  What?!  I called my husband and told him that I was in the clinic because I have chest pain.  He said okay, and to call him when I got home so he would know I got home safe.  I then had to explain they were talking about admitting me to the hospital, that I might be having a heart attack…I swear – he worked halfway across town from the clinic but he was there in three minutes.  It wasn’t a heart attack, but the heart rhythm was weird, chaotic.  Also the brain pattern, chaotic, and the enzymes in my blood (they took a LOT ) was off, strange.  The extremely kind doctor asked me questions, how often did I eat, when did I sleep.  I am a BIG person.  Also, I have lymphedema on top of my weight which makes me so much bigger.  I don’t worry if I miss a meal, or two, or 5.  I figure I am huge, so I have reserves.   Also, as a big person, I should do more exercise, right?  Sleeping is lazy, and I have bills to pay.  Doc dragged over a tall stool, and got in my face and told me I was dying.  I was working myself to death.  Not going to die today, not this very minute, but I was in effect trying to run my horse ’til it fell down dead in the desert.  No food, no sleep, no rest, nothing but work work work.  I am to eat 3 squares and sleep at least 5 hours a day.  Even if it means two two hour naps and an hour long snooze.  Or death.  Also, the top right side of my ribcage (front and back) had come unattached from my sternum and was pressing against my myocardial sac – which was then inflamed.  He said that if one job wasn’t doing it then I needed to go find one job that would.  Or Death.  Seriously DEATH.  He then prescribed me huge ass antibiotics for my heart, huge anti-inflammatories, and a probiotic and told me not to die.  Stop trying to die.  I drove to the pharmacy and got my pills.  My husband went back to work, confident I wasn’t about to keel over, and I also drove back to work to finish out my last couple of hours before my second job started.  I thought hard, and had to explain my self a few times to my wonderful and concerned coworkers, how it wasn’t a heart attack, how I wasn’t about to drop.  Was I trying to kick off?  Was I actually trying to check out and be done with this life?  No.  But I wasn’t being at all realistic about what it takes to sustain myself, and I was punishing myself pretty hard for being fat.
Now I have one job, and our finances are better.  Not great, but better.  I still work an odd shift, where I come in during the wee hours, line up my ducks and knock them down one by one.  I eat, I sleep.  I refuse to feel guilty for eating or sleeping.  For blinking and breathing.  It is unreasonable to expect me not to do any of those things.

Come to today…  I had somewhat of a scary day today.  Scary few minutes anyhow.  Today is an election day.  Mid Term Elections.  I am not very political, but I voted.  I study up on the available candidates and pick who I think works best.  I vote, but I don’t actually believe it makes any difference, that the whole shebang isn’t rigged.  I vote anyways, because what I believe and what is true sometimes aren’t the same thing.  After voting, I got a call from a friend, asking me to come to his workplace and help him with his network.  I am not a freelance contractor anymore, but he is a friend – so I go.  We’re buds, and he has a mess.  We used to work together, different departments, but he has struck off on his own and has a tidy business running.     I help my friends if I can, it’s part of being the solution.  So I go to his storefront, where he leads me to the back offices and I start tracing the lines of his systems, what connects to where, who is speaking to whom and who is not responding.  Not five minutes go by , when he starts on a growling diatribe about how he is a business owner and how as a ‘Maker’ his word should count more than his employees, as he is providing for them and they are all just ‘Takers’.  His employees are all there, working,  and some of them roll their eyes – I guess they’d heard this before.  How his years of making business decisions qualifies him to have more say in the political workings of this world, how his employees should vote how he says they should, how he should be able to have them write out their ballots at his desk so he can make sure they fill it out properly and for the candidate he says to.  I stop.  I tell him to STFU.  Quietly.  “Shush Jake, I’m concentrating here.”  He starts LOUDLY ranting how as his employee, if I expect to be paid, I better treat him with respect, as is worthy of my betters.  More quietly, I explain, in a low and serious voice, that I don’t work for him, never would. That I am only here as a favor to him, as a friend, that I wasn’t expecting to be paid.   He slammed his hands on the desk in front of me, glowering and turning red, and tells me to know my place.   Know my place?  I go on, still even more quietly, how he’s not my better,  my employer, my owner, and does neither deserve my respect nor friendship.  I disengage from his systems and begin packing up my tools, and he goes off on me, screaming unintelligibly and shaking his fist in my face.  In my face.  I could smell the alcohol on his breath. ” G’head”, I said. ” Hit me.  It  won’t change the fact that you can’t fix this.  I’m not fixing this for you.  I’m not helping.  I’m not afraid.”  I waited.  He dropped his hand and sneered “Fuck you you fat-ugly-over-educated-nerd-Taker-bitch!”   I handed him the card of a local computer shop I fall back on when the problem isn’t strictly software, when parts or replacement equipment is needed.  He snarled that they would overcharge him, that he thought we were friends.  I looked him straight in the eye and said, “We were.”  I walked calmly out past his employees, all of whom looked tense and terrified, some of whom got up and stood between him and me as I walked out of the building to my car.  I had to pull over after a little bit as I got a bad case of the shakes.  I hadn’t been afraid when he had his fist in my face, but boy I felt the fear adrenalin surge through me in the car.  Jake is a pretty big guy.  I blocked his number, he has called twice, left vmail I haven’t listened to.  I wonder if Jake’s wife is okay.  I don’t really know her, but if this is how he is in the back office, what kind of mess is he at home?  Maybe I will listen to his vmail tomorrow.  If I do talk to him, it will be to tell him to join AA, and start counseling.  Egad.



It’s my birthday.
I celebrate the whole month. My family is spread hither and yon, and they are very busy. Inevitably one will pop up and say “Oh no I forgot your birthday, geez I am so sorry.” Not anymore!  I have the full 31 days of March, you haven’t missed it, THERE’S STILL TIME!  I was supposed to have been born in May, but hit  Eject and arrived in March instead.  I guess by my logic (which rarely jibes with the logic of others) I could celebrate my birthday right up to the end of May, but that would be greedy. My sister’s birthday is the day before (but three years after) mine, my Mom’s and Dad’s birthdays are end of the month, and there’s Saint Patrick’s in the middle… so many reasons to celebrate!

Also during March, I try to do every fun thing I can think of (within reason) and finish all the projects I have. I have tons of projects left to finish this year, so it’s going to take some doing and some real knuckling down to get them done. I don’t think it’s gonna happen, the pile is too big. Oh well, divide and conquer, set achievable goals, blahblahblah, other platitudes. I just have to make yet another list and set aside the stuff that goes later. I make tons of lists. Somebody said that lists are the sign of a disorganized mind. Maybe. Maybe lists are the sign of someone who doesn’t want to get all the way through her project and realize that thing X had to go in the middle to complete the circuit and now you have to disassemble the whole thing to get X in the spot. Maybe lists are the sign of a mind with a huge inventory. Maybe I shouldn’t worry about things said by people I don’t know.

I can set the gardening stuff aside for Earth Day (end of April) as it is still cold outside and trying to set up watering equipment in the snow is stupid.

I will do the cleaning first, then the construction, then finishing, and then the mechanicals. Cleaning gets all the superfluous shit out of the way; the garbage, dishes, laundry, donate-ables, tools, supplies, groceries, appliances, toys – all this will be put SOMEWHERE that is not in the middle of the floor, which is where I need to work.  Cleaning also includes the ripping out of things that will hinder construction – old carpet, padding, tacky strips near the walls, and the throwing away of wrecked furniture.

Then comes construction, which I have to split into three parts: Bedroom and Hallway, Stairwell, Livingroom. There is a fourth part – Guestroom but that is on hold ’til we get the first three settled. That is later.  Construction will include wall repair and painting, hardwood floor installation, and refinishing.  I will fix all the dings, nicks, chunks, claw marks, and holes – then paint the walls, ceilings and floors with primer/sealer in each of the three project areas.  Once dry, I will go back and paint each of the project areas with suitable colors.  I thought about including Pook on color choices, I really did.  He doesn’t like this part of doing (or really any part of doing) and has no usable short term memory.  I don’t want to hear “I have no memory of agreeing to this” once I have colors on the I’ll probably just pick a paint and cope when he complains.   Or I will have him come too and pick paint with me.  Ugh.  There is a painting snag in the Livingroom as we have a wall mounted Television.  I require assistance getting it down to paint behind it, so, I will just plasticwrap the thing and paint around it until such time as assistance is available.  I have small brushes and should be able to get in pretty close to the actual mount.  Once paint is dry then I will knock the nails out of, cut the boards for, and nail down the hardwood flooring in the Bedroom and Hallway and the Stairwell.  Bedroom and Hallway should be pretty straightforward, big rectangular room mostly rectangular hallway, I will extend the boards under the door to the guest room so I don’t have to worry about a threshold later.  There are a couple of tricky cuts around the bathroom doorway and in the hall closet – but they’re not so bad- 45°.  The bad part is the stairs.  I am afraid of em.  UGH.  I just have to DO them and stop worrying about how, once I start it will work itself out or it won’t.  I just have to believe it will.   Once the wood is all nailed down, then I have to sand it – rough up the finish on it greatly so I can seal it.  This already was someone’s hardwood floor and was reclaimed by Habitat for Humanity – which is why I have to knock the nails out of it. Every piece has three or four nails in it.  Double ugh.  I had already installed hardwood on the floor in the Livingroom, and roughed it up a little before sealing it with polyurethane – but I didn’t rough it enough – the sealant did not stick.  Once I am done sanding the Bedroom and Hallway and Stairs, then I must also sand the floor completely down in the Livingroom.  Throughout the paint and sealant process the cats must must must must MUST be contained somewhere – I think in the guest room for the duration of the painting and the staining and the sealing.  As the cats will be otherwise contained – I will be able to leave the front and back doors and all the windows wide open for ventilation.  I may use a chemical stripper on the Livingroom floor instead of a sander, as I don’t really want to take off that much wood, just the outer coatings.  Let it dry, sand a bit to even it out, replace the boards that have gone a bit wonky (provided I have leftovers), restain the lot, and then seal the whole works, top to bottom.  I have done this once, you can recoat it so long as you do it within 4 hours of the initial application.  It takes about an hour for each coat to dry and once it’s dry you can put on the next coat.  I want at least three.  Then, leave it alone for 24 – 48 hours – you can walk socky footed on it but no shoes – no furniture – not a damn thing until it is cured up or you’ll peel it like an orange and have to redo the whole fucking thing.  I’m not looking forward to Pook bitching about the chemical smell of the paint and stain and stripper and sealant.  I’m not looking forward to him ‘accidentally on purpose’ letting the cats out over and over while I am painting/working and having to chase them around to get them back to safety.  These things will happen.  Also he does not assist in the actual work of any of these projects.  He will feed me though, and bring me drinks.

While that’s curing, I will take the opportunity to strip and refinish my lower kitchen cupboards.  They’ve gotten dingy and dull, and it’s not washing off, so time to redo.  Also, the pressboard counters have swollen in some places on the edges, and I don’t have the dinero to upgrade at this time (oooh granite?), so I will use my multitool, raze bits off, and even them out again.  Then I will use sealant to ensure no more swelling happens.  Ugly but effective, and no one will know its there except me.  Strip, stain, seal, an hour to dry, and we’re done.

Additionally, I have an old victrola cupboard in the Diningroom that needs some love.  I don’t want to actually refinish it, but the veneer has buckled on top and flaked in front.  I won’t replace the veneer itself – just remove the buckled parts and stain dark the underlayment- then seal the hell out of it with polyurethane and let it dry.  Our kitchen table and chairs are en masse migrating to the basement; we have a new big Diningroom table and a bunch of wheelie chairs to go ’round it.  I like the set up for our gaming friends, but the chairs are covered with rough fabric that is so good for the office and so terrible around cat hair.  I will fashion slipcovers for the wheelie chairs, washable, wipeable, waterproof, and non-fur-gathering, with elastic around the edges for easy pop on/off for replacement.

Then I shall build a new couch for my Livingroom, it will be three trunks which will be useable for storage with cushions atop fashioned from crib mattresses and padding.  The arms will be blocky and have pull out drawers for storing the remotes and game console controllers and have space for phone chargers and extra batteries.  The inner arms and back will have pillows but not the outsides or the tops – that will all be wood painted black, as will the trunk boxes.  The pillows and cushions will be covered with heavy black vinyl, sewn in panels so they’ll be easily replaceable if they crack or get wrecked by cats.  It will be industrial and  indestructible and comfortable.  It will store board games and blankets and whatnots.  This I dig.  I have the plans all drawn up – I have the crib mattresses procured – I have the pillows – I just need to buy the wood and build it – but I need space.  I need to get all the other shit out of my garage and installed in the house so I can build it – and if I start at the beginning it will all get done right.

Finally the mechanicals – these I have to hire people for.  I need some electrical work, and some plumbing, and some AC repair done.  I’m going to try to trace back the electrical one more time – there is a bad outlet and light switch I have to change out – if that works then I don’t need an electrician for this, but for other things I do.  The AC repair – is after Earth Day because SNOW.  I might (MIGHT) just have to swap out a capacitor – if that works then I don’t need an AC repairman.  The plumbing I have outright given up on.  I need a plumber – and I need one badly.  The upstairs guest bathtub drain has come away from the bottom of the tub – is completely unusable as it dumps water through my kitchen ceiling.  I CANT fix it.  I tried and failed.  And cried.  I am not strong enough.  I am going to take off the utility panel in the back of the closet to see if I cant take out the pipe instead of trying to break loose the drain, but it’s doubtful.  My other tub has a crack in the sidewall.  I have it sealed over – but I need to have it fixed-fixed, its only useable as a shower for now.  I hate showers.  I can’t fix this either, I don’t have the industrial stuff needed to do it.  My backyard garden water spigot has a leak that screams out through the handle – it is a “freezeless” faucet – I don’t know how to fix it.  Though I am afraid to try, I will take it apart and look at it and see if there is something obvious.  Then there are myriad other things to repair – Replace all the screens with ones the cats haven’t ripped, fallen cupboard shelves, replace the stairwell light with a hanging fixture I can reach so I can change out the bulb, replace the bathroom fans with more powerful ones and with lights that work, replace all the smoke detectors, the safety beams on the garage door opener, the left light on the garage – oh that needs an electrician again.  Paint all the wooden trim outside and the front door.  Install a waterline, drain,  and an electrical outlet to the kitchen closet so I can run the Cat Genie in there (needs electrician, plumber, building permit, probably not going to happen).  Move the cable and television to the center wall in the Livingroom.  Replace all the vertical blinds with curtains.  Install motion sensitive switches:  (Kitchen, Garage, Basement, Bedroom, Computer room, Guestroom, Diningroom, Hallways…)

I am never going to get this all done before the end of March… unless I extend my project time ’til the end of May.  If I do – I will get to do some fun things too.  Maybe it’s not so greedy.

Valen Time

I really like Valentines day.
Most of the folks in my life hate it and expound verbosely how it is a made up holiday designed to make us buy diamonds and spend copious amounts of money to disappoint our loved one, or to make us feel inferior and desperately alone if we are sans loved one. I think of it as Happy Pooky Day where we can sit in front of the TV in our underpants and play with the kitties while watching some shlocky movie without having to feel guilty for telling the rest of the world we’re busy. I don’t need diamonds for that, or for anything, except maybe grinding down sharp edges. If there are presents, they are things I bought myself and say “LOOK WHAT YOU GOT ME!” to which he replies “I always pick just the right thing!”. Lately there aren’t presents; I am not really in a present state of mind.

This year we made an effort and went to lunch together at Which Wich. My husband went Vegan this year as part of his weightloss regime – trying to get healthy and be able to breathe while sleeping – so it is a bit difficult to find someplace to accomodate his new eating preferences. Which Wich seemed to be okay.

I got a 14″ sub which I was only able to eat a third of; It had ‘olive spread’ and black olives, turkey and avocado, horseradish mayo and garlic. It was delicious. I had a weird instance of swollen mouth/nose afterwards though. I am not allergic to anything save summertime sun and beestings, so it was Weird. I mentioned it when I dropped him back at work, but in the few minute drive from the sandwich shop to his office, it subsided, so we chalked it up to mutant genetics and drove home. I threw sandwich monster in the fridge and settled down for a long Friday sleep. [normally I stay up until Friday Night to sleep so I have the whole day, but I had gone a few days of not being able to sleep – so I took advantage of the afternoon as Valentines Nap] He came home and we started watching some horrible reality based cooking disaster show where the hosts all make the contestants try to cook insane shit and berate them endlessly for not living up to impossible standards, then go “off screen” and laugh at how badly these folks are doing…I’m not into them, mostly I want to hurl hot soup crockery at the hosts. Through the television. Pook has the whole friggin set of the shows on DVR. Lucky me.

I dozed off just before rage set in and awoke at some early time after sunrise on Saturday morning. I medicated my kitty (ear infection) and Pook woke up. We got dressed and went grocery shopping. The store was sorta but not really busy, we went to the HyVee near our house. It’s too expensive but its nearby, and it has a Vegan section we hadn’t explored yet. They say never go shopping when you’re hungry. I had a sickish/hungry feeling the whole time we were shopping and came home with a bunch of weird stuff Pook classifes as Not Food – he was going to cook lunch but I still had that monolithic sandwich. So I tried to eat some more of that, was able to eat about half of what was left. Still delicious, and the flavors had melded into something really better than yesterday. Again, I had the same weird face/nose swelling. I curled up on a chair in the livingroom while he turned the television to some reality show about mining gold in the mountains or oceans of Alaska and I fell asleep. He woke me later that evening up to go to his brothers house for dinner and games. I’d slept the whole day, I hadn’t even brought all the groceries in (it’s freezing outside everything was safe in the car).

I felt just terrible, hot and cold and achy, figured I’d caught a cold. I didn’t go, he caught a ride over there with one of our good gamer friends and I stayed home and dragged in all the groceries and put them away then fell asleep again. He came home – I vaguely remember because the horrible cooking thing came back on TV. He went eventually to bed and I shut the shit down. But – I had a vague feeling of doom. The kind where there is either something you forgot to do that will get you fired or burn down your house or will kill you and your family if you don’t catch it. I sat up a few hours waiting for the hammer to strike (this happens sometimes, had happened a few times earlier in the week making me miss literal days of sleep) but there was nothing – so I drifted off again.

I woke at sometime o’clock early sunday morning with a vague tummyache. I’d fallen asleep on the chair in the livingroom with pants on, sometimes the waistband can make my tummy muscles ache if I don’t take em off before I go to sleep. I remedied this at once, and got worse and worse and worse. I am not going to get real graphic except to say I managed to contain the disaster to the powder room and managed to scream Pook awake to go get me some medicine (he was neither happy nor gracious about it, but he went rather than unwillingly sympathetically vomit too). That was yesterday morning. That was the only point this whole weekend wherein I was actually awake, and I wished I was dead. I spent the day alternately ‘purging’ and imbibing pepto and ginger ale to put out the inferno in my tract. The rest of my sandwich is in the trash.

We didn’t game yesterday – which pisses me off, even though it’s totally my fault. It was my sandwich. I didn’t have any more ‘instances’ after 8 o’clock, stayed good thereafter so I came to work. I’m not tired, so that part is good. I’m still a bit queasy, but nothing like earlier. I still like Valentines, even though this one was a bust. Maybe we can try Valentines this afternoon instead. I’m willing to give it a do over.


I am a Tech. 

I fix things. 

Computer things, electrical things, furniture, plumbing, toys, books, clothes, carpets, cars, roofs, doors, windows… if I can fix it,it’s not really broken.  It’s like a puzzle I must compulsively solve.  I like to help other people fix things too, even if it’s not something I know how to do.  Either you know how and you’ll teach me, or neither of us know and we’ll learn by doing.  Both are good for me.  Learning new things, fixing things – I get lots of satisfaction.  The best is when I get something that has been discarded as broken, something I need, and make it functional again.  It gets to do the fun things it likes to do, rather than brokenly rot. I have to be careful or I will fill my house with broken but easily fixable things I need and run out of time necessary to actually fix them.  I had to sit down and make a project calendar in order to finish what I have, and make a rule: ‘No more in until what I have is done.’  What I have is almost done!

I also like to make things. 

I have busy hands when I am nervous or anxious.  I occupy them by weaving, drawing, knitting, sewing, painting, carving, sculpting, origami, beading… whatever I have around becomes my project.  I’ll take apart an old magazine and fold the pages into strips and make a basket suitable to hold pencils and pens, or an old desk calendar woven into an unlikely set of not very useful but very curious slippers.  Discarded wrapping paper saved from birthdays and Christmas become ornamental dragons and stars and cranes.  There isn’t much on my desk, most of this I give away or I’d drown in it.  I like the making, and for the most part (but not always) I am not really attached to the finished product.  I take pride in my work, but if you like it and say so, most likely I will give it to you.  I can always make another one.  Unless I need it, then I’d help you make one, or make a different one for you.  I have been hand making gifts for my family members lately.  I ask, “What do you want for Christmas”, or “for your birthday” if they say “nothing” (as often is the case) – then it becomes a challenge to make them something they’ll like.  I am not always successful.  Here too I have lists of makeables instead of supplies in case a ‘busy hands’ frenzy overtakes me.  I do have some art/crafting supplies, but mostly I’ll be going about my day, see an old shirt and think – I could make an excellent tote bag out of that, or ya know, that ugly sweater could be reknitted into an assload of cutie cat toys, and scrunchies, and washcloths, and off I go.

I am not a very good cook.  My cooking is not that bad – it won’t kill you right away.  I can follow a recipe and get passable results, but I haven’t got the art of grabbing a bit of this and a chunk of that and making something awesome.  It usually turns out gray and mushy and bland. Or grey and mushy and too salty.  I will still eat it, but you’ll probably order a pizza instead.  I wouldn’t blame you.  I think I need more practice, more experience actually cooking.  My husband is really picky and extremely critical about food, so much so that I straight up quit cooking and let him do it his own damn self.  He would call my description harsh.  I think I am dead on.  That said, I can bake pretty well, though I don’t bake often. My baked goods are indeed good.

Since I have meandered into things I am bad at, I also sort of fail at ceramics.  I can sculpt with clay, but I haven’t the arm/hand strength for the potters wheel.  My cups and bowls are sad, deformed, and lopsided.  I try to fix them up a bit with outsized handles and spouts – so they lean to a more whimsical bent.  I like them, but I’ve gotten more than a few raised eyebrows at my Seussian pottery.  I also probably just need more practice here, more time at the wheel.  Possibly also need mushy-er clay.  It’s something to think about.

I used to be good at housekeeping, but I have gotten lax and angry about it.  I blame my husband, and my cats, but I mostly blame myself.  It is a question of motivation; it’s difficult to spend a hours/days fixing something that gets SO thoroughly trashed in minute.  Ugh.  Also difficult when you’re the only one interested in upkeep.  Double Ugh. Imma stop here but I could whine about this shit for days.  Should spend that time instead scrubbing the damn floor.  Again.

I have a yard and garden that I fight with my Mom about.  She wants to do my yard and gardenwork.  By do it, I mean she wants to put permanent berry bushes in my vegetable plot, get rid of the rabbit fencing, and mow the rest down.  She has her own garden, and her own yard, her yard is way bigger and her garden way smaller, but she’s obsessed with mine.  I like berries, don’t get me wrong, berries are good – but I don’t use that many berries, I don’t eat much jam, and letting them stay out there and get eaten by birds is just as bad as not weeding.  She is really very set in how things SHOULD be done and WHEN they should be done, and if you’re not doing it that way then you’re clearly a lazy idiot and get the hell out of the way.  I’d rather have vegetables, but I am not that great a weeder, and halfway through the season she will lose her shit and rip everything out of my garden, weeds, plants, onions, catnip whatever.  Crazy.  Last year I put in my garden without her and she was bewildered.  It’s hard work, tilling and planting, doing it alone is unthinkable.  She came after, pulling out last years shed stalks and flowers and branches and whatnot from my yard/flowerbeds and put it all into my garbage bin.  I wasn’t home, didn’t see it happen.  I only found out when I got the big fine from the city for putting yard waste into the municipal trash.  I also got a warning that my compost heap was too close to the house, which is a fire hazard.  Compost heap?  My trash bin was sealed shut with a big blaze orange sticker and an additional blaze orange flag was stuck into a huge refuse pile heaped against the garage wall.  I sat with my charcoal grill that day and had a tidy little fire fed with roots and sticks and woven knots of leaves and twigs until both the compost heap and trash bin were clear.  I kept the fire little and fed it bit by bit so as not to make a hazard of myself.  It’s amazing how little ash all that made.  The ash went back into the garden, and I had a talk with Mom about fines and boundaries.  She offered to pay, but no no, that’s not the point – I will pay the fine, but just don’t, okay?  Let me do it.  I love you, let me do it.  I am sure I will wake up to her at the back door with a shovel and a rake and an exasperated look on her face this Spring.  Maybe I can have the garden done before that.  I am going to experiment making seed tape out of toilet paper, to try to space out my seeds better.  I feel awful when I have to thin out the vegetables, why should they have to die for my inadequacy?  The vegetables want to live!  Also it ‘should’ help me make straight rows.  My rows have a bit of wiggle going on if you know what I mean.  I want them to be straight, but usually they aren’t. I also want to paper and mulch between the rows so I don’t have weedpocalypsemania like last year.  I tried once but the newspapers blew around too much.  Imma experiment with a gluestick  making long rows and multiple layers of newspaper so it doesn’t blow around so easily.    Though, the neighbors do find it a little amusing to see me chasing paper through the yards. Maybe I can seed some slow release fertilizer in between the plys?  Too ambitious?   It would weigh it down a little more and save me a step in the blazing heat of Summer.  I got a bunch of automatic watering equipment to set up too.  I am hoping for no weeding, no watering, all vegetables.  It is good to have goals.  I also have a tomato bed along the side of the Garage, outside the garden proper.  Tomatoes don’t need rabbit fencing, rabbits don’t eat tomatoes.  Tomatoes are HUGE plants that will take up much much space in your garden if you let them.  I put them outside, they’re easier to manage.