Tuesday, January 15, 2019

The Random Mid-January Thoughts of a Human Cactus

Hey, look at that. First post of 2019 and it only took me 15 days...

I miss the days when I used to write all the time. I miss the days when blogging was an accessible platform for people to share their stories, to meet other writers, to find kindred spirits. Anymore, it is just a way to open yourself up to constant criticism from people who make no attempt whatsoever to actually understand who you are or why you are writing or why you are writing what you are writing. The trolls of the world have sucked the fun out of it, but if I'm being completely honest, it isn't just the trolls. Nope. It's the "friends" who show up only to criticize you, it's the family members who show up only to dispute whatever your account of the past might be, it's the people you already know and probably care about in one way or another showing you who they really are over and over and over again. That's what truly wears on a writer the most.

And that's why the vast majority of us just aren't doing this anymore.

Which makes me question the wisdom of even doing this now. Here. Today.

I know why. I need to write. I started doing this for myself. I lost my reasons there for a good long while. I found my way back to them. Avoided them a lot. And still I find myself here pecking away at the keys every so often because I need it.

Even knowing someone is going to insist that I'm wrong. Because. They. Always. Do.

Wikipedia: cactus version of me

It isn't something that I expect the non-writers of the world to understand. It's just a part of who we are, all the way down to our core being. This is how I process things. All the things. The good things, the bad things, the things that piss me off, the things that give me joy, the things that remind me of all I have lost, the things that give me hope. And yet, I have to do it in that precarious tightrope walking fashion that anyone who publishes publicly must learn. I can tell my stories, but never in their entirety, because my stories often don't just belong to me, and I don't have the agency to tell the stories that belong to other people.

Woooooo....I guess I really did need to write.

I meant to do this two days ago, with a specific topic in mind, and I will get to that specific topic in a moment...probably as a capsule Things That Piss Me Off segment here. First though, I have to write about today.

(Trigger warning for pregnancy loss)

It seems like I write this post every year, which probably isn't true. But it sure feels that way. I felt that nagging grief rise up again this morning at 3:36 a.m., the annual nighttime wake-up call that always comes on the fifteenth of January. I never have to actually make a conscious effort to remember that night nineteen years ago. My body, my subconscious, my soul does it for me. Automatically.

It was in those small hours of the night when I lost my first child.

She was dead before then, probably for at least a week or more by that point. We'd received that news from a radiologist we nicknamed Doctor Death for his official relaying of both a cancer diagnosis and what he methodically and unflinchingly called a "fetal demise", sitting in a dark ultrasound room with a screen that wasn't flickering the way it was supposed to be flickering.

I don't even know how long I sat there and cried as I felt all the hope and optimism about the future that I'd had just moments prior leave my body in deep heaving guttural sobs.

I don't want to talk about the details of what I went through in those next few days. I try to block it from my memories. Try as I can to push it away, there are still, even after all these years, times when it is all I can think about.

And today is the day that I let myself mourn. The other 364 days of the year belong to everyone and everything else, but today belongs to her.

Her name was Hannah.

I never had the chance to hold her. I never got to marvel at the color of her eyes or how the sunlight made her hair shine and sparkle like spun gold. I never got to hear her giggle for the first time, never fell asleep with her on my chest as I inhaled the scent of who she was. I never got to do those things, because she never got to be here.

Without her presence and then absence in my life, I can't say who I would be today. I know that even if I had children eventually, they wouldn't be the children I have now. I may have never changed my priorities in the way that I did. I may have stayed on that career path. I may not be physically in the place I am today.

Everything might be different.

She changed me, as certain as the DNA from every single conception remains with a mother forever. A few years ago, as I was helping another mother navigate a pregnancy loss, I mentioned that weird little scientific fact to her. They really do forever remain a part of us, even the babies we never hold. For her, it was both comfort and the confirmation that she had been seeking that this experience had indeed changed her, irrevocably and permanently.

It took me almost a decade to write about her at all. I know that my insistence on still doing it after all these years probably annoys some people. The people who say things like, "it is in the past", "you have other children", "it wasn't meant to be", "get over it already". Statistics tell us that pregnancy loss happens far more often than anyone really realizes. We just don't talk about it because it makes other people uncomfortable. We are supposed to worry about other people's comfort before our own. We are supposed to be more considerate of other people's feelings than our own. We are supposed to quiet and silence the grief inside our hearts for the benefit of others.

No.

This is a part of my life, and maybe it is a part of your life too.

And today belongs to her.

I wonder all the time who she'd be. Who she might resemble. What she would love.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Okay, now that I have cried all over this perfectly good keyboard, the post that I intended to write two days ago, but got distracted by furniture construction and other shiny things.

If you've been anywhere near social media in the past two weeks, you've probably seen them. The posts about decluttering. Minimizing. Holding all the things and asking them if they bring you joy. The arbitrary limits on the number of books one should own. The television show. The posts about people feeling like their houses are too messy to even watch the show.

Here's the thing.

If this approach works for you, and you want to do it, and you don't want to read any criticisms of it, just stop reading now. For real. Just stop reading. The rest of this post isn't for you. Besides, something needs folded. Go.

For real.

I'm not kidding.

If you like this whole movement and don't want to hear anyone question it, stop here.

Beeeeeeeeep.

....

Okay. If you're still reading this, let's move on.

Again, if you like this approach and it works for you or if it is something that you've always done your whole life or annually anyway and you think it's just a handy guide, great. I'm happy for you. Your house is probably a lot neater than mine.

If I lived alone, my house would probably be a whole lot neater than it is. But, I don't live alone. I live with a house full of people who all approach life very differently, carrying the baggage they already have from things that have happened in the past and have wide variations in how they function.

This house is never going to be "neat". It took me a long time to accept this truth, but I have made my peace with it mostly.

Now, for the criticism part.

And yeah, I have read the book. I've also read the Swedish death cleaning one and personally prefer that one for reasons that I may or may not remember to write about here eventually.

My biggest issue is that the entirety of the approach is steeped in privilege. Multilayered privilege. Like sooooooo many layers of privilege.


  • The idea that people all have the means to purchase high quality, often expensive things that will last a lifetime.
  • The reality that many people struggle to fund basic necessities.
  • The impact of not having enough money, at any point in your life, on behaviors related to possessions.
  • The idea that people all have so much excess.
  • The fact that our culture is largely disposable and many consumer products aren't easily repairable anymore.
  • Mental health issues are often tied directly to purchasing behavior, collecting, the inability to part with items or clean at all.
  • ADHD and related conditions especially with executive functioning components that can make it impossible to complete even minor tasks, so you end up starting projects (and making a huge mess to go along with it), get overwhelmed, quit, beat yourself up, repeat.
  • The reality of grief as it affects possessions.
  • The after-effects of dealing with hoarding behaviors in yourself or in other people. For the record, having lived this directly, I would absolutely make the argument that hoarding is a form of addiction.
  • The consequences of not having boundaries respected, or of having things taken from you or stolen from you, even as a child or even as a punishment.
  • The reality that women are indeed primarily responsible for managing most household stuff, apparently made glaringly obvious on the show more than once. 
  • The idea that anyone who wants to declutter or minimize has the time and ability to do so. That they are physically able. That they are mentally able. That they are financially able. That they can willingly forgo whatever else they would be doing with that time.
  • That everyone in their house is in the same place on all of the above ^^^.
So, yeah. If you've always had enough money that you could buy food and housing and random unnecessary consumer goods, if you haven't dealt with major loss or grief, with addictive behavior, with mental health conditions impacting how you view possessions, maybe it is helpful. 

Maybe. 

And even then, even if it is helpful, are you in a place where you really have the time, energy, and desire to devote to getting rid of stuff? Do you even want to get rid of it? 

My mom was a hoarder. My dad threw stuff away whenever she wasn't looking. Neither is a very healthy behavior pattern, and they both set me up for issues well into adulthood. My mother especially impacted my home, as her hoarding invaded my space. She bought and shipped things to my home constantly. She purchased items secretly for my children and gave them instructions to hide it all. 

...
Pause here for a moment. If you are a grandparent, don't do this. You are undermining the parental authority of your child, causing massive damage to their trust in you, and teaching their kids to hide things from them. DO NOT DO THIS.
...

Years of therapy for my kids later, I am STILL finding things in my house. She has been dead for years, gone from this place even longer. And I am still findings things. 

Things don't only bring me joy or utility. Some things are just things, and when your parents are both dead and you have very few connections to who they once were, you hang on to the things that bring you neither utility or joy because you just hang on to them. 

And that is okay.

You want to keep that pair of jeans you haven't fit into since the 90s? Do it.

You want to keep those black suede boots just in case they come back into style? Do it.

You want to keep full bookcases of books you loved/hated/haven't yet read. For the love of Ravenclaw, DO IT. 

Do whatever works for you, in this moment. Don't worry about what someone in a book or on tv tells you to do with your stuff.


If you're ready, when you're ready, if you are able, when you are able, then maybe she could offer you some guidelines. But don't feel bad if you can't do it now. Or if you don't want to.

In the meantime, take care of you.

The internet has a way of making us feel bad about everything these days. Sigh.

Friday, December 14, 2018

All I Want for Christmas, 2018 edition

Good morning, loyal readers. Not that I'm much of a blogger these days...

I realized this morning that I hadn't yet written my annual Christmas list, which is something that I really must do because as much as I hate it sometimes, I am a creature of habit. And writing these ridiculous lists is something I started many, many years ago when this here blog began. Back in the time of the dinosaurs.


Here, I made you a graphic. It is awful, but it's for you. I hope it brings you a mediocre, but appropriate amount of joy for a graphic that literally took me 90 seconds to make.

Don't worry, I won't force anyone to read the old crap I used to write. I don't even want to read that stuff. If you want to peruse the lists from the past few years, though, here they are for your rabbit hole reading pleasure.

2017
2016
2015
2014
2013


Seriously, though, don't go any further back than that. (Waits patiently for a comment on a 2009 post...)

Let's get to what we are here for, which is my list. Since I know that you all care. Also because I am actually four years old and still write a Christmas list.

1. I want a time machine. Especially this week. I'd like to be able to travel back in time by a few weeks and make people do the things that they were supposed to do back then so that we wouldn't be sitting in limbo for longer about a huge life thing that I'm being deliberately vague discussing. Vague enough? Good.

2. I want more hours in the day. And no, this is not some glorification of busy thing, so spare me those comments, sanctimommies of the world. I really am that busy, and not by choice. I would love nothing more than to have glorious unplugged down time with my entire family, but that just isn't the way things are working out for us right now. It's rare that we are all home at the same time anymore. Between the seven of us, we have 6 people in school at least part time, 1 full time job, about 9 part time jobs, a holiday theater show schedule, drumline practice for two kids lasting 6 hours a week (until that jumps up after NYE, right around the time I pick up another job), all while working every imaginable bingo shift to try and raise money for band trips and dues. I know that someday I will look back fondly on this time in my life, that I will long for the days when I had to put everything in my calendar on my phone so that it would send me reminders to do the 73 things I need to do today. I know. You don't need to remind me or tell me how lucky or blessed I am. I am aware. I'm also really fucking exhausted. 

3. I want people to believe victims when they tell their stories. Period. I don't want them to be doubted or questioned or disbelieved. I don't want to listen to them explain or justify what they were wearing. I don't want to extend the benefit of the doubt in every circumstance to the accused, particularly when there is a pattern of behavior. We live in a society that treats victims like shit for saying anything...so WHY would anyone make this stuff up? Easy. They wouldn't. Your whole entire false accusation narrative is in and of itself a part of toxic misogyny. 

4. I want people to understand that politics aren't politics, that politics are life...and if you are fortunate to believe that politics are just politics, that comes from whatever privileges you occupy in this society.

5. I want more tattoos. And I want my nose pierced. But I can't get any more tattoos or piercings for a while, which is fine. I don't have the cash for them anyway.

6. I want a Disney budget that won't eat into every other single aspect of what little breathing room we have. The older two kids are marching in the parade at Disneyland this spring, which is a once in a lifetime thing. They're going, and because they're going (and the big one is the drum major), I want to go too. I've already sent him on trips to places I have never been with the band, but this is his last big thing in high school, and I want to be there to see him do it. Disneyland costs a goddamn fortune though. For real. I know that there are all these people who claim that money isn't the path of happiness, but for fucks sake not having to worry about it once in a while would be life changing. I wonder all the time what it must be like to actually not have to worry about money. And then I go back to work.

7. I want the track at the gym to be empty when I want to use it, or to be populated only by people who can stay in the lanes they are supposed to stay in and who pay attention when someone is trying to pass them. I don't know which is worse - the obnoxious tweens weaving in and out of lanes, the clueless old ladies chatting with friends three wide on the track, or the guy who has to turn around and watch me run every.single.time. I pass him. Dude. What the hell. 

8. Speaking of running, I'd like to make progress faster on my pace. I've been doing this religiously for months now, and have gotten much better at it. Well, I haven't gotten better, I've slowly sucked at it less and less. Accuracy. But it would be nice to feel like I am getting better at it faster. But alas. I'll go anyway. Because right now running is saving my sanity.

9. Totally a first world thing, but I applied to sit on the parks and rec advisory board and I'm probably jinxing myself by even mentioning it, but I would like to know if I got selected. My dream is to become Leslie Knope. Yes, yes it is.

10. I'd like my middle dog child to mellow out. She's an enormous bony freak of a lab mix, and she still has at least 2 years of puppy left in her, but I'm tired. The upside is that she isn't eating the actual house anymore. And yeah, she totally did that for a while. 

11. I'd like for the people who live in my house to see all the stuff that is everywhere. You know. The stuff that only I CAN SEE, that only I PICK UP. It drives me a little more insane every day. Why did you finally snap, Kelly? The hair ties. It was the hair ties. 

12. Speaking of which, I'd like to not have to lose my mind and get all yelly to get people to help around here. Or not have to do any of those things. Like, if people could just empty the dishwasher because they walk past it and see that it needs done, or swish the toilet after they drop a nasty deuce, or move the laundry to the dryer before it starts to smell like feet, that'd be great. This wish is evidence of the fact that I am delusionally optimistic. 

13. I'd like to deal with a little less anxiety in the house. All the way around. We could all use some chill. I include myself here.

14. I'd like to actually go on an anniversary trip with the husband this year, knowing that it probably won't happen because of the wonder that is Disneyland and having 5 kids that insist on eating and outgrowing their clothes and shoes. 

15. I want an unlimited supply of protein almonds and other crazy expensive keto snack foods that I refuse to buy because of that whole Disneyland and 5 kids thing.

16. I would LOVE my wardrobe to just change sizes as I do. I don't have the cash flow to buy new pants every couple of months, even if I need them. If the dryer could actually just start shrinking stuff, that would be rad.

17. I want to be able to clean my carpet and have it stay clean for 24 hours before someone spills or pees or barfs on it. 

18. I want my inside the computer people to not be so far away. And I want to actually SEE the friends who live here way more than I do.

19. I want to make good on the plans to start a game night this year.

20. I still want world peace, an end to hunger, freedom for all, true equality and for Citizens United to be overturned. I want Ginsburg to stay on the Supreme Court forever. Someone get her some vitamins immediately. 

Happy Festivus. I got a lot of problems with you people. 

Thursday, December 6, 2018

My Keto Experiment

Waves.

Hi. I don't really want to write this post, but here we are, so let's just get it over with.

Disclaimer: I am not a doctor. Talk to your doctor. Blah, blah, blah.

I am about to roll over on a year since I started this weird keto journey, and I guess that I look different enough that people are starting to ask me what I am doing. Kicking my own ass, mostly. But we'll get there in a minute.



Back in December of 2017, I was tired of being tired. Frustrated with not ever being able to lose weight, no matter what I did. Facing a diagnosis of diabetes and looking at going on meds after struggling to keep my blood sugar down for nearly two decades. My a1c was creeping higher and higher, along with the number on the scale. I started to do battle with my pancreas a very long time ago, when I was pregnant with my oldest kid. He's 17, so that tells you just how long it has been.

I'm not the type of fat person who can legitimately claim that they were fat and healthy. I wasn't. I had high blood pressure too. I couldn't do a lot of things that involved too much exertion. Last summer at Disneyland, on top of having a bizarre allergic reaction, I dealt with blisters and some serious chub rub that made the trip hell for me. It was awful. I don't want to be that person anymore.

I also have been through my mom dying from complications of Type 2. I knew that I didn't want to end up like she did, I knew that I wanted to be able to watch not just my kids grow up, but their kids too. And I knew that something seriously had to change.

I have struggled with my weight for my whole entire life. I was the fat kid. I've always been your fat friend. And before anyone starts to angrily type a comment about how "we" aren't fat and fat is just a thing...I know. I'm aware. I've lived in this fat body for my whole life. Trust me when I tell you that the world treats fat people differently. It just does.

Anyhow, I've tried damn near every diet known to man. Even the ones with the celebrities and the ads on tv. I've exercised until I passed out. I have dealt with anorexia a few times along the way, and I know my propensity to just stop eating when life gets too complicated. I STILL fall back into these damaging patterns of behavior, even at 41 years old. I was never very good at being anorexic, though. Still fat.

Which just fed the vicious cycle of self loathing.

Hooray for having shitty self esteem.

I saw a couple of friends make progress with keto and figured what the hell? I'll give it a shot, and maybe it helps, maybe it doesn't. It was literally either this or accept my fate and go on meds.

I am also probably the most skeptical person you know. I assumed it wouldn't make a difference. Nothing else ever has.

I have done a ton of research on health and nutrition. I have had a few lectures from nutritionists. I have been told by endocrinologists to keep eating carbs, believing that I had to eat them because all these experts told me I had to. Nothing got better. It only got worse.

And really, humans are not designed to digest wheat. We aren't supposed to be eating processed foods. We just aren't. We just fell for the idea that we are. I include myself here.

The ADA still recommends that people with Type 2 diabetes eat a whole bunch of carbs, just that they use medication and/or insulin to maintain their glucose levels.

It doesn't have to be like that.

(Type 1 is a VERY different situation, requiring insulin, and which cannot be managed by limiting carbs alone. Nothing I write here should be deemed any recommendation to attempt this way of eating for someone with Type 1).

When I started it, I jumped in with both feet, committing myself to really going all in. This isn't the kind of lifestyle that you can ease yourself into exactly. In order to reach a state of ketosis, you essentially have to go cold turkey on sugar and refined carbs. And I won't lie to anyone. That first week SUCKS. Like, you're going to feel like shit. Your body is going to punish you, and it will attempt to demand that you eat the bread or sugar or whatever because you've basically become addicted to the stuff.

Once you get past those first few days, it gets better. I promise.

To cope with those initial days, and the "keto flu" that comes with them, drink a ton of water. Up your intake of electrolytes. And wait. Honestly, you've just got to ride that part out.

Once you do, though, you'll likely start to feel better within a few days. I know it sounds hokey, but I think clearer now. I am better able to regulate my emotions, less likely to be dealing with severe anxiety. I sleep a whole lot better. No longer take antacids.

When I started, I did what is usually referred to as lazy keto. I didn't make a bunch of fancy recipes. I didn't make special food. I sure didn't buy anything special. I didn't take a bunch of supplements. I didn't invest in a whole bunch of shakes. If I was out at a restaurant, I just asked for meals to be made a little differently. Sauces on the side, no bread, no croutons. Sub rice or pasta for vegetables.

I've never worried about my macros aside from keeping a running total of my net carbs. My goal is to have 20 net carbs a day or fewer. Some people can do this and get away with as much as 50 grams. My pancreas is an asshole though, so I keep them lower.

Oh, and a net carb is just total carbs minus fiber.

You will want to try and spread them out throughout the day too, because if you ate all 20 (or 50 if you're one of the lucky people), it might be enough to kick you out of ketosis.

A lot of people assume that I have changed everything about how I cook and eat, and it isn't actually true. I still make most of the same dinners for my family that I always have. I just substitute ingredients or serve the carb-dense stuff on the side instead of incorporated in the dish. For example, I still make spaghetti and homemade meatballs on a regular basis. I just eat mine with zucchini noodles or shiritaki noodles instead. I do make my own pasta/pizza sauce because nearly all commercially available sauces are full of sugar. It's literally the easiest thing, though, and tastes so much better. Crushed tomatoes, olive oil, oregano, basil, garlic, salt, pepper and some red pepper flakes. There.

There are some super health conscious people who will claim that you can never have fast food on keto. I'm not one of them. I have 5 kids and we are super busy people so there are times that I am nowhere near home and need to eat. I just get burgers without ketchup or the bun, with extra lettuce and tomatoes.

I keep a bag of roasted almonds in the car for snacks. Peanuts are fine too if you prefer, but more likely to cause inflammation and carry more net carbs.

I drank bulletproof coffee for a while, but stopped mostly because it was too much effort. I just drink it black now...and I drink a whole lot less of it. I used to guzzle the stuff by the gallon, and now I find that I only need one cup a day to get going.

So, then...what do I eat? I know that this is the question that a lot of people want answered. I eat food. Just food. All meats and fish, poultry and cheese will become your best friend. There are some keto people who literally live on bacon, and while I do love bacon, I cannot eat it that often. I stopped eating dairy aside from cheese and occasional Greek yogurt a long time ago and my digestive system has been so much better ever since. Eggs. I cannot tell you enough about eggs. Most people are conditioned to believe that eggs have a lot of cholesterol and therefore will raise your cholesterol levels, but that's not actually true. My cholesterol has dropped pretty significantly, and on an average day, I eat at least 2 eggs. (whole thing, not just the egg whites). All green leafy vegetables are great, tomatoes in moderation. You're going to want to avoid most root vegetables since they are starchy and full of carbs. And fruit is generally a no-go except for berries and the almighty avocado. ALL THE AVOCADOS.

I make ice cream sometimes if I really want it, from coconut milk, cocoa powder and Stevia. Peanut butter fat bombs cups from sugar free chocolate and chunky peanut butter with coconut oil. There are a million cookbooks and websites devoted to these recipes, so I won't bore you here.

My husband recently started eating keto as well, and makes killer bagels using Fathead dough (again, the interwebs are full of these recipes). They're seriously so good. Keto bread...well, it's not real bread...but it'll do. Swap out regular flour for almond flour or coconut flour, and you're going to want to make sure to grab xanthan gum for anything doughy you want to make.

I do have exogenous ketones in drink form that I use very rarely if I've had more carbs than I should. I've experimented with intermittent fasting as well, and have found that once I adjusted, I'd stay fuller longer anyway. It's weird. I can't really explain it. I do drink protein shakes now, and it took me a while to find a keto friendly mix that didn't taste like dirt. Optimum Nutrition chocolate if you're interested. Costco sells it. No need to pay some exorbitant amount of money for special keto-marketed stuff. I usually toss some powdered peanut butter in there too, with unsweetened vanilla almond milk.

For the first 9 months on this journey, I truly did keto only without adding any extra exercise. In September, for reasons that defy explanation, I started running too. But there are tons of people who have great success with this way of eating who don't do any exercise at all.

Thing is....what you put into your body is a whole lot easier to control than trying to burn it off, even if you were going to work out all the time. I don't honestly know why I started running, but I kind of love it now. (gross)

This weekend, I will hit one year with this way of eating. I can say that I will never go back. I have lost a whole bunch of weight. My cholesterol is lower. My blood pressure is normal. My a1c is too. My skin is even clearer.

It has changed my life.

Maybe it works, maybe it doesn't...but maybe you want to try too.

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Peck Peck Peck Peck

Hi there, loyal readers. All three of you. If there are even three of you left at this point. Hi. Hi. Hi.

I made a truly half-assed attempt to participate in NaNoWri Mo this year, which failed on Day 3. I know my limitations, and daily writing is one of them. Truth be told, though, I started running a few months ago for reasons that defy explanation, and so I have been spending most of my free time arguing with myself on trails and tracks and dirt roads. It's actually pretty good for the purposes of diffusing anger and frustration.

Which I have had a lot of lately. More than normal. And this particular anger and frustration, well, the new part anyway, derives from something that I cannot actually talk about. I mean, I suppose that I could if I so chose, but I do not so choose at this particular moment in time. Vague enough, yeah?

I can tell you that it has something to do with the whole #metoo movement and dug up a whole bunch of old traumas for me, then revealed some new old traumas that I hadn't really ever fully appreciated for how horrible they were, and there's a whole lot of undeserved guilt heaped on to my shoulders for all of it, not that any of it was my fault, but guilt doesn't actually care about any of that so here we are.

I am generally a very forthcoming person, but this isn't something I am ready to talk about, and to be honest, I am not sure that I ever will be. It has put me in a very odd place in several aspects of my life, and I question who I am actually trying to protect by keeping mostly quiet about it, though recognizing that it's mostly me I'm trying to save right now.

Hence, the running.

There's something deeply therapeutic about pushing your body to its limits, where you feel like you are simultaneously going to vomit and become euphoric. It's weird. I once vowed never to become the person who talks about runner's highs, but I didn't realize back then just how much I would need them someday. So, past me....you were wrong and an asshole. Current me, still an asshole, offers to enlighten you a bit.

I do a lot of monologuing on these runs. Obviously.

On top of all that drama and literally everything that is involved in a house with one cat, three dogs, and seven people, three of which are teenagers, today should be my father's 66th birthday but he only made it to 58.

He said he never wanted to get old. Hated aging in general. Thanks to decades of smoking and whatever environmental exposures he picked up along the way, cancer made sure he didn't get old. I don't recommend it, though. I was there with him at the end, and believe me when I tell you that I wouldn't wish all that he went through on anyone.

Sigh.

I promised myself I wasn't going to write anything sappy about him this year, and here I am starting to do it. Blech.

So, I guess I will tell you all the story that I told my Facebook friends a few weeks back. It's funny and weird and will forever ruin something for you. Basically, it is the best kind of story.

Anyhow. When I was a teenager, my father started telling me and anyone who would listen a story. He'd tell it every time a particular song came on the radio or played in some tv show or movie. Like, he would literally stop what he was doing to engage in this story telling journey over and over again for the sheer joy of watching me cringe.

You see, it was the song that he swore I was conceived to.

Bow chicka wow wow.

And he wanted everyone to know.

A few weeks ago, on the anniversary of my mom's death, I was in the grocery store. I had made a conscious decision to avoid music for the whole day because of the cosmic radio gods that like to torture me when I need it least (or most depending on who you ask, I suppose). I had been fighting back tears most of the morning when I found myself reaching for a can of chili beans, and heard the opening notes of the song. That song. The magic one that made me.

I started laughing (more of a chortle) in the middle of the grocery store.

If I told you that it happened again last week, in the same aisle of the store, as I was again grabbing a can of chili beans, would you believe me?

Well, it did. I don't actually care if you believe me or not. The cosmic radio gods know.

Since I know that you are all dying to know what song it was, I shall tell you and forever ruin it for you as well.

Afternoon Delight.

Skyrockets in flight. ***pew***

Anyhow, I have a million things I need to do on this Tuesday, and I wanted to say hello. I needed to write. And even though I didn't really tell you all much about anything that is going on, I feel better. And I ruined a song for you all. So there's that.

Until next time...

Friday, November 2, 2018

Day 2. It's a strong start. Let's pretend to be optimistic.

I've got a ton of stuff I need to write for work, so this is all that is happening here today. For now. Might be back later....

Some of My Most Popular Posts