Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Things That Piss Me Off Tuesday - the it's not about the emails edition

FOR THE LOVE PEOPLE.

I haven't written one of these in a while, so brace yourselves.


It's Not About The Emails...
I was a Bernie supporter. I am still a Bernie supporter. I'm also a person who would like to avoid the apocalypse, and as such, I'll vote for Hillary Clinton without flinching in November.

However.

And this is a really fucking big however....

The reason people are pissed isn't the emails, or their release of the emails. People aren't sad because their feelings were hurt.

No.

People are legitimately pissed because it's become abundantly clear that the DNC was rigged for Hillary from the beginning. Most people who've been paying attention since the beginning already knew that, the release of the emails just confirmed it all.

The party system is in shambles. They're both trying really hard to implode before our eyes right now, and though I wholeheartedly encourage the rapid destruction of the two party system, or at a bare minimum massive overhauls, I don't want people to get so caught up in it all that they forget what is happening in a few months.

The only reasons those emails were released now can be explained one of two ways.
1) The people involved with the release really want Trump to win.
2) They are real life Jokers and just want to watch the world burn.

I'm not even kidding right now.

Democrats, I'm talking directly to you right now, so hear me.

We have to clean house. We have to fix this fucked up party and make sure elections are fair. We have to.

First, though, we have to make sure that our own infighting doesn't get Trump elected. For real.

Nice Try, Fat Girl
I've spent my entire life being overweight. It's just a part of who I am. I've tried literally everything, made myself sick in the process....even developed an eating disorder.

And I was still fat.

I know, I know.....you aren't fat, you have fat.

Whatever.

I accept my body as it is. I do what I can to make healthy choices and live the best life I can, but I'm not beating myself up over the number on the scale.

It took me well over 30 years to get here, and we're going to stay here, dammit.

Anyway, for whatever reason many of my friends have been expressing frustration with their weight lately, and to them (and myself....on repeat), I say this.

All that negative self talk
All those horrible things you say in the mirror
All the crying and anger and self loathing
Imagine your best friend saying it to herself or himself
Imagine your daughter saying it to herself
Imagine your son saying it to himself
Sounds pretty horrendous, right?
So don't do it to yourself

Seriously, ladies. (And some of you men too).

We work overtime to teach our kids to accept themselves, but we don't do it for ourselves. 

You're beautiful.

I'm beautiful.

Stop believing anything else.

Your worth isn't tied to a size. 

Having said all that, I laughed this morning a bit. I drink these kefir and kale smoothies all the time. Everyone I know that drinks them (many after I've distributed my pamphlets about the benefits....kidding, I haven't made pamphlets yet LOL) for any length of time loses weight. Yay for them. And then there's me. 

My body is all NOPE. 

Nice try, fat girl.

p.s. (to me, from my body): don't stop drinking them or I will punish you in at least seven different ways

The Upside to this Crazy Ass Election....wait for it....
Hey now you know who the racists are in your family, on your friends list.

All the people who've worked overtime (or barely at all) to suppress their deeply rooted biases and hatred are stepping out into the spotlight. 

Hi you guys we can see the shit you like 
and comment on even if you aren't 
posting it directly to your newsfeed...
that is how Facebook works. 
So go ahead and pretend you're 
"colorblind" and that your issues 
aren't with Muslims, but "radical Islam" 
and that you don't oppose immigrants, 
just "illegals".....go ahead. 

We can see all the shit 
you actually like and comment on, 
so we know how you really feel.

Concussions, CTE and Real Life Consequences
At this point, it should be a foregone conclusion that repeated concussions are dangerous...and not just in the immediate possibility of death way, but in the long term neurological damage way.

It's not just football.

It's not just boxing.

It's not just extreme sports. 

It's any sport or activity that results in repeated head trauma, and there's a distinct possibility that sub-clinical repeated head injuries can do damage too. In other words, you might not need the formal diagnosis of repeated concussions for the damage to happen. 

Pretending that head injuries like this don't happen, pretending that this sport is safe just because we really like it, pretending that this helmet will protect kids (or adults) from all injuries....it's wrong. It's dangerous. We need to study brain injuries more, we need safeguards in place for everyone playing sports where these injuries happen, and people need to start taking it seriously.

The Furiosa Test
I haven't seen the new Ghostbusters yet. I hope to while it is still in theaters.

When people first started talking about the all-female reboot, you'd have thought the internet was going to explode. THEY ARE RUINING MY CHILDHOOD was the rally cry of the manbabies. 

Whatever.

Apparently, it's a really good movie that has women in almost all the roles kicking ass and taking names and not giving any fucks about dating or clothes or dudes. 

This is my favorite thing on the internet this week. 


Furiosa, FTW.

Sunday, July 17, 2016

My Dog is Defective

Almost exactly a year ago now, we adopted him. Oliver.

We'd found him through a rescue group, driven over an hour to go meet him. They were sure he was half lab, but had no idea what the rest of his genetic makeup might be. The people from the rescue who had been fostering him and the rest of the litter guessed he was some kind of terrier. The scruffy, wiry hair and little beard were hints. He was black with patches of gray, especially around his face.

Even though he was only about three or four months old at the time, he already looked like an old man.

Tiny old man dog.

We were hooked.

Not that I expected any less, incidentally.

You should know that if you ever were to take my husband and all my kids to "look" at a dog or a cat, you'd better be prepared to bring said animal home immediately.

They suck at window shopping.


Yeah, he was pretty cute.

He still is, even though I've decided that he's hopelessly defective.

Like, I should get a partial refund or at least enough to buy a Roomba.

I have had a dog for almost my entire life. I've even had one that was part wiry terrier before...but none of them have ever been like this guy.

He was supposed to be my son's dog. Supposed to at least be my husband's dog.

Nope.

Even when everyone else is home and willing to play with him or help him hold the couch down, he's following me everywhere I go, tangled under my feet and completely in the way. He follows me to the bathroom. Cries when I'm in the shower. Lays his head beside me when he asks if he can climb on the bed.

I'm his person.

I didn't want to be his person. 

I was the last dog's person. Jake. Saying goodbye to that guy was one of the hardest things I've ever had to do, and I didn't want to get attached to another furry beast the same way ever again.

Nope.

Then he showed up and stared at me with those deep brown eyes, the ones so dark they're almost as black as his fur.

Fine.

Gosh.

He's a digger. He has holes all over the backyard. In the sandbox, in the grass. He dug up the garden last summer after he began a torrid love affair with the broccoli plant, requiring us to build a fence this year. The standalone planters on the patio are his current compulsion. It's as if he literally can't help himself. I've caught him standing inside the planters, determined to displace every single speck of soil.

He buries things all over the yard. We have a huge bag of rawhide chips in the pantry because I refuse to give him any more of them. As soon as he gets one, he whines and whines and prances and dances and begs to be let out so that he can bury his latest treasure somewhere out there. He digs them up too, but not until they've been morphed into a soggy brown mess.

He chews. He chews everything. All the damn things. When he was a puppy, I'd scold the kids for leaving whatever out where he could reach it, telling them that he was teething or couldn't help it or whatever. He hasn't been teething in months. And still, there is no greater joy in this dog's life than an overflowing recycle bin in on the side of the yard. His favorite are the plastic bottles...but really, he'll chew up just about anything. He should have outgrown it by now. He hasn't. I've kind of given up hope that he ever will.

He is weird. He likes to play well enough, I suppose. He'll chase a tennis ball and occasionally bring it back, but he's as likely to get distracted by the butterfly fluttering around the yard and try to chase that instead. Pretty sure he has dog ADHD. Which would make sense in this house.

We've had many, many dogs that liked to roll around with the kids, with my husband and play on the ground. This one can't handle it. He's conflict averse, even if it is play. He has zero tolerance for yelling or hitting or wrestling and will wedge himself in between whoever is doing it. If the kids even try to hug me a little too hard, he's there in an instant, staring with his disapproval, speaking up if things get out of hand.

None of those are even close to the weirdest thing about him, though.

The weirdest thing about this dog is that he has no appreciation for how good he has it, and by that I mean that he lives in a house with a toddler. Toddlers are essentially walking food dispensers. It doesn't help that the baby is in that super fun toddler stage where he just starts throwing food if he's done or bored or annoyed or if I give him a waffle when he wanted oatmeal. Every other dog we've had since we have had kids did what they were expected to do....cleaned up. One dog drew the line at lettuce, but I forgave him that one infraction. Otherwise, they'd eat every little morsel of food, licked the floors clean, would even lick the highchair and the low cabinets when necessary.

This dog? Nope.

He's picky. And lazy. He has no interest in half of the things this kid disposes of. None. Zero. Zip.

Even the good stuff sometimes, and I'll look at him, like really??? YOU ARE A DOG. THAT IS STEAK WHAT THE FUCK IS WRONG WITH YOU?

Nah.

He apparently missed the day when we went over the tacit agreement between dogs and humans. You know the one that says I agree to let him sit in the bathroom with me as long as he eats all the goldfish the kid drops. Either that or he just wasn't paying attention. Either is equally plausible. Told you guys he has dog ADHD.

Between him and the baby, I'm always taking something away from the other one, picking up little pieces of who knows what that one of them has scattered all over the house or the yard.

What the hell, Oliver?

What the hell?

As I type this, he's touching me with his paw. Because he always has to be touching me.


I'm his person.

And he's my dog.

Pretty soon, we're going to get up and walk to the bathroom, me and my defective shadow.

He's lucky he's cute.

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

so this is the part where i remind people that this is a HUMOR post and that my dog is definitely not mistreated in any way....but it's less funny that way. no need to come for me, dog people. honest.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

6th Annual 30 Day Photography Challenge CONTEST!!!!!!

It is always hard to choose photos for the contest with so many wonderful submissions!

These are the 23 nominees for the contest.  Each will be captioned and then numbered, at random.  To vote, please click on your favorites in the poll.  It is on the left margin of the blog.

<======= Over there

You can vote for more than one picture if you'd like, I will set it up so that you may vote for one or all of them. The only way for votes to be properly counted is to register them in the poll. Leaving a comment isn't enough. The poll may only be visible on web editions, not mobile. If you are on a cell phone, click the link at the bottom of the post to "view web version", which will allow you to vote. The voting will end at Noon MST, Thursday, July 14th.

Anyone who visits this page can vote, so get your friends to join!

Also, if you're on a web version, you can click the images to enlarge them and scroll through them easier.

The prizes you are all playing for are listed at the bottom, with links to the amazing sponsors. Please show them some love and good luck!


1. Coffee and Joy
Joelayne Battista

2. Tweet
Christie Huff

3. The Sign
Rachel Reis

4. Shuffleboard
Jennifer Tallman

5. The Bridge
Gretchen Chateau

6. Big Sky
Lillian Connelly

7. Forest
Tiffany Cruskie

8. Little White Dress
Krysten Hoversen

9. Rose Water
Katie McAllister

10. Peacock
Melissa Zamora

11. Lily
Carolyn Mears

12. Ocean Waves
Jennifer Maidl

13. River Rocks
Angie Simas

14. Old Barn
Meghan Spencer

15. Horizon
Melissa Ray

16. Book light
Kelly Acker

17. Migraine
Vanessa Brookman

18. Wildflower
Ashley DeBie

19. Sequoias
Lisa Seino


20. Rear View
Dina Fentiman

21. Blossoms
Mark Rodriguez

22. Ballpark
Melissa Keen

23. Little Swimmer
Paula Gill

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

The prizes you are playing for this year include:

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

And this is why I have designated days for this shit...

Fuck.

July 6th.

The last day before life as I knew it ended. 

Not this year. Nope. I would most definitely not have my shit together this well (hahahahaha, like I have it together well at all) if it was this year. It's been five now. FIVE YEARS. 

This is the last of the days that will (or should) suck an entire bag of dicks on this year of five year anniversaries. Well, more correctly I suppose it is the day before the last day.

It's weird, this time thing. Days like this one, it seems like five years ago was in an entirely different lifetime that belonged to someone else a few generations ago, like it's part of my family folklore but didn't happen to me personally. Out there, distant, disconnected, recollected but not really lived. I peruse the images from the thing that happened forever ago as though they are in some book somewhere. Over there.

But then on the other hand it's like it is right now all over again and it's just happening now and I'm feeling my grip on sanity loosen and it's all slipping away no matter how hard I try to hang on, that I can feel the anxiety tightening in my chest and I have to focus just so that I remember to breathe. In and out. In and out. In and out.

It's weird how those two things can happen at exactly the same time, and I don't have any fancy scientific explanation for why it is the way it is. Just that it is. It probably has something to do with my semi-recovery from PTSD and acceptance of the fact that it never really goes all the way away. And if you know then you know and if you don't know, then you should consider yourself really fucking lucky.

#perspective

I'm hiding in the front room of the house so that I can write this because the baby is in that stage where he wants all my attention all the damn time and will start throwing shit to get it. He'll slam things down on the keyboard if I even think about trying to write. He'll rip my phone out of my hands with his little tiny baby hand death grip and chuck it across the room. If I'm out of his line of sight, he's perfectly content to put the same two LEGO bricks together and take them apart 174 times in a row, but if he can see me, all bets are off.

(oh, and before any of the sanctimommies start in here, they are the duplo blocks and his siblings are in the room and he doesn't put anything he can't eat in his mouth already because he's figured out that anything that isn't edible isn't worth it which is why he's a human tank and I can see him he just can't see me so there)

You know, writing is a hell of a lot less fun when you live in a world where people will literally ignore everything else you write, decide that they know all about your fucking life and deem you a danger to your children, then threaten to turn you in to the authorities over shit they read online that one time. 

FFS

Anyway, this shitty milestone is almost here, which is a complete relief in an entirely bizarre way. I'm far enough away from the actual events now that I can give myself some leeway intentionally so that I don't head down the rabbit hole and fuck up half of the summer by becoming a basket case recluse who doesn't shower except to wash off and then reapply all the black eyeliner in the house. Because that could totally happen. Strike that. Has happened.

Yep.

Now, knowing my body's propensity to remember the awful days on the calendar even if I'm not actually paying attention to them, I plan ahead. I give myself designated days for this shit.

No, for real. 

That's a thing.

Designated Days. 

I build little emotional breakdown buffers in my year. On purpose.

Like, here self. 


"HERE IS A DAY TO LOSE YOUR 
SHIT BUT GET IT OVER 
WITH BECAUSE WE HAVE 
FUCKING PLANS TOMORROW."

I try not to schedule much for the day before (today) or the day after but sometimes shit is just beyond my control and so I have to be even more efficient with my 

mourning/rage/anger/contemplation/sadness/whatthefuckeverthisis

Tomorrow, I have to go to work and stand in front of a bar full of people (one of which is a raging asshat on occasion) and do my job so I need to get this shit over with right quick.

Is there anyone else out there who does this?

For real. 

I have questions. 

Like, am I just a diligent genius who learned in therapy to make sure that I allow myself days for all the fucked up feelings about shit that has happened in my life or am I certifiably insane for pre-scheduling my mental breakdowns???

Maybe don't answer that.

Maybe that isn't what my therapist meant at all and maybe I'm a terrible listener who can't follow simple fucking instructions.

I don't know.

I just know that this works for me, so give me some space while I eat my feelings and cry in the shower today because we have shit to do tomorrow.

Friday, July 1, 2016

The worrying and the almost barfing and the talking

I have anxiety issues.

I've had them for as long as I can remember. From the time I was a wee babe, I worried about everything. All the time. I agonized over everything I said, over analyzed the things that I was thinking about. I met every new experience with dread because there were at least 832 things that could go wrong.

The funniest shit about that previous paragraph is the fact that I wrote it using the past tense. FICTION CAN BE FUN. Let's just be honest here. Nothing about any of that is past tense. I do it now. I'll probably do it until the day I die.

What I'm saying is....

Embrace your issues, people. Seriously, whatever they are. Just take a long hard look in the mirror and make your peace with it because that shit ain't gonna change.

For me, anxiety looks a lot like imagining all the possible problems, then running them out in preparation in my head to their completion, regardless of how unlikely or awful that might be. I over prepare for everything.

For every.fucking.thing.

And I write lists almost constantly to help me cope with the over preparing.

Then I usually lose the lists by leaving them somewhere and forgetting where I put them because I have raging ADHD too.

SQUIRREL

For a long time, my mantra in life has always been to expect the worst but hope for the best.

It usually works out pretty well, if I'm being honest. It works because I'm always anticipating being disappointed. I assume things will get screwed up. That worst case scenario??? Already scoped it out ahead of time and came up with 14 different game plans to deal with it.

I got this.

Which is really fucked up if you think about it.

I mean, I guess it is helpful in some ways, but it's overwhelming in every other way and probably has led to me just not doing a lot of shit I should have done.

Like I can guarantee that you'd want me on your team if the zombie apocalypse ever actually happens, but if you ask me if I want to do some totally nonthreatening thing three weeks from now, I'm cooking up a bullshit excuse and hiding in my pajamas.

I have a lot of regrets for the chances I never took out of fear of what might happen.

^^^
Writing that one down sucks, can I just tell you?

I've been in a weird place...for over a decade. I'm not kidding.

When the PPD took control of my brain for the first time, it really messed me up. As if I didn't already have enough issues, I basically became a recluse by choice unless there was some compelling reason to leave the house. It was magnificently bad for a while.

I've sort of forgiven myself for it. Fine not really, but I'm working on it.

I know now, after that literal decade of being more fucked in the head that I was already, and after years of therapy and a few more issues piled on top, that I have to force myself to do things that scare the shit out of me. I have to.

If I don't force myself, I will be perfectly content to wallow in my disgustingly deep pond of issues. Here at home. Without pants.

Not that there's anything wrong with that.

We have wifi and snacks. It's not so bad.

I am a true introvert if ever there was one. Human interaction overwhelms me. It takes me days to work up to go to things I commit to going to, even when I truly like the people I'm going somewhere with. If it's something I really don't want to do or I'll be around people I don't particularly like, there will be DAYS OR WEEKS of psyching myself up to go, then I'll feign illness about 3 hours before I have to leave, then I'll actually start to get sick in some crazy ass psychosomatic way because that's a real thing that happens. I detest public speaking. I loathe meeting new people. I'm awkward as hell. I hate the sound of my voice.

Clearly this means I should be a quizmaster.

What the fuck was I thinking?

Honestly.

I applied to be a quizmaster for the noblest of reasons. Because I'd get paid a little, get a free bar tab, maybe meet some people who didn't laugh when I referenced Slytherin or Alderaan in conversation. OH AND IT WOULD FORCE ME TO GO OUTSIDE THE HOUSE AND TALK TO HUMANS. That was actually one of the main reasons I did it. For therapeutic reasons.

I sent off the application figuring I'd never hear back because I've been a writer long enough to have rejection become ingrained in my psyche. Seriously, you guys...if you can't handle rejection, never ever become a writer.

Then I got an email. And an audition date.

And the night of my audition, I was a ball of nerves as it was, so it only made sense that I should develop a raging migraine. I literally sat in the car and cried for 15 minutes after my audition because my head hurt so bad.

Figuring, again, that I'd totally fucked that up, I didn't expect to hear back.

THANKSBUTNOTHANKS is the default I expect.

Nope. They liked me. They really liked me.

I don't know why.

(people say I'm hilarious, but I'm still not convinced)

When I started doing training, I'd do this thing where I'd go to the location I was training at early on purpose so that I could sit in my car for half an hour and argue with myself about walking in. Full blown argument. Then I'd hide in the bathroom for a good 15 minutes.

I've been doing it for a while now, and I still totally want to vomit every night.

You know what, though?

I'm really fucking good at my job. 

I have forced myself to learn all the audio equipment backwards and forwards. I could hook that shit up in my sleep now. I fucked it up so badly the first night that I damn near had a panic attack. If I could have curled up in the fetal position, I would have....but dammit I figured it out. Then I took a picture.

Actual picture from my first night of hosting after fighting with
this fucking mixer for half an hour.

I won.
I have downloaded approximately 583 hours of music onto my computer so that when there's a Star Wars question, I can queue up some John Williams. (if you don't know who John Williams is, FFS go Google him)

I have started telling jokes and making fun of players.

I have become quite good at dealing with drunk obnoxious assholes. Then again, I've been writing online forever, and we all know the internet is full of obnoxious assholes.

I have developed great working relationships with the staff. Even after I completely screwed up the audio the first night, they begged me to come back.

And I can proudly say that I stand in front of a bar full of drunk people with a microphone every week.

I guess the moral of the story is do the shit that scares you because it might be exactly what you need.

Tip your waitstaff. Try not to blow yourself up this weekend.

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