December 24, 2014

Rockwell Through The Tubes

As a kid, I was a complete and utter tomboy, living the princess life in a castle on a hill.  I don’t mean that figuratively.  The place I called home was north of the metro area, nestled among the trees as any respectable manor should be.  The 5500 square foot, brick, stone, and wooden tudor presided over the estate like a monarch.  If it were humanly possible, I would have fallen out of every single tree on the property, given enough time.  

December 1, 2014

King of the Road, Master of Potholes

Modern medicine.  An endless source of wonder and swelling of pride for human accomplishment.  And also a throbbing, pus filled boil on the anus of my life.

November 22, 2014

First Dose on the Left, Straight on Till Morning

I have been a bad blogger.  And I'm not just talking about skipping my reviews of week two of 10 mg, and the entire week of 20 mg doses.  I'm on to dose three of the final, therapeutic does of 40 mgs of Viibryd now, and it seems I actually got caught up in life again, rather than not having enough energy to do much more than breathe.  If there is such a thing, this is the right way to neglect an inanimate thing; by living.

November 11, 2014

A Mania By Any Other Name

Day 6 of the sample pack.  It’s a little before 6:00 PM, and I’m still twitchy.  Not the bad, DTs kind of restless, but the I have more energy than I know what to do with sort.  This is a good thing, even if I look like an ADD kid off her Ritalin from the outside looking in.  I spent the entire day at work, where it was mostly slow thanks to the bank holiday, working and focused.  Well, as focused as I can be when surrounded by amazing coworkers.  (Seriously, I work with some hilarious and brilliant folks.)

November 9, 2014

More Bounce To The Ounce

It's Sunday, and it's been three days since I've started on my new medication.  Yesterday we had an all day board/card game day.  We got up and around rather early, had breakfast, picked up some snacks, and were set up right on time for an 11:00 AM start time.  I was able to spend the entire day in the "on" position.  There was a light in my eyes, conversation in my mouth, and an utter lack of fatigue in my mind.  Just one week ago, I was on my couch, stuck, binging on Netflix and embracing the sloth life.  Saturday bled into Sunday, and I was still going strong well after 1:00 AM.

November 8, 2014

Night Owl

It's nearly 4:00 AM, and I've been awake for two and a half hours.  Having pumpkined out at a little after 9:00 last night, this means that so far, I've gotten about 4 hours of sleep.  Here we go again.  Middle insomnia, falling asleep shamefully early and waking in the wee hours, unable to fall back into unconsciousness.  We're no stranger to one and other.  I've seen so many infomercials over the years, I felt like Billy Mays and I were besties, and I should have sent Antony Sullivan Christmas cards.

November 7, 2014

SNRI Rabbit Hole - Viibryd Sample Pack

I have had enough.  It's become impossible to wait till April before I can look for the treatment for my flavor of crazy that I need.  Maintaining on medications with generic equivalents because of the cost of non-generics has run its course.  After a weekend where the mere thought of leaving the house made my stomach burble like Pele was waking up from a nap, I made a call to my primary care doctor.  I asked to change my medication and I didn't care if it was a newer, more expensive option.  I have rainy day money in the stock market.  I'm finally ok with calling my mental health a worthy cause to use it.

October 21, 2014

Ketchup & Crow

The call started on the wrong foot. Even before he finished his first sentence my caller started poking me with information like it was a sharp stick and I was something on the road he wasn't quite sure was dead. He's got his shorts in a twist about not being able to access the internet.

September 15, 2014

Corsets & Stories

A friend of mine and I were talking a bit about a possible clothing swap between like-minded ladies when the topic of corsets came up.  I have a variety of sizes currently, some too large, and some frustratingly too small, all of which high quality, steel boned waist shapers.  I had lost my local connection when the place I would go for them closed in the last year or so.  This is when she, the blasphemous vixen, told me about Corset Story.  It would seem that their regular retail prices are what you’d expect for their quality of work.  But, if you sign up for their mailing list, the velvet ropes drop, and you get invited to their super secret sales where you can get steel boned goodies for as little as $34.  

Short version of a long story, I now own this:

I tried it on as soon as I got home.  To my delight, I was right in second guessing the size I would need.  I ordered a step down from what I had originally suspected, and it’s perfect.  Wiggling around in front of my mirror, my favorite anecdote about corsetry in public came to mind, and I wanted to share.

August 17, 2014

Ben Gay, The Opera Singer On My Shoulder

I've been fighting a royally pissed off arm and shoulder for a few weeks now.  I joked that the resident resident pain in my back, hip, and leg, confused from being pickled in craft beer, flew north to some timeshare condo in my neck and just stuck its fingers in its ears when the constable came to kick it out after overstaying its welcome.

July 22, 2014

A Note About Page Useability

Always keeping my eyes open, I came across some information about a job that just came available today.  I thought it sounded interesting, so I wanted to look at it.  And that's where the trouble began. . .   But, it ended with some trackpad button smashing and an email to the support email listed on the site.  Below is a reproduction of what was sent.

Good evening from a once hopeful potential job candidate for the [insert job title here]  position as posted on your external posting website.  Now, I am nothing more than a sad, dejected applicant left to kick rocks outside the entrance of your internet HR office.

June 29, 2014

I Might Be Rusty, But I Got My Social Tetanus Shot

I got up behind a microphone tonight for the first time since . . . I think it was February.  Before that, I can't remember the last time.

I'll cop to a bout and a half of anxiety, where the idea of leaving the house felt like someone strapped a shipment of phone books to my back, pointed to a hill, smacked me on the ass, and said, "Get to trudging, Sisyphus.".  I can also say that it was not an uncommon thing for me to get home so worn out from 8 hours of squeezing empathy from my turnip heart that the last thing I wanted was to risk having to give a shit somewhere else.  Somewhere along the way, I fell into an affair with my couch.  After a while, its whispering got stuck in my head.  It would tell me things like:

May 31, 2014

Monster on the Top Bunk

I woke to the sound of the third floorboard from the bed groaning its displeasure for being distrubed before first light.  Deep in winter, it would remain surly till well past 9:00.  A whiff of iron, terror, and sweat crinkled my nose.  I threw the deflated feather pillow I had been drooling on over my eyes in protest.

“Morning, Wendi.” came my grunted salutation.

May 30, 2014

May You Live In Interesting Times

Ten years ago today, I was freshly married, exhausted, still pulling bobby-pins out of my oh so short hair, and so seasick as to be bedridden, headed out on an Alaskan cruise.

Since then, life has taken me places I never thought I'd go; home ownership, job loss, finding a Winter Family, logging close to 2000 miles in hockey road trips, outpatient surgery, work injury, suing said employer (Twice! Once for unemployment, once for the injury. I won both cases.), discovering someone you once called your friend is a kiddie-diddler who paid for the pleasure, divorce, bankruptcy, short sale on the house, meeting Omaha's amazing characters and being able to count them among my friends, leasing and then buying my Mini Cooper Donovan, partnership in a family LLC, learning to be better friends than spouses with the ex, dating over 30, blogging, body pain, three dental crowns, giving depression what for, meeting Thunderhead, and finding a place that feels more like a commune than an apartment building.

No wonder the past couple years have been so low key. Seems like enough packed into a decade for a lifetime. And I'm at the gate, begging for more. As unsubstantiated Chinese curses go, living in interesting times feels like a favorite pair of jeans.

May 26, 2014

With a Little Help From Your Friends

It's May 25th; Memorial day, and my long weekend it just starting.  Well, starting in earnest you could say.  I handed off my albatross this morning.  At 8:00, I passed the on call phone to the next coworker in the rotation.  With that, my week of waiting for Godot is over.  Thankfully, this was my first quiet rotation, only having one true emergency come up that required intervention on my part. Past experiences though had me caught in the middle of a situation that I was powerless to either solve, or avoid being the middle man.  I often go into the Monday of taking over the responsibility of being Grand Central Station for 7 days with an overwhelming sense of dread, waiting for the other shoe to drop.   I don't sleep well, my temper gets shorter, and I end up carrying all that stress in unhealthy ways.  One of which is carrying it in my back and shoulders.  I had started to think it would be a good idea for me to take half-days at work on the Monday following.  This time, as luck would have it, the office is closed and I got my extra time to recover as a freebie.  I also had the opportunity to cross paths with an opportunity I think I would be crazy to turn down.

April 18, 2014

Hipsters, Elton John Eyewear, and Barometric Pressure Woes

Last year, I think I used most of the vacation time I earned at work on unconsciousness, drug use, and cool, dark rooms.  Sounds like a party, right?  Anything but.

You see, since I was in, oh, I want to say Jr High, I have been the proud owner of migraine headaches.  If you've never had one, stop right now and find the tackiest way you can gloat and do it.  At volume.  I've lamented them before, so I'll spare you that again.  Suffice to say, they aren't something that you can generally shrug off.  Hell, sometimes they affect your life like a drivers' ed teacher stomping on their second brake and grabbing the wheel across the cab of the car.  You ain't goin' nowhere, son.

April 16, 2014

Roar From A Seated Position

It’s 12:20 on March 28th, and Pop artist Katy Perry is telling me to roar.  I don’t know why, but several of her songs get me right in the neck; part gag, and part cry.  Musical taste aside, it got me thinking, what am I gonna roar about today?  What am I afraid of?

March 3, 2014

Bachelor Mattress Pad

I think it was my thrifting habit, seeing Joe's Apartment in the theater twice, and a zest for looking at the world from a different angle that brought this piece to the surface.  That, or it was the pizza that had been sitting on the counter all night that I had for breakfast.  Either way, Meet Ralph, the bachelor bedbug.

February 25, 2014

Echos of Kindness

I’m a sap at heart.  Well, sometimes.  Usually I’m stopped in my tracks when the universe reminds me I have left a small dent in it for the better.

Thunderhead and I rolled into the parking lot behind the apartment building a little after 1:00 Sunday morning after an enthusiastic night of board games.  As I’m lumbering up to my garage door, I see a small kitty dart out of one of the open garages and hide under the truck parked two stalls down from mine.  It’s not unusual to have a stray or two around.   I mean, Mamma kitty and Seamus were never domesticated, and I can only imagine they’re out being fruitful and multiplying.  We’ve started seeing Mamma more these days since she’s expecting again, and the garages offer a little more warmth and protection to her.  

February 20, 2014

History From the Rumbleseat

I've been sparring with effort of writing a short piece of historical fiction about the B.B. Cooper hijacking in 1971 for the last 18 months or so.  It's been slow going.  I had this amazing spark of creativity right out of the gate, but that has since fizzled, and I'm left snatching every sentence like it's the last creative sustenance I'll ever see.

However, that's given voice to a couple of other events I'd like to write a forgotten history for.  And, as you can imagine, the ones I have on the short list are weird, unexplained moments in time.  For example:

February 16, 2014

Once, When We Were Young - Vintage Ephemily Poetry

It may come as a shock to some of you, but I was once actually a virgin.  I may have been born a Scorpio, and tearing that hymen may have been a technicality, but there was once a time that I could only imaging what actual lovemaking was like.  

At 15, I met a boy that I was head over heels for.  I'll spare you the sappy details, but what stuck with me was what it felt like to fall in love and communicate on a level that most didn't at that age.  We were as inseparable as we could be.  The reality of that was though that we didn't get much time together, and "we" predated email and texting.  So, the time we did get was ambrosia.  I often spent time daydreaming about a sort of parallel universe where we had more of everything; freedom, time, choice.  I think that's where the poems below came from.

February 15, 2014

New Age Busker - Vintage Ephemily Poetry

When I was maybe 18, my family and I took a short trip out to Vail, Colorado during summer break.  Our family had a vacation condo there for many years, and I have a glut of fond memories of times spent in the mountains.  As we were walking around the familiar village, there was a younger man set up with an amplifier and a keyboard, playing his music to the passing tourists.  I went through a phase where I was really into new agey music.  Ray Lynch was perhaps one of the ones I latched on to the hardest.  This young man performing in the open air had a sound that transfixed me.  So, as my parents shopped, I sat and people watched while this long since-forgotten man performed.  This is what came of my observations that afternoon.

February 10, 2014

1 Order of Wedded Bliss. Please Drive Though.

"I now pronounce you, man and wife.  You may kiss your bride.  Well, if you can get around that gear shift with the commemorative NASCAR shifter there."

The gal in the hand me down wedding dress squealed and lunged across the front bench seats in her new husband's "chariot", knocking it out of gear.  They lurched forward, narrowly avoiding rolling into traffic.  The kid in the ill-fitting tuxedo with the stain on the shirt swore, pushed her off him, and threw the shifter into reverse.  He stopped an inch shy of the bumper on the car pulling in to take their place at the drive through window.  His answer to the resulting honk was a defiant middle finger out the driver's side window.  

After he engaged the brake and took the shambling car out of gear, he smoothed his vest and put a little more brylcreem on his comb to hold down his slicked back hair.  His new wife shot back across the seats to give his tonsils a tongue bath, messily smearing her lipstick across his teeth.  She had the back of his head in her hands, holding on as if he was the last source of oxygen on the planet.

That's when the officiant noticed her wedding band.  Or, what passed as one as it was a nail twisted into a crude circle.  

February 6, 2014

Train-Wreck Spotting Bingo

Anybody who has spent any amount of time on social network sites knows that you can find all walks of life among the users.  There's really no need to head to Walmart if you just want to people watch anymore, just log on!  Now, if only there was a way we could trivialize the schadenfreude. . .   Oh wait!  There is!

February 3, 2014

How To Read Porn on Public Transportation

With the popularity of erotic novels like 50 Shades of Gray being what it is, it might be time for a refresher course in how and where to enjoy your naughty novels.  For the purpose of this guide, we shall assume that you'd prefer not to broadcast the subject matter of your reading material by brandishing the full color glossy cover of "ass to mouth MILFs monthly".

January 30, 2014

Chocolate Chip Cookies for the Culinary Inept

Chocolate Chip Cookies, not apple pie, are the most American cause of diabetes ever.  If you don’t like them then the terrorists win.  Every good, red blooded American should be able to whip up a batch.  If you’re not exactly the Julia Childs of your apartment block, don’t worry.  It’s easy to learn by starting with the basics.  Cookies, being the caloric music to soothe a savage PMSing girlfriend, are a noble specimen on which to cut your teeth in the kitchen.  Baking is simple, really.  In this case, all you need is a mix (Betty Crocker has one that’s no mess, no fuss.), any additional ingredients such as an egg or butter, a mixing bowl, a cookie sheet, spatula, spoon, cooking spray, fire extinguisher, and the local emergency services on speed dial.  See?  It’s not that daunting.

Misery, Seeks Same

I got this wild hair to write a dating site profile for jealousy in human form.  This is what I came up with.  Come to think of it, I think I may have met this girl.

January 29, 2014

Vampire in the Passenger's Seat

The smell of him hung in the air like the last stitch of clothing in the dance of the 7 veils.  His gothic charms working their serpentine spell on her.  She could barely sit still, wanting only to crawl in his lap, entwine her fingers in those wavy dark locks, drink in the cold aloofness in his umber eyes, and commit suicide by drowning in the scent of his skin.  Sandalwood, tobacco, cloves, and the essence of rich earth wound their way through her thoughts as if they were her fingers in his hair while they sat, shoulders touching, trying to concentrate on community theater.

January 22, 2014

Thunderhead Works the Rooms

Despite waking up with the kind of cough that makes vestigial organs quiver, fearing they will be violently expelled with the next spasm, today ended up being an unexpected shining star.  That's hard to say after puking up your breakfast of Wellbutrin, Ricola, and diet Pepsi 5 minutes before you rasped in to work.  I would say called, but you have to have a voice for that.

January 21, 2014

My Favorite Ex-Girlfriend

There was a smile on my face, and an overwhelming sense of comradery in my voice.  It was as if, finally, we could share the secret between us now that we both knew.  “Oh, is that all?  Darling, you must know you always were my favorite ex-girlfriend.”

I believe those were a pretty close approximation to the words I used when my high school ex-boyfriend nervously told me he had come to the realization that he was transgender.  Paul (not his real name) and I had been that sort of couple that parents disapprove of.  He was older than myself, a junior to my freshman.  You know, a threat to “good girls” everywhere to any parent with a daughter.  And yet we were thick as thieves even then.  I don’t think even at 14, I had any care to obey typical gender roles, so our mismatched set of them worked perfectly together.  And here, some decade and a half after we’d finished with our verbalized coupledome and occasional trysts after the fact, he was sharing with me perhaps some of the toughest words a person can say.  And there never was any sense that he was suddenly a different person, or that I somehow never knew the person I’d canoodled with as a young adult.  I knew him, and he finally knew herself.  And I smiled.  Beamed, really.  My favorite ex-girlfriend was suddenly even more amazing to me.

We hadn’t been in constant contact over the past few years.  I think the last time we saw each other in the flesh was some three or so years ago, over a hurried lunch hour.  While Paul seemed hesitant, burdened by the journey ahead, I could tell that the first step of a thousand had begun, even if it was just the first hesitant footsteps.  Sure, we talked about what it was like for him, and how life would most certainly change in exciting and sometimes painful ways.  But, we also spoke about everyday things; how working from home makes a person miss human interaction, or how the cat won’t stop revenge peeing in the living room.  We shared stories, told jokes, and ate over processed deli sandwiches on a Tuesday; lunch between friends. 

It must be noted though, even then, that bitch had better looking hair than I ever will.  I say that with love m’dear. 

Fast forward till 2014.  While in town visiting friends and family over the new year, we made some time to grab a cup of coffee.  As my tiny car slid into the parking lot, I caught a glimpse of the person I was there to meet.  I could see a slender woman walking up to the front door, crimson hair touching the shoulders of her coat. 

After as big a hug as could be managed through the arctic outerwear the season required, we found a cozy table to catch up in the key of overcaffeinated chipmunks. 

We shared stories about fear, and sticking out like a sore thumb, being in what can feel like a crucible, and what it’s like to hold a secret close to the vest.  We talked puberty, and changes, and tests of  will, goodwill, and friendship.  I offered a shoulder, and experience with what it’s like to really just not giving a fuck what the rest of the world thinks.  I suddenly wanted to go shopping, and to bring an incandescent torch to chase away the fluorescent lights in all dressing rooms.  The special ones that make us hate ourselves.  (There is a ring of hell behind a flaming, velvet rope for people who design the lighting in those self-esteem coffins.)  I wanted to have someone who understood what it’s like to not be typical to learn from on how to be a girl.  I wanted to learn from her.  I wanted to teach the lessons I had learned ahead of time to keep them from having to be so fucking hard for someone else.

In a way, I fell in love again.  I fell in love with wonder, giddy laughter, acceptance, friendship, trust, and the desire to leave the world just a little bit better than it started.  Susan, I love you.  You’ll always be my favorite, strongest, most beautiful ex-girlfriend.

January 17, 2014

Call Me Fat Girl

This particular piece (I'm not sure if it's a poem or not.  I guess it depends on how I want to read it.) was born of a conversation with a fellow Samurai of Spoken Word member.  I'm not sure I remember the person or event it was about, but I do remember the visual.  And I liked it.