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  • This Blog Dies at Midnight

    Well maybe not exactly midnight.

    I am finding this Nablo to be pretty reflective of how I feel, it turns out. Ineffective and directionless.

    Kind of like a broken Deebot.

    The metaphor was there all along.

    So! What now? IDK. Same as previous years. I’m going to hate the way I sound here, but I’m going to work on setting healthy boundaries with the people in my life who are making me feel squished, I’m going to keep working on the four pillars of mental health while hopefully my therapist will be helping me fix the roof and unclog the plumbing. Then perhaps I can write with authenticity. Whatever that means.

    It was nice to have some eyes on my words, and it was nice to put eyes on other people’s words. It was a kind reprieve from all the online vitriol. I appreciate those who took the time to read. I wish you all a happy everything

  • Smells Like Base Canard

    Hey, remember when I said I would write one…what did I call it? “Relatively good” and “decent” – essay this month?

    That may have been a base canard.

    I mean I already know, even as the use of the term “base canard” elevates it slightly in the grumpy geezer vocabulary department, that it’s not going to be anything decent because hello, paragraph 4 and still no point. (I saw you count.)

    You can always tell the days I got enough sleep. Good sleep: gecko on shrooms. Not enough sleep: Old lady who lives in a cookie house and eats children. No sleep: Thanos on estrogen.

    One of the first things I took on with this new therapist is sleep habits, because when you are sleep deprived you don’t even know how to prioritize your horrifying thoughts and your bad decisions. So far it is promising, this sleep thing.

    There are four pillars of mental health, evidently, and sleep is one. Exercise and vitamin D in the form of sunlight are two of the remaining three. Is nutrition the fourth? Probably. *dips oreo in maple syrup* I don’t know why that’s so hard to remember….

    Just kidding. My diet is not perfect, it’s just that some of its worst aspects are tiny sources of joy, however fleeting, at the moment, so that’s going to go a bit slower. I do have a bit of renewed hope, however.

    My daughter just showed me something she is writing – the assignment was to create something in the style of a specific author and she chose Lovecraft. It’s very good, what I have seen.

    Sometimes I think when you are young it is easier to write towards the future and what could be – as I age, I have become much more reflective, exhaustingly so. Do you suppose the actual experiences life hands us makes it harder to imagine how it could have been different?

    That sort of sounds like bullshit. Maybe.

    ONE MORE DAY.

  • Is it The End Yet?

    Had distractions the moment I made the decision to commit to this, but there’s always a lot going on these days, it seems. My mom was hospitalized on day 1, not for the first time, and I wrote about it and deleted it. My son, who has been on an upward trajectory, made a comment during a casual conversation after which you could feel the air pressure intensify in the room as both I and his dad were thinking “What now? WHAT NOW?” and I wrote about that and deleted it. I have a daughter who might be stressing herself out by trying not to be the challenge she perceives her brother to be, and the only reason that occurred to me is because a friend of mine who grew up in the challenging shadow of an older sibling brought the potential deficit to my attention. I wrote about that and, you guessed it.

    My life is pretty much reacting to things these days. Putting out fires, accepting that other fires are just going to burn. Coming back and trying to put the same fire out again. Staring at the fire wondering what the fuck it is thinking. Talking to the fire. Talking about the fire. Listening to friends that I initially thought were well-intended but am now not sure tell me how I could have avoided the fire in the first place.

    Watching friends give up on me because I won’t take their advice and therefore “don’t want things to change” and realizing that people who do that aren’t really friends.

    Realizing I have done that. Trying to keep that perspective when I get so angry that I can’t see.

    Thinking that relationships and people really aren’t worth the baggage they bring. Including me.

    Wondering what kind of person I really am. What kind of parent. What kind of friend.

    I KNOW! I should be a writer.

    But it doesn’t mean the same thing now, not as it did when I dreamed about it as a kid. It seems so much more vulnerable now. I often wonder if I write those whiny writing-about-not-writing posts because I want someone to tell me I can quit, which should be obvious. So maybe I’m looking for permission from myself.

    So, Self, consider this as Official Permission to Give Up.

    You don’t have to be a writer. You don’t have to write anything at all. You can spend all of your free time doing that which brings you joy, which is, at the moment, Nutty Buddies and Chicken in a Biskit and whatever show you are watching, which may be a convo for another day but for now, be happy. You never have to write another word.

    You can stop doing that ad writing job that you are sick of anyway. You can stop thinking about where you want to travel next and wondering why the only thing that piques your interest is a cruise you can’t afford that would put you on a giant ship for three months and no one could reach you if you didn’t want them to. You could fake your death and come back as someone else. Start a criminal enterprise.

    Years later, you could run across your beautiful children having lunch at a Parisian cafe and they recognize you and through a lot of tears, you realize what a horrible mistake you have made. Compounded by the fact that your adversary Criminal Enterprise now knows about them. You have no choice but to annihilate your enemy in a hail of gunfire and zippy chases on Vespas culminating in a bloody massacre that is promptly covered up by your cleaners. Now your children move into your billion-dollar mansion where you have turned your former enterprise into a mission to avenge those who were denied justice.

    *eyeroll* Go to bed.

  • Argle Bargle*

    *blog name! It can be yours for like, 3G. Meaning: copious but meaningless talk or writing; nonsense.

    Might be a little too on the nose.

    You know what I did?

    I wrote three serious posts and a funny one about Chicken in a Biskit. Yes, the delicious cracker with the dumbass name. Made with real chicken! Gross.

    *munch munch*

    Wait, the serious posts were NOT about chicken crackers, just to be clear.

    I deleted them all last night. The posts. Then I made sure that I could not resurrect them by deleting them from my draft folder.

    And this morning I was all like “what was that funny/sad/cool line I had in that one p……..oh, right.” Way to go, Yesterday Me.

    So I went through some of my old Nano Argle Bargles and realized that I am writing many of the same posts again this time, have written a couple of them twice, which is what I was trying to avoid with my rules. So NOW before I publish I have to go back through all of my bullshit and make sure I didn’t have the exact same original thought in 2017. Thus far, I have not seen Chicken in a Biskit making a prior appearance, so I probably should have kept that one.

    But I did see this today (warning, hard, somewhat sad, left turn ahead. TW: reference to suicide.):

    I am very familiar with not believing there is a point. I am also very familiar with being in a healthier place where I could not understand others who had embraced hopelessness.

    Be very careful in moments when your life is good and you are content that you lose the capacity for empathy over the despair of others. That last part is a little too close to “you just don’t want to be happy,” and assumes someone is in a space where they can see hope and know it exists and are choosing to reject it for selfish reasons.

    I know that I will not exist someday. This house I sit in will be rubble, or dust or particles on wind, these beautiful babies of mine, my friends and family long gone. I sometimes get sad about it. Any many other things. But in the other room, the bed is made and THANK THE GODS I am wearing pants. I did not comb my hair because I had a scrunchie but not a comb and that was all the energy I had to put into my appearance today. I’m not choosing to reject hope, you rose-colored dumbass. I just can’t come to the phone right now.

    It may not matter, in a hundred years, if you had the capacity for hope and “weathered the possibility of happiness,” or if you are wearing a scrunchie and not pants today, but I am glad you are here.

    So I leave you with this. This is some dialogue from a play my daughter performed in over the weekend. The play, Darklight by Lindsay Price, follows two characters with anxiety and depression, one who makes it out, and one played by my daughter, who doesn’t. Her character has a short conversation with Death where he goes against his own directive and tries to understand her reasons, but in the end respects her wishes and takes her hand as it goes dark. She almost didn’t let me see it because she was afraid I would cry, which I did, or ask a lot of dumb mom questions after, which I also did, but it wasn’t that scene that got me, it was this little spoken bit by a character named Luz, which means “light”, from the otherwise darkened stage.

    “You are walking in a narrow light. I can’t imagine what that’s like. I don’t know what that’s like. I won’t pretend to. I won’t talk about what you’re going through, or say it’ll be okay. I don’t know that. I can’t save you. I can’t change your situation. But I can hold a candle. A flashlight. A lantern, anything. I can show you the cliff’s edge so you know where you are and where you stand. I will hold a light till the wax burns my fingers. Because I would miss you. ” No, watch the vid, there‚Äôs a bit more.

    And it just seemed like something everyone who can’t come to the phone right now should hear.

    Argle Bargle.

  • But It’s Not About Not Writing

    But It’s Not About Not Writing

    What we learned yesterday, is that I can only produce silly things in the established 24-hour period. Introspection takes longer.

    So, some rando dudes from NASA say that there is a pretty good chance we ARE alone in the universe, and the reason is that “lifeforms are assholes.” Just paraphrasing.

    Have a mentioned that I am an ordained minister? Well, now I have. That is relevant because the NASA article in question came from the Seriously, I Am an Ordained Minister newsletter, which is not supposed to ruin my day. Here we go:

    “The short answer is, whatever civilizations existed out there in the murky blackness of space died out before they could ever contact us. As the theory posits, entire alien species – with their own economies, cultures, and faiths – evolved, lived, and then perished before they could ever find us.”

    I believe my answer was shorter.

    I have this whole mortality piece, half-written in my head, no I’m being serious here, for which the thread of hope is that we are not the best examples of ourselves and there are a million other chances to get this right and how comforting that is. Well, to me.

    And NASA’s “theory” sounds a bit like a parent who got tired of being asked why (FOR FUCKS SAKE BECAUSE THEY ARE ALREADY DEAD EAT YOUR GREEN BEANS OR NO SCREEN TIME!), so I’m going to disregard it. Remember when they tried to fuck up the whole astrological calendar? (You should follow that link my old posts are wayyyyy better.) Sometimes NASA is just silly.

    Well, it presumes a lot! Why would more life not be waking up as all the other dumbshits blew themselves or up or starved? Hear me out: Our perception of life is limited by what we have seen and experienced. Who said that the rules that define “life” for us are finite? I get a tremendous amount of comfort from knowing that I don’t know.

    Well, shit, this is pretty introspective and not terribly funny, and also the ending sucks.

  • Unzesty

    We shall begin with a very serious quote:

    “The only way you can write the truth is to assume that what you set down will never be read. Not by any other person, and not even by yourself at some later date. Otherwise you begin excusing yourself. You must see the writing as emerging like a long scroll of ink from the index finger of your right hand; you must see your left hand erasing it.”

    ~ Margaret Atwood

    Also with the word “shall,” instead of its less zesty cousin, “gonna,” as a harbinger of gravity (blog name!).

    Once upon a time, I took a poetry analysis class. Pretty sure it was not called that. But that is what it was. Taught by a short, bald white man with an Irish brogue, we read poems and wrote papers on what we thought the poem was about. In my rookie naivete, I seriously thought that they wanted to hear from me. After my second failing grade and a lot of red ink on my analysis of a poem, the name of which I have long since forgotten, I meandered outside and had a smoke with a girl from another class and bemoaned the pointlessness of it all.

    And she said “Sex and death. Find the sex and death and you will be fine.” And I was dubious. “So they don’t want know what it means to us?” “Nope. Sex and death.” That advice served me well in that class – I never lost another point. It served me pretty well for my entire degree in English Literature. But I always hated it that she was right. I mean, I know that sex and death are the most prominent literary themes, but really?

    This may be my origin story as a misanthrope.

    I am getting frustrated. Trying to create something with a point, with a purpose, with an ending. Create a funny thing. Create a sad thing. Create anything. Yeah, it’s about not writing again. Fail.

    But I cannot spend another morning writing again and then not do anything with it, that always makes me grumpy.

    My left hand is erasing like a lunatic. Better publish before it’s all g

  • Weird Problems and The People* Who Solve Them

    *and by that I mean “me.”

    Maybe I am on to something with the rainbow-tread 4WD robot vacuums. No one else seems to be trying to upgrade their bargain-basement Deebots to climb hills. I could be the weird, ineffective Martha Stuart.

    Robot vacuums are expensive, especially the ones that empty themselves. I do not have that kind of toad. See, now that doesn’t work at all. “Toad” is apparently Danish slang for money and it simply does not work in that context. I’m not sure what kind of currency exchange is compatible with toad. “You got the jimmy?” “Yeah, you got the toad?” *hands over jimmy* *hands over toad* *man with toad begins choking* “you gave me a cane toad?” (menacingly) “Yes. Gazpacho sends his regards.”

    I do not have that kind of caboche. Here is a 38 second video on how to say “caboche,” 12 seconds of which is an intro that reminds me of Bananarama’s “Venus,” which was actually written by Tommy James and the Shondells, a fact that I know because I am old. And it’s not even true, you people will believe anything. Shocking Blue wrote it, and they are not Danes, they are Dutch, stupid.

    Where was I?

    Self-emptying robot vacuums. Mine are lazy and do not empty themselves. In fact, if I forget to do it every couple of days, they put the cat hair back on the floor, those assholes. Just in case, when you heard I have 5 robot vacuums, you might have assumed I was bragging about my caboche.

    Nope, that sounds like I am bragging about something else entirely. Slang is weird.

    If you have hardwood floors, furniture and cats, you may notice that a LOT of cat hair winds up in the corners under furniture. I believe the technical term is “dust bunny” but those bitches are all cat in my house. My mother bought a Roomba on QVC, the original model without all the fancy business but gave it to me because it kept sneaking up on her and scaring her. That is another story for another day.

    And so I learned the joys of not vacuuming. But my joy was short lived because I live in a house with more than one story and Roomba is not designed to go down the stairs, even if you give it a little nudge. I had to move it myself and it wouldn’t fit under the couch which is where the cats store all of their stray fur and WHAT IS THE POINT OF THAT? MIGHT AS WELL VACUUM!

    So I did a little research, after ruling out putting all my furniture on cinder blocks, and found what is apparently the ONLY low-profile robot vac in existence, and wouldn’t you know it, they were on sale for Black Friday back in 2017 or something.

    My husband likes to joke that I don’t know where the vacuum is, but I do, I gave that fucker away and bought a Deebot Neo. I also own two Deebot N79’s, that I keep upstairs because they don’t need to go under couches. EcoVac immediately discontinued the Neo, and no one seems to know why. Probably they all got stuck in the kitchen, BUT if you buy them for $50 on ebay you can upend that whole “quantity vs. quality” equation AND YOU ARE A GENIUS.

    Well it depends on who you ask, but many of the people who would not call me a genius are probably unavailable BECAUSE THEY ARE VACUUMING.

    Which I am not.

  • Where Was I?

    Apparently, I got confused and fell back into October. Har har.

    At one point I was convinced it was “spring back/fall forward” which is a much funnier mnemonic visual.

    Why is this so hard? It’s also hard to follow my own rules because in order to analyze, in writing, what is keeping me from boring you with something else I may have to break some of them.

    OMG I’m writing about not NOT writing.

    Why can’t I just cough up a post every morning and be done with it?

    Sorry about that visual.

    Fun fact: The Merriam-Webster definition of “congested” is as follows: “containing an excessive accumulation especially of blood or mucus”

    Related fun fact: TMW definition of “constipated” is as follows: “abnormally delayed or infrequent passage of usually dry hardened feces”

    Strangely, you can run into work 5 minutes late and say SORRY TRAFFIC WAS CONGESTED and no one will blink but if you try that with “constipated” suddenly no one will talk to you or let you add anything to the pot-luck sign-up sheet, which is fine with you.

    Anyway.

    Sorry for that visual.

    Why is my old avatar showing up on posts? If I wanted my old avatar on here I WOULD HAVE WRITTEN ON MY OLD BLOG, WORDPRESS!

    I do not have time to figure this out. I am too busy putting all-weather tires on my robot vacuums.

    Because they are low to the ground and need the extra traction, silly. They are made to go under furniture but tend to get high-centered on any kind of transition.

    Turns out they don’t make weird accessories for Deebots, they don’t even make replacement tires, those cheap bastards. So I bought some silicon rainbow lego bracelets, cut them to size, and glued them to the existing tires.

    We are almost to the place in this conversation when someone wants to ask me why I don’t “just vacuum my own floor.” Because I have six cats, Phyllis, and only about 30 years left to live, less if I spend it vacuuming under furniture.

    These are the same people who feel compelled to tell you that “you can make that yourself at home for a lot less, you know” when you buy a whole tray of cinnamon rolls at the church bazaar or chicken-poblano soup at Costco. I know I can, Sylvia, but there’s a lot less cleanup this way and wayyy less raw chicken left behind in the sink. No, you can’t have a cinnamon roll, bitch, make your own.

    That last paragraph violated one of my rules, can’t remember which one.

    Sadly, even the extra-strength-cures-anything-but-so-toxic-you-have-to-apply-it-with-telepathy-or-you-never-get-it-off-your-skin adhesive my hubs gave me does not bond well to silicon. Nothing does, apparently, which is very sad, even when you are rainbow colored.

    Anyway, 1 out of 2 Deebots threw their treads, and 4 out of 6 cats celebrated because rainbow silicon is their favorite.

    And I am done here.

  • Really? Already?

    Rule #6: No bitching about having to write again.

    Occasionally, in the midst of all the bodily noise analysis and questionable segues (BLOG NAME!), I write something with some merit. I’ve even been published in some places, but it’s been a minute (three years) and the two things – publication and merit – are not necessarily related. But sometimes I manage to pull something together that is relatively good.

    Today is not that day.

    There will be one decent essay this month. It will not be as deftly woven from light and energy, a fleeting peripheral glance at a reflection in a silver tea pot that you aren’t even sure you saw but somehow changed you forever, like SOME PEOPLE IN THIS NANOPOBLANO GROUP, RA.

    Whenever I read her I always feel like I’m sitting here with a plop of raw hamburger on my plate across from someone who is singing to a teacup of fairies. Or tiny dinosaurs, IDK I’m not good at this.

    Anyway.

    It’s Friday and it’s raining. I just realized that six cats and five robot vacuum cleaners is an excellent excuse to buy another robot vacuum cleaner. Or there is one other option. *builds giant slingshot.*

    For the extra vacuum, of course, they both should be even numbers. What did you think I meant?

    I feel like we should just end this downward spiral now.

  • Snoraborealis.

    Struggling today to not violate Rule #2, so here’s a #5.

    I snore. I snore because my generation was less likely to have their tonsils removed during childhood, barring extreme circumstances, or so I am told. My son had his removed at 16 because he snored so loud after a collar bone surgery that the nurse brought it to my attention. Now, he sleeps like a 6ft. 4 inch, 19 year-old baby when I sneak in there to feed the cat that has decided he is her one and only safe space. I am terribly jealous, but not about the cat. The cat can fuck off, I have five more just like her, and she is competing for the Pain in the Ass award that is currently held by her predecessor, may she rest in peace. The former cat had a problem with boundaries. Specifically, litter box boundaries*. And for 21 years, we had a litter box** closet that we had to Dexter up once a week, and when she died, I cried but part of me was celebrating, believing that bliss was mine. Then the hierarchy shifted*** and I brought in a new cat with an injured tail and food hoarding issues**** and they all decided they hated Gypsy so she either lives in my son’s room or in a Pace Picante box on my stove and she also stress sheds***** so no, in answer to your question, this is not inconvenient to me at all.

    *don’t do it

    **don’t

    ***I’m sure it’s good advice, but I tried it

    ****twenty-one years of this bullshit, you think I didn’t take her to the vet?

    *****I can murder her or shave her. Not doing either. I appreciate the thought.

    What was I talking about? Oh this is fun, there is no one to tell me shut up. *claps hands*

    Snoring.

    I was not getting good sleep. I fall asleep fine, most of the time, but wake up easily. And my husband, bless his silly heart, said “have you considered that you have sleep apnea?” after denying for years that I snored.

    So I immediately downloaded an app to track my snoring. Why did I not just record it? Because then you have to listen to everything. This app gives you a nifty visual sound wave graph that ranks your snoring from “quiet” to (and this is how you know it’s legit) “epic,” and here is the clever part – it only lets you listen to “epic,” unless you pay the $4.99 a month. The money is to know you aren’t always epic, apparently. That seems backwards. But I’ll never know because I didn’t do any of the things people with sleep apnea do that might lead me to pay $4.99 a month to listen to my own face.

    I call this graph the Snoraborealis.

    This is the quietest day I’ve had. Only three minutes of “epic.”

    I immediately began to explore anti-snore options. We began with nose strips, which did fuck-all. The snore app said it was worse. And besides it left weird adhesive residue on my nose. I tried these little guys:

    You just put ’em in your nose. No, the other way. They do nothing except annoy you and fall out and wind up in your cleavage.

    Then I tried these:

    These look like they belong on the back of a tiny donkey*. But they do not. Well, they might, I haven’t found a donkey small enough. But they are supposed to go in your nose, and they seemed so promising. But they fall away like a bad metaphor, and then the cat wakes you up by repeatedly *thwock*ing them against the baseboard like a moron.

    *ha! see! Totally did not make that up.

    Which brings us to the tape.

    I now sleep with tape over my mouth. Not like “hi I’m just here for the serial killer” tape, I can breathe and talk, the point is to keep my mouth shut while I sleep, and it works, kinda.

    Except that every morning I ask my husband if I snored.

    And he says I DON’T KNOW I WAS SLEEPING can we move on from this?

    Which will teach him to say stupid things like “sleep apnea.”

    He may kill me in my sleep, tho.