Thursday, December 31, 2015

looking forward

I have exciting things to do, fascinating places to see, and beautiful people to love.  Sounds magnificent, right?  Let's see if I can make it through today before drafting all kinds of lofty goals.

I hope this coming year finds us all a bit happier (okay I'll take a lot if that doesn't sound too greedy).  Thanks for sticking with me through my metaphorical (I live in Florida, on a high spot, at 4 feet above sea level) peaks and valleys.  This isn't hyperbole by me saying you'll never know how much each of you has meant to me, even my anonymous readers.  Because it means I matter to at least a few people out there.  So, thanks for that.  It's exactly my size and fits perfectly.  :)

looking back

Fuck that.  What's behind me is not important.

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

I love the smell of raw meat in the morning, smells like victory

My Sensei invited me to a regular martial arts class last night and promised me no hitting or being hit.  There's some comfort I suppose, when feeling this pain, to know that it was all self-inflicted.  And my knuckles aren't bleeding, which is another bonus.  He was genius and invited me first thing in the morning while I still had energy, and I enthusiastically accepted.  I was feeling a bit rundown about 3 pm and wondering how the fuck I could make it to class, let alone participate.

I had already spent a few hours with my dad at lunch, shopping for 12 pounds of meat for Kitten at his big box store, and hanging out listening to old stories, which I love.  By the way, I usually am not a fan of self-checkout, except when I'm buying so much meat, so I can avoid the inevitable 'are you having a BBQ?' question, which I answer with, no it's ALL for my cat.  And then it becomes awkward.  Whatevs, she's healthy and happy, and I save on vet bills.

I cut up eight pounds of it this morning, divided it into baggies to freeze, and froze the last four pounds whole.  She patiently watched me and waited for her meal.  Now, she's passed out in her little patch of sunshine.

My whole body aches.  I've been taking magnesium like candy.  Which is not a great analogy because I don't eat much candy.  Hmm, I'll have to work on coming up with a new expression.  I came home last night, crammed lots of cold leftovers into my mouth, and then dragged my sorry ass upstairs to soak in a magnesium bath.  I figured I'd be asleep by 9 pm.  It didn't quite work out that way.  And next thing I know, I had another six-hour-sleep night.

We did lots of leg and ass work last night, so my legs are pretty useless right now.  I'm very glad I have handrails on my stairs.  Of course we finished up the leg exercises with 50 or 80 push-ups.  I lost count after the 3rd or 4th set of 10.  And finally some abdominal work just to remind me every time I fkn laugh.

I'm a bit perplexed why putting my body through 90 minutes of punishment is so good for me, and why I continue to do it.  For years.  At least now that I'm in the migraine clinical trial, my workouts don't trigger migraines every time. Go me!

Sunday, December 27, 2015

found the mousie!

Kitten was cleverly hiding it in plain sight.  Damn her keen intelligence.  And my low visual acuity.  I'm just happy she didn't ingest it.  I guess the catnip wore off because she was completely ignoring it.  Glad she isn't outside on the corner trading her shiny belled-collar for more catnip drugs.

Kitten:  "It's sparkly, white, and only slightly used.  How much 'nip can you give me for it?"
Catnip Dealer:  "It looks a little frayed."
Kitten (thinking on her feet):  "That's not wear and tear, that's artistic fraying like humans with their $100 jeans."
Catnip Dealer:  "Because I like you and you have moxie, my best price is a quarter teaspoon of 'nip."
Kitten:  "Sold."

And that's how she lost her white rhinestone collar.  And the previous 63 collars before that.  I look at every cat suspiciously now to see if they're wearing any of her old collars.  I'm happy she's out of her rebellious teenage phase.

Saturday, December 26, 2015

I survived

Barely.  Actually, I had a pretty good Christmas day, all things considered.  Somehow I was so busy talking to friends, I never even had time to catch up on movies or Doctor Who.  And suddenly it was time to leave for my family dinner.  I had made bargains all day with myself about going.  Just stay 30 minutes.  You have your own car, you can leave whenever you need to.  That was a successful strategy this time, so I left my house in a fairly stable mood.

When I had just one block left to travel, my eyes started leaking again.  Sigh.  And I had eyeliner on.  I frantically gave myself a pep talk while swiping at my eyes and trying not to turn into a raccoon.  I had even been listening to my happy dance mix tape on the way to ensure this didn't happen.  No idea where I went awry.

Once I was inside and amongst family and friends, I was better.  Mostly.  At least my eyes didn't leak.  I did commit the cardinal sin of keeping my phone near me and texting with friends when I needed to, which wasn't often.  But I liked having a security blanket nearby.

Because my family is weird and competitive, after dinner AND desserts (yes multiple) we all measured our body fat percentages.  Apparently, I'm a fatty boombalatty.  Of course I'm not (I hope), so that got me thinking about what factors can skew the instrument which measures it.  I asked Mr. Peacock because he's a smarty pants, too, and he told me I'm not fat, I'm just old.  I might be paraphrasing.  :)  My numbers show up in the ideal range for my AGE.  Sigh.  I hate that expression.

I hate it for little kids (that's age-appropriate behavior) and for adults (she's very fit for her age).  It always sounds like a rationalization to my ears.  Plus I know it's a downhill spiral from here.  That phrase will follow me the rest of my life.

Anyway, I'm off to relax.  With no family or societal holiday pressures on me.  I probably won't even leave the house today, which is a shame because I'm having an excellent hair day.

Friday, December 25, 2015

Happy Christmas?

There's not that much happy about it for me. Waking up with my eyes leaking in the middle of the night is kind of new.  I had emails from Mr. Peacock and Einstein, which was nice to wake up to.  It added happy tears to my sad ones.  (Has anyone ever studied the chemical composition to see if they differ?) 

I decided chemical assistance was advised.  It allowed me a couple more hours of sleep, so that was nice.  Kitten finally woke me at 7:30 to let me know it was past her morning constitutional time.  And she wasn't pleased.  I let her out and then got texts and phone-calls from my friends for the next couple of hours.  Eventually some of my family sent me texts.  My nieces loved their presents.  Yay!  That was my one good deed this season.

Perhaps I have a lot more to be happy about than I originally concluded at 4:30 am.  Kitten and I started a new Xmas breakfast tradition.  She went nuts over the smell of sardines, and I figured the fish oil would help with my mood, which it did.  Or maybe it was all the love from my friends.  Sofa king awesome! 

Thursday, December 24, 2015

sit down and bleed

It's a quote from Ernest Hemingway, “There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.”  For you young'uns, a typewriter was like a computer without a backspace or delete button.  I'm not a huge fan of Hemingway's books, but he slung out some wisdom.

And here for your vicarious viewing pleasure, I shall bleed for you.  Just goofing, I hope I don't have any sadists or schadenfreudians amongst my reading audience.  Unfortunately, I'm not goofing about the bleeding and pain.  This week sucks for me.  My eyes randomly start leaking.  Fortunately, the heavy sobbing has hit only once.  So far.  It also preceded a pretty bad migraine (by a few hours), so perhaps the sobbing was a foreshadowing symptom.

I finally made it to the gym this week with my workout partner, who very hilariously texted me every hour beforehand to make sure I showed up on time.  :)   We had a great workout and then went for delicious burgers, laughing quite continuously throughout both.  And yet, on the drive home, my eyes started leaking again.

My friends have been incredibly awesome at making me feel loved and appreciated.  My family, not so much.  In their minds, I've fully recovered and am fine.  It's my fault, too, for not volunteering how precariously I'm holding on.  Fuck you, pride.  But almost every one of them has had long-term relationships end and should realize the holidays suck.  But they don't even think about it, because why should they?  They're mired in their own holiday stressors or enjoying their good times.  I'm happy for them, so I won't mention my jagged emotions.  Mostly, I'm just hunkering down until this blows over.  That's the healthy approach, right?  :P

I sincerely hope everyone else is having a better time of it.  Perhaps even enjoying themselves with friends and families.  I like imagining you guys, laughing and cozy, and most of all, happy.  I do live in a dream world, don't I?

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

the future is coming

If you missed the amazing rocket launch AND FKN LANDING yesterday, you'll be happy to know it was recorded for posterity.  Don't I wish I had been there to see that one, too??  Laugh, I'm so greedy.  Give me one, and I want three.

I don't always love the future though.  It feels way too intrusive at times.  Like wanting to scan my fingerprints everywhere I went in Universal Studios.  What the fuck is up with that?  You wanna enter after you've paid the equivalent of a month's rent, scan your fingerprint.  You want to store your items (which is mandatory) in a locker before a ride, scan your print.  Pick them up?  Scan again.  I was almost surprised I didn't have to scan them to use the ladies room.  Which I totally forgot to mention Moaning Myrtle was in.  Squee!

Another 'improvement' I don't like?  Fkn inside out sushi rolls.  They have become so standard these days, that fkn millennials think inside out means seaweed on the outside.  What the fkn fuck?  And apparently so does the waitstaff.  Because that's how my millennial friend ordered them (inside out) last night, and they came seaweed outside.  We got into a argument, and if I hadn't been eating sushi for 20 years, I might have doubted my own knowledge.  She was one hundred percent certain of that.  And the kicker?  She used to work in a sushi restaurant.

Status updates: 
No sign of the catnip mousie Kitten absconded with a few days ago. 
No sign of Godzilla, even when I went closer to investigate (because I felt brave with my boots on).

Monday, December 21, 2015

the force was with me yesterday (no spoilers)

I finally (three days later) saw the new Star Wars, but I won't go into any details because I hate when people ruin movies for others.  And by others, I mean me, of course.  I will say that I caught every traffic light perfectly on the way to the theater.  I didn't come to a complete stop until I parked.  And that has NEVER happened before.  Coincidence???   :)

Of course, my happy luck ended there, but that was a glorious drive while it lasted.  My family was late.  I'll stop complaining there because it was great to see them, and I ended up enjoying myself.  Also, I pre-medicated with one single Excedrin and was able to stave off the inevitable movie migraine.  Mostly.

No one came in costume that I saw, but that was most likely because I picked one of the snooty movie theaters to attend.  The rest were sold out.  Plus, I like nice things.  ;)  Two Bentleys, one Ferrari, no costumes.  I got to wear my new boots again.  Yay!  They're comfy as hell and quickly becoming my new favorites, even though they're annoying to put on and fasten.

Because it was a special day (Star Wars Day, duh), I broke open one of my new hair products.  And because I might have needed a quick pick-me-up.  I also figured if my hair looked stupid, most of the time I would be sitting in the dark, and no one would see.  I used the Curls Coconut Curlada Conditioner, and it still smells divine the next day.  It works okay, but isn't really worth the price, even the sale price I paid.  I'll enjoy it while it lasts.

Sunday, December 20, 2015

another orchid suicided

In trying to rationalize why I keep doing assisted suicide with these fkrs, I've observed that only new varieties are doing this.  My old ones are of a hardier stock.  I think there is some virus or fungus going around, which maybe originated from one of the ones my dad gave me.  Dammit.  Their leaves start turning yellow with black spots and then fall out.  I hope it doesn't wipe out my whole crop.  If it becomes more widespread, I'll have to decide to either let nature take its course or to step in with chemicals.  I hate chemicals.  Another lesson in letting go, I suppose.

I'm not sure wtf happened to me last night, but I fell asleep at about 7:30 pm.  On a Saturday night.  I'm guessing my body was tired from working out.  The lunges especially killed me.  This video helped me to stretch through the muscle pain.

The old me is cringing.  The current me is feeling somewhat rested.  Except.  I woke up in the middle of the night for a few hours.  I hope I don't start the bifurcated sleeping again.  That's kind of annoying.  I did manage over eight hours, but it feels more stressful when I'm awake in the middle of the night, either worrying about getting enough sleep or worse yet, thinking. 

I woke to see several messages on my phone, the most disturbing of which was about a friend of a friend who also suicided.  Much more serious than my orchids doing it.  My friend asked if I thought anyone had any idea the pain some people go through.  I'll answer again, publicly.  No.  There is so much inner pain that some people carry with them everywhere.  At all times.  It manifests itself now more than ever at the holidays because there is such an emphasis on family, happiness, and togetherness.  Those of us who don't have that are reminded at every turn.  Every store and every song and every person seem to say, "hey fkr, why are you such a loser that you don't have the Norman Rockwell ideal life?"  During the rest of the year, denial is a little easier, and the pressure feels less. 

Please take the time today, this whole week, and imagine that perhaps that smiling person behind you in line is having a much more difficult experience than you can ever know.  And give them a genuine smile.  That's why I continue to smile at strangers, even the weird ones who I'm secretly judging and making up back stories, because no one knows the pain others carry.  And human connection can ease that, if only for one brief moment in time.

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Why did the hipster burn his mouth? He ate his pizza before it was cool

I suppose I shouldn't have so flippantly spoken of addiction.  For any of you who aren't cool hipsters, there's a new 'devil's drug' called flakka, which is apparently more damaging than crack cocaine.  I've been reading progressively worse stories in the local news about this for the last year or so.  It looks to be getting close to epidemic proportions soon.

Speaking of addicts and drugs, a friend gave Kitten an early Christmas present -- her own stocking with some catnip inside and some sardines for when she gets the munchies afterwards.  I gave her one of the catnip mousies last night, and she disappeared with it.  I didn't realize she was missing because I was distracted making some type of food with which to inadvertently poison myself.  Five minutes later, I went looking for her, and she lived up to her ninja nature.  I couldn't find her anywhere.  I called and called, and she finally showed herself (from behind me, of course).  The mousie is still M.I.A.  I'm hoping she didn't eat it.

hi, my name is Wendy, and I'm an addict

I went all the way to Trader Joe's last night because I crave their peanut butter pretzels when I get a migraine, and I like to stock up when I'm not having one.  And they were out of the salted kind.  Wtf.  Why even bother making an unsalted kind?  Guess who bought it anyway because I was desperate.  I asked one of the employees if she could check the back.  She did and told me they were on order.  I asked her if she had tried the unsalted variety, and she looked a little put off.  I said I guess I could try them, lick one, and then dip it in salt before eating.  Haha, you should have seen her expression!  But then she laughed.  I guess I'm supposed to be proper at my age.  Oops.

And I may have accidentally gotten more hair product.   Sigh.  In my defense, people have been recommending their Tea Tree Tingle Conditioner for years.  And I keep forgetting to buy it.  Plus, I have a hair product addiction.

Is it just me, or is there a weird type of man who shops at Trader Joe's?  And if I'm into the same type of foods and healthy lifestyle, why do they annoy me?  And then I got more bent out of shape behind some Juggalo types in the checkout line.  One of the mofos had his face tattooed.  And not just one, several.  He even did his eyelids, but only the edges, like makeup.  I know, I know, stop being so judgmental, Wendy.  Perhaps I was just hungry and taking out my aggression on others. 

I'm not sure why I bought more hair stuff.  After my workout this week, I can't even lift my arms to wash my hair.  I barely was able to drag my sorry ass up the stairs.  It's been a while since I've worked out, and I'm out of shape.  Plus, I was feeling good finally, so I pushed myself. I foresee a few Epsom salt baths in my future.

Friday, December 18, 2015

time keeps on slipping, slipping, slipping into the future

Is it January yet?

How pitiful is it that I have almost as many Christmas cards from businesses as I do from friends?  It's not like I can or am complaining.  I've basically boycotted the holidays this year and didn't send any cards out myself.  Not that I expect to get cards when I send them.  Also, the past few years I've noticed that it's a dying practice.  I think most people don't display them anymore, they just toss them after opening them.

Despite my boycott, I've displayed mine.  Emma Peel sent me one, so I couldn't very well throw it away, now could I?  Plus, as we all know, I'm a sentimental sucker.  It's a hard balance to maintain, my sentimental side with my fuck-the-holidays side.  Especially at work.  I'm careful never to mention my emotional quagmire, so I usually get a little vague and then distract them with questions about their holiday plans.

I keep asking myself why I've boycotted the holidays.  I mean, besides the obvious that my heart was broken.  I feel as if invisible chains are keeping my holiday spirit locked up in my mind.  Every time I loosen one part, another tightens up.  Which type of magnesium helps that muscle cramp?  Because my regular ones (I have several) aren't cutting it.

Kitten came back from her morning constitutional, licking her chops, as if she had just eaten.  I looked around on the porch and found no telltale signs of her killing any creatures.  Therefore, I have to assume she did the poor orphan routine on some unsuspecting neighbor.  I'm starting to see how my mom felt when I'd come home after one of the neighbor moms showed a kindness to me.

I guess Mom did me a favor in the long run by prohibiting me from accepting any aid.  And punishing me if I did.  I'm much more independent than I would have been.  I'm not sure why that is an admired trait actually because it just means I'm reluctant to trust people and show them my softer side.  But it's easier than figuring out intricate human relationships, with debts owed and collected.  It's fkn hard being human, huh?

Thursday, December 17, 2015

what kind of nerd am I?

I was looking through my closet at my thousands, okay maybe only hundreds, okay maybe just dozens, of t-shirts, and realized I have zero Star Wars paraphernalia.  What will I wear to go see Star Wars??

Yes, I bought tickets!  Squee!!  My nephew is coming to town for the holidays, so I'm taking him this weekend.  I even took a chance and bought tickets for 3D.  I hope I didn't fuck up, but I seemed to do okay on the 3D ride at Harry Potter (not the one that gave me vertigo), so maybe I can handle a 3D movie with my eye situation.  And my migraine situation.  And my holy-fuck-it-sucks-to-be-wendy situation.

Now I just need to find the perfect t-shirt to wear.  Or the first one I grab when I reach into my closet.  Either will suffice.

No spoilers until I see it though.  I haven't even watched any trailers yet.  Yes, I have been living under a rock.  Have you met me??

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

cheesy groats

Yeah, you're right, that does sound disgusting, but it's what I ate for breakfast the past few days, and it wasn't bad.  I got the idea from Café Tu Tu Tango's shrimp and grits.  They added some cheesy manchego goodness to theirs.  And grits are similar to oats.  Maybe.  No one really knows what a grit is.  Or what a groat is.

Of course, I added a bunch of other items to make it more filling and nutritious, including but not limited to, raw cacao nibs, chia seeds, pecans, walnut pieces, almond slivers, shredded coconut, and lots of fancy Bolivian salt.  Sometimes I add gobs of butter, too, but that seemed overkill with the cheese.  It's healthier than it tastes.

I haven't had any more visits from my Godzilla friend, thankfully.  At least I hope he was friendly.  But not too friendly, if you get my meaning.  One of the babies paid me another visit yesterday, which I took as a good sign that the Iguanodon wasn't coming back.

Today will be a good day.  I've decided to be happy.  My head is cooperating.  Lockjaw is staying at bay.  This has been what it was.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

I almost died going to the mailbox

My mailbox is about 20 feet outside my front door.  It's dangerous out there.   I'm always barefoot and rarely have problems.  However, unbeknownst to me, the landscapers left a deadly four inch bougainvillea branch to fester and hide in my grass.  I firmly planted my foot atop one of its thorns, which subsequently went in about half an inch.  They're brutal.  I yanked it out, with some effort (it was in pretty good, ewwwww), got the mail, and limped back inside.  I washed my foot with soap and water, pushed against the spot to see if I could feel any piece inside.  I didn't and assumed I was fine. I walked barefoot all day with no problems.

The next morning I could barely walk on it, so I doused it with Lugol's iodine, put on one black sock (so sexy), and limped about my day.  I happened to mention it to Einstein, who said good thing it's not tetanus, which hadn't crossed my mind until then.  I corrected his assumption that tetanus had to come from a rusty nail.  It doesn't.  The rust denotes the age.  The longer something has been in the elements, the more chances it has to gather bacteria from the soil, which it then spreads via puncture wounds.  The old brown thorn would work the same. 

I started to panic until I read the symptoms and treatment of tetanus, aka Lockjaw.  It sounded like a bad migraine that potentially could be fatal.  Many of my migraines feel like that, so for me, it was just another Thursday.  I took extra probiotics because I'm not big on antibiotics.  And extra magnesium to help with stress and muscle spasms.  And extra vitamin C and l-glutamine to boost my immune system. 

It's been over a week, and it seems fine.  But it did say a two week incubation. I walked all around Universal on it and wasn't really limping anymore, although there was still a very tender spot on the bottom of my foot.
By the way, all of this happened before I knew about the FKN GODZILLA living outside my window.  If I die, it's been nice knowing you. I was sure I would die from getting murdered by the psychos in Florida, not from the local flora and fauna.

Monday, December 14, 2015

oh no, there goes Tokyo, go go Godzilla!

Here I am, minding my own business, working at my office desk, when I hear the telltale screeches of an iguana's claws walking across my window outside.  Sure enough, Kitten wakes up from her nap in her box on my desk, and stalks over to the window to investigate.  I expected to find the baby iguanas from a few weeks ago.  I was unprepared for the three and a half foot monster out there.  HOLY FUCK!

It's a mature male, with the orange dewlap and orange ridges across his back.  I was outside right there a few short hours ago, messing with the bushes.  OMG, I COULD HAVE BEEN KILLED BY GODZILLA!  Or at least bitten or scratched.  They are vegetarian, but they tend to be highly aggressive, which is why I like when Kitten would catch and eat the babies.  I guess she missed this one.

He's either pissed at her for committing genocide on his kind or he sees his reflection in the window and wants to fight it.  I took many photos and videos, but most of my videos were not family friendly because I couldn't stop swearing.  This video seems okay.  For some reason, the sound effects play in the Vine app on my phone but not on the web.  The screeching of his claws is really eerie and scary.  Maybe it's better if you don't hear it.  [UPDATE: There is a small hidden mute icon in the upper left of the video window which shows only if you hover over it with your mouse.]

Kitten finally ran upstairs and is peeking out from the balcony.  I don't blame her one bit.  Part of me wanted to go outside and get better photos without the window in the way, and part of me wanted to hide under my desk.

friends are awesome

Thanks to everyone who sent me smiles and cards and hugs and told me stories while I was hosting my PityParty, Day Two.  I got to hear all about one young friend's adventures with women.  Wow, they are nutters.  I was talking to one of my lesbian friends and realized how nice it is that I prefer men.  They are so much easier.  She said she liked the challenge of women, that men were too predictable.  I kind of like the security of a stable personality.  Plus, I have more than enough crazy for two.  To each their own, though.

My friend, Mr. Peacock, sent me silly jokes and a link to a thread which was so fkn depressing that I may have fallen all the way in and out the other side.  It was like some bizarre Twilight Zone episode.  Everything in that thread was a depressing chunk of my life somehow, written by complete strangers.  Misery loves company, I guess, because in a weird way, I felt better knowing others were dealing with similar problems.  Maybe not all at once though.  All at once is a bit overwhelming.

Anyway, I'm thankful for all of my friends being so good to me.  Even when I suck and am no fun.  I won't embarrass anyone else by naming them here, but you know who you are.  And more important, I know who you are.

Sunday, December 13, 2015

is 8 am too early to hit the rum today?

I won't go too deeply into details about my PityParty yesterday.  But there were clowns and rum.  And balloons and tissues.  And glitter and Imitrex.  And funny hats and trash novels.  And popcorn and Kitten (who barely left my side).  And biscotti.  From my ex's BFF.  He shipped me some homemade biscotti for Christmas.  Which was very considerate and delicious.  I didn't eat the whole box.  Yet.  The worst part of my PityParty was that I was there.  I tried to get me to leave several times.  No dice. 

I've pretty much eschewed human contact.  Well that, and humans have eschewed my contact.  I went almost 24 hours with no word from anyone.  Which is odd.  Several of my siblings and friends knew I was in the throes of a migraine.  No one checked on me past the initial, hey feel better.  I'm sure they thought they were giving me peace and quiet.  If they thought at all.  Probably they're all wrapped up in their own Vietnam.  Not many people can make it through this time of year without a meltdown or crisis of some sort.  Quit being so selfish, Wendy.  Other people have problems, too.

The migraine came back.  It wasn't as bad this time.  But the meltdown was.  If I cry alone in the woods, do I still need to hold back the wracking sobs?  Asking for a friend.  Ho Lee Fuk.  I'm ready to wake up tomorrow as someone else.  Because I'm not happy when I'm unhappy.  I'm much happier being happy.

Saturday, December 12, 2015

migraine stats are depressing

And yet uplifting.  My average sleep is seven hours, even though I feel like I never sleep enough.  I do miss eight hours of uninterrupted sleep, but seven of interrupted is not that bad.  Or at least that's what I tell myself.  This app goes on to give me other stats like amount of sleep before a migraine versus regular nights.  Mine is pretty consistent, only off by five minutes.

This would be more uplifting if I had a graphic to compare it to, pre-clinical trial.  Unfortunately, I do not.  As you can see, I didn't start using the app until March of this year.  I can guarantee you that the totals would have been worse.

In related news, my 62 hour migraine ended.  I think.  I hope.  There's that word again, hope.  It's amazing what it takes to kill off hope.  I took my latest Imitrex over 12 hours ago, so I'm feeling safe to assume the migraine is gone.  I'm still in the mood to hide from the world.  I may blow off the holiday party tonight and start drinking now.  Rum and eggnog sound divine.  Actually, just rum sounds pretty good.  Before you think I'm an alcoholic and start worrying, or worse, lecturing, I've barely consumed half a bottle of rum all year.  Despite my shitty year.  And this is one of the shittiest that I can recall in decades.

Friday, December 11, 2015

And I'm hooked

The new season of Serial started.  It's completely different from last year thankfully, because I hit a saturation point for that.  So far, this one has my curiosity piqued.   Human nature fascinates me.  And at first glance, there are many gray areas of morality and choices made.

I'm trying to focus externally to distract myself from this 49 hour and counting migraine.  There is a trail of Imitrex wrappers all over my house.  Today is also my three month eye checkup.  I haven't noticed any dramatic improvements, and I'm severely depressed and angry about that.  Denial is bliss sometimes. 

Hmm, an old guy in the waiting room put in a Buy order for 2,000 shares at $203.  Small chunk of change, huh?  And I'm here crying about my outstanding $350 medical bill.  Yes, I'm still paying off my failed eye surgery, to add insult to injury.  No, I didn't hear which company he's buying.

I'm ready for denial again.  I had a major meltdown before this migraine started.  Not sure which caused which, if either, but they're definitely correlated.  Currently, I'm biting my lip trying not to cry.  I forgot my rubberband again.  I may have to ask for one here. 

Okay, time to rein in my emotions and let my mental strength persevere.  C'mon, Wendy.  Breathe.  You don't need no stinkin' rubberband.  Deep breaths. 

Let's see, good things that happened this week.  Saw a motherfkn rocket launch.  That was awesome.  Had fun times at the theme park.  Have supportive friends who love me.  More than one even.  How fkn fantastic is that?   That's even better than a rocket launch, believe it or not.  Got my monthly clinical trial shot of CGRP, which has significantly reduced my migraines, even including this one.  It's a pretty goddamn good life on the surface. 

Old guy is on the phone again asking for the escrow agent and complaining that his money isn't making money while it's inactive.  Meanwhile, he's 80 and probably will never spend a tenth of his money.   Don't be so judgmental, Wendy, maybe he donates his profits to an animal shelter.  Or a small country.  Or maybe he's 40 and has lived a hard life.  He was very polite to me when he first walked in.  It was my blindingly blasé smile that did that, I'm sure.  At least I can feel assured that I'm seeing the best eye doctor that money can buy, right? 

I had a conversation with a friend about eavesdropping on people.  He maintained people are not that interesting.  I like to match up my preconceived notions with reality, as far as listening to three minutes of them can achieve.  I also like to amuse myself and make up back stories about people after hearing a 30 second snippet.  And I'm always right because I never get corrected.  That's how it works, isn't it?  :)

When the doctor asks how I am, is she being polite or asking medically?  Do I mention the 49 hours of migraine?  Or just say I'm good, like I would with anyone else?   Because probably the migraine and the eye are not correlated.  Although the act of dilation and the chemicals they put in will certainly exacerbate it.  Maybe since I'm already medicated, it won't?  Somehow, there's always hope. Even after 49 hours.

The nurse asked me if I got a flu shot.  Was she making conversation or hinting that someone was sickly-looking?  I probably do look very wan.  Wtfever, my hair is clean, and that's about the most effort I can make today with my appearance.   I threw on a t-shirt, jeans, and my lesbian shoes. 

I'm not hearing good news from the eye doc.  If it hasn't improved in three months, odds are against me.  She keeps insisting that my surgeon is one of the best.  I respectfully disagreed with her.  She says anatomically, my eye looks great.  Fanfkntastic, but it's failing at its primary purpose.  So who gives a shit how it looks anatomically?  Fuck, I should have known better than to go for surgery.   It sounds like she's leaning toward another one.   Do I fkn gamble again?  Are you fkn high?  No.  The answer is no.  The answer is always no for elective surgery.  Somehow I forgot that.

I made it out to the parking lot before the heavy sobs hit me.  Does that count in the positive or the negative column?  Maybe they cancel each other out?

I'm glad it's Friday, and I can hide from everyone for a few days. 

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

I suck at theme parks

And somehow, I forgot that I suck at them.  I went to Universal Studios to see Harry Potter land.  It started off fine.  I enjoyed the little shops and exploring Diagon Alley, especially Weasleys’ Wizard Wheezes.  The butterbeer was fkn scrumptious (I'll spare you the goofy butterbeer mustache pic).   I escaped from Gringotts bank.  I went through platform 9 ¾ to ride the Hogwarts Express, which was pretty fkn brilliant.

Weasleys' Wizarding Wheezes

But I fucked myself when after dining in Hogsmeade, I went flying in Hogwarts.  Fortunately I didn't disgrace myself and yack up my fish and chips.  But I really wanted to.  Because I had vertigo so bad.  

I immediately sat down and tried to recover, but listening to the screams from the nearby roller coaster was deleterious to my health.  I ended up back in the Three Broomsticks for about twenty minutes until the world stopped spinning.  Dumbass.  What part of that did I think was a good idea?  Family-friendly, my ass.

Fortunately, it was toward the end of my day, so I didn't feel as guilty when I left a little early.  And my path out took me through Jurassic World.  Twice.  Maybe three times.  Where's the fkn exit?  S'ok, I enjoyed visiting the dinos each time.

Monday, December 7, 2015

never take the name of migraine in vain

My 9 day migraine-free streak ended.  With another boom.  Of a motherfucking rocket launch.  I had the day off to drive to Orlando for a mini-vacation.  You know, to make some happy memories.  Spur of the moment and three prior launch delays produced serendipity.  I arrived at Merritt Island five minutes before the launch.  The cloud cover was brutal, so I saw only a small glimpse, but it was nerdy cool.  

The rocket boom was more subtle than I expected and definitely didn't cause the migraine.  Probably the long car trip did.  And by long, I mean anything over 20 minutes. 

Sunday, December 6, 2015

unfuck your habitat

This site,, was recommended to me, as someone who has chronic pain.  (Fuck you, migraines, it's been 9 days, yippee!)  It's supposed to make it easier to assuage my guilt about not having the cleanest house because I didn't have the energy today.  Or enough spoons to use the chronic illness analogy.  For those of you unfamiliar with Spoonies, good job on being healthy!

It breaks up cleaning into manageable chunks.  It's mostly techniques that I've already been doing for years because it's common sense.  But, I'm fully aware that common sense is astonishingly rare.

I like that they have a section especially for people who have depression, because that's a hard cycle to break with regards to cleaning.

Perhaps some of you lazy fkrs will find some of the challenges helpful.  Good luck!

Saturday, December 5, 2015

these boots were made for walking

Or stomping.  Or dancing?  I guess I'll find out once I wear them for more than five minutes.  They seemed comfy.  The inside is pretty, too.  And Kitten loved the box.

As you might have surmised, this was another recent purchase of mine.  Because even though I have 23 thousand pairs of boots, I have none like these.  They called them motorcycle boots, however they look nothing like my real Dianese motorcycle boots.  I'm guessing they're 'fashion' motorcycle boots, which are still a damn sight cheaper than real ones.  Plus these were 50% off because shopping for sales is an American pastime.  Basically, it would have been wrong to pass this deal up.  And I was weak.  I wanted to get Doc Martens, but I keep reading the quality has gone downhill since they stopped making them in the UK.  These might be my fave, but they weren't on sale.  One day...

Friday, December 4, 2015

making it rain

It's still pouring here.  In fact, we're under flood watch now.  Fortunately, I stopped crying two days ago, so I no longer need the rain to camouflage my tears.  Unfortunately, Mother Nature didn't stop.  The weather was so bad yesterday that they postponed the rocket launch from yesterday to today, although that may not be enough.

I mentioned that I might share some of my recent dumb-ass purchases with you guys.  With 100% humidity in the air, I can use all the help I can get with my hair, so it was fortuitous that my new hair products arrived first.  No, I haven't tried them yet because I'm being stubborn and forcing myself to use up at least one old tube first.  The one on the left smells divine.  I'm not sure how much longer I can hold out.  I've been using extra of my regular stuff, Tresemme Curl Definition Jelly, because of the weather and because I'm anxious to try the new.  It makes my hair feel like straw though.  Ugh.  But it does keep the frizz at bay.  I wish I had read the reviews on it before I impulse bought it at the store. 

Kitten was not pleased this morning when she tried to take her morning constitutional.  She went out the back, didn't like the rain, and came in the front.  Then, she immediately tried to go out the back again.  She sniffed, came back inside, and tried the front once more.  After a few times in and out, she gave up and is curled up in her box, sleeping off a belly full of pork tenderloin.

Thursday, December 3, 2015

in the rain, no one can see your tears

Yesterday one of my alert readers pointed me to this pleasant article about poisoned potatoes.  Fortunately, I didn't seem to suffer any noticeable effects from my bout with a controversial potato

I was super excited yesterday to finally workout again.  I haven't been since before my trip.  Because of holiday scheduling and work, we've missed a few of our workouts and changed our regular time for this session.  And I fkn blew it.  I had it on my calendar at the correct time.  I even texted my partner at 7 am, raring to go.  And when the time came, I confused myself and thought we were meeting at our regular time.  Until he texted me asking where the fuck I was.  Sigh.  By then it was too late, so I apologized profusely and decided to run errands.  And felt like a complete dumb-ass.  A sad dumb-ass.  I was really, really looking forward to working out and laughing with him.  Yes, I could have gone by myself, but it wouldn't have been the same.

I went to the pool store because my pool is always just on the edge of going green, and I was out of de-greenifying stuff.  Once there, I asked about buying a larger container so I wouldn't have to make as many trips.  And then I had to do maths.  Figure out ounces in a pound and what worked as more economical.  I reached for that muscle that I've used since I was knee-high to a grasshopper, and it wasn't there.  It was as if a sonic boom had gone off inside my head.  Just a thundering silence.  Fortunately, the employee was more on the ball mentally than I was and helped me out.  

I stopped to get groceries, too, because Kitten was almost out of food.  When I was walking into the grocery store, I passed by their Christmas trees for sale, took a deep whiff of evergreen, and got a visceral punch in the gut.  (Or maybe that was the poisoned potato.)  Twenty years of Christmases together flooded my brain, and the tears started forming in my eyes.  I was dressed for the gym, so I didn't have my regular purse.  No tissues.  I found an empty aisle to cry in and hoped no one was watching through the ceiling cameras as I dabbed at my eyes with the sleeves of my t-shirt.  I'm not sure I bought everything I needed.  I passed by the baked goods and thought about getting cupcakes to make me feel better.  They didn't appeal to me.  How pitiful.  And healthy.

I steered into the checkout line and waited while the elderly couple ahead of me went through several credit cards to find one that would work.  If their bill hadn't been close to $200, I would have treated.  As I waited, I people-watched and noticed that the day shift of grocery-baggers was like the day shift at a strip club, definitely third string.  

I came home, put away groceries, and went Catholic on the mildew on my back deck.  I stayed out there on my hands and knees, scrubbing and crying until the sadness subsided.  While I was cleaning, the heavens opened up and mourned with me.  In the rain, no one can see your tears.

I keep telling myself that I'm fine.  I'm strong.  I can do this.  And yet, I can see the water receding like before a tsunami, and I know it's gonna be bad over the next few weeks.  January can't come fast enough.  In the meantime, I need to make new happy memories.  And I will, because I'm choosing happiness over the alternative.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

one potato, two potato, old potato, blorgh!

Text to Einstein: Am I dying again?
Einstein: Probably.  What did you eat this time?
Wendy: a questionable sweet potato.  Was it too old?
Einstein:  How the fuck should I know?

(haha, just kidding, he didn't say that, although we all know he was thinking it.  He's way too nice to verbalize it, however.)

This potato seemed a bit off.  I hate wasting food, so I ate it anyway.  I may play it safe and throw the rest of the bag out.  Maybe just the soft, fuzzy ones.  Just goofing.  Or am I?  Sigh, I thought potatoes were supposed to last longer.  I'm sure I'm storing them incorrectly, but I'm confused where else to store them.  I know they're not supposed to be in the fridge, but there is no other cool, dark spot in the house.  It's Florida, ffs.  Everywhere else is 75-80 F.  We don't have basements or root cellars.  Fuck, I don't even know what a root cellar is, except something from a horror movie, WHICH I REFUSE TO WATCH.

Maybe I need to stop buying them (sweet potatoes, not horror movies.  That would be weird considering I won't watch them).  Or at least stop buying a bag at a time, and buy only one or two.  I'd never last a fkn day on Mars by myself, growing my own potatoes.  Even if I could text Einstein for tips.  You may have read how I've killed off copious amounts of orchid plants.  I'm amazed every day that I haven't accidentally poisoned myself or the cat.  We must be hardy stock.

Definitely write yourself a mental note, never eat at Wendy's house.  :P

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

glorious orchids

I wish I could upload the scent the lower one produces.  OMFG, so amazing.  They don't make orchids like this anymore.  Literally.  They've bred the scent out to make longer-lasting blooms.  These ones are about 30 years old and were my mother's.  They're very tough plants because I do NOT have a green-thumb.  I've killed many plants over the years.  In fact, I have a recent orchid plant that looks to be on its way out.  Okay, maybe two.  Quit judging me.

I'm a terribly irresponsible plant-owner.  Which is why I don't have a dog.  Even though I love them.  Kitten can fend for herself when I'm under the weather.  Dogs (and plants) need help.  I know plants don't need that much work, but it's survival of the fittest around here.  No molly-coddling allowed.  Who has the energy for that?

When I first inherited my mother's orchids, I was all gung-ho.  I bought new pots, fertilizer, orchid food, pesticides, potting material, etc.  That lasted one season.  I used to bring them all inside for hurricanes and freeze warnings.  That lasted three seasons.  Now, the toughest ones have survived and seem to thrive.  They're fkn air-plants for crying out loud.  They shouldn't need so much attention.  Pretty fucked up for someone like me who is high-maintenance rejecting any other living creature that is.  Whatevs, I know my limitations.

Below is one of the newer plants, whose blooms will last much, much longer, yet it has no scent.

Monday, November 30, 2015


I kind of assumed that the one upside of being dumped was that I wouldn't have to bother much with Christmas shopping this year.  My email inbox is getting plastered with pre-Black Friday deals, Thanksgiving deals, Black Friday deals, Small Business Saturday deals, and today, Cyber Monday deals.  I don't really need anything, so I've been deleting them by the dozen.

Eight purchases later, what the fuck just happened?  A couple are legitimate gifts for underage family members because kids deserve presents no matter how shitty I feel.  The rest are, um, I'm not sure.  I stocked up on my supplements because I'm terrified to be without CoQ10 or magnesium.  And then the rest were me being suckered in.  Dumb-ass.  So much for trying to save money now that I'm a one income household.

I may share with you my dumb-ass purchases as they arrive.  Or I may be too embarrassed that I succumbed to gdam American consumerism.  Remember how I was whittling down my hair product supply?  Yeah, that's right out the window.  I'd better hurry and use up a couple more before those (yes plural, dumb-ass) arrive.  I guess I'll be set for the next several months (years).  Don't let me buy anymore, okay?  No matter how highly they're recommended by women with the exact same hair as me living in the same humidity levels.

As an aside, I still have plenty of readers, so I guess that means I'm still a unicorn (not that kind).  Sweet!

Sunday, November 29, 2015

uh oh, having a fangirl moment

Yesterday, I tweeted about reading Luther Campbell's book.  And he re-tweeted me.  Squee!  Twice.  Squee, squee!  Okay, I'm done freaking out.  (It's just as exciting as when Steve Gibson wrote a lengthy reply to my DM on Twitter.)

I went digging through my old CDs (sigh, yes I still have a bunch) to look for my 2 Live Crew one.  I remember having to drive across town to a special store to buy it because it was banned in most stores.  This was pre-Internet.  Oh, the horror!  I couldn't find it amongst my other classics like Metallica: Ride the Lightning, so I texted my brother to see if he had it.  He said he only ever had the cassette, which he may still have packed away in a box.  Hehehehe.  It was a hot commodity back then, so I'm guessing someone 'borrowed' mine, and I never got it back.

I also remember when Luther's club on South Beach first opened, and I had no female friends to go with.  I happened to be dating a really, really white guy at the time who was super nice and offered to take me.  I think we were the only white people in the club, but I sure had fun.  :)  I dressed up in my hot-pants and thigh-high boots and grooved to great dance music.  I got a little nervous when I went to the ladies room and accidentally interrupted a drug deal.  I played it cool, did my business, washed my hands, fixed my mane of hair (black women, even drug dealers, understand that shit), and left with a quickness.  No one gave us a hard time though, which is more than I can say for the black clubs in New York City.  Not that it stopped me from going to those.  Because I was young and didn't care.

Reading book is similar to watching movies -- experiencing the real Miami that I grew up in, not the hoity-toity South Beach shit depicted today.  Miami was raw, raunchy, and fkn terrifying at times.  It was also exciting and an adventure every day, where I learned more than I did from my so-called formal education.  I probably can't list most (any?) of what I learned on my professional resumé though.

I stayed up too late reading last night, and Kitten woke me very early this morning (same as she always does).  I can't lie around reading all day because I have chores to do.  Also, I need to keep myself from full immersion in the book, so I don't trigger any childhood PTSD.  He does a pretty good job of depicting how it was when the Cuban boatlift came over, and the blacks and whites ended up as unlikely allies, in many, many turf and cultural wars.  Except now I get to hear it from the black perspective.  I'm still amazed that anyone was left alive, on any side.

Maybe I can play some 2 Live Crew to make me laugh (and dance) while I do my chores.  Such a hard life today lol.  ;)  After I watch the season finale of Formula One, of course.

Saturday, November 28, 2015

places I've been today

I've been so lazy today.  I watched F1 qualifying this morning.  Ate a bit.  Mostly, I've been reading Luther Campbell's new book, The Book of Luke: My Fight for Truth, Justice, and Liberty City.

And I have no idea where the day went.  Best kind of Saturday.

Friday, November 27, 2015

/adjusts my alicorn

Maybe we can place my respect for vultures into my Interesting category?  Anyone can love a kestrel or a penguin, but loving vultures takes contemplation and fortitude, right?  Right??

I thought about going the cliché route yesterday with a gratitude post, but I do those enough on regular days.  Besides, I figured everyone was jumping on the gratitude bandwagon yesterday, and you'd be bored to tears and need some eccentric relief.

Perhaps I should have focused more on my positives because I ended up throwing myself a PityParty, clowns and all.  I woke up feeling great, decided that I would do things that made me smile, and not focus on any negativity.  That lasted a few hours until I received an email from my former mother-in-law saying how much she missed and loved me.  Which on the surface sounds wonderful, but it made it tricksy to keep my denial in check.  :)  It was the balloon that broke the clown's back or whatever the appropriate metaphor would be for a PityParty Commencement.

At 2 pm, I forced myself out of bed and washed my hair.  At 3 pm, I was back in bed, with my eyes still randomly leaking.  One of my friends gave me a pep-talk / guilt-trip and helped motivate me out of my house.  Thanks!  In hindsight, the depression along with the leaky eyes may have been precursors to a migraine because I also had tingling and numbness in my extremities, which I conveniently ignored.  And fatigue which I attributed to depression and also conveniently ignored as a migraine clue.

The migraine was nice enough to hold off until the end of the evening, after dinner.  Probably the bourbon pecan pie didn't help.  But, oh my, that was fkn scrumptious!

I had a lot of fun seeing my family, arguing politics, discussing Genghis Khan and his absolute domination, analyzing Star Wars, and learning how to make yogurt.  We have great vicissitudinous conversations when there are a lot of us together, about all kinds of topics, which can be very overwhelming to new people.  (I think we may have slightly intimidated and then impressed my brother's friend.)  I'm really glad I ended up going because I rarely get to interact like that.

Today as I'm dealing with a migraine postdrome, not only is the glass half full, it is also a beautiful glass.  Because I'm choosing to be happy today, and my brain is cooperating.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

my favorite bird

No, it's not turkey, even though today is Thanksgiving, but rather a turkey vulture.  Happy Thanksgiving, all!

I don't mean favorite to eat, just in general.  This may be my batshit insanity moment for some.  I think I've already scared one of my friends with it, when I mentioned it to him the other day.   Oops, my alicorn is slipping. 

I love vultures.  I can watch them for hours, riding the currents way up high.  They're absolutely glorious to watch when I'm lying on the ground and looking up, much more fun than cloud-watching.  They're so majestic and soothing.  And when they land, they have the added benefit of being the cleaning crew.  Somehow that assuages my internal organizational needs.  

How cool is it that they have different terms for different activities?  
A group of vultures is called a wake, committee, venue, kettle, or volt. The term kettle refers to vultures in flight, while committee, volt, and venue refer to vultures resting in trees. Wake is reserved for a group of vultures that are feeding.

They're not much to look at when they land, but honestly who is attractive out of their element when they're stuffing their faces?  I certainly can't point fingers if you've ever seen me gorge on BBQ ribs or on Florida Stone Crabs.  Just saying.

They're one of the more intelligent of the bird species, which makes my Inner Nerd smile.

And then there's the whole Tibetan sky burial, which speaks to my sense of reciprocity and frugal nature.  It seems so wasteful to spend thousands of dollars to create landfill when we die.  I like the notion of one final act of generosity to feed living creatures.  Plus anytime someone sees a vulture, they can talk to their favorite auntie.

So in summary, I'm batshit crazy finally.  You found me out.  :)

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

the message

I recently listened to The Message podcast and didn't realize it was fictional entertainment until a few minutes into the first episode.  I apologize if I ruined it for you.  Spoilers.  :P

I was all excited to listen to nerds try to decipher an unusual message.  And then it turned into fictional drama.  It was still entertaining, and I listened to all eight episodes.  But I was disappointed.  Because of expectations.  As per usual.

Be honest, when you saw the title to this post, did you think it was some hippie type of thing like The Secret?  And weren't you vastly relieved that it wasn't??   :)

You know when you're first getting to know someone and you think they're perfectly awesome, and then they say something that is batshit insane?  And how disappointed you feel that your unicorn's horn fell off?  And how fast can you gracefully exit the situation? 

Fortunately, I haven't had that happen in a while.  Does that mean that my crazy-tolerance has increased or that my first-impression-meter has improved?  I'm guessing the former, because I'm consistently a terrible judge of character.  Is there a word for being character-blind?  Because I have that.  To the point where I usually ask someone else I trust to let me know if I'm making a terrible mistake.  In either direction.

I know you're wondering what my batshit insanity will be.  You'll just have to ride it out and see when my alicorn falls off.  How can I be so sure it hasn't yet, you ask.  You wouldn't still be reading my preposterous ramblings if it had.

Monday, November 23, 2015

how does she know??

The bitch is psychotic, I mean psychic.  Fkn Emma Peel.  Somehow she calls exactly when I need her to.  It's starting to be a little creepy ffs.  :)

No migraine this time, yay!

But, I was down all day and just couldn't scrape it off of me.  I had a dance party with old school Adina and Missy E.  I talked to my brother for hours, which helped.  I had a bag of potato chips I had been saving for an emergency.  And they didn't even taste yummy.   So I ate liver and chicken hearts instead.  Why waste crappy, yummy food on flat taste buds?

No matter what I did, the funk just slithered right back over me.  I talked to several of my friends, many of whom made me smile.  I didn't mind talking to others who were in a bad way, but I felt guilty talking to any who were in a good mood.  In case I was contagious.  I'd feel even lower if I spread my melancholy soul.  Which is fkn ridiculous if you think about.  Non-depressive people can't catch it.  They can't conceive of the tar pit engulfing them.  And depressed people completely understand what it's like to have a fucked up day for no apparent reason.  And yet logic can't seem to get a word in edgewise.  Breathe, Wendy.

I keep thinking I'll be mostly okay for the holidays, but if it's hitting me this early, I might be in for a rude awakening.  Or maybe it has nothing to do with the holidays, and it was merely a bad day to be Wendy.  My eyes kept leaking.  No reason.  I mean various small reasons, but nothing that a resilient person would let faze them.  C'mon, Wendy.  You can do it.

Breathe.  Stop thinking.  Step outside of your brain.  Just breathe.  Smile.  And count your blessings.  Or chickens.  Just count something.  Because math makes sense when emotions don't.  I have a roof over my head, food in my belly, and several good people who love me.

Sunday, November 22, 2015


I keep seeing more and more celebrities coming out with depression and anxiety.  Are they all genuine, or is it the latest way for them to get publicity?  Does it matter as long as it reduces the stigma?  It does a bit, and here's why.  People who don't understand the totally overwhelming and immersive experience will dilute the message.

It's the same as people who equate headache with migraine.  Yes, a headache sucks (or so I've heard because I get migraines not headaches), but a migraine is a whole neurological clusterfuck.  People who feel blue because their favorite character was killed off on a TV show are not the same as someone who can't leave the house or interact with people because of their issues.

Depression is a gradual graying out of life.  It's as if a matte veil slowly and inconspicuously blots out all happiness.  I don't always notice when it hits, I just stop feeling motivated.  I lose my vitality and joy.  And I don't think mine is even that bad as compared to others.  Not that it's a good idea to compare.  Ever.  Especially for men standing at urinals, which was another thing that was reinforced on my trip, over fucked up meal conversations.  But I digress.

Here's where emotional hygiene comes into play again.  I can either succumb (fuck that) or force myself to find and think about what brings me contentment.  To choose to embrace living, which as I mentioned previously is much tricksier than dying quickly.  I listened to the new Adele album and had to consciously stop so I wouldn't spiral into a depressive slipstream.  She has an unbelievably beautiful voice, but the emotion was too raw for me to handle yesterday.  I'm sure I'll try again at some point.

Tolerating and managing depression builds resilience.  And resiliency and happiness are closely connected.  Resiliency isn't an inherent trait, although I suspect some of us are better or worse at it than others.  But with practice, I can make myself better and train my brain to react differently.  To react better.  In the meantime, I hope I have as good of friends as Eeyore does.

Saturday, November 21, 2015

home again, home again, jiggety jig

So happy to be home in my own bed again, with my own pillows.  Call me a princess (okay, Princess), but I'm very particular about my sleeping arrangements.  I'm no longer 20 years old and fine to crash anywhere.  These days, I need soft sheets, copacetic sleeping temperatures, a quality comforter, and absolutely perfect pillows.  The first three are negotiable, but shitty pillows can trigger migraines.  Welcome to my fkn life.  I have a mound of old pillows in my spare bedroom from ones that I've bought, tried, and discarded.  I asked my sister when she visited last year if any sucked that I could throw away.  She said they were all fine.  I'm just a fkn Princess, trying to evade the eternal pea.

Kitten was very mad at me and equally happy to see me.  There was a lot of yelling snuggling.

And I can finally get back into healthy eating.  Sigh, I'm sure I've undone almost all the progress I made in the last month by eating animal organs and greens.  Also I had to text politely all week, and my phone forgot all the swear words I've taught it.  I've undone progress in many facets of my life. 

I bet you're wondering (or not) how well I did with my anxiety nonsense.  I was pretty good almost the whole trip.  I barely had to snap my rubber-band more than a few times a day.  But, I hit an emotional wall at the airport on my way home.  I drugged myself up to get ahead of the migraine.  I failed.  Not sure if the emotional wall was from my overexposure to what felt like millions of people or a precursor of the migraine.  Or both. 

My flight home was as entertaining as it could be with a migraine whilst trying not to vomit or cry.  The man next to me was reading Gun Buyers Annual 2016 magazine, while wearing a custom-tailored dress shirt. My curiosity finally got the better of me after I watched him read the whole thing cover to cover.  So, I started talking to him.  He was a very refined man who has a serious gun hobby, and his favorite is a Ruger 9mm.

Just when I thought my socializing was over, the woman on the other side of him started a conversation with our flight attendant about her shoes.  And swore up and down about how comfortable this brand was, while still being stylish.  Of course, I had to jump into a comfy shoe conversation because most women don't seem to value that as highly as I do.  She also promised me that their narrow was actually narrow and not the former medium in accordance with vanity sizing.  They both gave me recommendations.  And then the Ruger man jumped in, too.  We talked comfy shoes for a good 15 minutes.

And just when I thought my socializing was REALLY over, my airport chauffeur turned into a Chatty Kathy about race-cars, motorcycles, Formula 1, MotoGP, Dani Pedrosa, Lamborghinis, etc.  It was a nice distraction, rather than focusing on the pain I was in.

Friday, November 20, 2015

Day 3? 4? 500?

I can't decide if large company events are trying to inculcate employees by wearing us down, or if it's merely incompetent planning by party-type people who carb-load on pastries in the morning, along with heavy caffeine ingestion to make up for the insulin crash from the sugar excess.  And also because they stayed up all night drinking at the open bar.  Either way, it doesn't seem like an intelligent corporate strategy.   And yet, more companies than not think this is acceptable.  Dumb-asses.

Breakfast today was more of the same.  Except for the lively conversation from my Southern co-workers discussing deer hunting with a crossbow.  And then how to skin the deer.  I also learned about ghillie suits, and how to make them.  I loved moving from their table to my New England liberal co-workers' table and watching their shocked expressions of disgust when I shared my new knowledge.  It's good to find joy in the little things.  :)
Last day.  Yippee.  I hope my phone battery holds out through goofing off in the morning sessions and then all the time at the airport.   I'll have to search up an outlet somewhere.  Or God forbid, resort to old-fashioned daydreaming when I get bored.  I even have a ready-made daydream available -- yummy airport food.  Who thought that vision would come out of my brain?   Or maybe a daydream of a lovely warm Epsom bath?  I've been burning through magnesium like crazy here, taking 4 and 5 capsules a day.  Higher stress requires higher magnesium consumption.

Fortunately, I have a book to read on the plane.  I guess I can read in the airport, too, instead of whining to my friends and family via text messages and emails.  Nah, where would the fun of that be?   :)

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Day 2

I've lost all concept of time.  Nothing exists except now.  I feel like I'm being professionally indoctrinated with no sleep and positive corporate messaging.  Loud music, blinking bright lights.  A co-worker who is also USMC said it felt like boot camp with crappy food, no sleep, and no personal time.  He's not wrong.

We had an off-site dinner last night, which normally I would say was crappy sports bar food, but I raved about the food so much, that I went for thirds at the BBQ buffet.  That's how badly they've been depriving me here.  

Today I've started drinking the kool-aid, so their plan is working.  I'm all gung-ho, on board, with synergy for everyone.  Just kidding, I'm bored silly and writing this in one of my sessions.

It hasn't been all bad.  My co-workers and I got into a fun detailed analysis of powdered eggs.  We've bonded over the shared experience of days (feels like weeks) of shitty food.  It's been really nice laughing in person with people I typically only interact with telephonically.  I also made some new friends to laugh with from all over.   I probably also scared some away with my off-color humor.  Oops.  If we can't laugh at our social issues, then we're still too sensitive to start working on them.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Day 1

I hate wearing my name on my chest.  I could never be a rapper.  Plus, I'm not a large person, and I always have to adjust my lanyard to fit me better.  Obviously, I can adjust the length, but the badge size is the same for me as for the 250 pound man next to me.  Guess who is more uncomfortable having colleagues and strangers staring at their chest?

After a particularly creepy, unknown man said, "Hi Wendy" to me one year, I now remove my badge the moment I leave a work event.  I refuse to wear it in elevators or while walking to and from anything. 

This morning, I threw it in my purse like usual and was strongly reminded no less than 5 times that I needed to have it on to get into the first session.  

They didn't require it for breakfast, because no one in their right mind would sneak in to eat this swill.  It was better than going hungry, so I ate some.  Plenty of people didn't.  The food is usually better at these corporate events.  I would have packed more snacks if I had known.  I'm not desperate enough to order $20 room service eggs yet, but it's getting close.  They're not organic, high quality eggs either.

Here is a photo of my pitiful breakfast, including one defective eye with a twitch.

Unsurprisingly after eating crap for several meals, I developed a migraine.  Owwie.  :(  Fkn miserable with a big smile on my face.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

have rubberband, will travel

I debated back and forth over whether to drive myself to the airport or arrange for a shuttle.  Control issues vs. poor night vision (and probable migraine) when I return (fuck you, eye surgeon).  Plus the safety of walking alone in airport parking garages as a woman.  But is getting into a stranger's vehicle truly any safer?  Do they extensively background check their drivers?   (#YesAllWomen)  I'm assuming men don't have to consider being assaulted when taking any transportation other than one's own vehicle.  Every time.  But I could be wrong.

The limo driver certainly knew where the left lane was, and wasn't afraid to use it.  And we weren't in the slightest bit late.  Guess they drive fast in Ecuador.

At airport security, I made an aging lesbian happy.  She volunteered to give me a full body pat-down.  And said she was disappointed when I declined a private room.  One day maybe I'll be brave enough to see what those entail.  But I watch movies, so I know that's where they disappear you.  Some Eurotrash hipster (my favorite kind lately) gave me an ooh la la while he watched her feel me up. Pshaw, back of her hands.  Whatevs.

I made more friends in the gate waiting area.  Wall outlets are a wanted commodity.  An American hipster this time asked to share mine with his double outlet and higher amperage.  He was nice with a cute smile, so I acquiesced.   Then the fkr bragged about his longer cord.   Asshole.  :)

It's been about a year since I've flown last, and I swear the seats are getting tinier and tinier.  I'm sure as hell not growing taller.  And shut the fuck up about my ass getting bigger.  :)   It's solid muscle, well partially solid muscle.

Speaking of muscle, I'm missing my workouts this week.  I realize there is probably an adequate gym at the hotel, or even body-weight fitness I can do in my room.  But I've made an executive decision that hoisting my luggage and laptop around all week counts for exercise.  Plus the walking in the airports and all the fkn handshaking and smiling counts, too.  A smile uses a bajillion muscles or was that a frown?  What about fake smiles?  Do those use more or less than genuine smiles?  Do you suppose I can switch off shaking with my left hand, so that my muscles stay balanced?  That might be too much of an awkward explanation, so I'll deal with getting a GIANT muscled right arm.

I've also decided that sleep will be a scarce commodity and definitely takes priority over exercise.  What?  No, I always wake up at 5 am, and then stay out and about talking to people constantly until 10:30 pm.  Why would I want to be well-rested when learning new concepts?  This is where gratitude comes into play.  I'm happy to have gainful employment.  I'm grateful for fantastic co-workers and managers.  I'm grateful that I found shoes that mostly match my dowdy professional outfits and are semi-comfortable.

And I'm grateful that magnesium and a rubber-band keep my anxiety manageable.

Monday, November 16, 2015

suck it up, Buttercup

I used to travel a lot when I was younger, both for business and for pleasure.  I've always had some anxiety, but it's gotten worse.  Shouldn't I be older and wiser and less anxious?  And lest anyone think it has anything to do with fear of traveling because of assholes killing me, nope.  Fear of dying is way down on my list.  It's much more terrifying to live each day.

I need to remind myself not to overclock my brain.  Breathe.  Experience now.  Fuck yesterday.  Fuck tomorrow.  Right now is all we're guaranteed. 

Maybe I'm anxious because this is my first trip being single, which seems kind of a lame reason to have anxiety.  But that's what my gut is telling me.  I can't call home in a panic and know that someone will be there for me as their first priority.  I'm not anyone's first priority anymore.  Which should be fine.  I lived the first half of my life that way, because I was raised by wolves.  It's a familiar feeling and one I know how to do, just one I thought I'd left behind.  I guess you can never outrun your past.

I do have friends and family who would be there for me if I called in a panic, but I'm not the be-all and end-all for someone.  And really, I'm pretty fucking self-sufficient, so none of this will probably even matter.  And yet, it does.  Now.

Breathe, Wendy.

Here's where I give myself the first of many pep-talks. 

"Suck it up, Buttercup.  You're fucking fine.  In fact, you're almost living large, 13 days migraine-free and counting."  My friends' advice ranged from "start drinking heavily" to "better living through pharmaceuticals."  I'm leaning toward the old-fashioned method of aversive conditioning.  Yes, I did just add a rubber-band to my packing list.  For those unfamiliar with this method, it's pretty fkn easy.  Just snap the rubber-band any time you start doing something you'd prefer not to.  Also, if you need one in an emergency, they're pretty easy to find, unlike alcohol at 6 am.

I keep hoping that I'll run out of 'firsts' soon.  My first business trip alone.   My first birthday alone.  My first holiday season alone.  I may boycott Christmas this year.  Don't worry, it won't be in a chickenshit Starbucks kind of way.  I'll still wish you a Happy Christmas.  I just won't be buying and decorating a tree for Kitten and me.

[As you might have surmised, I had to take a business trip, which I haven't done in several months.  And because I'm a paranoid mofo, I'm posting this after I've returned, so no one breaks in and kills my house-sitter.  But I wrote all my posts in real-time, so just go with it.  And know that I made it home safely, otherwise I wouldn't have posted this.]