Shut up!

Shut Your Beak

I’m not her any more. I’m not.

I used to be her…

the one who blogged about being in a tar pit;
the one who wrote about how I was mad at God;
the one who got angry at my messy, sad excuse for a life;
the one who questioned if anyone was reading what I wrote,  let alone actually cared about it…or her;
the one who did a little of this and did a little of that and wrote when she felt like it;
the one who mostly ranted that she wasn’t getting her own way.

But I’m not her any more. I’m me. Oh, she is still in there somewhere, yammering from a mental trunk that  “This isn’t funny any more!” as she cries to be let back out.

But I’m driving the car now and I’m just going to keep her in there until she passes out from the lack of oxygen.

I’m not feeding her any more.
I’m not listening to her any more.
I’m not living with her any more.
I’m killing her off.

Why?

I’m not like that any more.

I’m no longer satisfied with the depressed life.
I’m no longer satisfied with the sad excuses, the lame, lackluster-ness.
I’m not letting her back out and she can’t make me. She can’t make me. She can’t make me.

I’m quitting that. All that.

That kind of melancholy.
That depression drama where a hangnail is enough to unhinge me.
That unrelenting gloom where even Wednesday Addams might be looking for the nearest exit.

I am unashamed of my past, but I’ll be damned if I’m going to let her run my present or my future.

So, sad lady in the trunk, whining that you’re feeling a bit faint from dehydration and begging me to please not drive so fast because you’re hitting your head and it hurts so bad.

Shut the fuck up.

I’ve had enough of you.

I’m going to be happy now.

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La Dolce Vita

Happier Than Bird French FryNo telephone psychic, no gypsy fortuneteller, no prophet of Biblical renown could have predicted it.

What? (No, not the Duchess of Cambridge’s due date!) Just how wonderful my life is now that I’m on Lithium.

I realized it when walking home from the psychiatrist this afternoon. Ambling along in all the beauty of an early summer day in Milwaukee; idly munching some veggie focaccia from The Breadsmith. I have the Most. Wonderful. Life. Evah! It’s almost hard for me to believe that I wrote the posts I did when I was depressed. It’s just that good.

My doctor is cautiously optimistic. I think this is the wise attitude. But oh, my! How can it get better than this? All the happy pleasure of life, none of the self-aggrandizing narcissism of mania. I love it.

I think it’s about to get better.

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Birthday Wishes

Birthday cakeMy goodness! It’s only 7:35 a.m., and it’s already one of the best birthdays I’ve ever had. (No, silly reader, no one in bed with me! Naughty!)

Lithium is one of the best things that ever happened to me. I started about a month ago, and after a few days of queasy stomach, felt better than I have in years! I mean, I can hardly believe it, but it’s true. I’m as happy as a clam, with none of the narcissism and grandiosity of mania. There have been moments, but hey, I am a great person. As the old saying goes, “It ain’t braggin’ iffin it’s true!” And I’ve had some stresses and some disappointments, but nowhere near the depths I was experiencing for at least two weeks every month.

God is good.

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What’s Yours?

Calvin and Hobbs ResolutionsEverybody makes ‘em. Nobody keeps ‘em. Yeah. I’m talking about New Year’s resolutions.

You have to admit, they show good intention. People always mention that they want to lose weight, start exercising, manage their budget better, invest wisely, save more money, become a better parent, the lists go on. And on.

Why, honestly, do we bother? I have never yet met a person who made a New Year’s resolution that they managed to keep. Ever. Past February. (If you have, please comment, because I want to arrange a meeting with you and other world leaders.) Given that, I am starting an entirely new style of resolution, which is based on the principal of reverse psychology. It’s a well-known fact that, since the Garden of Eden, people can’t seem to avoid doing either the very thing someone tells them not to do, or just the opposite of what they are supposed to do.

So, my New Year’s Resolutions are as follows:

  • Utterly trash my home and become an unrepentant hoarder;
  • Become a recluse who shuns human contact, especially with my aging parents and any close friends;
  • Gain as much weight as is humanly possible by never cooking or eating anything healthy, let alone by attempting anything that even resembles exercise;
  • Never keep track of appointments or dates and never, ever return phone calls the same day;
  • Avoid anything that smacks of spirituality or any kind of organized religion;
  • Shamelessly prowl Facebook and Twitter All Day Long;
  • Relentlessly pursue anything that might depress me, most notably by staying in bed all day;
  • Spend my money on whimsical items that have no enduring value whatsoever; and
  • Write as little as possible.

I’ll NEVER tell you how that’s going.

Red Letter Day

Well, not really, since this isn’t a newspaper, but you get the idea.

Miscellaneous 006After another bout (albeit shorter than usual) of discouragement and almost-but-not-quite depression, I’ve once again joined the ranks of the living, and had a banner day. I decided to go out and get the thread I needed to do all the mending. While this sounds pretty dull, it required a trip across town. Once I was there, I serendipitously discovered something I wanted, but hadn’t really been deliberately looking for: a new doormat! And such a pretty one! It looks really nice on the doorstep.

And I got some new yarn for sock knitting. I’ve got plenty of yarn, there’s no doubt of that. But while I know it’s around somewhere, I can’t determine which box it’s in. So, until it’s discovered, I just bought some more. After all, it’s not like it’s going to go bad!

After leaving Joann Fabrics, I discovered there was a Half Price Books nearby, where I naturally stopped. Finding what I’ve been looking for was not the result, but I did find things I wasn’t really looking for. (Not too hard to do, n’est-ce pas?)

Then, after leaving Half Price Books, I noted that Kopps Frozen Custard had none other than KEY LIME PIE as a flavor of the day! Triple Hip, Hip Hooray! Leaving Kopps with a scoop of deliciousness in a dish, I then spotted an Office Depot. I happened in and found some old school index card divider sets and a large card tray (the kind that holds about a thousand cards). Since I use a lot of index cards for a wide variety of things, but had long since given up on finding these trays (I thought they were hopelessly out of date), I literally danced up to the register.

Miscellaneous 007Lest you think that all this awesomeness must surely be enough, upon returning home, I reached into the ball of yarn to start it out to cast on the next pair of socks, and, lo and behold, for the very first time in my entire life, pulled out a single strand of yarn, instead of an entire blob (poetically called “yarn barfing”)!

Miscellaneous 017And if all this wasn’t enough, I voted in the Wisconsin primary, like the good citizen I am!

Date a Guy Who Reads

Guy ReadingThis post is a response to A Girl You Should Date

Date a guy who reads. Date a guy who spends his money on books instead of video games, beer, or tickets to sporting events. He has problems with floor space because he has too many books. He doesn’t have end tables, but he does have stacks of books. Date a guy who has a list of books he wants to read, who has had a library card since he was in first grade.

Find a guy who reads. You’ll know that he does because he will always have an unread book with him, maybe in the back seat of his car, or just under his arm. He’s the one lovingly looking over the shelves in the bookstore (and not just the science fiction section, either), the one who quietly smiles when he finds the book he wants. You see the geek sniffing the pages of an old book in a second hand book shop? That’s the reader. They can never resist smelling the pages, especially when they are yellow.

He’s the guy reading while waiting in that coffee shop down the street. If you take a peek at his mug, it’s already getting cool, because he’s kind of engrossed already. Lost in a world of the author’s making. Sit down. He might look astonished, as most guys who read are not likely to be interrupted, since most people don’t know what to do with a reader, especially if it’s a guy, and it’s not Sports Illustrated. Ask him if he likes the book.

Buy him another cup of coffee.
Let him know what you really think of Hemingway. See if he got through the first chapter of Atlas Shrugged. Understand that if he says he understood James Joyce’s Ulysses he’s just saying that to sound intelligent. Ask him if he loves Gandalf or he would like to be Gandalf.

It’s easy to date a guy who reads. Give him books for his birthday, for Christmas and for anniversaries. Give him the gift of words, in poetry, in song. Give him Dante, Dickinson, Pound, Plath. Let him know that you understand that words are love. Understand that he knows the difference between books and reality but by god, he’s going to try to make his life a little like his favorite book. It will never be your fault if he does.

He has to give it a shot somehow.
Lie to him. (He already thinks you do, from the first moment that you seemed interested in him…) If he understands syntax, he will understand your need to lie. Behind words are other things: motivation, value, nuance, dialogue. It will not be the end of the world.

Fail him. (He already thinks you will—most women have been disappointed in him already.) Because a guy who reads knows that failure always leads up to the climax. Because guys who understand know that all things will come to end. That you can always write a sequel. That you can begin again and again and still be the hero. That life is meant to have a villain or two. That while life is more than about rescuing the fair maiden, he’d really like to give it a try. He wants to be your hero. Let him.

Why be frightened of everything that you are not? Guys who read understand that people, like characters, develop. Except in the Twilight series. (Which, as a powerful girl who reads, you can admit to doing. It’s cool. You don’t have to like it.)

If you find a guy who reads, keep him close. When you find him up at 2 AM clutching a book to his chest and silently weeping, pull him close and kiss him. Make love. Talk about it. You may lose him for a couple of hours but he will always come back to you. He’ll talk as if the characters in the book are real, because for a while, they always are.

He will propose at a historical re-enactment. Or during a rock concert. Or very casually next time you’re sick. Over Skype. He may be past comic books (or not), but he still likes the pictures, especially when they’re of you.

You will start to cry, and laugh, all at the same time. You will wonder why your heart never before realized that there’s enough love in it for every single person in the universe. You will write the story of your lives, have kids (and cats) with strange names and even stranger tastes. He will introduce your children to Beatrix Potter and Guy Reading with Babythe Hobbit, maybe in the same day. You will walk the winters of your old age together and he will recite Keats under his breath while you adjust his hat and make sure he has his gloves.

Date a guy who reads because you deserve it. You deserve a guy who can give you the most colorful life imaginable, and not just things from the Victoria Secret catalog. If you can only give him monotony, and stale hours and gossip about Jersey Shore, then you’re better off alone. If you want the world and the worlds beyond it, date a guy who reads.

Don’t get me started about the guys who write. Don’t go there.

Thank you, Rosemarie Urquico, for your original essay.

Guilty Pleasures…

Cranberry sauce

Image by cjbakker via Flickr

I’ll admit it. I’m eating whole berry cranberry sauce straight from the can. (Gotta add though, it’s amazing on vanilla ice cream!)

Other things I do:

  • Take naps;
  • Play computer games that are a ridiculous waste of time;
  • Spend money on cut flowers and other non-essentials;
  • Go out to eat; and
  • Eat dessert INSTEAD of a meal!

I enjoy all these things (and many more), and even though I feel guilty—it’s only a little.

What are your guilty pleasures?