Category Archives: Blogging

Almost Half-Way Check In ( 40 Things in my 40th Year Update)

So, I sat down this morning to check out my progress on the whole “40 things in my 40th year” list…and discovered, much to my horror, that A) I haven’t written a blog in TWO MONTHS?! I knew it had been a while, but not two months! That is really, really bad. I don’t even have an excuse. I just haven’t been writing. Lame. B) That October is five months since my birthday, which means almost HALF my year is gone! Holy Shit! Where the hell does time go? and C), worst of all…I haven’t done nearly as much from the list as I thought I had.

There is some good news though! I have actually accomplished a few of the things on my list, and several more are on the horizon. Let’s run through the list real quick like, shall we? Okay, here goes:

1.) Stop being so lazy: I think I may have actually overcome this life long demon of mine. Look, I will never be the most clean, neatest of the neat, girl on the planet. That just isn’t who I am. But I have made some real strides. I also got a roommate who does dishes, so this helps. But my overall laziness does seem to have improved, judging by the way I seem to run my ass off from the moment I wake up in the morning until the moment I collapse into bed every night, anyway.

2.) Makeover, as in, get one: I can’t decide if I did this or not. Technically, I did not get a makeover. I did, however, have some extremely awesome pictures of me taken that make it LOOK as if I did have a makeover, so I feel as if I satisfied that requirement. If the opportunity comes up for me to have a real makeover, I will jump on it. If it does not, I am not going to worry about it.

3.) Essay published in the Sun: This one would be so much easier to accomplish if I were actually writing. Which I am, right now, obviously, but this is the first time in a good, sad, while.

4.) Mud Run: I am doing this next weekend. I am so excited! If you have a second, check it out- it’s called the “MS Muck Fest” and it is a huge, muddy, fun obstacle course! Yay!

5.) Meet Justin:  Don’t get me wrong, I still would love to meet Justin…and his lovely new girlfriend, LOL. And I would LOVE to go to Canada. But this has fallen lower on my priority list. You know how it goes.

6.) Get a literary agent:  Sigh…again, I am so removed from my writing right now. I have had so much work to do in other areas, but I need to make time for this. It’s what feeds my soul.

7.) Go to a literary convention: I’m sensing a theme, here.

8.) Visit Glass Beach in Ft. Bragg: I actually  did this one! Can I just tell you something? That beach is TINY. The glass is incredible, but the beach is the size of a large-ish living room, and it is FULL of people. I didn’t find one memorable piece of glass there, sadly enough. I would still go back, but definitely NOT on a weekend. 🙂 Done, and DONE.

9.) Alcatraz:, 10.) Dance Lessons, 11.) Passport: Not Yet, Nope, and NO.

12.) Finish all Twelve Steps: I am still on step one. But I am working on it!

13.) Foodie Event, 14.) proposal for non-fiction book, 15.) hypnotism, 16.) writing class, 17.) jewelry class, 18.) hike soberanes, 19.) surf, and 20.) Hot springs : Nope, not even close, still possible, no, looked into it, but class was full, totally going to happen, not yet, and totally forgot about this, respectively.

21.) Camping, 22.) quilting: No to camping, and it doesn’t look too good at this point. And quilting? Hey, that is still possible!

23.) Leave California Twice, preferably from different directions: Well, I am going to Hawaii next month, so that is one. I just need to squeeze in one more trip, which shouldn’t be too hard!  Maybe I will finally make it to Oregon to see my buddy Brian.

24.) Ferry Ride: How hard could this be? If I can’t get this done in the next seven months, I am truly hopeless.

25.) Attend a live sporting event: I don’t even know why I added this one to the list. I don’t care about sports at all…although, honestly? I wish I did.

26.) Meditation: I have improved leaps and bounds in this one. I am so comfortable with meditation now, and can see the difference in my life when I am doing it consistently. However, this being a “practice”, not sure how I can ever complete it. Lets say my goal, while ongoing, has been a success!

27:) Treat my body kindly: Well…tomorrow, I will have not smoked a cigarette in 100 days! And I am watching what I eat, and I hired a personal trainer. I meet with him weekly, and hit the gym 4-5 times a week. I am weight lifting, and doing something active almost every single day. So, yes, while I have a ways to go, still, I am definitely doing what I set out to do here. Mission accomplished!

28.) Going outside in inside clothes: I have tried, I really have. But I am not going to lie…I am that girl. I will go to Save Mart in the clothes I slept in if I am out of coffee mate. I just don’t see what the big deal is. Sorry, Holly. 😦

29.) Go to Gilroy Gardens: Okay, so I totally did this, AND I bought season passes, thinking I would be saving big. The only problem is, I only went once. I Still have a month left on my passes, but next year? Yeah, I’ll just pay as I go (if I do…it really is pretty great, though. And beautiful!)

30.) Halloween Tour at Point Sur Lighthouse: I forgot that I wanted to do this, and I am going to look into it right now! So excited!

31.) Five Museums:  This is still going to happen.

32.) Write EVERY DAY: OKAY, ALREADY. Listen, it is just stupid that I am not doing this. I really can’t get around it. The remainder of this year, my writing will be first and foremost. It may not all be occurring here, but it will be occurring, this I swear.

33.) Connect with family: This is a funny goal, not very specific. I will tell you this- the work I have been doing on myself has allowed me to make great strides in my relationships with the people closest to me. Especially my mother and my older daughter. I am experiencing much less friction in my relationships with the people who know and love me most, and that is huge. Perhaps now the circle can begin to widen.

34.) Kindness, Empathy, Non-judgement:  I am getting better. This will be a life long effort. I am good with that.

35.) Garden: There is still time. I didn’t hit it last spring, but I can do it next one…and I will!

36.) Make my Home look Inviting and Good:  I would say that, yes, this has happened. Did I mention I got a roommate who does dishes? She’s amazing! The house looks great!

38.) Have a party!: This happened. Last weekend. And it was a HUGE success, if I do say so myself. I had at least 30 people here, not counting kids. It was a blast. 🙂

39.) Learn to BBQ: I am beginning to lose hope, you guys. I mean, I am a native Californian, who lives by the beach, no less, and not only do I not know how to BBQ, I don’t even own a grill. I feel like my card is going to be revoked.

40.) Say Yes More: I am not sure in what way I meant this when I wrote it originally. But knowing me, I meant saying YES to life, and to new experiences and new ways of thinking. Saying yes to vitality and joy. Yes, Yes, Yes! And you know what? I think this has been a wonderful year for all of those things so far.

So, this is where I am so far. I hope to keep plowing through. I hope that I can mark them all off…but even if I can’t? Hey, at least I am working towards a life filled with great experiences. At least my mind is working on some goals.  And knowing where I am now, I can really fine tune and focus on what is ahead!

I hope to see myself here much, much sooner…it’s been too long! Have a wonderful Sunday

Advertisements

Why You Should Probably Keep Smoking (Just Kidding)

cigarettes

I’m going to tell you the truth- I just don’t have a single thing to say. I have spent WEEKS, now, avoiding this website. This morning, as I woke up at four a.m. (the way I used to every day before I quit smoking) I could no longer avoid it. So I sat down here, and started to write. Only, every word of it was shit, so I deleted it all, and started over.

The problem is, I still am not in the mood to write. I don’t know what the story is- I have plenty of things to write about. My life is full, and interesting, and funny. I am really into my recovery right now, and I’m on this really beautiful spiritual journey, I’m really getting my meditation practice down, I’m working hard on my parenting methods…I quit smoking, I’m getting a roommate for a while to get myself out of debt. But I don’t feel like elaborating on any of this stuff.

Which is not only a damn shame, because I have always loved to write, but it’s also a damn shame because I feel like a lot of the stuff I go through, a lot of the conclusions I come to, they could be helpful to other women…other anybodies, really.

But I don’t want to. And I think it’s because I quit smoking. I’m not even kidding around, I think not smoking cigarettes is killing me in a different way than smoking them was. I think NOT smoking has destroyed my creativity.

It used to be that when I was writing, and I was really caught up in it, really into whatever I was saying, I would have to take a lot of little breaks to go take a puff or two. Now that it has been over a month since I quit, that whole scenario I just described seems weird and nonsensical, but it’s the truth, it’s what I did.

And now that I have quit, I don’t even want to get out of bed in the morning. Like, I used to leap out of bed every morning at four, and I thought it was because I really was just a morning person, but now ? I think I just really wanted a cigarette all the time. Now, My alarm goes off in half hour increments until fifteen minutes before I need to leave for work- and only because that is when I finally crawl out of bed. Without my beloved Marlboro 100’s, I have no reason to get out of bed in the morning.

Isn’t that pathetic? Eh, I guess I am in mourning. I hope my desire to share my life with others through writing returns…but even if it never, ever does? I gotta tell you- I still don’t think it’s worth smoking over. I want to be around a long time for my kids, so smoking isn’t really an option for this particular person.

Have a great day

Who The Hell Are You, And Why Have You Come Here?!

Me and the daughters in question.
Me and the daughters in question.

A little while back, I signed up to do the blogging 101 thing through WordPress, which is kinda weird, I know, considering I have been blogging for a pretty long time now.  The thing is, I just sort of jumped into it blindly (the way I do most things) and thought I would figure it out as I go…and I have, pretty much. But…you know…my following could be better (maybe my WRITING could be better, I don’t know) my stats could be better. I could be more consistent. Anyway, I wanted to see what I had missed and what I could do better, and maybe connect with some other bloggers.

Of course, my life picked the day that the assignments began to sort of go off the tracks. So I have decided not to let that deter me. I am going to try to catch up with the three or so assignments I have missed, and carry on. Writing in hugely important to me, and I need to make time for it (in all its wonderful forms) in my life the way I do everything else. Okay? Okay. Here goes:

My name is Courtney, and I am a single mother of two kids (thirteen years apart), both of them beautiful girls. One a teeny little thing, the other a young woman, now. I often write about my kids. I am also in (and sometimes out) of recovery, as in, twelve step, have a sponsor, know a lot about drugs…yeah, that kind of recovery. I don’t repo cars for a living, not that kind of recovery. I write about that quite a bit. I am a big dreamer and a deep (some might say over) thinker, and lots of times I write about my hopes and dreams for the future, or just my feelings. I have a big, sick sense of humor, and sometimes I am funny.

My blog is not super focused on one subject, and that is something I am trying to decide if I want to change or not…part of me likes it as it is, and thinks maybe I should start a separate blog that has a theme, (i.e. parenting in recovery, or something like that), part of me thinks I barely have time for this blog, so maybe adding a whole new thing is not such a good idea. I don’t know.  The jury is still out.

I am hoping to connect with other writers like myself- people who view parenting (and life) with humor. People in recovery who are so grateful for their lives. People who believe in the power of setting goals and having dreams. People who write about all of that stuff. 🙂

Well, I have to go to my real job now. Expect several more (extremely short) blogs such as this from me in the very near future. I am committed! Have a beautiful day.

Things I do when I am sick (That I would never do if I was well) (…probably)

IMG_4098

I have had to veer off course in the “Five Day, Five Photo Challenge”, mostly because I have been hovering on deaths door, doing my damnedest not to cross the threshold…just kidding, although I do have a nasty, terrible, no good, fucking awful cold. The second one in about a month, actually. Which probably means there is some underlying cause, most likely fatal, terminal, or otherwise incurable, right? Which leads me to the inspiration for this fine list- the crazy shit I think and do when I am sick. Please, enjoy my neuroses, and my trashy behavior. There should certainly be some benefit to the world from these.

Here goes:

1) As mentioned above, I have never just had a cold. It is always, in my head (and confirmed by WebMD) a symptom of a much bigger, probably fatal, underlying disease. I don’t get headaches, I get brain tumors. It’s never a cold, it’s always early pneumonia due to undiagnosed HIV. The cough is really lung cancer. The achy muscles are Rheumatoid Arthritis. I actually even entertained the idea, briefly, yesterday, that there was probably a tick somewhere lodged in my body, and I was completely riddled with Lyme’s disease. Actually, that could be true. I am sure there are lots of places on my body where a tick could live happily for YEARS. I am not nearly that thorough in my self examinations, that I would spend the time necessary to locate a tick. Let me remind you, I have a four year old. I couldn’t even tell you the last time I took a bath alone, let alone one where I could thoroughly search for ticks.

2) Due to my (hopefully imagined) impending demise, I become extremely weepy, loving, and tender with my children. I imagine how fucked their lives will be when I have the nerve to die young(ish), and I imagine myself looking down on them from heaven as they cry and mourn. Even as I write this, I realize how mental I must sound. I’m even a little embarrassed for me.  Anyway, because this is such a horrible mental road to go down, I then become full of resolve to beat this horrible cancer (my cold) and vow to be well, against all odds (or with chicken soup and Robitussin, whichever is easier). Which leads me to-

3) The part where I turn into a sleep Nazi, screaming at my children, the dogs, and my phone every time it rings. Don’t these idiots know I am coming back from the BRINK, here? I must rest! I must imagine my body attacking the cancer (germs. cold germs, that is all they are) so that I can survive! FOR THEM! Don’t they see what is happening here? ( I can actually see my older daughter rolling her eyes at me in disgust as I write this, saying “Why? Oh, yes, because you are DRAMA.”)

4) Other and miscellaneous things: When I am sick, and I need medicine, which I never seem to have when I need it, I will go to the store in my pajamas and slippers without a single fuck to give, and I will zombie walk to the cold/flu aisle like a kid in a candy store. If a kid were a zombie with serious sinus problems, anyway. I spent forty dollars yesterday on shit for my cold. I know that I can’t cure it, but I just wanted to feel better. You and I both know, though, that nothing apart from time really works.  If I didn’t have kids, I’d just continually use Nyquil to knock myself out until the symptoms passed, but that seems dangerous with a four year old in the house.

5) I religiously spray salt water up my nose when I am sick. I know I am not alone in this, but it seems to funny to me every time I do it- we spend every well moment of our lives vigorously avoiding getting things up our noses (well, okay…you know what I mean) and the minute we are sick, we actively begin squirting shit up there. Or, I do, anyway. I have no idea if it actually even works, but at least I feel like I am doing something.

6) I take baths with no thought of hygiene whatsoever. I sat in a bath full of kids vapor crap yesterday, just for the hope of some relief, however brief. I nearly scalded my skin off, but dear Jesus, I could actually breathe for the duration of the bath. Unfortunately, I was too sick to bother actually washing any part of my body. It never even crossed my mind. Being wet was good enough in my book.

7) I will literally blow and or wipe my nose on ANYTHING when I am sick, so the best bet is to keep something intended for that near me at all times. This is why people walk around with Kleenex boxes when they are ill- to save the curtains. I actually wiped my nose on my own pajama bottoms the other day. I am pretty sure I am still wearing them. Guess how much I care?

8) I will gladly let my four year old eat nothing but Popsicle’s for breakfast. And lunch. And dinner. Only when I am sick. At least she is eating something, right? Now that I think about it, this may be WHY I am sick again so soon- she is probably diabolically licking all the rims of the clean glasses in the house, planting her pre-school germs (of which there are plenty) in hopes of Popsicle’s 24/7…I better keep an eye on her.

Well, that is it for me. I am going back to bed now. Gotta nip this cancer (cold) in the bud. Have a wonderful day!

Beautiful Human Machines

IMG_4083

I had intended to title this post “Stupid Human Bodies”, to be honest with you. I woke up this morning with only half of one nostril cooperating in my breathing effort. I have the kind of congestion that can be neither blown out, nor, uh…breathed in? I suppose the proper description would be “hocked up”, but that sounds so yucky, doesn’t it? Either way, if you are reading this, then you probably are saddled with one of these disease prone, periodically snot-addled, human contraptions we call “bodies” yourself, so I am sure you understand. The throbbing headache caused by sinuses that are malfunctioning- or is it hyperfunctioning? I am really unsure. The achy skin inflicted with fever. The goopy eyes, runny noses, dry, cracked lips. And this is only when we are dealing with the common fucking cold!

Don’t even get me started on the rest of the insulting things we must suffer through- the flaw in our design that put so many nerve endings in the places where we are most likely to ram them into things (think little pinky toes, my friend), the acne as teenagers (and adults), the metabolism that runs like a dream for so many years, only to leave us high and dry when our terrible eating habits are firmly ingrained in us…leaving us looking, bewildered, at the cellulite on our thighs and the rolls of blubber encircling our middles. Uncomfortably warm, permanent (seems like), hugs from the fat fairy. Yeah, life inside these bone and skin tents can be trying.

I was feeling all kinds of sorry for myself this morning, hobbling around with my achy, common-cold bones, hindered by my fat hug and the insurmountable mucus battle raging in my head…I was feeling whiny and bitchy and all kinds of pathetic. And then my daughter woke up. As you can see from the picture above, whatever is wrong with me is WAY less important than whatever the hell is going on with her. Yesterday, I thought she had a bug bite near her eye causing that swelling. Today, I am leaning more towards some type of cellulitis, perhaps conjunctivitis with a little something extra…I don’t know.

But it’s amazing, isn’t it, how quickly ones perspective can change? First of all, when I got out of “poor me” mode, and jumped into the impenetrable armor I call “Mommy Deluxe” (motto: don’t fuck with my kids, you hear?), my cold symptoms seemed to just float away. But, more importantly, I became acutely grateful for this wonderful machine that house our souls from day one through day…whatever you make it to. Because if this fancy contraption was not SO smart that it could send up distress signals you would need to blind to miss (ie: this eye is swollen even WORSE today, lady, so the Benadryl ain’t working! Help! Help!), how would I have known that something was seriously up with my kid? Answer: I wouldn’t have. I would not have known.

Our bodies are such precise and miraculous little systems. They are so complex, there are things even the most highly trained doctors, the most insanely educated scientists, are still mystified by. They protect us, they wage wars we often know nothing about, they suffer such abuses at our hands, and they still do their job, to the best of their ability, every single second of our lives. How cool is that? They find ways to communicate with us that we can understand, each body learning the language we will hear so that it can tell us how to help. And what do we do? We complain and whine, and get upset when things go wrong…Yet, how often are we grateful for all the many, many things that go right?

Today, I am going to stop whining, and appreciate this marvelous (if a little chubbier and snottier than I feel is totally necessary) temple that has been with me since the moment…no, since BEFORE the moment, even…I was born. Also, I am going to call the doctor for Cammy. That eye does not look good.

Have a beautiful day!

Keys

IMG_4050

This little picture up above is my house. It may not look like much, but I assure you, it is kind of a big deal. First of all, it is all mine- I found it all on my own, I rented it all on my own, I did all the stuff it takes to get into a house all on my own, with additional hoops to be jumped through (as usual) thanks to my checkered past.

In the world we live in, there is a subset of people that live in what is almost an alternate reality: The world of the drug addict. That reality is a place I called home for many, many years, and because of that, I will always look at things a little differently. Because it  was my home for so long, a little piece of me will always remain there. I know this is probably a hard thing to understand- it’s not an easy concept for me to accept, either. Like, if it’s in the past, why not leave it there, right? But if you really examine your own life, can you say, 100%, that the things that shaped you in the past truly remain in the past? We carry our past within us, and we leave little parts of ourselves behind.

In the world of the drug addict, I am a fairy tale ending. I know this sounds nuts, right? I have been out of treatment for a matter of weeks, not for the first time…I have relapsed so many times over the past eight years, I’ve lost count. But I sit here this morning on my laptop writing this to you, and I am sitting in my own house, getting ready to get ready to go to work at a job I have had for many years. In my house, I have furniture- yeah, most of it is covered in laundry that needs to be folded, and the rest is covered in dog hair, but it’s MY furniture. I have lived in places before where it was too much trouble to figure out how to get a couch- all of my energy was used up on trying to figure out how I was going to get my next sack of dope.

In my house, I have two dogs, a cat, and two kittens (let me know if you want one.) that depend on me to care for them, and I do. They love me, and can’t wait to see me, and they celebrate every time I walk through the door- well, the dogs do. The cats are cats, and you know how they are. In this house, there are rooms with electricity and heat, there is a refrigerator with food, there are dishes in the dishwasher and clothes in the wash machine. There are TV’s that are on too much, and a bath tub that always has twenty million toys in the bottom, no matter how many times I pick them up. In my house, the work is never done- I am just realizing that this is a literal cliche. The work really is NEVER done. But I am grateful for each part of it.

The most important thing of all in my house are two beautiful kids, both generally happy (one as happy as a teenager ever really is, the other happy by even a four year old’s standard) and pretty well adjusted.. Both healthy and thriving in their own way. I wake up every day and thank God for them, that I can be their mother, that I don’t have to continue to inflict damage on them today as I have in my active addiction. Every day that I can actually be a mother to these girls is a victory. Every minute of it.

And in my purse, or on my dresser, or somewhere in this place, right now, as I write this, is a key ring. It has a whole bunch of keys on it- two keys for my front door, two keys for the storage’s in the back. There is a key to my car, and a key to my daughter’s car, and a few keys I probably need to toss out because I don’t know what they go to anymore. But for someone like me- a girl who carries the past of an addict at the very surface of her heart, so close it is right there…a girl who lived so long in that alternate reality that it’s still hard to trust herself…those keys mean a lot more to me than they might to the average person. I know what it is like to have no keys to any door at all. Man, am I grateful.

Thanks to mark for inviting me to do the Five Photos Five Series Challenge. Have a beautiful day!

When Your Blog is Broken.

Have you ever had a broken blog? Well, let me tell you, it is pretty frustrating- my blog has been broken lately, and I really don’t know what to do about it. I mean, is anyone ever really prepared for a sick and malfunctioning blog? This is not something you can really be ready for, unless you are a complete computer whiz, which, by anyone’s standards, I am not. I have been with WordPress for this long for that very reason- I am barely computer literate, and WordPress is, or always has been, anyway, super simple and user friendly.

Until, of course, my blog stopped functioning. I mean, if you are reading this (all four of you who can actually see it because you subscribe to my fantastic and enthralling writing, and/or you found it via Facebook or Twitter) then you wouldn’t know what I mean…but my blog is no longer showing up in the ever important “Reader” under any of the Categories I assign to it. Not under “Addiction” or “Recovery” (which, of course, would be stupid categories for this particular blog, since it is not about either of those things, but you catch my drift…), nope…my blog isn’t showing up anywhere.

Let me tell you something about writing a blog- the only reason I do it is because I want to share my thoughts and my particular perspective with the world. This is the avenue I have chosen to do that. So when I write something, and put all that effort into it, and it doesn’t work…that is pretty frustrating. I have visited the forums and tried to figure out how to resolve this issue on my own, but, as I said before, there is a whole lot more technical stuff (at least to me it seems technical- plug ins and re-setting things and blah, blah, blah…shit I know absolutely NOTHING about) than I am capable of comprehending. And you know what sucks even worse than having a broken blog? Having a broken blog and then having to feel stupid when you can’t grasp all the nerd-speak in the fix-it directions. Thanks, WordPress! Now I feel ineffective and stupid, as well as blog-less.

When your blog is broken and no one reads it, your stats really suck. When your stats really suck, and you can’t fix your blog, you don’t feel like writing anymore. When you stop writing, the five people who like your blog stop following you. And when you have no readers…what, really, is the point? There isn’t one.

Of course, this blog will probably pop right up in the reader, like nothing was ever wrong. Way to go, WordPress. Now I look crazy on top of everything else.

Liebster, New House, Worrisome, Kind of Racist Paragraph. (What? I am TIRED, I can’t think of a better title. Goodnight.)

So, this is the first blog…the first ANYTHING, actually, that I have written in my new house. I have to admit, it’s a pretty fresh little pad. I have a real front porch, where my rickety, old, wooden bench thingy sits, and I am way up at the very top of a hill, so I can see the whole city laid out before me. I can see all the way into Monterey, almost, and I can see Carmel Hill, and how steep it really is. If you don’t live around here, you will just have to take my word for it, it’s steep. And yes, I’ll admit, the neighborhood isn’t quite as…it’s a little less…it just seems slightly more frightening than my mild and monotone Pacific Grove home. But it’s new, and new things can be a little scary, sometimes. Especially at night. When you have a gigantic yard that your house sits right in the middle of, so your neighbors, whoever they are, can’t hear your screams for help as you are being murdered. Not that I have lost any sleep over that or anything. And yes, there is an axe near my front door, a baseball bat next to my bed, and I had my landlady put in extra locks on all the doors. But I am just cautious, that’s all. And besides, during the daylight hours, I am not even a little freaked out. I do use the peephole prior to opening the door, but, I mean, that is just being smart.

Okay, fuck it. I’m not fooling anyone. i am a little scared over here. The truth is, and you can do whatever you want with this information, I don’t care- I am one of the only white people in my neighborhood, and this is a new experience for me. I am definitely not a prejudiced person, so don’t get all weird on me, now. I have just noticed this, and noticed, also, that it makes me feel a little…different. I have tried introducing myself to my visible neighbors (there seems to be some kind of mechanic operating his business right on the street across from my house. I wouldn’t recommend him though, he has been working on the same car for about…the entire time I’ve lived here. And by “working on”, I mean “staring at the engine without actually doing anything”) and did not get a very warm or welcoming response, except for one really nice Hispanic lady who lives across the way- she seems wonderful, but there is a language barrier. Which is just sad, on both of our parts. But anyway, I’m sure you will all think I am some racist now, and I’m not. I’m just not used to standing out like a sore thumb. Well, I am, but for different reasons entirely.

Okay, awkward racist speech over now. The point is, my house is cool. My neighbors are charm resistant. And my neighborhood is on the lower income side, which, actually, is why I can afford this big ass house. Anywhere else in town, and it would go for a thousand bucks more a month. But what I really want to talk about is my Liebster Award. I was nominated well over two weeks ago, and mentioned it in my last blog. I believe I said I would get to it “tomorrow”. Never believe me when I say that. Again, the other day, I was gently nudged by the person who nominated me, Annie at http://underandoveraroundandthrough.com/ (I really hope I did that right). I am not sure exactly what that means- according to HER blog, it’s like a German word for sweetheart or something? So I got the sweetheart award, not a small feat for a woman who says fuck as much as I do. Anyway, she nudged me to acknowledge and, perhaps, I don’t know…fulfill my part of the bargain, which is to:

1. Thank and link the person who nominated you.
2. Answer the questions given by the nominator.
3. Nominate 10 other bloggers.
4. Create 10 new questions for the nominees to answer.
5. Notify all nominees via social media/blogs.

(I am so lazy, I literally just copied and pasted that.) So, Annie, consider yourself thanked, and linked. I will get to the questions in a minute, but here is my caveat- I am not a very considerate and dedicated blog-person. I don’t have much time to write, let alone read other peoples blogs. I may be able to come up with a few bloggers to nominate, but probably not ten. So if you ARE a considerate and dedicated blogger, and you know of someone who deserves an award, can you send me a link to their blog? And I will check them out, I really will, and maybe follow and nominate them. I don’t know how else to do this, other than, you know, putting a bunch of effort into it. I mean this is supposed to be a goddamned award, not a part time job, right? (I am totally joking) (mostly).

Now, on to the questions:

1) What is your favorite book, and why?: This is one of those damn questions that I feel I just can’t answer without further direction from the asker, much like “what is your favorite color?” I don’t have a favorite color, and I don’t have a favorite book.  I like all of the colors, and most of the books. Well, a lot of the books. Just as I have a favorite color for kitchens in houses built in the 50’s (yellow, with red accents), I have favorite books for certain seasons, moods, and stages of my life. I loved “A little Princess” and “The secret garden” as a kid, and I still do, but they aren’t my favorite. I really love Eat, Pray, Love, and have read it four or five times. But I also love Harry Potter, The Last Apprentice, and The Help. Mostly, I like books that aren’t overly serious and pretentious. They must be something I can relate to, in some way, no matter how far fetched the plot is.

2)Did you believe in Santa as a kid? Were you crushed when you found out the truth?: Before I begin, I would like to point out that this is actually TWO questions, Annie, you cheater. So…yes, of course I did. I am so glad that I didn’t have any asshole older siblings to ruin it for me, like I did to my brother, and Aisley did to her MUCH younger sister. Not that Camryn believed her…but, was I crushed when I found out the truth? Nah. I think the truth just sort of absorbed into me gradually, so it wasn’t some earth shattering moment. It just kind of came to me, over time.

3) Do you have a favorite smell?I think everyone should. What is yours? Just like the book question, I refuse to be pinned down to only one favorite smell. I loved the smell of my babies, and the scent of my ex’s top lip- whenever we would kiss, the smell of him was better than any cologne. Although, being from the era that I am, I do love the smell of Drakkar. I love the scent of Lavender, especially if I’m somewhere snowy, and I love the scent of pine trees on a warm day. I love the scent of cold leather, because it reminds me of my mother when I was a tiny girl, and the smell of gum, cigarettes, and cologne, because it reminds me of my dad. I love the way the people I love smell, I guess, more than anything else.

4) If you could choose only one person to live with you on a deserted island for the rest of your life, who would it be, and why? The true answer would be: I would rather die than be stuck on a deserted island for the rest of my life. I can’t even function when the power goes out for an hour. And the next answer would be: I have two kids. There is no way I could choose, so I would have to disregard your rules and take them both. Sure, they would both be miserable,  but I don’t care. At least we’d be together.

5)If you could choose one person to punch in the face, who would it be, and why? That’s easy. Nancy Grace. Why? Because she is an asshole, and a bully, and a loud mouth, and she always looks like she just smelled something bad…and when you look like that, and act like that, someone needs to punch you in the fucking face.

6)What is one daily essential item you could not live without? It’s a toss up between mascara and coffee. And my phone. Probably coffee, so I don’t kill people/

7)Do you have a favorite tv show? Nope, I really don’t. I have a four year old. The only times I can watch tv are, like, now…and I would really rather be sleeping or doing this.

8)You just won 100 million dollars. What is the first thing you do? Quit my job. Duh. Then get really, really paranoid.

9)What makes you laugh? Thankfully, just about anything, myself included. Things that should make me cry, make me laugh. Life is absurd, unfair, and really, really, stupid sometimes. If you can’t laugh…you’re pretty much screwed.

10) As a reward for finally being recognized for your awesome brilliance, you get to rule one country for the rest of your life. Which one do you choose? ( I paraphrased this question. I’m tired) : A) That seems like a terrible reward to me…Like my work giving away spots in the Big Sur Marathon. How bad can a prize be? B) but if I had to choose, I hate to tell you, it would be here. I don’t care enough about anywhere else. Maybe Mexico, but not because I care about Mexico, it just seems like they need a little help down there.

Okay, that is it for now! Have a lovely tomorrow, since today is pretty much circling the drain right about now.

The Skinny

happy eh sad

I’m going to skip the apologies for not writing- you must know by now that I am always sorry when I can’t, for whatever reason, get to the keyboard. I mean, even if it was the fact that I was kidnapped, held for ransom that my family decided not to pay, then consequently put up for sale on the black market, where they couldn’t even GIVE me away, and so I was then, unceremoniously, returned to my dilapidated home. I mean, even if it was that, which it wasn’t, I would still be thinking about writing…Funny thing about writing, though. You can think about it and think about it, and not one damn word get written down by thinking. Anyway, no sorry here. You just need, as I said before, to know that I am when I am not writing. Sometimes I just cannot do it. This has been one of those times.

Sometimes I feel I have nothing to say- when I feel this way (as I have been feeling recently), what is really going on is that I have too much to say, and I am trying to bury the feelings that are provoking the “too much”. As if, by not acknowledging whatever I am going through, it will not actually be happening. Of course, this is not only not realistic, but it is dangerous- I have gotten to a point in my life where I don’t want to talk about my problems with people, because it is always the same people, and it often feels like it is always the same problems. I am tired of going through the same old things, but I am more tired of burdening people with these same old things. So I keep stuff to myself now. But lucky, lucky you- I have had a couple of drinks and decided to vomit all over you guys. Not literally, of course, but in a WAY, literally, because, you know, I am writing this. Literally.

So I have a couple of bummer things to say, but I then plan on tempering those with a few awesome things. Bear with me, if possible. Tonight, tragically, is my very last night in my little beach shack. A little while back, I woke up to find a 60 day notice on my door (which was an extra big bummer because I had  a) just paid rent, and b) my landlords live next door to me, so close that if I spit out the window, I could hit their dog. Not that I would ever spit on a dog. Intentionally, anyway.) and I was understandably upset. I thought I must have done something terribly wrong to have been asked to leave THIS dumpy old place, and I couldn’t figure out what it was. Of course, I had several things to choose from, one of them being BECAUSE my landlords live RIGHT NEXT DOOR, and are therefore privy to all my private horrible moments (don’t act like you don’t have them, too. None of us are angels.). I freaked out for a good while, until it was a decent enough hour to call over there and speak to someone. Turns out that their dad needs a place he can afford,, and what better place than this one, owned by his own kids? And the reason they stuck it on my door was because they felt so shitty about the whole thing. Still kinda chicken-shit-ish, but in a much more acceptable way. I have known these guys for a good portion of my life, and most of theirs, and I must admit, I am pretty fond of them…and the bottom line is, whatever the reason would have wound up being, the fact of the matter is, it’s their home, and they can do whatever they want with it. So, there I was.

I felt terrible, rejected, and preemptively homeless- as if the house had also rejected me, like a bad kidney, and it wasn’t my home anymore. I have been on quite a little roller coaster of emotions these past weeks, and none have been quite as bad as tonight. Because tonight is my last night, and this is the only home my littlest child ever remembers living in. This is the place where she had her second, third, and fourth birthdays, four Christmases, all of that. This is the last home where her parents will have lived together. This is actually my first ever HOUSE. So I am sad, and down, and generally feeling poorly tonight. To make matters even more intense, my children are both gone tonight, and I am alone with the dogs. I could use a little distraction from my melancholy mood, but none is available. So, here I sit.

Now, to the good stuff. The good news is: 1) I got a much better house, in a much less desirable neighborhood. I guess those two things cancel each other out, so that is really a neutral bit of news. The house is the part I will actually be residing in, though the neighborhood is all around it…still, much better. 2.) I had my very first short story published twice this past year- once in a magazine, and once, just two days ago, in the “Best Of” book put out by the magazine! So now I am in a book. 🙂 That is very good news, I think. Here is the link to the book on Amazon, if you are interested:

Here’s the Amazon link: http://bit.ly/BWRLetItSnow

And finally, I was nominated for the “most inspiring blogger” award, I think, or something like that. I don’t really know how fucking inspiring this has been, but I am not going to get to that tonight anyway. i’m not 100% that any of THIS has made sense, so I am not going to fuck that up, too. I will get to it tomorrow…assuming that I am not kidnapped again. Not that I ever actually was. 🙂

A Few Things…

don't give a fuck

The first thing: I really need to sit down here and write whatever it is that I feel compelled to write, when I am feeling the compulsion. I need to finish whatever it is, and I need to then publish it. This used to be a pretty straightforward cycle for me, but all of the sudden, I have started dragging my feet, over-thinking, stopping in the middle and then abandoning nearly finished blogs altogether. It seemed like a phase, at first, but now it looks suspiciously like a bad habit. I have enough of those already, thank you very much.  So, I am going to try to do that- sit down while the sittin’s good, write until it is written, and then publish it. I don’t want to alarm anyone, but you guys are really missing out on some great and brilliant musings because of my selfish withholding, and it has to stop.

The next thing: My only New Year’s Resolution this year was to give zero fucks what anyone may or may not be thinking, saying, or feeling about me, due to an inordinate amount of time spent obsessing (by me) over what everyone, from the mail man to my mother, those thoughts, etc., may be. I am rapidly closing in on my 40th birthday, and I’m very tired of giving so many fucks about imagined, and real, opinions about me, my life, and whatever else. I mean, who fucking cares, right? It’s exhausting, and I have vowed to quit it. Unfortunately, as is often the case when resolving to change something, I find that I am either giving a lot more fucks about the above mentioned things, or I am just hyper aware of all the fucks I give. But I have gotten good at recognizing the tension that creeps into my body when i start giving a fuck, and I can quickly relax into the “give a fuck” contraction, and breathe my way out of it. Seriously, though, I would like to be able to take in someone’s advice, opinion, or even their shitty, backhanded compliment, and not take it ON, like it’s automatically a fact, or a misconception of which I must convince the sharer otherwise. “Oh, really, you think I could improve my parenting skills? Well, aren’t your thoughts straying far away from home these days, eh? You have a nice day.” “Sooo…you have some advice I didn’t solicit about how I run my life, huh? Wow, and you’ve never even been to my house, met my kids, or seen me outside of a controlled environment. I’m just going to keep texting while you talk, but I am totally listening to you.” THAT is how I would LOVE to be. Instead, I am more like “Oh, shit, the neighbors are watching me parallel park…I’ll just…I think I can pull straight in, there’s enough room. SHIT. I’m twenty feet from the curb, I’ll do it the other way. Why are they looking at me? FUCK. They probably think I am such a lunatic. Oh my God, I am STILL ten miles from the curb. Fuck it, I am just leaving it, I don’t care if I’m in the middle of the road. if those assholes weren’t sitting there, judging me, maybe I could park my car like a normal person…” And this is just me, parking my CAR. There’s a part of me that knows how insane my thinking is, and that they probably don’t even notice what is happening at all. There is a part of me that understands, even if they are gawking at my shitty parking job, why the fuck should I care? I mean, it doesn’t matter. But the bigger part of me is hysterical, loud, and incredibly anxious and sensitive, and she wants those gawking assholes to be in AWE of her mad parallel parking skills. She is the one I am trying to mellow out a little bit.

My hope is that I can bring my “no fucks given here” policy to my blog, as well. I would like you to share your feelings and opinions with me here, with the understanding that I am hearing what you are saying, and I am not going to allow it to embed itself on my skin like a tattoo. I am not even going to put it in my saved file unless it really is worthy, and I will offer, in return, full disclosure when writing, no matter how annoying that is to my mother. Feel free to not care a whit what I am telling you, of course. I am not there just yet, but that is my goal.

The last thing: The other reason I think I need to get on here and write, as close to daily as I can is this: I am just drowning in good material these days. And if I don’t use it, I lose it, or at least, the real essence of “it”, when we are referring to writing. You have to get it out when it is consuming you, because it can die down so quickly, the fire that flares up when one is taken by the muse…anything written when the steam is dying down is going to be less engaging. For me, in my writing, anyway.

Today, I had a horrible day, which means I learned some stuff. The lesson today was this: No matter how incredibly dramatic and awful things appear at first, they almost always simmer down to simply lame and tiring within hours. So getting all hysterical over stuff is pretty much a waste of time. The secondary lesson was: You will instinctively know when it is high time you put your foot down, stand your ground, and defend yourself, and you will also realize that you are a pretty decent human being, all things considered. You, I mean I, do not have to deal with manipulation or bullying from anyone, and I won’t. So THERE.

Well, I am afraid that everything from the second paragraph on is a run-on sentence, written in Pig Latin, but I am not going to check. I am just going to get this published. Besides, everyone knows Pig Latin, anyway.