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Links of the Week – March 6, 2015

* Scientists Designed Music For Cats, And It Is Pretty Beautiful – (Seriously. My cats perked up when I played it for them!)

* Uhura

* The Original Number One – (From the Trek pilot…. Gorgeous!)

* PostSecret: Capri Pants

* PostSecret: Angry Toaster Strudel

* Amalah: The Loss Of Spock – (Even children know the wonder of Trek…)

* CNN Apologizes For Putin “Jihadi John” Gaffe – (Snort! ūüėÄ )

* How Important You Are…

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* I Do Not Believe…

* Golden Girls Prayer Candles – (I have died.)

* Hyperbole and a Half: Sneaky Hate Spiral

* Gentlemen, your sons will grow up to become like you…

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* Julia: Hermit We Hardly Knew Ye – (Blog Post of the Week!)

* Fear And Love

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* Scarification Gallery – (Kinda scary. But kinda cool, too.)

* Wil Wheaton dot Net: Remembering Leonard Nimoy – (“Mister Spock made it okay for me to be the weird kid who eventually grew into a slightly-less weird adult…”)

* Boyfriend Plans Magical Evening Down To The First Detail

* Teacher Who Dedicates Her Life To Students ‘Total Fucking Bitch’

* EXPOSED: What Trans People Do In The Bathroom

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“My presence in my own life had become so tenuous, so half-hearted, that I had simply fallen through a tear in the flimsy fabric, slid into an alternate universe where only I existed, or conversely, where everyone existed but me. And it didn’t matter. I felt a sucking undertow, pulling me down: I had failed to engage, I had failed to connect; I had failed.”

In The Drink, Kate Christensen

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Links of the Week – February 27, 2015

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* 10 Ways To Be Her True Life Superhero

* How I Feel About My Responsibilities

* Christianity Without The Cross

* 24 Times Your Favorite Kids’ Cartoons Suddenly Got Really Deep

* Fun With Kirk And Spock – (WHY do I not own this book?)

* 27 Times Tumblr Used Art History Perfectly To Make A Point

* How We Talk About Our Teachers – (Turns out we use different descriptors depending on if they’re male or female)

* Star Trek Spock With Ears Socks

* The “Golden Years” Are Gone: Why Retirement Is Hell For Women – (Oh good. Something else to look forward to.)

* How Much I Was Distressed During “Fox and the Hound”

* Julia: Turn Turn Turn

* Game Day Program – Ohio State vs. Indiana – Thanksgiving Day 1903 – (So cool!)

* When I Hide In The Bathroom Stall Until I Hear My Coworker Leave So I Don’t Have To Make Small Talk With Them – (Every time.)

* Check Out Ambidextrous Pitcher Pat Vendittes’ Chthulu-Like Glove

* Adventure Time Oreo Necklaces

* Subway Riders Can Be Animals – (Awesome paintings!)

* You’re Not Happy Because You Never Learned To Be

* The Emory Wheel Editorial Board: Gender Neutral Pronouns Necessary For Inclusivity

* Just Let Them Kiss Already: Why Are TV Shows Are So Weird About Male Relationships?

* I Can Haz Cheezburger?: Extrovert vs. Introvert – (As illustrated by cats…)

* Why Each Sign Is Dangerous – (Scorpio)

* Stained Glass Backboards Are Completely Unnecessary And Beautiful

* 10 Things I Wish I Knew At The Beginning Of Sobriety

* 19 Anti-Social Motivational Posters That I Really Want To Hang In My Office

* Study: What Are The Most Addictive Foods? – (This is why I have frozen pizza six nights a week…)

* “My Mom Can Kick Your Ass” Kid’s T-Shirt

* After His Brother’s Suicide , Writer Seeks Comfort “In All The Wrong Places”

* Inflatable Toupee

* Get The Picture: Stubborn Is As Stubborn Does – (You can only do so much)

* 19 Pictures That Will Hurt Your Fragile Soul – (Owwwwwwwwwww!)

* The Refuge: A Healing Place – Depression

* The Center: A Place For Hope

* Photos: Evan Gattis The Astro

* Unlocking “The Woman Code”: 4 Tips To Know Your Value

* Unexpressed Emotions, Rage And Depression

* NASA Sees “Bright Spots” On Dwarf Planet In Our Solar System – ( OoO )

* This Wondrous Dutch Light Installation Mimics The Northern Lights – ( ‚̧ ‚̧ ‚̧ )

* A Tortured Soul, Josh Hamilton’s Battle Was Never Over

* To Boldly Go: Uhura

* GPS In Shoulder Pads: Vanderbilt Goes High Tech

* The Frisco RoughRiders Have Your New Favorite Presidential MiLB Logo – (Must have a cap with Big Head Teddy!)

* “I’m Scared” T-Shirt

* “Worthless” T-Shirt

* Reviewing My 2015 Goals Thusfar – (11 out of 26. Eh.)

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“As other girls prayed for handsomeness in a lover, or for wealth, or for power, or for poetry, she had prayed fervently: let him be kind.”

¬†– A Spy In The House Of Love,¬†Ana√Įs Nin

“I turned over in bed and listened to the traffic in the rain. A few cold, clear truths rose one by one through my consciousness like a flock of birds: I wasn’t even remotely worthy of William and I wasn’t ever going to have him; I’d asked my mother to lend me money and she’d said no; I’d given all the change to the cabdriver; no one was going to pay off my debts; no one would save me from myself. I fell asleep to the soft beating of wings in my head.”

 РIn The Drink, Kate Christensen

“One fine spring morning I awoke in my own bed alone, with an ache in every orifice and a memory of bending over on the Christopher Street Pier at four in the morning with my drawers around my ankles while John stood behind me, holding my hips. As I gripped a piling to keep from tumbling into the Hudson, I gazed down into the filthy water and thought gaily to myself, Well, here I am, and this is me.”

In The Drink, Kate Christensen

“Throughout these long afternoons outside with her, I was always conscious of being a speck at the bottom of a vast, ragged bowl of rock under the empty sky, buried in the silence and heat, surrounded by blank sand. The foothills, with their gray-green mesquite fur, rolled away to faraway mountains that sat sharp-spined on the horizon, unconnected to the valley floor, as if they’d been set down ready-made. The buttes and mesas to the west glowed deep red; veins of magenta and green spidered along rock formations shaped like tablets or giant hands, stacked in layers of cinnabar, crimson, brick. Masses of clouds echoed the rock shapes in their charcoal or ocher strata, wind-shaped crags so dense they looked mineral. The air was thick with the breath of sage and hot dust. At sunset the air hung low, striated like a weird plowed field of pigmented earth, backlighting the mountains with shirred, neon clouds, leaching all the color from the rocks, abstracting the bushes to dark cutouts. The wind moved like a huge hand through the valley, filling me with a restless, empty impatience I later identified as loneliness.”

In The Drink, Kate Christensen

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Links of the Week – February 6, 2015

* Big Papi Uses The Force

* 21 Of The Universe’s Greatest Unsolved Mysteries

* Growing Up Unvaccinated

* 10 Reasons Christian Heaven Would Actually Be Hell

* The Super Bowl Was A Win For Feminism

* PostSecret: Gyrating Р(Me too.)

* PostSecret: Hockey

* PostSecret: Helping

* Bakerella: Groundhog Day Cupcakes Р(Adorable!)

* Cats Are Looking For Love Online

* Julia: The…Ambivalent Samaritan

* The Fire On The 57 Bus In Oakland

* The Pioneer Woman: Knock You Naked Brownies

* The Pioneer Woman: Queso Fundido Р(Lawdy mercy!)

* Brace Yourselves For The Andrew Jones MLB Comeback Story You’ve Always Wanted

* Man Brings Lunch From Home To Cut Down On Small Joys

* Pain And Suffering At Life’s End Getting Worse Not Better

* Why Cambodians Never Get ‘Depressed’ – (“the water in my heart has fallen”)

* Ribcage Necklace

* Bitch Hoodie – (To wear to all my church committee meetings…)

* Scribbles & Crumbs: We’re All Messy People

* “Inspiration Porn Is Not OK”: Disability Activists Are Not Impressed With Feel-Good Super Bowl Ads

* delicious days: Green Onion Pancakes

* Serious Eats: How to Make Salted Dulce de Leche Brownies – (Here it comes!)

* The Gold Lining Girl: Buckeye Graham Crackers

* Woman Has Few Enough Friends To Consider Confiding In Sister

* Study Links Binge-Watching TV To Depression

* Sometimes I Feel Like Things Would Be Better Off If I Never Existed

* The Ice King

* “Good” Children – At What Cost? The Secret Cost Of Shame

* Shame: The Disowned Part Of Self

* O Shame, Where Is Thy Secret Source?

* A Womanonymous: Day 1, part III – (She’s telling my life here.)

* A Womanonymous: Day 3, Three – Signals and voices – (And here too…)

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* Cutting And Self-Harm

* Self-Injurers And Their Common Personality Traits

* Tree Trunks Plush

* Some People Shouldn’t Be Allowed To Say The Grace When It’s Time To Eat – (Hysterical!)

* Hawks Starting Five Named NBA “Player” Of The Month

* 13 Habits Of Exceptionally Likeable People – (Uh. I think I do less than half of these. Maybe I’m not as likeable as I thought.)

One Minute Maudlin Poetry

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I was going to fix you.
Give you so much of me that it would patch your broken heart.
You’d be so grateful, you would fall in love with me.
And that would fix me.

But you’re still broken.
I’m still alone.
And you don’t even notice I’m gone.

Maybe I’m¬†the only one who was¬†broken after all.

(edited 2/6/15)

Lost, Bereft and Lonely

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I’ve been having more vivid dreams lately. I’m not sure if it’s the increase in the dosage of my lamotrigine or if my brain is just full of stuff it needs to chew up.

I woke up this morning remembering three dreams.

In the first dream I was supposed to go to some kind of party like a baby shower or a wedding shower or something civilized and girly like that. I was just going to walk because it was close, but the more I walked through the subdivision, the more lost I got. The houses were big and fancy, but similar enough where every place I walked looked the same. I couldn’t find any landmarks even when I walked through the woods and backyards behind the houses.

The second dream was about my daddy, who in real life died about ten years ago. We were in a house (maybe in that same subdivision from the first dream, I’m not sure) and he and someone else had come in from doing some kind of hard work like yard work or cutting trees or something. Daddy came in and sat down and was having something cold, I don’t remember if it was a drink or ice cream or what. He was talking and laughing with us and suddenly he stiffened and I knew something was wrong. It was like he was having a stroke or something. I jumped up worried while everybody else in the room was joking about it, not thinking anything was really the matter. Then Daddy looked at me and struggled to whisper, “Call an ambulance.”

All the emergency vehicles arrived and the EMTs came in with the gurney. It was so crowded and there were so many colors with all the fire trucks and flashing lights and uniforms of the emergency response guys. I was scared, but Daddy seemed a little better. He told the paramedics, “I had come in from working hard and was having (that cold thing) and suddenly the top third of my brain got squishy.”

What I remember of the last dream is very short. It was the only dream that was black and white. In this one, I was in the dream, but I also seemed to have the consciousness of an outside observer. I saw¬†the action from inside myself, like you do in real life, but I was having observational thoughts from the outside like when you watch a TV show. In this dream I was in the basement conference space where Boo and I work together sometimes. I kissed him¬†goodbye. It was one of those casual kisses¬†you give somebody when you know you’ll see them again soon. The observing me thought, “Oh, this must mean that we’re (they’re) finally in a relationship. Finally!”

Thinking back on the kiss in the dream, it was very much like our last kiss in real life – a peck goodbye without much real meaning.

It’s interesting when I think about these three dreams together. They’re all about loss and desire and searching. These are certainly the major themes of my internal life right now.

But why can’t¬†dreams come with more answers or CliffsNotes or something. I need a more specific guide! Or maybe I just need dreams to come with heart Band-Aids or something that makes me feel nothing at all. Looks like I picked a bad decade to stop drinking.

Shut Up, Brain!

I’ve been sleeping on the broken-down couch in front of the TV every night for the last year. One day about 18 months ago, the person I was seeing got up, took a shower and¬†went home;¬†and all of a sudden, sleeping in the bed alone was just too much.

I was also in the middle of my deep depressed place, and on the couch in front of the TV was my safe place. All my friends kept me company there and soothed me after it got dark: Peggy Hill, Blossom, Niles Crane, Dorthy Zabornak, Sam Malone. They kept me in a level, fuzzed zone where my brain didn’t have to think about anything but jokes. As long as I was still awake and watching TV, then it wasn’t the next day yet and I didn’t have to get up and face the real world again.

But the couch hurts and I’m feeling stronger, so I thought I’d give the bed another try. It was so dark and quiet. It felt so amazing to stretch out across the mattress instead of squnching up with a hip falling between the couch cushions and a crick in my neck.

I lay there for a minute feeling so comfortable and relaxed. One cat was spooning me and the other was chewing my hair. This could work!

And then I thought about Boo, and about Boy 1 and Boy 2, and eHarmony guy, and what I want my life to look like, and whether I should quit trying to have romantic relationships, and whether I should try to quit giving a shit about anything at all. And I thought about Lost Boy, and I thought about suicide, and I thought about driving across country, and I thought about my family, and I thought about living alone in a cabin in the woods. I thought about “a walk in the woods” being right outside the back door. And I thought about living out of a van. And I wondered how I’d get rid of the condo. And I thought about writing. And I thought about New Year’s Eve. And I thought about being alone. And I thought about being old alone. And I worried about money. And I worried about what it would be like to quit my job. And I worried about what the consequences would be if I really did the things I wanted to. And I worried about men and I worried about me and I wondered why I’m so bad at being a woman and why I’m so bad at being grown and I worried about my cats and I worried about my mom…

And I then I got up, laid down on the couch and turned on the TV. Shhh. Shhh. Quiet now. Yep. Yep. Yep. Mmmhummm.

Have Yourself An Anxious Little Christmas

I just want to¬†share how much more manageable¬†my holiday anxiety has been this year – probably better than it’s been in about 15 years. I’m sure being on Paxil for a year has helped a lot, and the realizations I had last month about my expectations for the holidays seem to have made a big difference as well.

Staying busy helps too. Frankly, I was so depressed last Christmas that it was hard for me to get off the couch and do anything. That doesn’t help my¬†blues at all. I think the Lamotrigene prescription has helped here. It’s a mood stabilizer that’s made my highs lower and my lows higher. Not getting so low that I can’t function makes it easier to do the things that keep me from being so blue and anxious.

Being ABLE to be¬†busier has helped so much. I was busy training and racing until the first week of December ended. I’ve been running sound for almost all the Sunday services and the Christmas cantata this month. I’ve also done a couple of funerals and a wedding.

I went to a ridiculous Christmas party for the church youth group last weekend where we played Dance Central 3 and the adults spent way too much time huddled in a corner laughing and playing with Poo Dough.

Then I drove¬†five teenagers home from the party. They listened to the Classic Hip Hop channel on Sirius and marveled at songs they’d never heard before – songs from 1994 – before they were born…. (Seriously?) And they wrote profound¬†Christmas wishes¬†like “Poop” in the fog on my windows. Good times.

Just being with people, staying busy and laughing (the opposite of what you want to do when you’re depressed) makes such a big difference in how I feel. I think the mood stabilizer keeps me above that low end threshold that makes it hard to care if I’m taking care of myself or even to do it even when I want to.

I usually try to take some time off running at this time of year to let my body rest and heal some, but that time off is really bad timing for my anxiety. Even after my busy weekend, I was feeling the holiday squinkiness sneak in last Sunday night. But I did something I wasn’t able to do last year, I made myself get up early before work on Monday morning and run because I knew it would help. (And it did.) I knew it would help last year too, but I couldn’t get myself to do it.

I’ve also been wrestling with my feelings for Boo for the last couple of years. When I was in the depths of my depression last year, I got to the point where I couldn’t feel anything at all. When I started coming out of that, I had feelings again, but I had trouble figuring out exactly what those feelings were and what they were about.

I feel like I’ve about sorted all that out. For the last year I’ve assumed¬†any bad feeling I have is sadness and unrequited love about that relationship. And so if I felt something bad, I thought it was about Boo, which made me think too hard and too much about Boo, which made me feel bad, which made me think too hard and too much about Boo, which made me feel bad….

But I had a big moment in therapy back in the spring when I realized that what I have¬†always thought was the feeling I experience of “being in love” is¬†very much the same feeling I have when I’m feeling anxiety. (This may be an important realization…. *snork*)

I still haven’t figured out why I feel like it’s so important to me to hang on to Boo. He’s never really done much to reciprocate those feelings I have for him. But there’s obviously something deep-seated in my need to hang onto him in some fashion and in the¬†fears I have of letting my hopes for us go.

I wrote in a recent post that I wished “I had the courage to give up.”

For me,¬†having the courage to let things go means being brave enough to stand on my own without having to use things and people as crutches, without having to try and control the outcome of every single thing in my life. I’m starting to feel like I’m strong enough to try and begin letting the Boo thing go.

I need to believe and trust that it’s the healthiest thing I can do. The Mr. Spock part of me knows that’s true. The disgusting, weak, clingy, needy, girly¬†part of me is still afraid. That makes me a little anxious.

But that’s OK. I am better. And this Christmas is better – even when the anxiety still creeps in.

All I know is that I have my running clothes sitting out for tomorrow morning. I will run. I will breathe. I will calm my mind. I will keep getting better. I will keep getting stronger. And maybe one day I’ll even find something to value in the weak, clingy, needy, girly part of me.

And to you, I hope if you’re depressed or anxious or lonely or scared this Christmas, that you’ll know you’re not alone. Love is all around you, even when it doesn’t seem like it. Just keep slogging through and know that it won’t always be like this. We’ll hold each other up until then.

Much love, friends!

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I Wish…

  • I didn’t think I can fix everybody.
  • I didn’t think I can help everybody.
  • I could accept things instead of trying to control them.
  • I didn’t fear that no one will ever find me worthy of romantic love again.
  • I wasn’t terrified to grow old alone.
  • I hadn’t been inculcated with the promise¬†of finding a magical romance at the holidays.
  • I didn’t feel like I’ve failed at something competitive when I can’t make someone fall in love with me.
  • I would stop trying to get involved with men who aren’t available.
  • I wouldn’t feel so disappointed and angry when people let me down.
  • people could be depended on to do what they say they’ll do.
  • I could let people go when I’m doing lots of giving and not getting anything back.
  • I didn’t feel like I have to chase men if I want to find love.
  • someone would chase me.
  • I didn’t give too much and too desperately.
  • I didn’t feel so needy.
  • I didn’t keep thinking that a man can finally make me feel complete.
  • I wasn’t afraid to stop pursuing someone for fear¬†they might be my last and only chance.
  • I wasn’t afraid of other¬†people and other possibilities.
  • it were easier to figure out exactly why I’m sad when I’m sad.
  • I knew what would soothe me and comfort me when I’m feeling empty or sad or needy or whatever this is.
  • everything weren’t so complicated.
  • I could be stronger.
  • I could afford to be weaker.
  • I wish I had the courage to give up.

To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before

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(Boys I’ve loved not shown to scale…)

Relationships continue to vex me. There never seems to be the right man at the right time with the right desire and the right commitment. And a weird thing has been happening lately where people I have loved in the past are starting to come back around again.

One man reappeared out of the blue after 10 years. He just popped up in the comments of one of these blog posts one day. He sent me a dozen roses. What the hell is that all about?

Then another ex sent me a text a few weeks ago reporting how many months it had been since we talked, since we’d seen each other, and since we’d had sex. What the fuck is THAT¬†all about?

It’s like they’ve completed an orbit of me or something. (Wait! That simile makes me sound really fat!) How about, they’ve come full circle in realizing my incomparable womanly awesomeness!

It’s¬†as if¬†my exes are women who’ve had babies. After a suitable amount of time, they seem to forget the pain and think¬†they want to do it all over again.

But the problem is, they’re exes for a reason. In the meantime, I’ve been chasing my Boo for two years now with varying degrees of success. Lots of face time. Only a tiny bit of SUCKING face time.

Why can’t I seem to get on the same page with a man and us love each other and be available at the same time? (I mean. I did it once before!)

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Boo, my “not-boyfriend” as he’s come to be known in Sunday School class, drives me absolutely nuts. But despite that fact, we’ve actually become good friends.

I’ve kept¬†no secrets from Boo¬†about the¬†feelings I have for him. Most men would run screaming from a woman who’s pursued them¬†as mercilessly as I have pursued him¬†for the last two years. He doesn’t. But what he does do is¬†take tiny little baby steps closer to me and then take off running in the opposite direction like a scalded dog.

It’s funny how things have¬†evolved between¬†Boo and me. I used to just want to claw my heart out of my chest when I couldn’t convince him to love me. It hurt me so much.¬†(And know that I still believe completely and delusionally that if I love him hard enough and show him and tell him that enough,¬†he’ll fall in love with me. I am a MO-RON!)

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He and I used to have some kind of messy conversation about this stuff every three or four months and then get cold to each other for a while.

Now we have this same messy conversation and then just go on with each other the way it was and nobody seems to be torn up about it. (My prescription for Lamictal helped me a lot with the pain too. Lows are not as low. Highs are not as high.)

Somehow, in the midst of all this complication, we’ve become good friends. Our friendship has become one I cherish. Boo is an awesome person. He makes me laugh my ass off. (He’s totally inappropriate and sarcastic. I love that. It actually turns me on a little…) He pushes me to try harder and do my best. And I love being with him even when he’s in a bad place where he can’t open his mouth and manage to say two words out loud.

So I suppose I just put this all out there to say that, DAMMIT, when you’re a little girl, nobody ever tells you love is going to be so complicated!

Men. Can’t live with them, can’t live without them.

Can’t stop thinking about their muscular forearms, and their big, strong hands, and their mischievousness, and their handsome faces, and their smart-assedness, and those hugs and kisses, and that stubble….

Jesus, be an intercessor and maybe a bottle of Mermaid Spirit Magick Voodoo Houdou Oil for Seduction Sensuality Femininity Acceptance! I¬†can’t do this down here without some help!

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(What’s an incomparably awesome woman to do?)