Out of Order: Losing power & learning to love life… without AC

June 11th, 2017 – this day will go down in [my] history as “the day the AC died” – as in the entire electrical grid for just my fucking block was destroyed and I was left without power for 28 hours.

What a joke! However, the important thing is that I made it through and was able to teach myself a few things in the process.

7:00 am – Elton is zipping around the apartment – I am usually up this early on weekdays so he likes to be just as jubilant on the weekends. Yay, life. He is really having a blast, playing with all of his jingly cat toys while simultaneously doing his weird Xena: Warrior Princess cry “yeaaaaaaaaaaaaayayayayaaaa”…

It’s too early to wake up – I was up late painting the night before – and I wanted to squish into my pillows and continue dreaming of eating a veggie sandwich. I let out a soft sigh of defeat. I like sleeping. I like weekends. I like not being awake.

I sit up in my bed and stare out at the morning sky, contemplating my next move. Its just a bit too warm for me to shut my door [AC is in the LR (code for Living Room, you wouldn’t understand) but its like, the only good spot for a window unit, I swear!] to block out Elton’s battle cry, buuuut he is *so* annoying and I know it wont stop for at least an hour…

I do the unthinkable.

I shut my door.

7:30 am – Elton is now standing outside the door. I hear him tip over the adorable aqua garbage can and rifle through the plastic. He has tooth issues and chewing plastic is his thing. Apparently he does not have PICA as I had assumed but something much, much worse. Poor baby. I don’t judge him. The sound of shuffling plastic at 7:30 is better than his insane gargled cries.

My bed shakes.

What the turd?

My entire apartment shakes.

Uhnnnnnnmmnnmmnnnnmmnnnn, exsqueeze me?

I get up and peek out the window and the once morning sky is now a mossy green blanket like, literally zooming over the metro. Uh oh! There is a sheet of rain so thick that I can hardly see the cars on the street below.

I love my apartment on the hill. She is a 2nd story unit  – on a hill –  with a lovely view of the western sky and a shitty rail-yard that offers nothing but noise and most likely toxic fumes. Breathtaking sunset views, though, so whatever!

But now, while the whole building threatens to collapse from the wind I am kind of rethinking how much I *just love this place* and wondering why I didn’t go for the sensible ground floor building up the road [I know why, they wanted $950/mo for 500sq ft, street parking, with a $50/mo pet rent – wtf, MPLS?] and save myself this trouble.

Whatever, nothing I can do but watch in horror and prepare for my ultimate destruction.

Elton isn’t happy anymore. Storms scare him. Not like, scare scare, but he finds them unsettling. The way most people feel about Kirstie Alley is the way Elton feels about storms.

He crawls under my bed and I have this irrational fear that the bed frame will collapse while he is under there, crushing him in the process [it’s a new bed frame and completely structurally sound, I have just always had this fear since one time 8 years ago a bed frame DID collapse and while no one was hurt or killed someone COULD HAVE been, that someone being Elton, so we just barricade the bed frame off so he cant go there, and by we I mean me. I do. Alone. Because I am crazy as fuck and single and as I write this I am realizing exactly why I am single. THAT’S BESIDE THE POINT THIS STORY IS ABOUT HOW I ALMOST DIED WITHOUT AC!!] so wait… yea…

I get Elton out from under the bed and I’m all like, ohhh its okay baby just a little storm, we good. And I pet him and cuddle him on the bed while peeking out the window watching the trees flail around like those wild wavy wacky dancing men you see outside of shitty car dealerships.

The storm is getting stronger and stronger and me, being the smarty pants that I am, decide the best thing to do at this point is to go back to sleep. I prep Elton for an emergency basement run by getting him into his harness and hop into bed with him, cuddling him tightly. As in he is rubbing his face into the side of my head while I struggle to keep him away from my eyes and mouth.

I think I closed my eyes for probably 1 minute before the ominous whirring of the AC began. Its like that dying electrical appliance sound. The thing was a struggle bus. I heard my mini bed fan whirring too… hummmmmm… chumm chummm chum hummmm… whiirr whatever the fuck whirring sounds like to you, you know what I am talking about.

So like, I panic, naturally, because all I ever do anymore is panic, stare into space and eat ice cream. So I get up and start unplugging appliances. I am like, not prepared for emergency situations at all. I have always depended on others for this kind of stuff, I have never been on my own! But I am old and clever enough to know that I have to unplug major appliances so there isn’t a rush of electricity to them if the power goes out then comes back on… something, something science.

Any who… this is where my heart breaks.

I am in the kitchen, staring at my lovely, brand new, turquoise Keurig… COFFEE! I NEED COFFEE! And I go into survival mode and I am now moving at the speed of light. I never refill the water to the damn thing so I am rushing to get the water from the fridge [matching turquoise Brita water filter – I went for a turquoise theme in this apartment because it was my first apartment and I decided that I needed a theme and I just LOVE saying TURQUOISE so that’s where I went with all that] – anyway, so yea, I am trying to get this thing up and at em and the one thing I hate about this machine is that it takes *forever* to heat water and make a cup. Like, literally forever. I could die, be reborn as a new person, grow up to be a garbage collector, find an old Keurig model in a dump heap, refurbish it, and make a cup of coffee before this one heats enough water to begin the brewing process. It’s a damn shame. OH MY GOD I am so off track here! So, LIKE I WAS SAYING before I so rudely interrupted myself… I am essentially throwing things around my kitchen because I cant contain myself and desperately want a cup of joe before the day begins and I lose power…. Aaaaand the whirring gets more intense.. and then… it stops.

Lights. Out.

Goodbye, world.

Well… the story ends there for about 10 hours – nothing besides wasted groceries and a trip to the gas station and coffee shop… Well, no, I loaded up some food and headed over to my friends place with laundry as well. My joke is, I text asking if I can store food in their fridge while the power is out – show up with one bag of lettuce and 4 loads of laundry. I brought him a subway sandwich!

Anyway… got home at night after watching American Gods – I strongly recommend it – and I am sitting in the dark hallway, using my phone as a light, trying to conserve battery so I am not using the flashlight option, just the back light. I struggle to get in my door and am greeted instantly by Elton.

Its muggy. Hot. Gross. Stinky. Funny how a bit of heat and humidity can really fuck up the vibe of ones living space. *Mental Note: I need to deep clean like a mofo!!!

I instantly begin lighting candles and I am impressed with myself for having 100 on hand. When I first moved out I was really energy conscious since I was paying utilities on my own and decided I would live by candlelight at night. I did off and on, and this night was an ON night.

I have them all placed now, the candles, lighting up the my apartment, shedding a lovely rusty glow across the walls.

I shower by candle light. I shit by candle light. I shave by candle light.

Just kidding, but the shit shower shave is so standard I went with it. I didn’t shave.

I am sprawled out in bed and I am reminded of the month when I first moved out with my friends like 100 years ago and we decided that we didn’t need to pay the electric bill… well we were cut off for a month until the MN Cold Air Act turned it back on in October… lol but that is a story for another time… just know… this wasn’t my first rodeo. 24 hrs without electricity – NO BIG – I’ve done 38 days.

After some giggling and reminiscing about “good times at The Pines” I tried to get to sleep. Its actually really hard to sleep in a musty, hot apartment with no air circulation and the noise of the city piercing the otherwise quiet night.

I toss and turn.

I try not to use my phone because its my alarm for the AM…

11:30 pm – Roscoe and Angela [neighbors] decide to turn on their generator. YEA they have a gas powered generator that they didn’t even tell me about and were using it to power THEIR unit and not mine!! The nerve!

12:30 am – Roscoe and Angela decide to “crack some cold ones” and have a gay ol’ time out on the front porch chatting about God knows what.

1:00 am – Roscoe and Angela are listening to some music now

2:30 am – I decide to give writing a go. Found my journal, and the idea to come up with a “survival list” during power outages came to me. So, I sat by candlelight and penned this list… I hope you enjoy it, find some use out of it, and that someday you too will have a similar life-altering experience.

Tips, Tricks, and Things: What I learned during an Electricity Crisis

[because this was a crisis]

  1. Battery operated everything. I wish I had a fan right now. Cory has a fan, battery operated. I should have asked to use it. There is a battery operated lantern in my car right now. I don’t need it, I have candles.
    1. Buy a flashlight or two
      1. Don’t lose either of them
    2. Have extra batteries
  2. Candlelight is my friend
    1. I should take more selfies by candlelight – it is incredibly flattering lighting and I feel really good about my life choices right now
    2. While burning the hibiscus, orange blossom, Tahitian sunset and bergamont scents intoxicate the senses… unscented is the way to go for emergency situations. Burning together is basically an unholy nightmare, second only to a day in Bath & Bodyworks.
      1. Buy one or two packs of unscented tea lights and some pillars
    3. Its fucking hot
    4. Thank God for gas water heaters. I only wish I had a tub. Don’t get me wrong, showering by candlelight was awesome but like, a tub would have been an escape from reality. People often take candlelit baths to relax and enjoy themselves… my candlelit shower felt more like… squatter chic than anything.
    5. I need a big ass cooler – buy a big ass cooler
    6. Don’t sweat the small stuff
      1. Sure, I will have to throw away hundreds of dollars  worth of food that I JUST bought but at least I didn’t get any hail damage to my car! Did I really need all that ice cream anyway? I bought milk & cookies on accident thinking I picked up two pints of Ben & Jerrys Half Baked. Bummer.
    7. Elton is happiest around 60 – 70 Fahrenheit
    8. I too, am happiest around 60 – 70 Fahrenheit
    9. Back up chargers are GOLD
    10. Keep a spray bottle of full of water* at your bedside table for: a) Misting yourself as you lay sleepless and sweating in the stagnant dead of nighTo drink from when your Poweraid [purple] is in the other room and you’re too tired to go get it but too awake to just fall asleep
      1. Turn on “jet” mode and spray your cat when he decides to wander around meowing about dumb stuff that NO ONE cares about

*In this order: smartwater, Aquafina, Dasani – just don’t use sparkling water!

  1. Take more selfies by candlelight – you can never have too many flattering photos of yourself!!
  2. Make sure you have medical [vet] documents handy so when you need to call 4 boarding facilities at 7:00am you are set to answer all their vaccination questions.
    1. Also – make sure your pets are vaccinated
  3. Don’t hide chocolate all over your apartment as “surprises for your future self” because they will fucking melt at 80 degrees FOR SURE & you will have to clean it up
  4. Own some light-airy sheets
  5. Make sure that said sheets are clean for a cozy/hot as fuck but still clean & airy sleeping extravaganza!
  6. Turn the power outage into a true test of friendship & see who is willing to come to your aid … thank you, friends!
  7. Don’t have a big sweaty piece of shit boyfriend who is a mouth breather/snorer & hogs the bed – this is very important if you are a light sleeper like me – no amount of melatonin or ear plugs will save you from the horror of an obnoxious asshole who says you aren’t a normal person because you sleep with a fan and refuses to let you use one in his presence… SLEEP AT YOUR OWN FUCKING PLACE, ever think of that?!?! You fucking pig… [is what I could have said if I were still dating said turd]
  8. Use this time to reflect on past relationships & work through your anger * resentments with nothing but the sound of your Pentel Arts Sign Pen gliding effortlessly over your paper – or the clickly clack of your laptop if you’re smart and keep the bad-boy charged
    1. Its important to reflect on life – figure out where you went wrong, make a mental note of it, put it in your back pocket and MOVE THE FUCK ON!
  9. Pick out your outfit for the next day… for real. You want to do this. Doing this saves time in the morning, and you will know already that you will SLAY the day. Just do it, it’s a general “best practice” and I typically always do it anyway. Mainly because I am lazy and dislike thinking and doing in the morning. Waking up at the butt crack of dawn, while its still dark out butt crack, you will NOT want to be rummaging through closets and drawers for socks with a cellphone flashlight.
  10. Just don’t wear socks if at all possible – unless of course it is necessary.
  11. Be happy – be comfortable in your own skin.
  12. Try not to judge your neighbors for being *so fucking loud* all the time
  13. Appreciate the times you did have electricity & reflect fondly on those memories.

FIN

Pizza for breakfast: why men cheat and how meditating is driving me crazy

Men cheat because they fucking suck. 

Now, that is a tad biased and not based on any scientific fact or research. That statement is my simple understanding of how the world spins. 

In other news… 

Meditating is a lie. It’s a damn lie! I am sure that no one knows how to really do it, just like I am convinced that no one really knows how airplanes fly. Great mysteries of the world.

It’s just so frustrating because I am such a novice it’s not even funny, and I struggle immensely with the act of just being… 

So, my understanding is that everyone starts out feeling this same way, on some level. It’s this whole “getting out of my head” thing that traps me. My mind is always racing. It’s as if there are always things a-goin-on up there, sometimes it feels like thoughts on top of thoughts! Can that even happen?

I am a perfectionist of sorts, and I just want to be able to do it NOW! I know it takes time, practice, “honing in on a skill”…. but I’m a whiney baby and I want what I want when I want it and I want it now! 

Example: I was a small girl, like 5 maybe, and my mom took me to my very first ballet class. We danced and did our things and had fun and then class was over. All the girls went to their moms and were being bundled up to go home while I stood there like “what the fuck is happening”… I was pissed! Why were we being sent away, we weren’t done! My mom says she tried to explain to me that this was just the first class and that we’d keep coming back. That wasn’t good enough for me, I was throwing a tantrum because I wasn’t a ballerina yet!!! She had to soothe me somehow and convince me that this was indeed how life wield as that you can’t just be a ballerina like *that*.

I want *THAT* 

I am such an inpatient woman – and I know that learning the art of meditation will alleviate so unnecessary stress in my life. It’s really just about taking baby steps to get there. Enjoy the journey or whatever cliche line yoga ladies like to use. Not that I have anything against yoga ladies but FR FR FR – a lot of them are pretty weird, but more power to them, but FR……. I LIKE YOGA, yoga is fun and sexy and makes me feel like a limber sun-goddess libra warrior princess – BUT some yoga people smell like fart. 

How to harness my restless energy, tame the impatient beast inside ALL WHILE CLEARING MY MIND? That’s what I don’t get.

Lol like, what kind of game is this? 

Intriguing.

I try breathing exercises and that totally (kind of) helps (me fall asleep which isn’t the goal but napping is nice) and has me feeling really positive about the path I am on. 

My favorite would be where I imagine myself laying on the beach, at the ocean, Waimanalo to be exact, and the tide is slowly coming in.

I close my eyes and I lay there and tense my WHOLE body – basically flexing every muscle and then take a deep breath. Hold for a second, then I imagine that with every exhale – 8 counts – the tide is rolling out – relax body. With every inhale the tide rolls in and I flex one part of my body – 6 counts – it touches my toes first… relax, 8 counts out. Deep breath in, flex toes and feet – tide rolls back in and hits the top of my feet. Relax… 8 counts out, its rolling back in and hits my ankles… 8 counts out relax… and so on until the “tide” reaches my crown. Does that make sense? Did I explain that well enough? Do I care?

I have made it “all the way” a couple times – usually I make it to the sternum and I’m sleeping. So I do that before I go to bed now since it works well for that.

I have been honestly meaning to try out the meditation center however I am also struggling to grasp the concept of time management! Another topic for a later time. One of these days it will happen for me!

It seems that more people (like me) have greater success at achieving their meditation goals with the help of a guided class or an instructor of sorts. I have attempted some videos on YouTube and different cds but they seem to only work as much as I want to work them. Having the ability to simply turn them off does not keep me engaged or feel like I’ve actually committed to something. Which is also why I kind of fear online college classes! 

Anywho – right now all I can do is commit to doing what I can. I am holding myself accountable and actually attempting the goals I set for myself each week (no matter how small some of them might be I always feel incredible after accomplishing them and CROSSING THEM OFF THE LIST) as well as making sure I am taking time out of my day to day to reflect on some good shit. Like Elton, because I love him.

Or random sushi dates followed up with scrumptious cupcakes, macaroons & a documentary about escorts with Eugene! 

OR…. DRUMROLL…..

This 14 day European vacation booked for the end of July! I have yet to determine my alter ego but I will have a name and a solid backstory by the time we land in Amsterdam. 

Down to earth: a short story on why I couldn’t sleep for weeks and how I made holy water

So, when I first moved into my apartment last year I couldn’t sleep for the life of me! I couldn’t fall asleep and when I fell asleep I would wake up… and then couldn’t fall back asleep. I was exhausted all the time, void of energy and just pissed.

I took melatonin, drank sleepy time tea (the extra strong stuff), did “bedtime” yoga and really, nothing seemed to work! 

Naturally my mind went there: possession by a demon. Now, I saged my apartment when I moved in. I cleansed the shit out of every nook and cranny. And actually cleaned it with bleach, too, because it was a new place and other people’s skin cells are gross. 

But I was a mess. There really was no explanation other than demonic possession and that’s why I wasn’t sleeping well and feeling like a garbage dump all the time! OBVI!!!

I said a prayer to a couple Gods and Goddesses just to make sure I covered all my bases. I also did some dumb stuff like splash homemade holy water* in the corner of every room and on all the windowsills. 

Still couldn’t sleep.

See, this is EXACTLY what demons do. They make you vulnerable, weak, so that when you are at the lowest of the low they can devour your soul and take possession. They can’t win when their victim is in their prime! 

So, me being super fucking clever, figured out  my demons plan…

Step one: weaken me with sleep deprivation

Step two: steal my soul and either kill me or hundreds of other people or whatever 

I don’t. Fucking. Think so.

Then shit got weird.

At first, it seemed that EVERY NIGHT, for about two weeks straight, that I would wake up at the same time. I didn’t just like, “wake up” but rather, I was woken up. It was a loud but distant almost rumbling kind of noise that seemed to take place at 11:30pm… every night, almost like it was……. dare I say….. scheduled….???
Fuhhhh-reeky! 

Sometimes, not all times, the rumbling would be accompanied by a screetching noise of sorts. Not like a bird or annoying girl at the bar but like … grinding… gears grinding.

I thought to myself one night as I sat alone watching some dumb movie on the couch “this is it… I’m really being possessed”… 

And I’m not even going to lie but I was kind of like, 20:80 stoked/scared. I didn’t want to be possessed and potentially turn green or be sucked into my TV but at the same time like, GET OUT! What a way to go, right? I don’t know anyone who has been possessed, so I could be the only one in my friends circle who had been!!

Anyway – chillin’, watching movie, eating snacks… and it HITS ME!!!!!!!

ALIENS!!!!

GOOD OLD FASHIONED MOTHER FUCKING ALIENS!!

I am seriously shitting myself at this point (jk or am I?) and I’m now (in this moment of realization) 50:50 stoked/scared.

This makes so much sense – the rumbling, the screetching, the same time bullshit every night! We all know aliens like to be punctual. 

Abduction. So here I was, basically being abducted by aliens every night at 11:30, that’s why I was always SO TIRED! They wiped my memory so I would have no knowledge of what was happening and since I’m a hot specimen they kept coming back for more! Woot woot, go me!

So I’m kinda freaked out and kind of not, right? Aliens are a bit scary and X Files scared me and I definitely didn’t want to die or anything (because in my mind literally every possible reason/scenario ends in death. I could be headed to the grocery store and in my mind I’m reminding myself of that movie about the things… omg what the hell is it… final destination! Yea..)

And yea. So I have the revelation and then I’m like shit ooooookay well what do I even do? 

Sleep. Duh. 

I go to sleep, and LIKE CLOCKWORK – 11:30 hits and THERE IT IS! 

The rumble.. and for a second my heart raced and I feel myself tending up and then the weirdest thing happened while I laid there, maybe a minute, of quiet panic as I thought of all the horrendous things that could or would happen – I gave up. I didn’t care. Not that I wasn’t interested in fighting for my life or whatever, but I just kind of let go. I felt powerless over the situation – this thing was happening that I alone couldn’t stop and no one in the world (besides maybe 1 or 2 people) would actually believe me and I was was just like… fuck it. 

Well, I fell back asleep almost instantly it seemed. The next day I was just as exhausted as I was the weeks prior. 

I napped after work one day, seeing as to how I just couldn’t function without it.

Woke up at 10:30pm

Watched movie.

11:30pm – the rumbling…. it’s happening… and I look out my window really only kind of expecting to MAYBE see a spaceship.

GIIIIIRRRRRRRLLLLLLLLLLzzzzzz

IVE BEEN LIVING NEXT TO A RAILYARD FOR MONTHS AND SOMEHOW FORGOT THAT TRAINS MAKE FUCKING NOISE AND ROLL THEIR ASSES IN AT THE SAME TIME EVERY NIGHT….

No demons.

No aliens.

Just trains.

I sleep much better now, waking up is now the problem.

*Homemade holy water recipe: 
1 cup water purified by Brita
1 made up blessing “hello, please make this water holy”

Stressed and Sweaty: Summer in the City

For the past couple of months I have been lurching through life with an ominous [internal] black cloud floating over me. 

I have been off Zoloft for a while now – I ended that relationship in March due to the hurricane of emotions I was hit with every ten fucking seconds. Am I depressed? Sure… do I need a mountain of prescription pills to sustain life? Jury is still out on that one… are the feelings I am experiencing only here because I am not medicated? I am thinking no, confidently. 
No, this feeling is less “empty jar where my heart should be” and more like marbles rolling around in my stomach, bricks on my chest.
Work. 
Sigh.
Work.
It is like this weird game that I am somehow just realizing I am a part of. Sometimes I love it, and I live it, and its this thing that consumes me and I am it, and it seems like I cant get enough! Other times I am drained to the point of no return. Honestly, I am ashamed with the amount of time I spend thinking of hiding under my desk just to escape the noise.
Its like I am two different people all at once. Work Maria loves the chaos of the day to day, the busy-bee queen feeds off the high pressure environment, the ringing of the phones, the stupid customers asking stupid questions. I cant explain the satisfaction felt after assisting one of my team members with a difficult situation or completing a daunting task.
The other Maria, the one I am still struggling to get to know and understand, she is afraid. She knows she is not indispensable, she knows she can be replaced. She feels like she is juggling machetes, and that any second one will not be caught and artfully tossed into the air, if you catch my drift. She feels like she does not belong, that she is not capable, she feels her shortcomings outweigh her abilities.
After chatting with my therapist for some time I have come to the realization that in both my personal and professional life that there is this underlying need for not only acceptance but a need for being needed. 
I guess on some level I have always known that because I mean, come on, who doesn’t want to feel needed? 
Boundaries.
That is my problem. I take work home with me. Literally. 
Thing 1 : Mission to Mars – a select few of us were chosen to partake in the first ever mission to the future. What this means, I have no fucking idea. I was tasked, along with my fellow astronauts, to read a book about a ship [not a shark, as I later discovered after asking everyone about the “shark book”] and to bring back discussion topics for our next training session. 
Okay. That isn’t so bad. I like reading, books are cool, they smell good, and this one could potentially help advance my career and instill a new level of leadership I didn’t know I had. Cool. Bring book home. Read book in spare time. 
Thing 2 : EVERY-FUCKING-THING ELSE!! 
THE TEXT MESSAGES – THE EMAILS – THE PHONE CALLS – THE ANXIETY OF KNOWING I LEFT WHEN THINGS WERENT COMPLETED – DID I LET MY TEAM DOWN – SHOULD I HAVE STAYED LATER – SHOULD I HAVE COME IN EARLIER – SHOULD I HAVE TAKEN A LUNCH BREAK TODAY – DID I TAKE TOO MANY BREAKS TODAY – DID I SWEAR TOO MUCH TODAY – DID I DRESS PROFESSIONALLY ENOUGH – DID I – DID I – DID I – SHOULD I – SHOULD I – SHOULD I …. FUCKING JESUS A CHRIST!!!!!!!!!!!
See, I don’t know how to walk away and leave it at that. I don’t know how to leave work AT work, leave all my shit there so I can pick it up the next morning when I return. Do people actually do that? I do not believe that I am the only person who gets into their car and instantly starts panicking about “what the fuck just happened today”, “what could or should I have done differently/better/more[or less] of/this/that/20 other things”… I know I am not the only person who does this and yet… I know for a fact that the one thing that me and my fellow panic-ers have in common… we probably aren’t too happy. 
And then when the texts or calls come in, man, that triggers a new level of panic for me. Why have I failed my team? If I was better they would have the resources needed to answer these questions on their own and get through the day without having to call me. Or have I bred a culture of “neediness” where I wasn’t actually giving my team the tools required to excel, but only giving “just enough” so my team felt empowered but really, I was only crippling them enough for them to not notice how much I needed them to need me and I secretly and subconsciously created these crazy fucking roadblocks where people HAD to go through me for approval and answers???? 
WHAT DID I DO? AND… did I actually do this???
We are in the process of this Mission to Mars where we are learning more traction-y ways of being a leader/boss and going through LMA sessions. Now, this is not my first LMA rodeo, I have sat through the videos, read [skimmed] how to be a great boss, and filled out one of the LMA questionnaires for my boss, Scott. 
We sat down in a conference room on Tuesday, me and this new group of astronauts, and we watched the video – first time for some, second or thirdsies for others – and discussed. Scott rambled off some stuff about things and we went through the LMA questionnaire again. AND HOLY SHIT – I THOUGHT I WAS GOING TO DIE RIGHT THEN AND THERE.
I COULDNT ANSWER YES FOR ANY OF THE QUESTIONS. I was a no for all categories. 
And that made me cry. Not for myself, even though I have been known to be exceptionally selfish, but for my fucking team. Like, lord, what? Honestly, I know this last year has been somewhat of a blur both in my personal life and at work, and I knew that there were aspects of my work life that I really needed to narrow in on and re-group/re-focus on. I just didn’t realize how far off course I really was until I sat down and read that stupid fucking piece of paper. 
Aaand queue more waterworks. 
For those of you not familiar with LMA its basically like this: Leadership + Management = Accountability… and something like if you are a good leader and can manage shit your team will be successful and happy and respect you. The questionnaire asks things like “do you make time for your team and give them what they need”… 
So, based on my really shitty explanation of something a bit more complex than that I am sure you can understand why I was [am] so upset. 
It all makes sense now. This needy culture WAS created by me, my absence as a LEADER created a black hole. These people are just looking for someone to help them out and I was too busy being a raging ball of BITCH to actually give a serious damn. I gave a half-hearted damn, I was going through some shit, okay? 
Excuses are like assholes but whatever, that is all I’ve got.
How long can someone be “going through some shit”before its just “my life is shit”… and when do you know when you have crossed the line from one to the next? How will I know if I am succeeding? 
What does success look like?
When will going to work stop giving me anxiety? When will being at work stop giving me anxiety? When will leaving work stop giving me anxiety? When will sitting at home on the couch watching shitty TV stop turning into thinking about work and getting anxiety? When will a text message from work stop giving me anxiety?
Is it my job – or is it me? I am quite certain it is both.
I don’t know – I am not a mental health professional but at the same time I don’t trust half of em, so whatever.
I just want to be fucking happy. I cant remember what it feels like to be genyinely happy, and that makes me even more fucking depressed.
I feel like a damn idiot, going through the motions every day. 
Cheesy-toothy grin and a wave “hi hello good morning” “how are you? Oh me, I’m fine thanks for asking!” “Love your shirt today” “INSERT LAME STORY ABOUT ELTON THAT NO ONE GIVES A FUCK ABOUT BUT HE IS MY LIFEBLOOD”… cry at desk, cry in bathroom, cry while smoking, cry in a different bathroom…. think about eating. 
WORK
GO HOME
MAYBE SEE FRIENDS – joke and joke and joke – touch on one serious topic and go deep into self realization that I am shit, I know nothing about being a person – back to jokes and jokes and maybe food eating
GO HOME
MAYBE PAINT
LOOK AT ELTON
ORDER DELIVERY FROM PARKWAY PIZZA – SEE SAME DELIVERY DRIVER – FEEL LIKE SHIT FOR ORDERING TAKE OUT AGAIN
LOOK AT ELTON
SLEEP FOR A COUPLE HOURS
HIT SNOOZE *19* FUCKING TIMES BECAUSE I SET MY ALARM FOR 6 AM BUT CANT WAKE UP UNTIL 745
STARE AT ADULT ACNE IN MIRROR AND CRY
GET READY FOR WORK
PANIC WHOLE WAY INTO WORK – WHAT DID I FORGET TO DO
PANIC ALL DAY AT WORK – WHAT AM I FORGETTING TO DO
PANIC WHOLE WAY HOME FROM WORK – WHAT DID I FORGET TO DO
*repeat every day for 9 months with the exception of a handful of days
I am tired. 

Life Since September: A mini-memoir about finding an apartment, love, deceit and my neighbors inability to get their laundry washed in a timely manner

Ah, being alone. Alone alone alone. When you say it enough times the word seems to lose all meaning, as with any other word.

This is a short story of my life, from September 2016. A short story of about 3,800 words that sums up my experiences this far. I felt like I had to write it, I have been so angry lately that I needed some sort of release. Painting has NOT been working, so this is the next best thing.

September, 2016

So, I had been out of Reeds place for what, a month? I found an adorable apartment, 2brs, 1ba, $750/mo with a claw foot tub. NICE.

What was not advertised: holes in windowsills, urine caked on the toilet and walls in said 1ba, lock bolted onto fridge door because its broken and won’t stay shut on its own [lol, what?!], cockroaches. I could have lived with all of the above but cockroaches? NO! Do I even have to explain myself with that one? I didn’t think so.

Anyway, I tried to get out of the lease [that I so stupidly signed BEFORE inspection – it was my first time on my own, I had no idea what I was doing or that I was being duped!] and the property managers were fucking rats. Worse than rats… cockroaches! Email after email, call after call, no response, fighting and badgering for days, they wanted to keep all my money [first and last month’s rent] and be a bag of dicks.

I spent two weeks back and forth with the attorney general, city of MPLS, legal aid, and finally a lawyer. These people were iron, but they did not know that I am the flame that melts the iron. I was not going to walk away with this big of a financial loss! I mean, I just had my heart broken, I was displaced, essentially homeless, and they were taking advantage of me! NO WAY, JOSE!

I smeared them on facebook, yelp, google, and every other social media site I could think of. I felt like I was channeling a 38 year old PTA mom with bad highlights and a Xanax addiction whose husband struggles with intimacy issues.

Finally, they agreed to “settle” and give me back 75% of my deposit. Cool.

Still on the hunt. Still living in my old boss’s guest room… my entire life condensed to Rubbermaid bins stored in a 5×7 storage unit and a cold basement.

Winter was coming. Rentals were hard to find that time of year. Everything had been rented by gremlins of the U – absorbing my potential housing like the sponges of society that they are. Fucking college kids. Go fuck yourselves.

I met a guy. Or rather, he found me. Exciting! Not my type, really, but intriguing nonetheless. He wanted to meet up. We had been chatting off and on for a while. I was nervous as hell. Why me? I am damaged goods, I am gross and unlovable, why me, dude? Oh well. Maybe I will maybe I won’t.

Focusing on work is damn near impossible. What the fuck. I was tired all the time and felt that even getting out of bed was a challenge. Showering… what is that?

New guy, we will call him *James*, attempted to meet up with me. I was so nervous and tired, and just sad still, that I ditched him. Twice. What a bitch move, Martini! Just tell the guy that you’re not ready. But, what if he’s different? He says he is… what’s the harm? It’s not like you’re going to fall in love.

He got me a birthday present – ouch. Said he would mail it to me since I didn’t want to meet up with him. Yikes. I am a bitch! What to do besides agree to meet him at this point?

Man, he’s tall, and cuter in person. Still not my type but there is coffee involved. We talk for hours, laughing and smiling, and I had fun. I kind of like him but he didn’t try to kiss me. Does he just want to be friends? Am I reading this alllllll wrong? It wouldn’t be the first time I read the signals wrong. This is going to be trouble. I went home to Rochelle’s and flopped on my bed. Coffee date at night, giggles and chain smoking in a garage. He got me a present before he even met me, I mean, he has to want to be more than friends, right?

I spend the rest of the night replaying the “date” over and over in my head, questioning my analysis of the night. I fall asleep fully clothed and wake up late for work the next day.

BAM! Lovely rental on Tyler Street, right by my favorite neighborhood of all of NE MPLS, waiting for me! ME! Way out of my price range but I was desperate. So, I put my blarney skills to the test and sat down with my laptop armed with nothing but the property manager’s email and my own determination. I needed the price to drop, a bit. I couldn’t afford my current [or previous] lifestyle with rent near $1k a month. That is stupid. I deserve to shop at LUSH Cosmetics, Sephora & every thrift shop in a 5 mile radius every week. THAT’S MY RIGHT, I earned that! I couldn’t give it up!

Two days with no response. I was feeling defeated. I figured, if I can find a place before thanksgiving life would be good. I could be on my own for the first time, decorate a cute place, and hunker down for the holidays. I had this idea that if I found my own place and was able to be on my own that it would somehow cure my broken heart. Finding my own apartment was the only thing I needed to heal. I wasn’t even thinking clearly, I at one point considered draining my savings and 401k to buy a house… lol, okaaaay, Maria!

Beep.

Email.

A response! Its him, Landlord Jon with the Tyler Street apartment! He spoke with the property owner and they had agreed to come down on the rental price, over $100, to fit my budget! GET. THE. FUCK. OUT. It happened! My dreams were coming to reality! Now, I would be able to be free and could focus on living again. Focus on myself, my “career”, my friends and family, life. Fuck. This was good.

–              –              –              –              –              –              –              –              –              –              –

Moving sucks and is exhausting. Complications with the apartment being move-in ready on time put a wrench in all my plans. I am a planner. Very anal, like things to be done my way, on my timeline. So, naturally my anxiety was flying high – I felt like my blood pressure was so high that at any point one of my arteries would just explode and I would die, bleeding out in the vitamin isle at Target. That never happened.

It was kind of sad seeing all my belongings stuffed into the back of an empty cargo van. Is this what I am? Are I the sum of all of my possessions? I mean, as I packed and look through all my things I wondered what people would think of me if they were clearing out my storage unit. I have watched a few episodes of that show where they auction off abandoned storage units and have a super anti-climactic reveal of the contents inside. I would try to make up stories about the people who left these items behind. They all had different reasons, of course, but who were they? You can’t really judge a person based on the things they left behind… but, would people judge me? A dresser. Cheap storage cubes. One plant stand. Three old paintings curated from Savers. A Christmas tree stand. A kitchen aid mixer. But no one would get the chance to judge me, or make up a story about me because I was taking my life with me.

I fought with Comcast for two days. They attempted to charge me for internet that I wasn’t even able to use as I didn’t even have the modem… what? Go fuck yourselves, too, Comcast. I was not charged, although they continued trying to overcharge me for three months following, each month I called and berated the agent on the line, knowing full well that they were just doing their job. I broke the Call Center Employee Code by doing that, but whatever, it was necessary. I do not regret what I did.

Now I have internet. WOoo hooo!

My first night in the apartment wasn’t sad or lonely. It was chilly, and I was tired from moving for two weeks.

New guy is still around. It’s been about a month and he’s definitely interested – in what, I am not sure. He’s a flirt, seems like he could really be trouble. We’ve gone on a few dates.

He asked me what I was looking for in a partner one night after he brought me home. We sat in his truck, chain smoking, talking politics. I was almost stumped, I couldn’t really think of a solid answer. I made it easier and told him what I wasn’t looking for: dishonesty, cockiness, dick heads, cheaters, mean guys. He wanted passion, love, a partner, someone to have a family with.

I told him I was crazy. I know he didn’t believe me.

We sat there together, for an hour maybe, parked under a streetlamp, staring into nothingness. Just chatting about love and romance, loss, dreams, hopes… a potential future… together?

He wanted to be my boyfriend, but I just wasn’t sure about that. He promised me the world. I was game.

–              –              –              –              –              –              –              –              –              –              –

CHRISTMAS TIME! Snow is falling in big fluffy flakes, dusting the great state of Minnesota with a shiny white layer of cold dreariness. I love it. Christmas is my favorite time of year. It’s the holiday season!

I dig through my two giant bins of Christmas décor and spend hours outfitting my apartment into a winter wonderland, like the Macys 8th Floor display vomited a bit into my home. It was great! James volunteered to take me to get a tree. How sweet! Things are going okay, with him.  I like him, a lot! He is sweet, and taking me to see A Christmas Carol! We set up the tree, he kissed me goodbye, and I sat in the glow of Christmas cheer.

It took a day for the tree to settle enough to put ornaments on it and I was able to fashion a nice cover for it so that Elton wouldn’t get sick drinking out of the basin. Good thing I kept that damn tree stand, huh?

I’m not so lonely, anymore. I am settling too, like the damn tree, and it feels really good. I don’t feel like I am such an unlovable pile of shit. I feel like life is finally agreeing to stop punching me and is trying to be my friend. I am happy. Work is going a bit better, I am feeling alive. I am eating, I am sleeping… wow, this is kind of cool.

And then it hits me, in the face, with a brick. He is trolling Instagram for other chicks. Wow. I guess maybe he wasn’t so swell after all? What does this mean? Were the past couple months all a lie? What the fuck? Is there something wrong with me? Why is he doing this? He swears up and down that he’s not looking for another woman but how can I be sure? He found me on Instagram, that’s how our relationship started… he wouldn’t be the first guy to use it as a pick up instrument… yikes.

I’m hurt and angry and he promises to stop, after a couple weeks of arguing about it. Weeks. Yes. Red flag one. I should have known.

He never stopped.

For months, he was hooking up with other chicks and lying to me about it. His solution to the problem of his infidelity was to just block me, and tell me to get over it. He just wanted me to get over it. One of those “what she doesn’t know wont hurt her”. He just continued looking for other women for months, lying to my face and telling me he loved me, all the while hooking up with other women. Ouch. He had no intention of being faithful, he expected me to be alright with being used.

So, I am still hurt, and angry. Why? I mean fuck, I am sure it was the chase, he took my “I am emotionally vulnerable and not sure if I can handle another heartbreak” as “I am playing hard to get, please use me and throw me away like a piece of trash”… not okay, but what the hell am I going to do about it?

My friend read an article about women just. Like. Me. Used, abused, damaged. We attract the same type of men over and over again, we don’t ditch when we see the red flags because we so desperately want love that we are willing to believe that people can change… pathetic. I don’t want to believe it but deep down I really do. I don’t like thinking of myself as pathetic, or desperate, but based on my actions, my thoughts, my feelings, I pretty much am. It’s okay for now. I am working on it. It takes time to become a stronger person.

–              –              –              –              –              –              –              –              –              –

Sunday: I wake up to my neighbor playing his guitar. Look at the clock. Its 7:30 am on Sunday. Okay? He doesn’t seem to understand “quiet hours” etiquette. He is usually jamming on that thing at the worst time. Midnight on a Tuesday. 7:30 am on a Sunday.

I get out of bed and stomp to the kitchen to brew ungodly amounts of coffee. I stomp to be passive aggressive so he can hear that there is life outside of unit 2, but also partially because I have had exceptional pain in my right foot for the past week.

I hobble down to the basement. I need to do laundry, I’ve had to do laundry, and I want to check to see if my bum neighbors took their clothes out yet. Nope. Still there. Both washer and dryer are full of clothes, after two days. Inconvenienced. I slam the washer lid three times like a dick because I am irritated and I want my oblivious neighbors to know. Why is there one washer/dryer in this building?

I’ve got my coffee now. Staring out the window at the gloomy Sunday that I was given. Okay, really, for a day off. I’m lazy so it’s not like I had any intention to go outside and enjoy life in any way. The window is good enough, my portal to the living, breathing world around me. LIFE! EXUBERANT LIFE! OH, how I don’t envy thee! I am perfectly content sitting here, presuming life is bullshit and terrifying, that no one can actually be as happy as they claim. Fuck them. Liars.

I am upset. I thought I was in love. Yea, AGAIN. Whatever. I mean, I knew that I was moving too fast. I knew I needed time from the last relationship… but he was nice. He seemed nice. He was an asshole. A lying asshole.

Now I am even more upset. What do I do? I mean, I have been texting and calling him non-stop for a week with absolutely no response… why am I doing this? So pathetic. I send three more lame “please tell me why” texts before my blood is boiling and I feel my palms start to sweat. What to do with the anger? DUH – break shit.

Alright.

Sit down. Light a candle. Put on some music – downtempo dinner on Pandora is my go-to lately. Close my eyes. Deep breaths. Super deep breaths. Sigh. Let it out. Stretch my neck. Ready.

I’m sitting awkwardly on the floor with my stupid cripple-leg propped up. Somehow I have my favorite stationary out with my charcoal Pentel Sign Pen… I write him a letter. WOW, I am crying, tears are weird. I feel abandoned. He said he loved me, that he wasn’t like all the other guys, that he wouldn’t hurt me… liars lie, you know?

He gave me a lovely black cat print for my birthday. I get up and I take the frame off the wall and gingerly pull it out. I caress the paper. How pretty, the cat is so cute. It was such a great gesture of affection. I remember him giving it to me. How I felt butterflies. I wanted to kiss him but we weren’t “there” yet. I set it down. I’m not sobbing, but it’s more than a couple delicate tears. How sad is this? Why did he do this? I am holding the print, ready? Am I really ready? Do I keep it? NOPE. Tear. I tear it once, I tear it twice. Three times. Four times. It’s practically shredded now, little bits of inked paper scattered across the floor.

What else? We were together for such a short while so I don’t have much but I still feel this incredible need to destroy every memory of him.

The alarm clock. He gave me a pretty fantastic alarm clock for Christmas. It would light up like the sun to help you wake up. Yep. That’s gotta go!

I grab some kitchen scissors, the ones made to cut through chicken bones. I cut the cord. Once, twice, three times, good, that’s good! The alarm clock itself was a little difficult. I was able to snap the base into pieces no problem. The “face”… that thing was sturdy. I grabbed my cigarettes & my car keys.

Flash-forward the 3 minutes it took me to get down the two flights of stairs… cigarette lit, car running, in reverse…. Alarm clock placed perfectly… under the rear drivers side wheel. YES BITCH! Back and forth, four times. It’s smashed now. I’m not sure if my neighbors saw, if they did, would they even care? Do I care if they saw? Nope. They can suck my dick.

I decide I want to bag all of this shit and throw it at his front door. Good idea, Martini. Feed the crazy.

I made it two blocks before I realized this was not a good idea. Am I growing as a person? Turn around, go home. Leave the bag of broken dreams in the back seat of my car with the piles of shit I cleared out of my OTHER ex’s home last week. I’m too tired to haul it all upstairs. I guess there is no better place to store all the memories of my failed relationships.

Hobble to the basement… it’s been an hour [plus two days] so they might have cleared out their shit by now. Nope. Still in there.

My foot hurts. I should have breakfast. More coffee will do. I rummage through my cupboards for something easy, chocolate will do.

Sprawled across the couch. I throw my sketchbook across the room. The sight of it annoys me. A reminder that my creative juices have stopped flowing. The only thing flowing these days are tears and rage.

Netflix! That will save me! Netflix, coffee, chocolate and more painkillers. There is a show called “Girlfriends Guide to Divorce”… I’m not going through a divorce but a breakup is like the same thing, almost. Can’t hurt.

I text him, again. I wasn’t expecting a response, it’s been a week since he’s acknowledged my existence. I tell him what I did, smashing the clock and tearing up the picture. HE RESPONDS!

Maria: So, I went crazy and smashed the alarm clock you gave me for Christmas. I tore up that adorable black cat print for you got me for my birthday. I wrote you a lovely letter and I planned to bag it all up and throw it at your house but I can’t feel my foot, so I got high instead. You won again, Devil Man.

James: I think we should take a break from communicating for a while.

Not satisfying, in any way. What a loser. Him. He is the loser. I mean, yea… I am a bit neurotic, emotional… but he’s a liar. A lying loser who manipulates women to get what he wants before he tears their hearts out and shits in the void that he created. Pig. Pig man. Why am I so upset?

I guess, really, I am so upset because I allowed myself to be vulnerable. I allowed myself to believe him, even with all the red flags. I just hopped on the “manipu-train” and let him lead me on for months. That’s why I am upset. Not with him, he doesn’t know better. This is how he was raised, to be a lying man whore. He doesn’t know any better. But, I do, and I let it happen. I am upset with myself.

Sigh.

Martini, get your head on straight, girl!

Work.

I don’t even want to go there.

Call Center Manager. Sounds simple enough. If I were working for a company that wasn’t 10 years behind the technology game. My boss said it best… “we are working with string and duct tape”… I always compared the company I work for to the Red Green Show… you know what I am talking about, and if you don’t, google it and watch a couple episodes on YouTube and then you will understand.

I am “project manager” for updating to a new phone system that will integrate with our current [shitty] CRM. What the fuck for? I have literally NO experience with any of this shit.

This is my first time working in an office setting, 7 years here, and everything I know I learned from this business. How am I supposed to know what a DNIS or FTP is? Excuse?

We are on a super tight almost unreasonable timeline to get this integration and training completed and I am basically shitting myself. I feel so overwhelmed! How the hell am I going to pull this off? How the hell did I even get this job, with no training and no experience?

That’s kind of impressive… I made a place for myself with no education or experience. I was a bum, chain smoking and painting bedrooms for rich bored housewives and all of a sudden I have a salary and a 13 day European adventure booked for August.

Life happens like that for some people. I forget sometimes that I have to take a step back and appreciate what I do have. Where I am, what I have accomplished. Appreciate my friends and the people who do love me, unconditionally without exception, people who hold me up when I feel like I am drowning. I have to love that I have a juicer now. I have to remember that I have a fluffly, adorable cat who chooses to cuddle up with me every night and hold my arm while we fall asleep. That, my friends, is the truest love I have ever known.

I want a sandwich.

They say that breaking up is hard to do

Its not the breaking up that is hard. No. Its the inevitable hurricane of emotion that follows that is “hard to do”.

After my recent break up I was left feeling completely devastated. Confused. Lost. Sad. Angry. All of those swirling, icky feelings that are associated with breaking up. I was consumed by depression and a belief that “I’m worthless. I’m not good enough. I’m not, I’m not, I’m not”

In my heart I clung to the idea that perhaps it wasn’t real, that it was just a thing, he wasn’t serious, he would come around. He didn’t just fall out of love with me. That stuff was all just some bad dream and any second now he’d be here, wanting me, desperate to take me into his arms and love me forever.

Wow.

My head knew it was all too real. My head knew that it was the end – I had lost my love. All the dreams we had, the future we had created for ourselves, it was all gone and I knew it. I just didn’t want to believe it.

I lied to myself for weeks. I told myself it’s not real! It’s not happening! I continued living in this deluded world where he was my soul mate and that he knew this, he felt the same way, and that he was dying to be with me, too. 

Why did I continue this lie for so long?

Part of it was sheer embarrassment. Do people see me as less than? Do they think I’m a loser? Here I am, pining over a man who kicked me out – booted me to the curb and said he was no longer in love and I am crying over him. Pathetic. No strong woman would be feeling this way! No strong woman would be laying in a pile of used tissue, sobbing over her phone and the worthless text messages he had sent.

I felt like an idiot. Was it all a lie? Was the past 5 years just some fucking joke? Did I make up this happy relationship just like I had made up the idea that he still loved me? Holy shit. Why did all of this happen? What did I do wrong? Did I not see the signs? Were there signs? I bet there were but I was too lost in love to notice that he was just lost? What could I do to change, to make it better? I begged him to love me. I went there. I said I wouldn’t and I did, I caved and I actually begged him to love me. That was low, so so so low.

Most of it was sadness. So much incredible sadness – I felt like I couldn’t breathe. I was drowning – trapped in a pit of endless despair. I felt like a soaking wet rag being wrung out by a really aggressive person with strong hands. I was being twisted and life was escaping me. He was my love. My future. He just… was. And then he just… wasn’t, and I didn’t want it to be happening. I loved him so deeply. I never imagined a life without him because he said I didn’t have to, and he changed his mind.

Holy shit.

This whole amazingly crazy awesome cool part of my life was ripped away from me all too suddenly. I didn’t focus any of my time to really process what was happening. I started reading shitty blogs highlighting the top 8 things to do after a break up, the top 15 songs to listen to after a breakup, the top everything related to breakups that are supposed to help you feel like less of a worthless piece of shit. It was all garbage. I didn’t want to read shitty poetry and listen to shitty 90’s R&B and shitty shitty shitty.

It was all shitty.

And then. THEN.

I wanted to beat the shit out of him.

I wanted to drive my car directly into his fucking house.

I wanted to destroy his life.

Those feelings were fleeting, lasting a quick day, and then I realized it was just another dumb ass part of the whole grieving process. Whatever. Anger felt right. Anger always feels good on me. I look good in rage.

Acceptance. Sitting in my grungy pajamas on the guest bed in my old bosses house, watching Sex and the City wondering what I will do next. According to Charlotte [I think I’m a Carrie/Miranda hybrid] it will take me approximately 1/2 the time we were together to get over the loss of the relationship.

5 years = 2.5 years?! I mean… interesting. Right now it seems almost quite realistic. I still have trouble sleeping. I think of him throughout the day, I still hope for a call. I’m not still hoping but I am still hurting. Even though the relationship dissolved without me noticing I still love the man. 2.5 years seems so excessive. This is just silly.

2.5 years to accept reality? That sounds insane.

I feel like maybe some great pizza, friends and a shopping spree will help immensely. Will it take 2.5 years? I fucking hope not. Will it be quick and easy? No, and I am slowly becoming kind of OK with that.

Now… now I just have to keep on keepin’ on.

 

Good vs Good

Where do we go from here? It seems like the nation is stuck in a davistating loop of violence and hate. Turning on the news or checking social media is a guarantee to see some sort of violence – police crimes and/or hate crimes.

I’ve read reports – national surveys – saying that Donald Trump is more trustworthy (according to voters) than Hilary Clinton. Has there been a national survey about trust of the police? I don’t think the outcome would be good. I have to respect the police, because I was raised that way, but I do not have to believe that they are all good and just. I do not have to believe that they DONT need help.

Is it that police officers are bad? Is it that police officers are RACIST? Is it that police officers don’t have enough training? What is it? People have been saying that “we only see a fraction of reality, that police aren’t killing JUST BLACK MEN”… but… so police are killing a lot more people and we just don’t see it? Ok, but that makes me feel WORSE knowing there are people dying at the hands of police that we did not know about. How is that ok?

Also, is that supposed to make it ok that there are BLACK MEN BEING MURDERED at routine traffic stops? I have been pulled over quite a few times (I’m not the best driver) and never in my wildest dreams would I imagine my own demise. 

I had never been afraid of the police. 

Until now. 

BUT my fear is not for me!! I am a white woman! I am no threat to the police. I fear for my BLACK friends and their BLACK families! My fear is for the BLACK population entirely, not just the people I know. 

My fear is that this hate, this sickness, is going to be allowed to continue, allowed to grow, allowed to darken. 

As I laid in bed last night I read comments of people choosing to defend the police actions, choosing to “wait to pass judgement”… This is not about us as civilians passing judgment, we are not a jury or judge. It is about US as civilians standing up – uniting – and saying NO MORE! 

What more evidence is required for you to see that in less than 1 week two black men were gunned down needlessly? How is that fact, that two men are now dead, not enough? 

Now there are sniper shootings at protests.

Why? 

I don’t really have much to say, I don’t really know what to do. I’m not feeling eloquent or articulate, but I had to just say something, somewhere.

“Hate begets hate; violence begets violence; toughness begets a greater toughness. We must meet the forces of hate with the power of love.” (1958)

West Coast Adventure 2016

A summary of our 2016 friends trip from MPLS TO Portland, OR to celebrate Mandi and Eugenes BDays! 

Wishing I could be on Cape Mears – in Tillamook – but now I have something to look forward to! 

Left MPLS on Saturday June 25th – only 1hr late- left at 7:30am. I drove from MPLS to Jamestown, ND. Boring drive but safe! Roads got scary in Montana! We Stayed in a Buddha house on top of a hill with mountain views in Livingston. Took us like forever to find the house, that was embarrassing. Tested my vegetarian morals with tons of beef jerky temptation. I took a small piece (size of a broken pencil lead and chewed it and spit it out. I’m still a vegetarian. 

No coffee creamer at the first place to no coffee in the am – drank chai tea on the balcony staring at the mountains. Ate great pizza & brunch in Livingston, MT @ Gills Goods! Got a Birkenstock tan. Saw The Garden of 1,000 Buddhas. Got a free rock there. Saw a deer poop in a field outside of Billings, MT. 

Decided 1/2 way to Spokane that I need a pop up camper & that I needed to take Reed across the country with me. The mountains in Idaho are scary as hell – “just because the speed limit is 80 doesn’t mean you gotta go 80” – pretty but scary. I used a nasty dirty rest stop potty. Used a lot of hand sanitizer. Didn’t see any: deer, mountain goats, bear or other wildlife. 

We stayed in a cozy house in Spokane. Shopped for groceries at a discount market with mostly almost expired food. Met a puppy and a cat. Took some fun pictures and passed out while the gang played monopoly deal. Someone made breakfast & had coffee before we drove off through the mountains – we made it without accident (whew).  

Left my glasses in Spokane 😦

Got off track after a random rest stop and ended up getting routed through a mint farm – we rolled down the windows and enjoyed the wonderful smell! Drove through Portland for our next rental, in Cape Mears/Tillamook, it was fun to get a sneak peak. 

We had a drive through Tillamook State Forest to get to Tillamook which was gorgeous and like an hour drive. Wanted to hike a bit wish we could have. 

Tillamook is the cutest place ever. A lot of cows of course so it smelled like manure which both Cory and Eugene agreed smelled aiiight. 

Stayed in a beach cabin on the ocean at Cape Mears. Decided the beach is ALWAYS the place to be. Used a wood burning stove to warm up the house. Cory became the worlds best lighthouse operator. Played games all night and chatted about stuff. Cory and I shared a room. I had a funky lopsided bed and slept with the windows open while listening to the ocean. The air was salty. It remained in the low 60’s during the day about low 50’s at night so basically my kinda weather. “Sweather weather” according to Cory! 

We all sat on a bench outside of the ocean our first night and listened to the waves. We discovered that Cory would make an excellent lighthouse with the flashlight his mother got him.

Had some great coffee from Seattle with breakfast – cinnamon rolls – dropped one on the floor and Eugene ate it anyway. Drove up the coast on the PCH —Amazing drive, peaceful and serene on the PCH – 101? – awesome views of cliffs, oceans, bluffs, hills and forests. Visited Cannon Beach where we screamed “Goonies Never Say Die” with the sand in our toes and splashed in the freezing water. Saw a starfish. Had fresh seafood in Astoria. Drove over a lot of bridges. Had a bonfire on the beach and listened to Prince and the Beach Boys while making smores and laughing. Got scared on the beach. Danced down the street in the moonlight with flashlights listening to Robyn. 

Woke up and cleaned up and had more cinnamon rolls on our last day in Tillamook. Adventures the beach and found a fort made of driftwood. Saw a bunch of jellyfish. Decided that Reed would love Tillamook and that we will go here someday. Seymour chased a bird into the ocean.. It was scary.

Stopped at the Cape outlook to see the octopus tree and lighthouse. Never saw the lighthouse but saw the big octopus tree and wandered the edge of the cliff to get pics of the bay. 

Went to the Tillamook Cheese Factory and had amazing cheese curds and grilled cheese. Bullied a little boy about the souvenir penny machines. 

Drove to Portland and saw a scary screaming man on the side of the road in downtown, obviously mentally disturbed and or high on drugs. Discovered Oregon is pronounced “OR-eh-GUN”. 

Went out on the town while the van was running and unlocked for over two hours. 

Ate some great food and laughed.

Had a great ass brunch at The Waffle Window (10/10) … Watched GOT season finale. Went thrifting and got cool stuff (KILL sweatshirt!) went to an art festival and saw giant bubble blowers. Ate two dinners, one at a rice shop and one at home – veggie hot dogs.. We stayed up late & played “The real game of LIFE” and Eugene won – I almost won! Didn’t sleep well! 

Slept in and Eugene made French toast for everyone, and coffee. It was delicious!! Bummed around. Walked to get coffee and tea and bakery tasty stuff (Eugene got a Bavarian cream filled popover from a bakery owned by an intergenerational gay couple). Eugene and I explored the neighborhood and picked out houses we’d want to live in. 

Went zip lining an hour away from Portland and saw 2 waterfalls on the way. Laughed at Eugene for trying to zip when he wasn’t suppose to. Bummed around some more when we got back. 

Went out to dinner and got amazing French cuisine at a small Portland bistro (Petite Provence) we all shared our dishes – fries, marrow, salads, salmon, shrimp, pork, steak & some other fish, a ton of amazing amazing desserts) got an after dinner cappuccino to pair with my Black Beauty triple chocolate cake. Ate too much and had to hold my food baby while walking 6 blocks home. Left my favorite jean jacket (got it when I was 16) at the bistro and our server ran two blocks to catch up to me to return it. 

Laughed a lot. Got upset because I was too full to eat Corys homemade guacamole. 

Picked poems out of a collection of Shel Silverstein books to read aloud – we recorded our poetry. Laughed more. Packed – took pictures and looked at pictures. Stayed up way too late and finally crawled into bed around 12:30am. Got up around 1:00am to tell Cory and Eugene to be quiet and then just stayed up even later gabbing with them. 

We all overslept and got a late start to get on the road! Well Mandi woke up but decided to go back to bed! Stopped for gas and breakfast an hour out of Portland and some guy was upset that we were blocking a gas pump.Oh yea, it’s illegal to pump your own gas in Oregon! Whoops.

Stayed on the Missouri River in Montana for a night. Took a bunch of pics of the sunset. The house was next to a street called “old woman’s grave road”, not creepy. We watched an episode of friends while eating garbage pizza and gummy bears. Smoked a cigarette by the river with Eugene and let a ton of bugs into the rental. Slept very well. 

Got a late start in the am and spent hours on the road. I drove 86mph for 2.5 hrs into North Dakota. Listened to hot JAMZ and laughed told stories. Texted Bre a bunch. Watched fireworks in the country during the drive. Stargazed while listening to Lou Reed. Almost hit two deer on the side of the road. 

Made it home around 2am on July 4th! 

XoXo

My glorious first day of 2015

Hello, world!

Today was magical in every way. It is now the year of the sheep! Baaahh! Here is a brief description of my day since I know all of you are insanely curious:

1. Woke up at 9:30
2. No one else was awake so I brewed coffee for myself & spruced up the kitchen
3. Brushed my teeth, then my hair
4. Went out to brunch with cool people
5. Napped for 3.5 hours
6. Went to the gym & killed it with my boo-thang
7. Scrubbed my butt in the shower (and other parts, too, naturally)
8. Made and then ate a super tasty salad
9. Crafted my “resolutions”
10. Watched Salem on Netflix
11. This!

I hope everyone else has had a deliciously relaxed and happy first day of this new year.

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Tunzo Funzo: A daily prompt blog

Show you fun… MY idea of fun…

If Hell froze over and for some reason I did not have to go into work tomorrow what would I do…

SLEEP IN! 

I know a lot of people, myself included on occasion, who take advantage of time off. Unexpected time off or not they wake up and seize the day, Newsies style.

With all the snow we’ve gotten I would most likely just want to stay in bed, cocooned in my blankets for hours. I am in desperate need of a crafting day and I did get a bunch of new paper to play with so I would most likely do this:

1. Wake up

2. Make coffee

3. Sit

4. Stretch

5. Drink coffee

6. Sit some more

7. CRAFT LIKE CRAZY – I have a few empty frames just laying about that I would really like to FILL with something. I have plenty of work that is just piled in random corners around the house. I could do that.

8. HANG pictures – in addition to the multiple empty frames I also have photos ready to be hung. Hardware and everything, just ready to be displayed. I just need to do it. It’s been somewhat difficult since my boyfriend/landlord [its the same person] is a little skeemish with the thought of holes in his walls. I mean, he’s owned the place for a while now so in my mind its time to actually live in it! Right? I’ve been living there for almost two years myself and haven’t hung up a single piece. I laugh about it because it seems so absurd to me. Why wouldn’t you put holes in the walls? I have never lived anywhere that didn’t have art hung in every available space. These naked walls give me gas.

9. Obviously eat… I like eating

10. Whatever the hell else I want to do! I’m a pretty simple gal. If I had a car there might be driving and/or shopping involved, because I LOVE shopping as much as I love smoking cigarettes!

I found this image on Google searching for “waking up” and I like it!

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2014/02/21/daily-prompt-good-time/