Root Lessons

My job has been a point of contention for the past several months. Prior to this I loved my job. I never dreaded Monday, ever. However, presently I dread Monday through Friday. I recently took a vacation to get a much needed break and then added a sick day to further contemplate my work situation. On the way to drop off Ella at school on my last day off, I asked my seventh grader if she would rather switch jobs completely or go for a supervisory role in a job that has been causing strife. Ella stated neither, ” I don’t ever want to do what you do.” Touche, Ella. I don’t either, but here I am.

With the whole day ahead of me I had so much optimism. I decided that since I had all this extra time that I would dye my own roots instead of going to the salon. In the midst of this adventure, I remembered an incident in 2nd grade where the teacher asked me to correct some papers. I never was asked to be a helper, mainly because this teacher didn’t particularly like me. I wore glasses and I would sometimes forget them in the morning and would come to school without. This teacher would yell at me for forgetting. I remember being anxious on the bus when I would realize I didn’t have my glasses on days I forgot.

When I would arrive at school the teacher would zero in on my naked face and yell, “Where are your glasses!?” with more emotion and contempt then necessary to be honest. I would try to tell her that I didn’t need them to see, but to correct a condition that is called a strabismus. This is when an eye turns in due to a muscle weakness issue and the glasses are supposed to help. Unfortunately, as a 2nd grader I don’t believe I knew the term or was good at communicating my health issues to this teacher, because she was always super pissed about my lack of glasses. On one particular day, she asked me to hand out papers, but then grabbed them out of my hands stating loudly ” Oh, forget about it, you can’t see!” Oh, Miss Horn, I could see. I could see that you were a wretched bitch, but I am getting off subject.

The day she asked me to grade some papers I was over the moon. I remember the grading utensil was this awesome wax red pen that needed to be peeled instead of sharpened. I felt pretty important. However, I realized when I was grading the other papers, I had the right answers misaligned when I was comparing them to the students’ answers and marked several papers with LOTS of red before I realized my mistake. There was no way to correct all the red. I felt the same panic today while I was attempting to dye my roots. I was so far in that there was no turning back before I realized I was in way over my head. I just had to keep going in spite of myself.

If my teacher would have seen the disaster that occurred in my bathroom today, she would have confirmed, not just by the forgetting of the glasses and wrongly marked papers, she was right. That little shit couldn’t see! No glasses would have helped me today. My lesson is no matter how bad your work is going don’t dye your own roots.

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2018

I sit here today in this coffee shop assessing the carnage that 2018 has left in its wake. I try to start each year out with the best intentions, and I rarely think that a entire year is just bullshit. Don’t get me wrong, there were a few bright spots in this one and I can count them. I am thankful for them. Otherwise, I might be playing my ukulele on a street corner, in a aggressive, agitated manner singing lyrics to off color themes that somehow suit only me. Just like a true musician.

My New Year’s resolution have typically been to lower my standards. I don’t believe it is possible to lower my standards to depths that have never been attempted in order to ring in 2019. My standards are presently at rock bottom, and to get any lower I will need to dig a hole. Seems too optimistic for me to pick up a shovel to start digging today, but I think I will keep the shovel close by, just in case.

2018 has hurt my feelings, my spirit, and I think it even called me fat. 2018 has been that toxic friend that came to my house hungry, ate my cooking and then told me that my food gave them explosive diarrhea all over my bathroom. The aftermath to be cleaned by me. I am still scrubbing, but I just cannot get ride of the stench of 2018. Not yet.

As grateful and thankful as I want to be, I feel I need to send 2018 off in a manner that is fitting, at least to me. 2018 has left me with a bad attitude and a unrelenting right eye twitch. I am presently seeking a level of Botox that has never been tried in order to quiet my twitch and any or all emotional responses that 2018 tends to evoke. I am hoping that if I happen to shed a tear in public again, all witnesses would think that it is just due to my inability to blink in a manner that seems consistent. I would like the Botox to give the impression to others that I am relaxed, calm, composed, happy or dead. Whatever works.

With my Botox doing its job, I will there tonight counting down the end of 2018, maybe a little too loudly. I will not try to dwell in the events of 2018 that shaped this year. I am not sure 2018 taught me any good lessons. Actually, 2018 reminds of a grade school gym teacher that liked playing dodge ball a little too much with the kids and I was the slow one with the welts. However,I’ll be there tonight anxious watching your demise. I will be the one with a drink in one hand and a shovel in the other, just in case.

A Ghost Story

I stayed in a old hotel in wine country that is said to be haunted by a man named John. Once I stayed here with my sister and she refuses to ever stay here again. She had an encounter in the bathroom of this establishment and for the rest of her stay, I had to go everywhere with her, including the bathroom. I never doubted my sister’s experience, I was actually over the moon about it. During my recent stay at this hotel, some interesting things happened that make me want to stay here more often.  The incidents were small and could be easily explained away by any skeptic. However, if I could get Josh Gates from Expedition Unknown to join me there for a weekend. It would be a dream come true.

I have been watching Josh Gates for years. For those who do not know of him and his TV shows, he investigates popular unsolved events. I started watching Destination Truth years ago.  Josh and his crew would investigate places that were said to be haunted and he would also hunt for evidence regarding mythical creatures like Big Foot and the Chupacabra. I found his show to be fascinating. I was addicted to Josh for a bit.

The other night while I was sleeping, I was awoken by unfamiliar sounds that I couldn’t figure out. At first it sounded as if maybe Ella left some magazines sitting on her bed and kicked them off in her sleep. I got up to inspect, but I found nothing that could explain the sound. This shuffling sound brought me to almost every room of my house, but I could not find the cause of the noise. By the time morning arrived, I was tired but excited about the possibilities of the cause of the sounds, until I wasn’t. I guess I was a bit slow, reluctant or just in complete denial to realize that the noises could have been caused by a mouse.

I’m a reasonable person, mostly. The prospect of my house being haunted was the less terrifying option to perhaps having a mouse. At least with a ghost you don’t really “have” to do anything, as long as it is not the dramatic “GET OUT” kind of phantom.  It could be a roommate of sorts that doesn’t need a bed. On hot days, you can request that it walks by at a regular pace, contingent your location, so you get the cold air conditioning effect that some tend to get when a spirit brushes past.

I could see us becoming close and forming some type of relationship where he/she will agree to be the big spoon at least 50% of the time, cause I like to be the big spoon too. Perhaps, that is a bit much, but if it wants to set my alarm clock off at weird times and throw things randomly across my room that’s just fine too. I doubt I would notice much, considering that I have 7 different active alarms set on my phone that go off weekly at odd times that I fail to inactivate, and my housekeeping skills are atrocious. A ghost would not change the dynamics of my household much.

However, the thought of having a mouse in my house is terrifying! Coming face to face with a mouse makes me weak. I might have to move or just burn my house to the ground. To set out on a mouse expedition seems too daunting. I mean, why would I cover the entire square footage of my home (it’s only 750 square feet, but this is beside the point) to find something I am not interesting in knowing I have, and then what? Do I put a collar on it, name it Carl and teach it to use the toilet?

I was sharing this concern with the man I am presently dating. I let him know that I was still hoping that my home was haunted and not adopted by a needy vermin. I was informed that he would break up with me if my house was haunted. I didn’t share that I most likely would be spooning with my ghost, so his decision seemed almost fair. I have been ghosted, but never dumped because of a ghost. Dating after this would be interesting, I wonder if I would put “must like ghosts” on my  online profile. Things to ponder.

He did offer to help me to get to the bottom of this mystery, and  he did not seem to be put off at all with the possibility of a wayward mouse. That’s something. If it was the other way around and he asked me to help him, I most likely would say, fuck this! You are on your own! It seems I feel the same way about mice as he feels about ghosts.

Do I really want to get to the bottom of the noises?  In my mind it was a mouse or a ghost. Either way, I lose. After the investigation, I will most likely have a new pet or have to update my dating profile. Both prospects are equally horrific in my mind.

As I said previously, I am a reasonable person. Most reasonable people would think that the likelihood of my house being haunted is slim to none, but most don’t know my luck.  When I see a bird sitting on a wire that I have to walk under. I have a small, but short internal battle with myself every time, because I want to force myself to walk directly under the bird with the hope of get crapped on, because I hear that it is good luck.  I believe that I am getting off on a tangent, but it’s important to point out that I am desperate enough to get shit on if it would make my luck go in a positive direction.

To be clear and to get back to the subject at hand, I don’t feel that having a ghost is unlucky, but going through the whole rigmarole of online dating is epitome of bad luck. I hope to change all this bad luck with either not having a ghost or a mouse. For now, I will just buy a Mega Millions  lottery ticket and take a walk. I’ll be on the look out for birds who look as if they have full stomachs, perched above.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I Made A Friend

Over 12 years ago I developed horrible stomach issues. I visited the doctor and had several endoscopy tests. I had so many of these tests that I actually looked forward to them, because I can’t express to you how much I LOVE the medication that is used for sedation. The medication used is Midozolam, it’s also called Versed.   This drug induces drowsiness, relieves anxiety and prevents one from remembering the events. How I love thee.

Every time I have a unfortunate lifetime event, I think about how if I were psychic and if I had endless access to this medication, well, life would be WONDERFUL. Every time I woke up after one of these procedures I felt as if my mind just had a vacation. I would leave from this outpatient incident feeling like a woke up from a month long vacation where I was not required to use my brain once. The reality was that I just didn’t remember any brain use. I find this equally blissful.

However,  once my mind recovered from its vacation after the procedure, my stomach would return quickly to its crappy state, and the test never told me what was the matter.  I tried eliminations diets, not allowing myself to eat or drink anything that made life worth living. Nothing really worked, and the only thing I regretted was the food, wine, and coffee that I restricted for as long as I did. I drank straight aloe vera juice, popped expensive probiotic pills like Tic Tac mints . Still nothing seemed to stop my stomach from churning in its sick like way. Imagine having a nauseous, upset stomach from sun up to sun down regardless of what was eaten. Even plain water upset my stomach.

I am not sure if I searched the internet or if a friend told me to try kombucha. For those who may not know what kombucha is, it is a drink made by fermenting sweet tea with a culture of yeast and bacteria. I started by buying a few bottles from my local grocery store. It became evident that after a few weeks that my stomach was acting less bitchy, so I bought more. However, at almost 4 dollars a bottle I thought deeply about making it by myself, and a friend eventually gifted me with a starter kit to make my own.

The kit is simple. It comes with a big glass jar, sugar, tea, and a SCOBY. A SCOBY stands for: Symbiotic Culture Of Bacteria and Yeast. This is the one of the most necessary ingredients for making kombucha, aside from the glass, tea and sugar. The SCOBY comes in a small shape that looks like a round, tan frisbee. When all of these ingredients are put together, after a few easy steps, the fun starts.

I have been brewing kombucha for 10 months. The small SCOBY has grown, big. Actually, it’s massively terrifying.  I have two batches of kombucha brewing at the same time. I used the original SCOBY to make a brother or sister to keep the other one company.  They both sit in my living room, because it tends to be the warmest place in my home, next to my fireplace. Their placement also ensures that my guests don’t stay too long.

These fermenting vats look like a holding tank for the blob. If you ever saw the movie, you know what I am referring to. The movie frightened me as a child. The remarkable difference between the blob and the SCOBY is that the SCOBY looks more like flesh. Every week, I need to remove it from its home in order to harvest its hard work. I can’t help but get full body chills when I have to touch it. It seems to want to hold my hand when I grab it out of the jar.  I pretend not to mind. I don’t want to make it feel bad.  I’m sure it has grown some feelings over the last 10 months.

I also think it might have grown some sort of brain over the past several months, because it seems confident. I often tell Ella to seek math advice from SCOBY when she has homework.  At the least, I think SCOBY likes the conversation and simple math seems to be something that it might be able to manage.  SCOBY seems engaged during the conversations I tend to have with it. I wholeheartedly believe that it listens to everything that is said, kind of like Alexa or the Echo devices that people have in their homes. I can only assume at some point SCOBY will begin to answer my questions about what the daily weather forecast will be or maybe play my favorite song.  I have high hopes.

I believe that SCOBY will be my best companion as long as the temperature remains between 68-78 degrees Fahrenheit. Summer will be tough, I hope that our bond is strong enough to get through it without air conditioning as Portland summers keeps getting hotter and hotter. Once it grows arms, I have all these knitting patterns that we can try and I have an endless amount of weeds that it can assist me removing.  Now that my gut is cooperating, the options will be endless.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Don’t Forget To Bring a Towel

I cried at work yesterday. I cried while in the process of interviewing a person during an abuse investigation. I had to stop, because I, like some, do not have the ability to 7 not cry, ever. I am not saying I pride myself on this, but I have put some work in on deadening any and all emotions, over the past twenty some years, that my work can bring up. I consider yesterday a system’s failure of some sort or maybe it was a plumbing failure. I don’t know what happened, but I do know THAT cannot happen EVER again.

When I do not have total control over things that I typically have control over, I tend to lean to extreme measures on gain back the lost power. I am not unlike the dedicated religious folks that prove their love of HIM by self-flagellating or mortification practices. However, instead of attaching a razor to string and attacking my backside or deciding not to eat, speak or sleep on a floor without pillow, mattress or blanket. I just want to dig a hole and bury myself for an undisclosed amount of time. It was pointed out that burying myself might prove to be too difficult, and I typically never ask for help. Therefore, I have decided that I will just lay in my hole, face down, after a hard rain. This process probably will have to be repeated.

In addition to the time in my hole, I have also decided to institute another practice that will employ my friends, co-workers, and everybody that has to deal with me for more than 5 minutes. Recently, I was treated to the best massage I ever had. However, during the massage the masseur decided I was looking around “too much”, so he just threw a towel over my face. No words were spoken between us, just a towel thrown over my face without warning. It was fabulous.

I realize how wonderful this could be if I could repeat this towel over the face thing in other day-to-day life situations. I would provide friends with cold towels infused with herbal scents or warm towels, based on the circumstances. For example, while waiting in those long checkout lines at the grocery store, just throw a warm towel over my face. I’m always so cold in supermarkets anyway. I would calmly pass the time. Perhaps, this could also work during staff meetings, when told I need to add some ridiculous process to my already overloaded work responsibilities, just throw a cold towel infused with jasmine and chamomile directly over my face without hesitation. I would peacefully acquiesce. The scenarios are endless. I could bring towels everywhere. Under the towel would become my happy place.

There is something absolutely freeing about having a towel covering my face. It reminds me of the time in child’s development called object permanence when a child feels that they cannot been seen when they are covering their eyes. Having a towel over my face is interesting similar for me. Of course, I know that people can see me, but I like people not having the option of looking at or seeing my face. I do not like people giving the opportunity to see or read my emotions. If I could only wear a paper bag. In the meantime, I believe I will just train all who know and interact with me to throw a towel over my face at the onset of any emotion, mostly negative fervor. However, I will let the decision up to the towel holder until I spend enough time in my hole deadening all my emotional responses.

All For Love

I recently took a little weekend trip, spending a bunch of money to go to a place I never wanted to go, to see a bunch of things that I didn’t wanted to see, and now cannot un-see. It felt as if I was taken by rocket to another heavenly body and landed on planet Kentucky, and spent time in a small out of this world place named Breyerfest. I was the alien and Ella was no longer my daughter, but she was a tour guide that spoke the local people’s language.

Breyerfest is a celebration of horses through the use of plastics. On the face of it is seems pure, and for the kids I think it is. However, the adults made it creepy, particularly the adult females who are zealous Breyer horse lovers. I spent most of my time observing these specimens.

Many of these ladies came to this event without kids in tow. Most were wearing hats stuck with pins decorated from past years of this fest, and dressed in tacky Breyerfest T-shirts. These ladies were easy to spot, because they were carrying bags and bags of plastic horses that they might have been waiting all year to buy, muttering to themselves about how excited they were about the certificate of authenticity that came with their purchased toy horses. Grown ass women. Some actually had their faces painted, like the kids. My weekend at Breyerfest was a practice of tolerance and non-judgement, similar to when subjected to awful performance arts, like mimes or bad porn. For the record, I would much rather watch lousy porn over having any interaction with a mime. Mimes are passive aggressive introverts, with an addiction to face paint.

I have to admit I felt dirty during my time at Breyerfest. Viewing most of the seven deadly sins playing out in real time tends to make me feel real filthy, real fast. I wrote on the suggestions cards for next year to put portable showers scattered throughout the park. They would have been most helpful. I am not sure if it was the feeling of being in constant need of a shower, remorse for agreeing to embark on this journey, or my general failing to understand anything that was happening, but Breyerfest gave me a raging case of Breyer bitchy. I wonder if Breyer will use this name for their next horse model? If this model horse has a slightly crooked nose and comes with a mane that reacts to humidity, I would feel flattered.

Going into this event I thought that I knew my daughter, but I am completely questioning this at the present. Ella loved this event so much, she was in heaven. Ella would say things to me (while we were looking at plastic horse models she wanted to buy) like, “Mom, we met this actual horse today when we were at the barn!” She would say this like we met a celebrity. I would say, ” Oh, yes, I remember, such a nice horse. Was this one who is signing autographs from 3 to 3:30? We should go back and have him sign your T-shirt.” Ella would remind me that it was not the horse signing autographs, but the owner of the horse. Well, the sign on the outside of the horse stall did not specify it would be the owner’s autograph, and I must say I was deeply disappointed to learn that Breyer horses weren’t special enough to know how to sign their own names.

I always thought that my daughter wasn’t entitled, but I believe I was fooled just because her temper tantrums ended years ago when things didn’t go her way. I realize that she is just silent, probably quietly screaming on the inside. But let’s not be mistaken, my daughter is spoiled with a capital “FUCK ME”! However, to put things in perspective from a Breyer lover’s stand point, why would you travel the entire way to the mecca of Breyer and not pick up a few horses, regardless of who picks up the tab. I realize in retrospect, I should have had a few conversations with Ella regarding expectations.

Ella was dead set on going to a thing called the “Special Run” to gather a few more Breyers to add to her collection with my wallet. I had no idea what was happening of course, so I had to have Ella explain to me why we were standing in this particular line to buy horses when these little horses were literally on sale everywhere in the park. When Ella was finished explaining, I still failed to appreciate her explanation. I asked her to start over and summarize in terms I could comprehend by comparing the horses on sale in this line to something I could understand. Ella started by saying, “pretend you are at winery event”. Really, this is all she had to say to get me to start listening. She said, “imagine that there was an event and the wine maker made a special bottle of wine just to be released to sell at the event for the members who attended”. Well, the comparison made sense, but there was a flaw. I would NEVER spend $85.00 for one, let alone two bottles of wine! Ella insisted on two specially made plastic horses.

Interestingly, there was even more places to buy Breyer wares outside of the Kentucky Horse Park. There was a a hotel that was a noted destination. Over 200 room rented by Breyer lovers who opened up their rooms each day and night (until mid-night), so all who were interested could stroll in and shop out of their rooms, while even members of their own families slept in the beds. In some rooms, the renters moved all the furniture out so there would be more space available for merchandise. I am not certain where these people slept.

There was a definite creep factor associated with this Breyer destination, but it was lessened by the fact that this hotel had a bar. Perusing people’s hotel rooms with a glass of wine in hand, took the edge off of my Breyer bitchy. I want to say that I didn’t need alcohol on this trip, but I did, bad. The unfortunate tidbit is that there was little to no alcohol available at the Breyerfest venue. In my mind, I thought that perhaps bourbon or whiskey would be on sale and as plentiful as those little fucking toy horses, but hell no. I suggested putting the bourbon stands next to the shower stalls in the years to come, for convenience of course. I want to feel drunk when I am being violated financially and spiritually, and like to shower up rights afterwards.

I did not get to experience the live auctions this year, because I could not wrap my mind around this concept. I heard many, many people talking about this, but could not mentally grasp that people would gather and bid on toy horses, saddles, gear, and other Breyer bullshit, spending thousands and thousands of dollars. I overheard that one TOY horse model actually sold for $14,000 dollars. I. DON’T. GET. IT.

I was chatting up a vendor and he told me that two years ago, a GROWN ASS WOMAN showed him a TOY saddle she bought at auction for $2,000 dollars. He explained that as she was showing him this rhinestone crusted saddle, another GROWN ASS WOMAN tried to steal it and these ladies fought and wrestled on the floor of the arena. I was telling this story to Ella a bit later and Ella piped up and said she totally understood why someone would spend $2000 dollars for a collectible. Maybe it was the third day of Breyerfest that had me weary, or lack of alcohol to take the edge off, or maybe it was just feeling overwhelmingly dirty for far too long, but I actually teared up and had to walk away. How could two people of the same blood come to the same event and have two completely different experiences? One being in complete and utter bliss and the other left empty, despondent and hopeless in and of mankind.

The trip brought on many mini panic attacks envisioning Ella 20 to 30 years older walking through Breyerfest with her accessorized hat, T-shirt, and bags and bags of toy plastic horses. I did some rumination on how I could in a hurry buy Ella a real horse so she might leave all this nonsense in her childhood, where it should most definitely stay. But then I realized what does it matter anyway? I will be here to support Ella with my heart, but maybe less with my wallet in the following years.

In 20 years if I was lucky enough to still be here and be with Ella at Breyerfest, I would be honored to hold Ella’s pin infested hat while she tussles with the gal who was silly enough to think that she could get away with stealing Ella’s well earned collectible. To be clear, I would be reminding her, maybe rather loudly, during the ordeal that she could have bought a real horse with all the money she has blown on plastic horses and other prized Breyer treasures. However, I would most certainly be assisting her in fighting as dirty as possible, as Breyerfest brings out the best in me.

Dear Tinder

I had a bunch of reservations when I made the leap and signed up and actually paid for a membership. I understand that many people don’t actually pay for you, and I still do not understand the difference between the paid and unpaid membership that you offer, except that I paid. I told myself that I was done with you and other sites like you. I would much rather just pick up a homeless person and take him home, treat him to a shower and see what I am working with. I felt that it wasn’t going to be much different from what you present me with on your site. However, I figured that by signing up with you, I wouldn’t have to clean my shower as often.

I have to say that I was not sure what I was doing or what was lurking behind the swipes right. I would be lying if I did not mention there was a bunch of people I did not expect to see on your site. I do not want to appear judgmental, but there were many married men looking for a good time on your site. Are you aware of this? I am sure you must be.

Others were on your site with their partner looking for a third, and I found this fascinating for several reasons. I wondered which partner was the one to bring this up in their relationship and which of the two made the Tinder profile. Did they compromise on what information they put out there? Did they sit and swipe right together? I always wondered which one swiped right on me? I don’t think they knew that I have zero ability to multi-task, that’s okay I don’t think I noted this in my profile anyway. I didn’t think it was important. However, I do think it’s important to mention that nowhere in my profile did I EVER say that I was interested in being a third. I can barely managed being a half.

I gave these couples very little serious consideration, but I did ponder the awkwardness of the first date, if I would have chosen them, like my forever couple. Would we have gone bowling? Would I have gotten a Pedicure with the wife, while the husband watched? Could this have been considered foreplay? I honestly, have no idea how it would have worked. Would we have all gone out to dinner to discuss our likes and dislikes, and powered through all the long, uneasy breaks in conversations while thinking that I am failing to impress not one, but two people. No, I did not pick a couple. I would have never picked a couple to date. I’d rather just disappoint one person at a time.

My time with you was short, sweet, and I was barely corrupted. Because of this, I write this tangential “thank you” letter to you, Tinder. Thank you for being the creepy little “go to” dating site that gave me the push needed to see that there are other semi-normal people out there, like me. I will always remember you, like that leering relative who sits in the corner at a family function and asks (maybe too politely) for you to come sit on his lap while he sings “Happy Birthday” in your ear. But it’s not your birthday, and after you never want your birthday to come again.

Not Up High or Down Low

Years ago, when Ella was in kindergarten there was this family that insisted on standing outside the school each morning to high five each and every single student that walked through the doors. Grandma, mother, father, and yes, even baby brother, slowed down the process of getting inside the school. At the beginning of the year, I thought that they were going to do this for the first week or so to give all the new students an added boost, but months into the school year, this family still was slapping every single little unwashed hand that passed through the threshold.

I hoped that this family would come down with a virus or two, but they all had the immune systems of champions, which made me dislike them all the more. Every morning I would stand impatiently in the rain, getting wet and cold because of this family’s compulsion to “touch” children. My neurotic notion that someone might snatch my child, made it impossible to leave Ella standing in line (with her classmates and the teacher), I needed to see her physically cross through the entrance to the school before I could walk away. I stood disgruntled, eyes of daggers, waiting for my daughter to get by this family, everyday.

I would stand still and silent, but in my head I was screaming to Ella hoping that she wold connect with me, maybe by mental telepathy. Everyday, I would will her with all my power to ignore the family of high fivers and leave them hanging, like losers. I would wager daily bets inside my head. But for 8 months, everyday, Ella slapped every single hand and I would walk away despondent.

I sometimes wonder about this family. I imagine that they are still high fiving at most everything. In my mind, it would seem that they high five after doing the dishes, mowing the yard, or maybe after a high fiber meal. The thought of this just makes me shutter. I have tried to teach my daughter right and correct all this excessive use of skin slapping. My home is a “no high five zone”, nor is it a home for its relatives like the fist or the elbow bump. I am teaching my daughter to express joy by using her words or by texting them like a normal human being.

Marathon Torture

For the past several years, I have been running half marathons (13.1 miles) almost every month. For me, being in shape to run a half marathon at any given time keeps my belief alive that if a zombie outbreak or any other dystopian situation should occur, I might have a fighting chance. I train by running a set number of miles per week and then go to the gym to work any muscle group that is presently disappointing me.  I am in a constant state of sore.

This routine has become pretty easy, mostly. Sometimes I am more prepared for my monthly half marathon and the run seems fast(ish) and easy. Other months it isn’t, but I know that I can squeak out the miles even when I’m not looking particularly pretty or happy while running it.

Recently, two of my beautiful girlfriends decided to run a full marathon. Peer pressure has been a problem for me since I was a teen. I decided to join even though there was really no pressure or consequence to me personally.  I have only run one marathon in my life and I thought that was enough, but apparently not.  I  guess I just wanted to belong to the small group of self torturers.

Torture is in short the deliberate infliction of pain (psychological or physical) in order to fill some desire. Typically, there is a person or entity doing the inflicting, but in the case of marathon training I am both the dispenser and victim. I could make the leap and say that  as a marathon trainer/runner I might exhibit some of the same traits as those who self-harm.  I tend to work out a bunch of emotional garbage while I’m running, and it is a way to control and allocate the amount of pain being inflicted. The striking difference is there are no sharp objects involved. Running shoes are the chosen weapon.

This past week I ran almost 50 miles in total. And I ran out of all ideas of getting needed nutrition during my runs, so I didn’t. I ran out of water on my 16 miler. Note to self and other runners, don’t bring nuts as nutrition. Especially, don’t  bring nuts when water is in short supply.  On the positive, I have not crapped my pants yet or laid down in an attempt to have passerbys just bury me in a shallow grave.

Parts of my brain have stopped communicating with one another. I am not sure if it’s because of some infighting that I am not being kept in the loop on or if all the running has just over heated a few circuits causing permanent damage. However, when the part of the brain tells me to put on my running shoes, I do. I don’t even argue anymore. My brain is the drill sergeant and my body is the recruit.  However, it is important to note, I don’t believe what is presently being made is a warrior set to fight.

When I hit the road, I only hope that I put on all my running clothes, because I could see myself forgetting my shorts and not caring enough to turn around. I can already imagine the internal argument for not turning back. I will be too hot with them, less friction is better anyways or I’m sure nobody will notice. I have had similar thoughts about forgetting my water. It’s Portland, so it is typically raining anyway. I am sure I can find a semi-clear mud puddle to quietly sip from or I can wring out the collected rainwater and sweat from my running shirt. I’m sure it would be similar to the electrolyte drinks that I consume from time to time.

I’m less than a month away from my marathon. I am hopeful that I stay healthy enough to be at the start line, but I also dread the idea of running all 26.2 miles on this given day. In the back of my mind, I do dread and love the idea of a zombie attack happening during my training. It would be anti-climatic for both me and the zombies. Most likely, I would not have the energy or will to run. Instead, I would just lay down and welcome sweet death.  Perhaps I would just saunter up a one of the soulless and present my neck as a gift. The zombie will most likely be disappointed with the muscle atrophy and lack of salt in my blood and will be looking for some type of condiment to add to make the kill a bit more satisfying.

 

 

Acceptable Amount

I cleaned my house today.  I am not the best homemaker. Saying that my house looks like a bachelor lives here is an insult to some of my bachelor friends who are much better decorators and home engineers than myself. I do want to hire a person to clean my home, but I do have an issue hiring someone to do a job that I know that I should be capable of doing.  Hiring someone seems to be a chore in itself,  because I realize that I will have to clean my home from top to bottom, just so my cleaning person doesn’t pre-judge the person that I am. Not that I’m hung up on what people think of me, but for some reason I don’t want a complete stranger to think I’m dirty. Interestingly, I am totally fine with friends and family thinking this of me.

My inability to home make might be related to issues with my attention span for the minutia. My regard for detail is incredibly compromised and down right broken. I might be the opposite of a person with a super power. I believe that I can only rely on one of my senses at a given time. For example, when I am focused on breathing, my sight fogs ever so slightly around the edges. I don’t think glasses will fix this.

Today, when I was cleaning the bottom of my window sill  I noticed that that there was a spot that I have not seen and cleaned for the past 5 years, on 5 panes of glass in my living room. This was a substantial spot I did not see that had collected all that was bad, disgusting, and evil. Anyone else would have spotted this when they entered my home almost immediately. The fact that I was blind to this large spot of window for so long makes much more sense to why my past relationships have ended in failure.

I dedicated my focus and attempted to undue what time and dog hair had done to my window crevice. I worked for a while. And I grew tired. I thought to myself, is there an acceptable amount of crud that is forgivable? I hated that I was having this internal argument with myself, because I knew the answer. No, clean this shit up! But still I debated the question with myself, because my standards might be different since I can just pull the curtain and hid the window, until the next sunny day.

I am also notorious for shoving as much stuff as I can fit in my closets and storage spaces and shutting the doors to give the illusion that my house is organized, please don’t open the closet doors or my cupboards though. I imagine that  neurosurgeons would find the same horrific sight if they opened my skull, they would diligently try to close me back up in an attempt to not have an avalanche of ill fitted bits and pieces of information that I shoved into my brain hurriedly with the intent to come back later and fit it or organize it into a better location, but didn’t. It makes sense that as I attempt to explain simple concepts to others that I often take longer than usual exploring tangents like I do when I open the junk door in my kitchen, asking myself when did I put that in there and why?

Is there acceptable amount? No. But it seems I have a bunch of it and it wants to make friends. I do watch the California Closets info commercials with childlike wonder. Perhaps, some day I will grow up to be like the people in those ads, so perfectly put together. Until then I will spot clean those areas of my home that get away from me, along with my mind. I will keep my closet doors shut for now and hope to eventually find  a person with an eye for detail needed to help clean my home that is in possession of a magic wand and a non-judgmental heart.