Tuesday, April 20, 2021

Lucky Pennies Actually Work. Fact.

 I could not get it right this morning!  Wasn't going to happen!  

Drove all the way in to town only to find out that my insurance company lied to me about where I can and cannot get glasses.  

Drove aaaaaaaall the way back home, went back online and then drove aaaall the way to town again to another place where the woman did not speak English with any great show of confidence and somehow managed to get  my message across, only to find out that the optician was not in.  

Drove aaaaallll the way home and laid down in my AIR CONDITIONED bedroom and stared into the darkness, wondering what it all means.  

Went back out and drove aaaalll the way to the post office to find that I'd gotten a t-shirt!  And I found a lucky penny!  Yay!  

Then I drove aaaaall the way to the pharmacy only to find out that they no longer carry one of my inhalers because it costs $287546792734.00  SHIIIIIIIIIIIIT but found another lucky penny YAY!

Well, this was enough damn nonsense for one day.  So I drove aaaaaallll the way to the next town over and bought myself a rose.  Yes I did.  Right off the truck, perky and beautiful, Weeks Rose 'Oranges and Lemons' which went right in pride of place next to 'Improved Josephs' Coat' YAY.  I get rewards for surviving days like this.

Then I gardened, and it was evening, and all the neighborhood children stopped and told me various confusing things, and I nodded a lot and went 'Oh really?'  

Then Neighborhood Crackheads dog Chica, a very solidly built Staffie, came barreling into the yard, did three laps around the house with NC in full pursuit,  and then decided that I would be fun to bash into and wrestle with while I was kneeling there pulling weeds.  This occurred.  It was not planned.  I was not expecting this. So I had a conversation with Neighborhood Crackhead while I was upside down lying on the grass with his big ol' dog sitting on my chest. He just leaned over and talked down to my face about Portugeuse dogs for awhile.  OK then.  The Biker came up and they got talking about Portugeuse dogs, and meanwhile I was rolled across the lawn by Chica and generally treated like a big ol' dog toy.

I can think of worst ways to end an evening. 

Saturday, April 17, 2021

Kum Ba Yah

 I don't know how this keeps happening to me, but I now have a new Pet Teenager, and four little Pet Kids, and all of the want a damn botany  lesson every time I go outside.  I am going to set one little boy up with a potted cactus garden - well, sedums - because they're easy and he thinks they're cool and dinosaury-looking.

Aren't little kids supposed to...I dunno, do graffitti and break into abandoned houses and shit?  Or was that just me?

I'm a reasonably pleasant woman, even to Suspected Chimo/Neighborhood Crackhead; I'll stop and chat with folks, I give dogs face woogies, I say 'Hi' to Clinically Depressed Black Kitty, and it's nice.  But the kids...aren't they supposed to be playing video games and watching porn online?  Why are they outdoors?  Why are they talking to old ladies?  WHY ARE THEY INTERESTED IN THE HISTORY OF THE TULIP?    

I mean it!  I grow speciosas, and they were fascinated when I told them 'those are wild tulips.' 


RAWR.

They wanted to see how a little starry flower that grows wild in the mountains of Turkey went from being a tiny thing to a tall, colorful Darwin - and I'm dork enough that I do in fact have all the selections in-between - and they were interested!  Then they wanted to know the name of every single flower, and I told them.  Still not bored.  Still full of questions.  They wanted to know about the difference between roots and bulbs, and I showed them that!  Still not bored, actually kind of jazzed, running around guessing which plant had a root and which had a bulb.  I was...bemused.  And then they wanted to know why some plants have bulbs and others have roots, and at that point I was just about botany-d out.

New Pet Teenager is coming over tomorrow to help me pull up weeds and do edging.  She's the kid who had her own Gay Pride coming out Birthday Parade a couple of weeks ago.  Kid is 13. Far be it from me to turn down exploitable teenage labor.

_____________________________

I have a new best friend.  It stands three feet tall and has cute little wheels.  It is AN AIR CONDITIONER and it is in my bedroom and I LOVE IT.  My room stayed a steady 65 degrees all night, I slept like a log, the air was moving; and like Wynonas Big Brown Beaver, I wish I did have a pair.  I am astounded how efficient this thing is.  Five minutes, room is nicely chilled.  And my room faces SSW.  The hottest room in the house.  Not anymore!


You want cool?  I got cool. I got aaaallll the cool, baby.

We ARE getting insulation, by the way.  I keep dropping reminders, The Biker keeps sighing and the message is working its way into his brain: Insulation.  Heat tape.  NE winds that last 14 days and nights at a crack. Age = sucks.  Warmth = good.  Comfort = good.  Old bitchy chilly whiny wife = Not Good. Very persistent, though. 

_____________________________

Two weeks ago it was snowing in the foothills two miles away.  This week we're going to be hitting 80f.  This is as extreme a seasonal change as I've ever seen.  Being able to go outside in a t-shirt and sandals is like a blessing.  Leaving the windows and doors open and living the indoor-outdoor life just feels so right, like being let out of prison.  This past winter really drove home for me and the Biker as well just how indoor-outdoor 'whole property'  we live. There's always something to do, the garage is open, the sheds are open, various power tools are being used, projects are being constructed...we are cozy homebodies and super house-proud. The barbecue is always at our crib. We invented the staycation. 


"Wow Dad, we can fit two whole puppies on our new grill!  That's keen!"

So of course when the Biker told me that he had a birthday party planned for me with guests that he'd already invited, I had a spaz fit and a panic attack.  It was not beautiful or appropriate. 


AAAAAAAA NOT GUESTS OMG PEOPLE HUMANS SPAZ TRIP FREAK NO GOD NO


God I hate being this way.  Two days later I'm like 'what the fuck was I thinking?  Where the fuck did that come from?  Why did I freak out like that?'  I know these people.  They're our friends.  I feel totally fine about the idea today.  

But that's a sign I'm going in the right direction, anyway.  Two more days of adjusted dosage under my belt is duct-taping my synapes back together in friendly configurations. It's a process.  I wish it were a faster process, but at least I'm seeing positive progress, so there's that.


And TULIPS!!



Tuesday, April 13, 2021

Shit Back Together, No More Robins

Life is good!   My little feathered tormentor has finally decided that Reflection Robin is just a fact of life and he can't do anything about it.  

"Screw Reflection Robin. Yeah, fuck you, Reflection Robin, I'm ignoring you!  Yeah!  Stick that up your ass! Ha!" 

And in another week I can take all the plastic bottles down from the shrubs and trees...that look demented...and recycle those.  I'm looking forward to it.

Getting my new medications adjusted has been quite the interesting trip.  It's ongoing.  Upside:  I'm mildly high until about 1:00 in the afternoon, when the heebie jeebies start knocking at the back of my brain. "What if you have cancer and you don't know it? What if someone has been watching you through binoculars for years here in town and they're going to kill you?  What if your husband is in the hospital with a heart attack right now and it's just nobody has called you yet? What if we get shitty insulation and next winter - no I can't face another winter - OH GOD NOOOOOOOOOOO" aaaaand FirstNations takes herself a Valium and a couple of mood stabilizers. 



And I chew them.  

Like candy.

They do not taste good. 

But they hit my system fully deployed and ready to cross that blood-brain barrier, God bless 'em; and ten, fifteen minutes go by?  Life is normal.  It stays normal until just before bed, when I take a handful of pills and ten, fifteen minutes later BOOM out like a light for eight blessed, unbroken hours of sleep.

And no weird horse dreams.  That's key.

Just thinking of you makes my nipples tingle, baby.   


I was having dreams so jam-packed with activity and people and shifting storylines that it was waking me up. Remember those rooms in electronics stores where there were twenty-five televisions all tuned to the same channel?  Imagine that room, but every television is on a completely different channel, and the sound is cranking.  Yeah, sleep  through that shit.

Another strange thing that happened was that I was waking up and not being quite sure where I was - the house I grew up in, or the house I live in now, or the house I was just dreaming about.  Or waking up not knowing which direction I was facing, which is hard to explain so just take that one on faith; it's weird. 

That's a mild form of hypnogogic hallucination.  And that disorder is common on the ground. Ten percent of the population have it.  Stephen King has it.  (Explains a lot, right?)  In fact Stephen King has a subtype called 'Old Hag Syndrome'.

                                       It's 2:A.M. and you got some 'splainin to do, Stephen.  

  

You wake up paralyzed with a horrible old woman sitting on your chest, trying to strangle you, or just generally being a scary bitch.  Whole towns in Africa have this form of HH.  It runs in families.  Now why so specific?  Why not...a small cow?  

 I'M PISSED OOOOFF!  I'M REALLY PISSED OOOOFF! 

Right? That would be fucked up. You wake up paralyzed and there's a small angry cow standing on your chest looking at you? Why not a cow?  I do not have the answer to that question. 

Anyway.   You know what I did to celebrate getting my shit together?  I took all that free money that Mr. Biden sent me, went online and I spent $214.00 on clothes.  Thank you Uncle Joe.  Now the world will know that I love Jimi Hendrix. They will goggle in wonder at H.R. Gigers image 'Alien - In Space No One Can Hear You Scream' plastered all over my tits. The will know that I work in the Science Department of the USS Enterprise. They will know that I am an alumnus of Miskatonic University. People will see that I like John Lee Hooker.  They will be exposed to the idea that I hope that they will 'Live Long And Prosper' but they won't be able to read the message as such because it's written in the Vulcan ceremonial script tanaf-kitaun.  Not Gotavlu zukitaun; pfft. Tanaf-kitaun. Yeah that's right.

                                                             Dif tor heh smusa, y'all.
 

 I was looking at my clothes a couple days ago while I was folding laundry, and realized 'Shit, my stuff is seriously beat!  That will not do!' (This is the kind of everyday thing you miss when you're working on a case of depressive psychosis.) So Uncle Joe bought me some killer dorklord t-shirts, paid for some new pairs of pants, and a lot of socks.  

Tell ya what, I'm hooked.  Buying clothes online is The Shiz.   And I completely replaced all my shit for $214.00!!!  But the best part is not having to go to a store full of icky freaky germy people, spend my gas money, and probably not find what I want.  You can't go into, say, Penny's, and grab an H.R. Giger t-shirt.  Nope. 

"Can't you go check in back? What do you mean you don't sell those here?  I've bought them here before.  No, I'm upset.  I'm really upset.  I want to talk to a manager.  No H.R. Giger T-shirts in stock like you expect me to believe that? Ha, you're just too lazy and ugly and stupid to go check. I'll stand right here.  Everybody?  Everybody?  I want you to look at the laziest excuse for a clerk in America right here.  She won't go in back and check and see if they have my shirt in stock.  It's ridiculous.  Why is the manager taking so long?  I'm going to sue you and this company for my time.  I mean it.  My time is valuable.  I'll do it."  
 

Go online, you find nothing BUT H.R. Giger T-shirts, man, you just type that shit in!  I want grey, straight-leg women's trousers? With pockets?  Type it in. Order it. At your house in two days. Boom.  No screaming children.  No internal combustion combusted.  No lines, no waiting, no droplets. Aaaand I have a new H.R. Giger t-shirt! Hell yeah!



Saturday, April 10, 2021

WHY GOD WHY

  

7:A.M.

IT'S BACK.  

AND IT'S ATTACKING MY BEDROOM WINDOW.  

MY. BEDROOM. WINDOW.  

Psycho Doom Robin Of Hatred 5000  
   See, this is shaping up to be a damn vendetta, is what this is.  I had to go out at Cold O'clock this morning and stick a bunch of Sunny D bottles on the branches of the buddleia outside my bedroom window because this ^^^ fucking moron refuses to differentiate between a reflection and a real bird.  It's even squaring off against the rear view mirrors of our cars!

Me, I'm done.  Done!  Let the little fucker break his neck.  There's other robins around.  His widow won't be lonely for long. I'm just gonna stand back and let Darwin take care of this situation.


Wednesday, April 7, 2021

GO AWAY BIRD

"For I say unto you - The path of the righteous man is beset on all sides by the inequities of the selfish and the tyranny of evil men!! Blessed is he who, in the name of charity and good will, shepherds the weak through the valley of the darkness. For he is truly his brother’s keeper and the finder of lost children. And I will strike down upon thee with great vengeance and furious anger those who attempt to poison and destroy my brothers. And you will know I am the Lord when I lay my vengeance upon you!!!!"

 

I have had it with this Robin.  Four days of this fucking robin bashing itself against my windows, and the fucker just moves to another window until I make another mobile out of random plastic bottles or stacked containers. My garden has just come into it's Springtime colors, and what do people see?  Weird dangling strings of plastic containers hung in random places, swaying in the wind.  I imagine they're saying "That poor woman. Someone should say something."

This morning, bright and early, the stupid little fucker was bashing itself into my kitchen window.  There is nothing remotely attractive, nest building locale-wise, about the area around my kitchen window!  But no, Dumbass Robin caught sight of that sneaky bastard Reflection Robin and it was ON!!!!  I mean, I woke up to this shit!  My kitchen window looks like someone did a texture coat on it with dirty margarine and used a dead robin as a swab, blat, blat, blat, all over the thing. 

Maybe this robin just plain hates my house.  Or maybe it sees my house as a refuge for dastardly robin invaders who cannot be defeated.  I don't know.  What I do know is that this is one durable fucking robin.

I mean it.  I cannot believe that this thing can fly after what he puts himself through, but he does.  I'll rap the glass sharply, and he'll peel off, and then sit there at his distant perch all aggro and glare at me.


"Imma bust a cap. I ain't playin."

I wish I had a camera so I could show you how gooned out on testosterone this animal is.  I stood in the window and made shooing motions, rapping on the glass, and the little fucker just glared at me from the roof of my shed. Every dominance display you'd see your average barnyard rooster put on, this robin is doing. Puffing out his chest.  Flaring his wings. Holding an upright stance and giving me the side-eye the whole time. Leaning in like he's going for my throat. 

"I am beaming pure hatred at you with the power of my MIND!"  
  
You see?  This is the kind of shit I have to put up with.  That right there ^^.   Listen. I own this house, motherfucker, don't come around all...menacing me, or...whatever, you idiot.  You're the size of an orange.

And all while this was going on, a little chickadee had caught sight, and was so - I'm guessing - fascinated, that it began to creep closer to Dumbass Robin just to check him out.  Hop, hop, pause.  Hop, hop, closer, pause.  


No bigger than a spool of thread, but fully capable of appreciating stupidity when he sees it.

This chickadee (also a male, also in fresh mating plumage) eventually made it to within three inches! of Dumbass Robin, while Dumbass Robin is wholly focusing the rage of one thousand suns on the elderly woman in the kitchen window beating on the glass with a spatula.  That chickadee just watched. Right overhead Dumbass Robin is calling me a butthole, and a poophead and telling me I'm ugly and stupid and a fatty fatty two by four or whatever curses robins use, and this little, tiny bird is just considering it, like, 'Damn.  I've seen some stupid in my time, but...damn."

Here's the punchline.  After all this chest-beating and name calling? This robin is going to nest in my Arizona Spruce just like it does every year.  
Every. Single. Year.

Tuesday, April 6, 2021

Like, Whoa, Dude

 Got my medications adjusted and the difference between one day and the next is absolutely dramatic!  I am feeling normal again, or as normal as I get, and I've got my motivation and span of attention back too!

What kind of freaks me out is that everything I'm taking now is an antipsychotic.  It's a new noun for my ongoing mental drama. Psychosis.  Not just another pretty word.  


 Well, here I am.  Hello space.  Hello mushrooms.

Frankly I am having a grand old time.  Some times a medication change can feel like immanent destruction of all life on earth.  This?  Well, I feel, um...different, and this will go on until I get adjusted to the new chemicals in my brain.  I'm a little woozy (read: baked.)  You know what; after the past couple of weeks?  I'll take legally baked.  Yes I will.  I deserve it.  I weeded the living Hell out of my garden beds today, and didn't think about death, suicide, avian flu or anything negative whatsoever!


Mr. Swanky Oyster approves of them legal pharms, yo.

_________________________

I have a robin that is bound and determined to beat it's brains out on my windows.  It's the male robin (a thrush here, not a cute tiny birdie like in the UK) and he's jacked up on testosterone and territoriality.


"Are you talking to me?  Are YOU?  Talking to ME?"

  He sees his reflection in the window and long story short, I had to construct a thing out of plastic jugs and set it next to the window in hope that he gets freaked out by this plastic golem and quits bashing into my fucking front picture window.  He sits on my front railing, squaring up for his next sally, and opens the pod bay doors just as he launches himself glass-ward. Like bashing into my window starting at 7 A.M. isn't bad enough, he's got to shit up my front porch.  And smear up my window!

All birds are greasy.  I don't know why a songbird would be greasy, but they are, and this goes for any bird that might smack into your window.  They leave your window looking like someone threw an order of french fries at it, which is, frankly, icky.  I had to clean the railing, the porch, and both huge windows, and the glass was top to bottom bird smears - the greasy prints of wings, feet, beak, tiny feathers.  

Oh, but he thought he'd be sly and change sides.  Soon I hear him bouncing himself off my husbands big bedroom windows in the back of the house.  Just bash fluster, bash fluster, bash fluster, like a metronome.  I had to tie shiny bottles onto a nearby branch; and that took care of his self-destructive tendencies.  After a couple of hours of quiet?  Right back to the front room windows again.  

One arts and crafts project later, and a lot of water and a squeegee, and I hope like hell he gets the message.  This doofus is hitting that window full tilt boogie.  It sounds like someone is literally throwing this poor bird at the window as hard as they can, over and over.  Maybe he's given himself brain damage or something.  I have noted a distinctly crazed look in his eye - and he's a big, bright, shiny male with all his mating characteristics super prominent, like a caricature. Like a 'hood robin.  Like a 'Just got out of two years in prison' robin.


One of us is going down, boy, and it ain't gonna be me, reflection robin!

   See how pronounced all the white markings around the neck and particularly the eyes are on these robins?  That's what happens to you when you are crazed on testosterone and you are a robin.  

The females are distinctly more muted in coloration, and they stick to the shrubs and lower branches, or pluck at worms nearby, and are probably kind of embarrassed by this behavior.  His job is supposed to be making a nest, not smacking himself into his own reflection.  

If I left this go on long enough she'd eventually come up onto the porch with a gleam in her eye, and they'd have a flustering, midair disagreement, he'd get his head pecked, and he'd get over himself and go out and gather nesting materials.  And be perfectly happy to do so, until he catches a glance of what he thinks is another male robin trespassing on HIS territory.  THIS MEANS WAR. Male robins will tear big old chunks of feathers out of one another in the springtime and crash in midair and fall to the ground and fight; they're in it to win it.  

 In this idiots' case, it's his reflection.  Man, he hates that bastard.

Wednesday, March 31, 2021

Ruh Roh

 Note:  Not a Cheerful Walk Among The Daffodils.

_______________

Among other things, I have Generalized Anxiety Disorder, which has chosen the Spring of the year to come back with a vengeance.

This sounds like a fake thing even to me, and I have it.  I know.  But it's so peculiar and so unnatural and scary that I can truly understand why people used to believe in demons, because when it hits, it's not like any other kind of fear or apprehension.  It comes out of nowhere, for no reason, and it  consumes you body and soul.

Imagine ramping up into full panic.  For no reason.  I mean the kind of nervous, terrified, helpless panic that hits you in a hospital bed, or after a car accident, as it dawns on you what just happened.  That's what GAD feels like to me.

Luckily I have an understanding psychiatrist and I'm taking care of it.  But what the hell, universe?  Why now?  

I don't know if any of you have anything like this, but you have  my sincere sympathy if you do.  

None of  those "Just _____________" suggestions simply do not work because when this shit hits,  you don't have the access to those parts of your brain anymore.  Like 'Just take deep, calming breaths.'  I am the Grand Master of Deep Calming Motherfucking Breaths.  Doesn't do Jack Shit.  This is not to say that I eschew Deep Calming Breaths; shit, I'm willing to try anything up to a full on goat sacrifice just to make this shit go away.  I have a mantra. It does not work.  I have a safe place, and people to call and talk to. Mantra does not work. Talking to people and being safe does not help.  That part of your brain that can use those tools is turned OFF.  You can think of those things, you can try to do them, but your body chemistry has other plans for you. 

Sometimes I think about it as being this channel my mind seems to be tuning in to whether or not I want it to.  I think of it as a definite bandwidth, certain limits where it comes in loud and clear with a blast of  total static disruption.  You doppler up and down, but you can't escape that station until something in your brain changes.  And you can't turn the channel.  

While you are tuned in to this station, everything you are as a person is expressed on that bandwidth.  For as long as it lasts, what you think, what you feel, what you decide and what you do are defined and circumscribed by this thing.  You can make yourself do 'normal' things, but that ability is limited, and you have to choose your low static moments and plot out your next few activities at top speed, before the hard fear comes back and all you can do is pace, unable to make a decision, unable to stop 'doom ideation', unable to stop 'suicidal ideation', unable to take in information without it's going through the bandwidth and becoming a 'bad' thought. I see a car pass by and I think about what would happen if it crashed through the house.  I see the birds outside and I think about Avian Flu and salmonella.  I had to drive myself to the pharmacy today and I kept thinking about engine fires, head-on collisions and 'sudden flying vehicle, Russian Style' type incidents as I crept along at 20 mph in the school zone nearby. You tell yourself it's not real, it won't happen, you fucking flat out KNOW IT'S ALL BULLSHIT and it Does Not Matter.  Your mind and body have decided to panic whether you like it or not.  So you only have sheer will? Cussedness? Contrariness? To get you through those moments. I don't know what it is, but it's in damned short supply.  And there have been three occasions in my life now that I completely lost that quality and was overcome.  The first two times I was 'bearhugged' through it.  Look it up.  They use this method on autistic kids and it works. The third time I did something stupid.  Luckily my liver and kidneys were on my side that day.

If it hit like that again, and I didn't have any backup,  I'd do myself to get away from it. So there's my deepest darkest fear revealed:  That I have a thing made of horror that is tracking me, like Ged in the Earthsea books, and it is part of me and will eventually win. 

You can get into treatment cycle of diminishing returns with GAD.  Downers treat it, but the side effect of too many downers is drug tolerance and, you guessed it, GAD.  Booze solves it, but booze is entirely too seductive in my case. I stay hydrated. Get all my vitamins. Avoid red meat. Exercise. I've spent the last week getting all my medications recalibrated and taking blood tests (I passed!) and so far it's looking like I might be a cunthair too high on the thyroid medications, like off by 5 fucking milligrams, so there's that to try and see if shit doesn't change in the next week.

Sitting here feeling the medication wear off and that black channel tune back in, bit by bit, is eerie as hell.  You feel your heart rate begin to accelerate.  Your breathing gets thin and rapid.  Your whole body tenses up.  And remember, there's no reason for this to be happening.  That's frightening in and of itself.  You literally feel yourself...I have to put it this way...losing your mind.  Or at least a good part of it.

So here I am trying to read my goddamn Viking Sagas and my Cloisters Apocalypse, and editing a story I wrote (because I know how to party) and just chilling out to some jazzlike sounds on this one channel, blogging.  It's a nice sunny day, I'm relaxed, comfortable, and yet I can feel it creeping up even as I sit here typing.  Just a little tingle of apprehension in the back of my mind.  Like the cold, nagging worry you feel when you send your child off to play at a friends house for the very first time.  And I'm feeling this for absolutely No Reason Whatsoever.  

My choices are very, very limited at this point. I can sit here and see what happens - it might just fade away.  Or I can get proactive and medicate - and ace myself out of being able to  interact with the adult world on a meaningful level; because I'll be loose as a goose on a measly 5mg Valium.  Knocks me on my ass.  As does Diazapam.  And a few other mood stabilizers I can't remember the name of right off, but that I take in minute doses, and that fuck me up.  Some people can do that, go out and maintain and be all competent.  I cannot.  I am a pathetic, sloppy, sentimental high person, one who will reveal embarrassing facts about my marriage, profess my platonic love for you unto eternity and gladly fill  you in on the Middle Ages without provocation and get all the names and dates wrong.  Either way, I can't make grown-up plans for the rest of the day. It's a good time to call me up, though.  I am entertaining as hell, from what I've been given to understand.

Feel absolutely free to give me any tips, tricks, links, what have you.  I'll be here.