” what’s the matter? Your chicken tastes like pork?” Janelle Monae

The simplest advice I can remind myself of today:

Even if I don’t get to retire from the military,

My life is not over.

Even if I get stuck for a while in a job that is not my goal career,

My life is not over.

Even if things don’t work out with The Man of My Dreams,

My life is not over.

If my plans don’t pan out,

My life is not over.

Even when I lose my loved ones,

My own life is not over.

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Do you wanna build a snowman?

No, I want to build pipe shelves. Starting with a toilet paper holder with a small shelf above it. If I can make that happen I think I can go crazy with industrial-meets-rustic shelving.

I have these moments where I feel like myself. I’m not depressed. Ive been depressed and I don’t think this is depression. But I don’t feel like myself either. But then the lsight switch flips on when I walk outside and think about going for a hike or just being inspired by a project (like the pipe shelves) and think “yeah! I wanna do that!”. And then it passes so quickly. The light switch flips off and I’m left alone in the dark again.
So maybe I am a little depressed.

Which might stem from always being tired. A coworker asked me how I was feeling and when I replied “tired” he said “That’s not too bad”. My eyes narrowed and I said “Sleep deprivation is an effective form of torture”.

But I got up when the alarm told me to and didn’t reach for my phone right away. Instead, I took an extra few minutes working through my morning routine. Took time to blow dry my hair and carefully apply eyeliner. I probably don’t look different as a result but it helps me feel a bit more “put together”, at least on the outside.

“Would I lie to you, honey?” ~ Eurythmics

I remember as far back as 4 or 5, in preschool, where we were forced to take mid-day naps.  Of course now as a chronically sleep deprived adult, I’d kill for a nap on a slab of bricks. But as a child, I lay there on a pillowless cot surrounded by softly snoring children, wondering if I was the only one among them faking it? I got the “best rester” stickers but never once that I recall, actually resting. Last night, with CK beside me, I pulled out the old trick of pretending to fall asleep fast because I wanted to fall asleep. I didn’t want to mess around. I say mess around instead of “have sex” because we haven’t exactly had sex in my opinion. Going on three months. I just wasn’t in the mood, maybe from lack of sleep and that increasing anxiety that the E.D. is going to be a deal-breaker for us. I wasn’t in the mood to spend an hour working and being worked over with tongues and fingers. I know I’m not going to get mine. I know he will, although it takes a while. And I wasn’t in the mood to have my head petted or feel his fingers twitching against my face. Rest them there, grab me there, but don’t twitch indecisively, nervously. At least that’s the impression I get from it. When I’m irritable, which is often when I’m tired. And I’m always tired.

And I still don’t particularly care for the way he kisses when he’s trying to be passionate. I could try to describe what doesn’t “work” for me but what’s the use? Am I going start coaching him? Because all men love that. A little firmer please…no, too much…and can you do something with your hand, the twitching is starting to annoy…

I realize I’m nitpicking because I’m frustrated.

I love him. I even find him attractive. And the idea of breaking up with him feels very wrong. He’s a unicorn. A broken horn but still a unicorn and he’s mine. But I never want to be a married roommate. And speaking of…

What made it worse was popping awake a bit later to the sound of a small dog whining two rooms away. Except we don’t have a small dog. It was the girl my roommate was fucking vigorously. I could tell she was trying to muffle the moans but I lie there hoping CK was not lying awake listening to this too. He is wonderful and he deserves to get laid. I cooked dinner, I shaved my legs, but on this most important duty to my man, I opted out.

Because I’m tired? Absolutely.

But also because even when I’m aroused, I no longer think about CK because he’s never going to fuck me deep and hard up against a wall. Or in the back of a volkswagon or anywhere else for that matter. I’m convinced no pill will fix the twitching hand, tepid  kisses or the limp dick.

And I don’t know what to do.

“the stars are stacked against you, girl; Get back in bed” M.C.C.

Sex isn’t everything but it’s important. He lays there silent, occasionally petting the top of my head while I spent, I guess, 20 minutes working him over with my mouth and hands. My arm starts to tire when he tells me he’s cumming and I think “Oh, he didn’t fall asleep after all”. In past relationships, I usually gave a man 10 minutes of oral before climbing on top to take a turn for myself but with CK, I can’t do that because the E.D. has left him unable to penetrate me from any angle but the back. Which is great but I don’t want to spend the rest of my life only getting it on doggie style. Now going on the 3 month mark, I finally brought it up again and asked him to talk to his doctor. I don’t know how the conversation went, perhaps nothing more than a message to say “Hey doc, Viagra doesn’t work, what’s next?” So he got a script for Cialis. I don’t expect a miracle. Diabetes has caused significant nerve damage and I don’t see how a pill will fix that.

I love this man but I find myself dreaming of other men, literally. I always had an active imagination though. And it’s not as if I’ll go rabid from frustration, break up with CK and screw every swinging dick that looks my way. But I can’t live like this for the rest of my life either. And I wonder if we would be sexually compatible even if he didn’t have E.D. Because he talks a good game but when the time comes…maybe it’s a combination of both our anxieties: his not being able to perform and me, knowing I’m not going to get off either. It’s … increasingly frustrating and less and less fun.

He wanted to see me again today but it has been a thousand papercuts day. Starting with chores, trying to be a good citizen, move carts out of the road at the grocery store and smashing my fingers between them. Then long overdue yard work sapping me of what little energy I had to start with. Decided to head to the dog bar because I haven’t spent quality time with my dog in 2 weeks. He had fun but in my exhaustion, wasnt thinking and wore flip flops. My toes suffered five stampedes and I was taken out at the knee by a pack of racing pit bulls aka bulldozers. 90min later, came home, slipped and fell in a pile of dog shit. Five minutes later, broke a gallon of cold brew in the refrigerator. Amid a flood of expensive Puerto rican coffee and glass, my roommate messaged me to tell me what a blast the salsa/bachata beach party was today and that this guy I used to have a crush on (still do, I suppose) was there and flying solo.  I disassembled the refrigerator drawers one by one, pulling out all the food and containers, inspecting it, rinsing it off, saving what I could, tossing what I couldn’t.

After 9p, I realized I haven’t eaten. I also havnt finished homework. But I’m going to stay “fuck it” to both and go to bed.

“And all I really want is deliverance” ~ Alanis Morissette

Plugging away at monkey work, typing up a veterans benefits letter for a widow whose husband, my age, died of cancer. Coincidentally he was born and died on the same day. My birthday. She only asked for one letter but I gave her everything she was possibly eligible for. And it’s still not enough.

I answered a flyer hanging in Starbucks, a woman searching for a Kidney donor for her husband. I called the hospital and did the initial screening but they informed me that I was not now or ever would be a potential donor for a kidney. The damn MEN 1 again. I joked “Am I so broken that I can’t even give my body away now?”

I should be grateful but I still hate the job and continue to search for something else. It’s hard to get a call back. I tread that line between enthusiastic and annoying with recruiters. I also suspect I blow formal interviews. I know my worth but struggle to articulate it. I rely too heavily on my professional and personal references to say nice things about me. I appreciate it truly but I need to be able to get a job on my own. One of those references pointed out gently that we need to soften my edges. And I agree, I’ve become a Jagged Little Pill over the years. But can’t we just have a conversation? Do you want someone who fits your organization’s needs or someone who just interviews well?

Dont mind me… tired and rambling.

This is what Friday night grad life looks like.

“Oh, Saturday sun, I met someone…” Vance Joy

I think I met the love of my life when I was 41. Well, actually I was 24 but at that time, we were passing acquaintances and I couldn’t get past his prematurely silver and unfortunately long ponytail.

Now here we are, making out like teenagers on the couch and I whispered in his ear “You are going to be such a good dancer” which got a good laugh out of him.

He calls me “Hon”and “gorgeous” but I’mpet names. More or less 14 years of singledom left me out of practice in terms of endearment. I’ve called some exes “hotness” and or “pookie” (jokingly, obviously). But CK doesn’t have a fake tan (or a real one for that matter) no a douchey frat boy haircut, although he did cut off the unfortunately long ponytail years ago. So “hotness” doesn’t fit.

I could see myself marrying him but it would probably go down something like this: I email him a link to some ring with skulls on it and ask “So are we going to do this shit or what?”

I write that even as it still feels premature to say “I love you”. Although he has said it in letters and my inner dialogue says “I love this man”. Also I’m afraid if I break that “I love you” seal then it will turn into that habitual, afterthought, obligatory “I love you” and not as meaningful.

I may be paraphrasing or outright plagiarizing another writer (Fitzgerald or his wife?) when I say I’ve met the one with whom my heart and soul is at rest. Like a shot of bourbon on an empty stomach, he blooms in my Heart.

Sometimes he still asks “Why are you with me?” Because he leaves love letters in my underwear drawer and draws hearts on the windshield of my filthy car. And I save them in a shoebox or tuck them into a Bible that I no longer read.

“Getmeoutofheregetmeoutofheregetme…” Inner Voice

I’m panicking. Panicking because I’m bored from not using my brain.

Panicking because I’m afraid I’ll be expected to use my brain and be unable to focus.

Panicking because after 2 years of not being in a hurry to put a uniform back on, now I’m in a hurry and it’s been a whole week without response from any of the units I contacted.

Panicking because I’m in love but he can’t physically rock my world in bed.

Panicking because I see fresh silver in my hair.

Panicking because I hate this job.

Panicking because I can’t find another one that won’t send me back to Afghanistan for another year.

Panicking because if I dont find another one, I’ll have to delay graduation, and drive cross-country with a cat and a dog
to live in a motel for 2 mos.

Panicking because I’m getting sick from lack of sleep.

Panicking because I’m afraid I’ll oversleep and get into trouble.

Panicking because I havent the time or energy to dance.

Panicking because my wheels are spinning, spinning, spinning, spinning…and I’m going nowhere but still aging.

“Fastidious and precise, She’s a Killer” ~ Queen

This is a one-off blog about a subject that I feel needs more exposure. Killer kitties.

Two months ago, I took in an abandoned black kitten that I subsequently named Magic. Precious, precocious, and murderous.

Between the family of cardinals that snack in my back yard and the lizards that keep the bugs at bay, Magic was on a rampage. My dog and other kitties never minded the birds and lizards (now, rodents are another story).

 It’s gross enough to find the bodies on the patio and driveway but coming home daily to no less than 8 decapitated heads and dismembered body parts strewn across the house was getting old. When I came home to find one half-eaten torso still alive, I knew I had to figure something out. Even dead people never fazed me as much as that gasping, severed, still living head.

 At the time, I was on the phone with my best friend “S”, who declared “You have to get rid of that cat!” He’s not a cat person so it was an innocent ignorant statement. If you have a problem with a cat’s nature then you probably shouldn’t get a cat. Because unlike a dog, you can’t train cats to control their prey drive. And when a cat brings you a present, even if you can’t bring yourself to praise the cat for bringing you a gift, you absolutely should not yell or punish the cat for it!

Last summer my old lady cat was on a roll bringing me not one, but four rats in the span of a month. There must’ve been a family in the fruit tree out back and she was picking them off one by one and delivering them to me in bed at approximately 3 a.m. The first one hit my face squealing and by the time I flipped on the light there was my kitty sitting proudly on the pillow I just vacated, presenting a dying rat. The next one was fully dead by the time I discovered it next to me in bed. The third was alive when it was dropped on my face and escaped under my bed and he took a week to catch in a trap. He was missing an eye but I wished him luck and released him across the street in a vacant lot. By this point I was so paranoid I was barely sleeping so I was out of bed and running down the hall when I heard squealing as my cat dragged poor number 4 through the doggie door.

So I’ve had worse than lizards but still, the daily massacre, severed heads, dismembered bodies (a few still twitching)…blech!

I Googled “How to prevent your cat from killing things”. Page after page after page of unhelpful advice until I stumbled across two articles suggesting something that looks like a hair scrunchie. One was marketed as a puffy, vibrant print Elizabethan collar known as a “BirdsBeSafe” collar. But the second article out of Australia called a spade a spade or, rather as scrunchie a scrunchie: That 90s fashion faux-pas that’s still lingers in the hair aisle at Walmart may be the answer.

Some claim it simply makes the cat more visible to birds and lizards although it appears to be less effective concerning rodents, particularly the ones that are hard of seeing like voles. They’re just screwed. Another claim says it interferes with the cat’s dexterity and makes it more difficult for them to catch prey. And watching my kitten attempt to hunt with this thing on makes me believe that the latter maybe the more accurate assessment. I realize it is early to declare Victory but in four days, she killed nothing. That’s a record. However, I’ve noticed she loses interest in her favorite toy (shiny crinkle mylar balls) when I toss them to her now and I think the scrunchie is the reason. I want her to stop killing, not stop playing. So I’ll give her a break from the collar during play time.  Even if this scrunchie is not fail proof, it IS cutting down on the carnage. magic flower And my kitty looks like an adorable evil flower.