If I could…

I’m far behind on a great deal of my favorite sites to read again. Result of simply trying to step away from all things informational for the sake of my sanity, yeah, but it’s still a pretty poor excuse.

Something I often find humans saying are sentences starting with “If money were no object”. The sad aspect of that is how often the ending to those sentences fall into realms of physical things or experiences someone wants for themselves, vs actions that could be taken to help others.

This is one of the things I enjoy about sites like UpWorthy. They focus on stories quite often of people that fill in that blank in a more altruistic way.

This article in particular did something for me that many of theirs do. Calls to attention something I had not thought of but makes me want to make change however I can, even if it starts with a simple petition/writing. Very  much like Haven House and their striving to keep families together, I was unaware of the issues within shelters that separate families in the first place. I was equally ignorant until this article of how few shelters are given ability/rights to take pets along with women. In this instance specifically those seeking refuge from domestic abuse.

I imagine quite often pets can be the one things someone fleeing such a situation may be able to hold on to. Having to choose to leave them must be devastating. So I have to ask the question, where could I start seeking change? Can I seek that change state-wide? Can I seek it locally? Time to do some research. If money were no object, I’d like to open one up myself. Might be something worth aiming for. I think so.

http://www.upworthy.com/most-domestic-abuse-shelters-dont-accept-pets-leaving-women-with-a-hard-choice-to-make

 

Just Want to Leave Something

RENT was fantastic as always, but to be entirely honest I’m not up for writing tonight. Not doing so great with this WRITING thing, but at least I’m trying. Gonna go watch some Dooger and call it a night.

Affected

Today was a recording day for Disaster Digital so short on time. So here’s a video for a song by Mama Tonjes that sucks me right back to my twenties.

Whoops

I’m laying in bed, the wrap on my arm from giving blood today itching and remembered I haven’t written today.

Shit.

I gave blood for the second time today. Win!!!

thats all you’re getting, I wanna read some Dune.

Life Support

In 5 short days I will be seeing RENT for the second time live. There’s a part of the stage play in particular that has been hitting me hard this year. During a Life Support meeting one of the members, Gordon, notes that ‘reason says I should have died, three years ago’. That hits hard this year in particular because there are days when it feels like something of me DID die three years ago. Something big that I can’t get back. An A2 poop sized chunk of my heart that I can’t get back no matter how much I want it or how many Spine songs I blare in my car. That reality is something we all face, and if it weren’t for the support we give each other I don’t think I could do it.

Darkly funny that I have come out with strength from something that just as easily rips me apart. I’ve never been very shy about taboo topics of conversation or thoughts that others reply with ‘I don’t want to go there’.

I DO WANT TO GO THERE. ‘There’ is where the best conversations are! That’s something I’ll always miss about Aaron, something I am eternally grateful for with Marty, Brianna, Jess, Brian, and Josh. They let me go to the darkest and weirdest parts of my little wormy brain without (visible) judgement.

I hope I have done the same for you. I’m here for your light, your dark, your shallow and your worm holes. There’s only US. There’s only THIS. I couldn’t ask for anything more.

 

Powerless Again

As much as I like to think we can prepare for the inevitable loss of all breathing things we love, we don’t. We can say we do, we can pretend it’s not a gutting experience, but that’s not true.

Loss is loss no matter what, and what is so frustrating in the process that is simply that you can’t stop it. I couldn’t stop my Grandmother from taking her last breath, I couldn’t stop Aaron from his, and I can’t stop Duke’s last moments from happening. That’s not the power I actually want, it’s the ripple effects, the pain, that comes with those last exhales. The shifts that take place, the moments when you go to say a name and stop yourself because you wonder if it’s ok to utter those words yet. The moments you stop yourself because you remember and your heart breaks into a million little pieces all over again. The seconds when I hear a song and my eyes begin to well and my chest gets tighter. That’s what I’d rather be the consumer of than have to have anyone I care for feel. I’d rather shield and hide the pain in the deep crevices of my black little heart than make anyone else live them. That’s a far reaching statement if ever there was one.

I always think that I’m going to share all my darkest moments at some point, but I don’t. Those little home movies are too much sometimes, burned into my neurons in ways I can’t shake. I’m sorry that you have them too, that you’ll have them in yours. I’ll share them with you whenever you ask, no matter how dark they are. I’ve seen plenty, and there’s only more to be consumed. So it goes.

Let the Notes Do the Talking

I’m still deliciously obsessed with this album. If you don’t have it, you should, it’s fantastic. This song though, hits into some things in me I hadn’t anticipated. The words ‘god damn right you should be scared of me’ has deeper threads to me than it probably does for most. The demons in my life are in many ways always my own, but that hasn’t always been the case. For a long while I’ve simply dealt with someone else’s. A byproduct of addiction, always wanting to protect someone else from the same fate.

Who is in control?

I’m Not Ready Yet

I’m still a little too full of snark and sass about the past couple of days to do the deeper thoughts rolling around my head justice. So, until I’m ready, let’s share some silly stupid shit/randos instead?

Yup

So the 20th Buffy Anniversary happened…so here’s something about that.

https://bitchmedia.org/article/20-years-buffy-letters-vampire-slayer/joy-female-power

Might need to do a re-watch of that sometime soon.

Last Rights

I’ll have a much longer tirade to go on with all the goings on surrounding my Grandmother’s burial I’m sure. Whether that ends up here or on the podcast remains to be seen.

Today I’ll be heading ‘home’ again, to our old church, right across the street from my first childhood home that was across the street from my school/church. I’ll be at my Grandfather’s gravemarker for the first time in I think at least 3 or 4 years. This time, not to have a conversation with the wind, but to add my Grams to this place we visit the decaying corpses of our loved ones though the energy they held is no longer there.

All of this brings to mind the same thoughts I had, in part, with Aaron’s passing. How weird some of our traditions and socially accepted grieving patterns can be. I’m also finding, though I have a feeling some in my family find me strange, peculiar, or uncaring for this; it is far easier to let someone go when you knew in every fiber of your being that they were ready. Grams hadn’t been HER in years. The hardest pill to swallow was these last few years of her not being at her house in her chair. Her not being there with a quick quip at someone’s expense, memory sharper than most of ours. That was gutting. Her passing not in her own bed, in her own home as she wanted. That hurts. The rest of this, for me at least, is the other part of what she wanted. Her family, talking, laughing, and being US without apology. She didn’t want tears, she hated wishy washy mushy crap (gee, wonder if that’s genetic? 🙂 ). I’m just trying to give her the send off she deserves, as much as what is going on in some pockets goes against that.

I’m trying, Gram, I’m trying.

Elementary Physics

Full disclosure, I’ve backdated this entry. Although, I did share this with M yesterday, so I think it still counts for that day.

h/t Wonder Dave"You want a physicist to speak at your funeral. You want the physicist to talk to your grieving family…

Posted by Sonya Renee Taylor on Monday, March 6, 2017

Follow My Voice

Hedwig and the Angry Inch was everything I could have wanted it to be and more. Given I feel it’s the kind of show you have to see for yourself I don’t want to spoil anything but I will share one of my favorite numbers and just say that it was something I desperately needed.

 

Last Words

I’m writing now because I don’t think I will get a solid opportunity to do so later. While I know that Hedwig will be amazing in addition to being cathartic tonight, I have other thoughts that need to be released to the void.

I hate obituaries. Narrowing down someone’s entire life to a few paragraphs (if that) is ridiculous and frustrating. I also hate how for most women, the last words put in print about them usually dwell not on her accomplishments or her own mind, but on the offspring she produced, and their offspring. Creating life is cool and everything but other than her choice to have children allowing my own life to exist, she was so much more to me. Having her life boiled down to a few sentences about her kids and their kids…feels so empty.

A short list of things you were to me, Dorothea Veronica Mears (Zoltowski)

  • taker of no shit
  • giver of hugs
  • brusher of knotted hair
  • ear of endless listening
  • believer in my weird
  • laugher of my stubbornness
  • encourager of my fight
  • embracer of my ideas

You didn’t always agree with everything I did or said, but you let me have my say. From knee high to towering above you I was always able to speak my truth between your walls. Be me with no apologies or fear. Thank you for giving me the environment to be exactly who I am. Thank you for pushing me to be self reliant, self sufficient, and self motivating. Thank you for being a pain in the ass when you needed to be, speaking your mind, and making no apologies for your beliefs. You were a beautifully flawed creature, like all the best humans are. You changed over time as life changed with you, you were not the same human to me you were for your kids, but that’s just the way it is. Thank you for being part of my three piece mother set, my generational sounding board.

Yours Always,

Me

 

INSIDE

As a means to distract myself from the impending doom of dealing with my extended family for days on end I decided to finish playing the game, INSIDE, this afternoon. This is the kind of game you can’t really talk about without spoiling it entirely for someone else. I will just say, play it. Play it and get lost in the puzzles, the atmosphere, the possibilities of what it all means. Just play it.

The metaphors run rampant and the scenery is equally beautifully and terrifying. A bit like life itself. I needed that darkness today, felt right.

Our Yellow Rose

My grandmother passed away a few hours ago. I have so many thoughts spinning around this event but I can’t do them justice right now. I will write more in the morning. For now I will say this. Thank you, you tough old bird, I love you.

Here We Go

So, I almost forgot that I even wrote that I would do a post a day for the month of March. Ooops. Off to a great start, kid!

I listened to one of my favorite story podcasts on the way home from work tonight – Welcome to Night Vale. I was turned on to this podcast by a friend of mine who is also a weird science fiction fan a few years ago, binged about 50 episodes and have been hooked ever since.

One of the things I like most about Night Vale is the way their writers put a whimsical yet philosophical look at current events in our world through the lens of a world that resembles us, just enough, but with totally different rules. If you listen, start back at episode 1 because everything is linear.

There are many times I listen to the show and say that I will go back and grab a certain section to quote later. I never do this and I was thinking again how disappointed in myself I am that I fail to do so over and over.

Instead of trying to dig through my brainpan and find a slew of perfect quotes to share, I decided to share some art I found instead. These are some of the gems you find in Night Vale amidst creatures and entities you won’t expect.

 

Write Every Day

People on YouTube use December as a month to Vlog. They call it Vlogmas for obvious reasons and it’s one of my favorite months of the year where I get to see more of the YouTubers I follow in a ‘human’ way than comedic in many respects.

What I would like to do, similar to them and what Wil Wheaton did in that month is to write daily in the month of March. May not be anything of substance, may just be  a share of something I saw that day but I’d like to document a full month consistently. Seems like a reasonable exercise.

Be the Change

Seven billion people experienced today in a different way

Copyright PostSecret

Given I have the day off in recognition of Dr. Martin Luther King that particular secret from PostSecret yesterday seems appropriate. This article also feels equally important as we are still a people with flaws in the plan for all to be treated equal.

3 Reasons Why Calling Bigots ‘Uneducated’ Is Counter-Productive

I often find myself falling into this realm. Wanting to believe that is a lack of knowledge or experience that causes one to believe and behave a certain way. The unfortunate reality is that quite often, it’s a choice despite knowledge and experience.

Operant Conditioning

Operant conditioning is a type of learning where behavior is controlled by consequences.

I am equally wanting to kick and kiss my dear old friends for lighting the last spark I think I needed to actually write this piece. Their seemingly lighthearted comment whilst we recorded last night resulted in something visceral in me that bears discussion. Handy that it also ties in with something I’ve been wanting to discuss for about a week now.

As we were talking, I (admittedly) steered something back to myself that didn’t make much sense other than trying to force myself into the conversation. The joke of ‘why you gotta make everything about you’ jolted something in me that I’ve been, for lack of a better way to put it, conditioned to do. I shut up, I felt small, unwanted, and selfish. That big dark word that has been branded into me as the ultimate sin.

Full disclaimer. Nothing I note here is meant as anything but a share of information with an artistic twist for comparison sake. My truths are not always pretty, but even less pretty are some of them in regards to other important humans in my life. I am not willing to edit out the ugly parts for anyone’s benefit. Least of all my own.

My parents are human. As such, they made choices in my upbringing that may have held the best of intentions behind them, but as the human living constantly on the other side of those decisions I have to say they were effective, but probably didn’t have the effect desired. The constant berating in my eardrums that any decision made without my parents desires met = selfish is something I struggle with to this day. I have less of a problem now living as I want to live, but there is always that little voice in the back of my head that assumes anything done in my best interest is wrong. Wanting a child to think of others is a great thing to do, but I disagree that wanting that child to always do what YOU want as the best option is the right one.

One of the things my parents wanted and followed through on was raising my brother and I as Catholic. At least until the two of us were in High School, Church and education provided by the church were what we knew. A project I decided to embark on while I was on my sick-cation was to digitize the plethora of VHS tapes from my parents house. Those tapes included every year of Christmas plays that myself and my brother participated in throughout our grade school years.

I did not listen to each in their entirety, but in the few moments I did stop to listen some items became crystal clear to me in a way that they certainly did not when I was initially participating in those plays, lo those many years ago.

I can’t recall now exactly what year it was, but in between set changes our principal made a quick speech that just slapped me across the face. She spoke of how saddened the parish was that schools in the public sector had started to refer to Christmas vacation as the Winter holiday instead. She reiterated that here at Queens we will always speak the truth of what the season is really about. Jesus.

Here’s where my adult critical thinking bell started ringing and stinging. I’ve read enough history of my own accord in addition to in educational settings to know full well that Christmas has a significance to many faiths. I also know full well that many of the traditions and rituals associated with Christmas that have been adapted by those faiths have origins in other religions and appropriation of those in addition to snuffing them out.

Her words got me thinking about how many rituals we were exposed to in school and how little our small minds actually knew about the meaning or purpose of them. We were quite simply conditioned to say ‘and also with you’, to shake hands, to hold our hands certain ways, to say certain words. Beyond that, I have realized now just how much of the belief structure in religious organizations of all kinds can be likened to operant conditioning. If you find comfort and solace in faith, I don’t take issue with that at all, I think faith does good for many people, but does just as much total crap to others for being ‘non-believers’.

What strikes me most is the realization that the golden rule we were so often presented with seems to have had a little fine print all along. I see it now, especially as a kid with parents who go to different churches.

Treat others as you wish to be treated. *

*As long as they believe the same thing as you.

This is something I have more depth to, but I’m still working through it. Let’s touch on this one again sometime?

Forces of Nature

I’m feeling a bit like toasted crap on a cracker these last few days. Spurred by the passing of Carrie Fisher and in true ‘I am an adult’ fashion I decided to rewatch Star Wars and Carrie Fisher’s Wishful Drinking yesterday. Continuing the trend, I read her book of the same title and am watching Empire and Jedi which should end just as 2017 hits. For the record, 2017 hit just as Luke was lighting Anakin’s funeral pyre. Perfect.

Watching Jedi, there’s something that is annoying me about the storyline now that I don’t think ever has in the past. Luke tells Leia who she really is and instead of training her and taking on Vader together, he’s off to take on Daddy Darth alone. So much for power in numbers.

I’ve been really hit by the passing of Carrie, she was an enjoyable presence for me anytime she showed up on film. She seemed a kindred spirit, I only much later came to understand the many layers of why.

I probably could have powered through hanging out last night but my head feels like a bowling ball and my heart…well it hurts. The past two years have been so trying for my parental and personal health that I am struggling even this morning to find that silver lining in it all. Especially as SHE is telling me over and over ‘see, it didn’t matter at all that you weren’t there. you see how easy everyone keeps moving without you?’ She’s a liar, and I know that, but she’s a loud little bitch when there’s a little FOMO in the air.

My head feels big, is it big? Ugh, fucking cold why you gotta hit me when I’m on vacation. Such a dick move.

What I meant to say in all this before I got tired and went to bed and gave up after the layer of why comment is that despite not knowing them personally, we all attach some level of understanding and kinship to the people we admire. For me, especially lately, the people I admire are my fellow depression-eers. Like a little micky mouse club of fucked up neurons. Helps to know I’m not alone, and that there is a great deal of our clan that write to soothe the savage beast within.

That’s what I want back in my 2017, I want my words back. That’s been a struggle for so long now that I have to just do it. Just write. Even if it’s total shite, get something out. On paper, in 1’s and 0’s, it really doesn’t matter. I just need to do it.

Someday my words will be all that is left of me, I want to make sure they say something accurate, funny, and true. Sometimes if you have the right perspective even the worst moments apply.

I hope Josh wakes up soon, his presence and first hug and kiss of the year will make her shut up a little bit. For a little while anyway.

D-Day Part 3

Today is one of those days I wish Facebook had an option to not allow comments. I didn’t say what I did for anyone but you. Maybe it was better put here but there is that little social nuance that comes with having a dead friend. Expectation might have been a better word there but you get me. If I say nothing, am I an asshole? If I say something that has meaning to only a few it invites jokes and questions that are inappropriate and force me to have those conversations of why I posted what I did in the first place. Followed by inevitable apologies and rehashing all the why.

Fuck it, I thought it was an appropriate in thing to do. Just as much as including some binary in my tattoo if I stop dragging my damn feet will be. That’s my little nod to you, to the computery nerds that we are and the people we wanted to be.

The world keeps turning, but it will never be the same. There’s a dark corner of my mind that realizes how easy it is for things to keep spinning after a loss, and that little bitch can sod right the fuck off today. Things do keep spinning but it’s far from easy. Some days are a whisper, some days are ear bleeding decibels to my fragile little heart.

This year in particular there have been moments I’ve just wanted you to exist in a tangible way again. Purely selfish ones, when I wanted an Aaron hug or laugh to stave off the pain of what was going on for a minute. Funny too how many moments I wanted you to exist were perfectly mundane and ordinary, just with a tinge of ‘man, he’d love this’ or ‘I wonder what he’d say about this’.

There’s still some Inigo left in me – I want my friend back you son of a bitch. Always find it amusing I want a ‘god’ to exist just to have something to be mad at that has a face instead of the reality of the nothing.

Well now I’m just thinking about Artax drowning in the mud and fuck balls did not need that today.

All this is to just say that I miss you and I’m annoyed by the expectations and obliviousness of the world as per usual. So, yeah.

Hello Darkness My Old Friend

Dawned on me that I did actually make all those old letters to you public, for whatever that’s worth. Been awhile, which it really hasn’t considering how many mornings I sing in my car or talk to the air like it’s you. Songs are getting a little bit easier to take but there’s some bands I still instinctively skip. Just can’t take it yet.

Conversations with M lately on all things worldly harken back to many a conversation on the floor in the old apartment in the wee hours. Once you were really my friend too, not just that guy I knew. So often lately I have been wishing so hard that you were in the midst for our conversations, knowing you would have your views and that they’d be fantastic in one way or another.

I remember so clearly that first year after you were gone. How many people would tell me it gets easier and all those little lies we tell ourselves to survive. I nearly fired my therapist for suggesting that I ‘let you go’. That struck me as such an insult at first, but given the complete breakdown I had just had in her office I can understand why that would be the suggestion made. Letting go, accepting is supposed to be end goal of grief I guess. Thing is, that’s not how I roll. Acceptance to me feels like forgetting and I refuse to forget you. I listen to the few voicemails and videos I have of you when I need to hear your laugh. Those are precious commodities to me now in a way I never anticipated. Sometimes just those few words, hearing you say my name is exactly what I need to not throw in the towel.

I’m trying to be brave. I’m trying to live. If not for me, I guess I do it for you. I realize how hopelessly romantic that sounds (not in a creepy way, whatever there’s love in friendship so the fucking cliche works).

Maybe this is the practice I need to start? Just stream of consciousness to you like I do in the car? Better than not writing at all, even if it is useless bullshit.

Miss yer fuckin face, man. Miss yer brain. Miss ye.

Out of Practice

Like every muscle in my body that goes without purpose at times, my writing muscles feel oh so close to atrophy. What was once a respite, a release, writing has become an adversary. An enemy I cannot defeat. Each attempt to release my thoughts failing again and again.

I don’t think this was ever easy, I’d be lying if I said it was. I remember fighting with keyboards for years, only letting the ‘best’ pieces grace the 1’s and 0’s of the information superhighway. Pages and pages of scribbles paint pathetic pictures of my life in stages.

I have to do this in practice again or I will lose what little ability I have remaining. The thoughts remain the same, but the fingers cannot grace the keys in the same pitter patter as they once did. The flourish and rhythm once music to my ears. Tap, tap, tap and out come a fraction of the ponderings held up in my cranium.

I so wish that I could get that power back, but has it been too long since this was my go to? Is that why now what could be done in mere minutes takes close to an hour? Pausing over and over because the words simply don’t come anymore.

So many things I haven’t written about because the thought of having those moments solidified in writing seemed too much. Writing them down makes them no only real, but then leaves the burden of proof on me. How do I give proper description to some of these moments that seem to defy description to me entirely despite that I lived them and can see them in my mind almost as clear as the moments they first took place. Do I avoid writing them so that I don’t have to remember them two fold? So I don’t have to answer the questions, or is it just the eyes I want to avoid. THOSE eyes, the peering eyes I never wanted on my words but happily imbibed them anyway. Judging me more, giving more fuel to the belief structure that seems to permeate my DNA.

Going to have to do this little by little, maybe even day by day before it’s something more than drivel. Get the craft back, then write about the things that actually matter.