Touch Not The Cat

Recently, I was catching up with a friend. I have to imagine catching up with me is a miserable experience, as it mainly involves a list of weird health problems delivered in a practiced yet grumpy matter. After I finished the spiel, my friend paused, then asked, “So, are you seeing anybody?”

To say I was not expecting this question is an understatement. She may as well have asked “So, are you currently orbiting Jupiter?”

Dating is a miserable experience at the best of times, and this is not the best of times. I don’t want another person expecting me to do things when I can’t do things. I don’t want another person to worry about offending with my general crankiness. I don’t want to love any new people; I want to hold on to the few I tricked into caring about me back when I was a functioning human, but I want to do it in a text-messages and g-chats kind of way. Do not touch me; I am a porcupine.

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Or this cat.

But back to lunch with my friend. “No” didn’t seem like a thorough enough answer, but what could I say? “Yes, I met someone in the waiting room of one of my many medical appointments. We have so much in common. He is 84 years old.”

Before I could say anything, my friend took in my nonplussed reaction and clarified.

“I mean like a therapist,” she said.

This made so much more sense that I immediately started laughing at myself for ever thinking she meant something different. Because she’s met me; she knows that even before I became a prickly pear, I would rather talk about 90s boy bands than actual boy problems. All of my friends seem to get this about me, and I love them for it in my cold, distant way.

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I am this Model T.

(And yes, I have a therapist. Are you kidding me? Of course I have a therapist.)

Rebooting (with spoons)

A few years ago, I was getting ready to host my family for Thanksgiving when I realized I didn’t have enough forks. I did all the dishes, looked in all the drawers and came up with exactly five forks. I fretted for a few hours, until I remembered there are only five people in my family and as long as no forks disappeared mid-meal we’d be fine. I still fessed up to my family, and my fork shortage became a running joke. (My mother gave me one fork in a jewelry box for Christmas.) Now that I’m no longer literally running out of forks, I find myself counting my metaphorical spoons.

There’s this thing called The Spoon Theory.  If you aren’t familiar with it, it’s an explanation of life with a chronic illness as illustrated by a bouquet of spoons. Why spoons? Because they were the closest object to the storyteller at the time. It’s a weird metaphor, but it caught on long before I came to the chronic life scene, so I’m rolling with it. I have now joined a gang called the Spoonies. (Like the Goonies, except instead of searching for pirate gold we might eat some soup later if we can get out of bed.)

It took me a while to admit to myself that I am a spoonie, and even longer to admit it to anyone else, even the people to whom it is painfully obvious. I am speaking here specifically of Lacy, my best friend and roommate who has become my accidental but eternally patient caretaker. Well before we knew what was going on, she took over grocery shopping. She accepted my total domination of the couch. She accompanied me to several late-night ER visits. And she makes great coffee.

Lacy and many others have been there for me over the past year and a half, particularly during what I like to call the Hard Reboot of Rachel. My wonderful workplaces and school let me take several months off to attempt to “get better” or at least figure out what was wrong. Basically, I watched everything on Netflix in between doctor’s appointments, and even though I am not better, I’m so grateful to everyone who let me take that time and supported me through it.*

I’m still Rebooting. I’ve had time to come to terms with the pain of ON, but it’s harder to accept the changes to my life. Knowing my supply of spoons is limited does not stop me from trying to do everything I used to do. It’s kind of like deciding to have another beer and knowing you run the risk of a hangover the next day, except instead of having a beer, it’s reading a book. Or taking a shower. Or working a full day. And instead of a hangover, it’s…actually, that is what it feels like sometimes.

I’m trying to spend my spoons wisely. Work. School. Seeing friends and family in limited ways, even if I know it will cost me later. And the upcoming Women’s March Minnesota.  That one is going to hurt in so many ways, but it’s necessary in so many more.

*I’m especially thankful to the people who went above and beyond to bring me to or from ERs, hospitals, pain clinics, and more: Aimee, Bryan, Lacy, and my family.

Please don’t ask me how I am.

The socks I am wearing today came into my life exactly one year ago. They’re the warm non-slip kind, and I got them from the Emergency Room at St. Joseph’s Hospital. They’re the second in a collection I don’t want to curate, gathered on a long, boring, annoying, painful, ridiculous, mysterious journey I don’t want to remember.

I have Occipital Neuralgia. It’s a long story, and I’m tired of it. You can Google ON and you will learn that it is a painful condition involving the nerves in the head. You will not learn how to deal with it, but if you look hard enough you will find other people who have it. You will not be encouraged by their stories. You will try to accept that it is chronic, but not fatal, so at least there’s that. You will think “at least” a lot. You will find treatment options that might help, but you will not find a cure.

And if you’ve gotten this far, I hope you will adjust.

As with depression, you might not get it unless you get it, and I hope you never, ever get it. That’s my wish for you. Here are my wishes from you.

First, please don’t ask me how I am. I know you don’t mean anything by it, but you don’t expect an honest response, and I’m tired of lying. The thing is, I am terrible (thanks for asking.) I am always in at least some pain. Always. Even when I say I’m doing okay, it’s this new version of okay where I’m in bearable pain. The monster in the back of my head is sleeping, leaving a dull ache I can ignore for a while. I can function; I can act like one of the humans for a few hours, but it comes at a price.

Second, please don’t tell me I’ll get better. My current treatment plan is through the Mayo Clinic; I am looking into every avenue; I am seeking advice from others who have it. I rest. I put bags of frozen vegetables on my head. I cut off most of my hair to remove the weight from my scalp. I’m still in constant pain. I am trying to do everything I can to kill this monster, but the reality is it might never go away. I’ve had time to come to terms with that, but when you tell me I’ll get better, it just reminds me of the opposite.

And finally, please don’t give up on me. ON has affected every single part of my life, and I’m still figuring out the balance. I’m sorry I’m a burden. I’m sorry I’m unreliable. I’m sorry I’ve missed so many events that you don’t invite me anymore. (Nobody goes to parties to hear about my health problems, anyway.) I’m sorry I’m so grumpy and self-pitying that I do things like write this. I’m sorry I make you feel awkward when all you’ve done is ask, “How are you?” and expected a normal answer like a normal person.

Although I guess making people feel awkward is pretty normal for me, so that one’s on you.

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Thank you for your patience. Here’s to a hospital-sock-free 2017.

All of this has happened before

‘Tis the season of lists. Christmas wish lists, shopping lists, to-do lists. Best of and worst of everything lists. Lists of changes we’re really – truly – going to make next year. There’s something comforting about looking back on the necessary chaos of life and saying “I’ll just put this bit in order now, and then I’ll move on to the next thing.”  It might just be a reaction to the calendar, but I think these dark, cold days bring out our natural need to brood and mull.

So I’ve been mulling. And obsessing. And listing – all of the bad things, the unfair things, the ways I haven’t lived up to my own expectations and the times I thought it couldn’t get any worse. I built up the idea of this year to the point where it felt like something I needed to outrun. If I can just get out of this year, I can make it. If I can just survive a few more days without incident, all will be fine.  But that’s not how time works.

I wrote those two paragraphs in December of 2013. I found them with a few days left of 2016. I hope you are reading them from the safe distance of 2017, and that everything really is better.

Or at least not worse.

Find me.

It’s 2003 and I’m on a beach in Isla Cristina, Spain, a few days shy of my 18th birthday. It’s my first time out of the country; I’ve spent 2 weeks traveling Spain with a busload of other American high schoolers, but at this moment it’s just me and one other student with our host siblings on the beach. My Spanish is limited and we are barely trying to understand one another, but it doesn’t matter. Our host siblings are drinking wine and Fanta, and Krista and I are taking photos of each other, two Minnesotan girls just giddy just to be on a beach. I’m running sand through my fingers and laughing when she snaps this picture.

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I brought this picture when I went to college a few months later. I remember it was in a gaudy frame with fake seashells and a starfish on the edge, and I kept it on my nightstand. Some girls from my dorm told me it was weird to have a photo of myself like that. (This was before selfies.) They asked me why I had it, and I said, “Because I look so happy.” It’s not a particularly good or flattering photo – I am wearing a dark shirt and jeans on a beach – but I didn’t care. I was happy in that moment, and my smile is genuine.

I don’t have this picture on display anymore – I had to dig it out of my closet just now – but I still think of it the same way. It’s like a totem for happiness. I have others – a video of my niece laughing; lyrics to a Sam Cooke song – and I need them around me as a reminder. Maybe not everyone needs proof that happiness is attainable, but I do, and I’m not alone.

I’ve battled depression for about a decade. (Before I go any further I should clarify I’m doing well right now, despite a really, really shitty year. The fact that I’ve managed my mental health well is probably my greatest accomplishment in 2016. More on that on a later day, maybe.) I spent a long time being quiet about it because it’s personal, and it’s hard to explain, except to people who get it. The thing is, it’s hard to find people who get it if none of us are willing to come forward, and that can make depression seem even more isolating and dangerous.

A few weeks ago, a woman who was on this same trip to Spain with me took her own life after a long fight with depression. It hurts me to my gut to think about her family. It hurts every time I hear about someone losing the fight. That’s why I dug out the picture, and that’s why I’m writing this.

I’m not going to try to explain what depression is like, except to say it is hard. There was a time when telling just a handful of people what I was going through seemed insurmountable; finally doing so saved my life. Since then, finding other people who get it has made it easier. So that’s all I’m doing. Saying I get it. Lots and lots of people get it. We’re here if you need us.

My parents went to Mardi Gras and wrote about it in a newspaper for senior citizens

Avid readers of Senior Perspective, Prairie Edition (and who isn’t!) will recognize a version of this story from the April issue. Avid readers of anything I’ve ever written will know I get a lot of entertainment out of my parents. My mom (the one person who falls into both those categories) has given me permission to share this here, and I’m doing so because everyone needs to know what my dad is like on an airplane. Also, because my parents went to Mardi Gras then got a story about it in a newspaper aimed at Midwestern senior citizens. Words are all my mother’s – even the ones about mardi gras beads – but I added a few pictures.

Vacation Postcard

by Tish Peterson

The back story:

For the first time (ever!) Pete and I took a week-long vacation in search of warm weather. We flew to Dallas, rented a car, and drove down to the gulf coast of Mississippi, with stops in Louisiana along the way. I had every good intention of sending postcards (even went to the post office for stamps ahead of time, but the PO only had post card stamps in rolls of 100.  Yeah, right, like that’s gonna happen). But vacation postcards usually arrive after the vacation’s over anyway, so now that we’re home, I thought I’d take a few minutes to send out this version of our postcards.

To clarify right off:  We had fun!!!

It was like we were in our own version of reality shows, starting with:

ICE ROAD TRUCKER:

It took us 3 hours to drive from home to Minneapolis, and highway 494 had more turbulence than any airplane ride I’ve ever been on.  We were in the truck and Pete did an excellent job of driving.  I’m sure if it had been me behind the wheel I’d have gone through all the underwear in my suitcase by the time we got to the hotel.

Pete hadn’t flown in over 30 years, but all went well.  It was weird for ME to be the calm one on the flight, though!  I had a crossword puzzle to keep me distracted, but all he had was the window and the wing to look at.  I gave him my iPod when I realized I had it handy, which helped a bit.  Once he adjusted the volume to a level where he could hear it, however, he tended to yell everything he wanted to say (and you know how his voice carries anyway!).  Every so often he’d boom out, “NO SNOW DOWN THERE”  or  “WE MUST BE OVER OMAHA NOW” ~ which caused a murmur among the passengers, who probably thought we were getting updates from the pilot, as they peeked outside for a glimpse of non-snow or Nebraska.

To clarify, this is my pops - exactly the kind of person you want yelling on an airplane

To clarify, this is my pops – exactly the kind of person you want yelling on an airplane

MASTERPIECE MYSTERY:

When Rachel and I were in Ireland we nicknamed our rental car “The Trusty Steed.”  On this trip, the most frequent reference to the car was “What Does The Car Look Like?” and/or “Where Did We Park?”

SWAMP PEOPLE:

We drove from Dallas to West Monroe, Louisiana, and as we entered the elevator at the Holiday Inn, a young couple got on behind us.  I could hardly believe my eyes, but the guy had a live squirrel on his shoulder.  With a heavy drawl and a shucks-ma’am delivery he explained how he’d found it as a baby when he was hunting, and now it was his pet.  If I could have gotten off the elevator I would have, but instead I just smiled politely and hoped the squirrel wouldn’t look at me, or my underwear would once again be in jeopardy.

The vacation was off to a great start.

The vacation was off to a great start.

We ate at a local restaurant, with service by a darling young girl with a huge smile, but when she asked, “Yallslldoongdeeyah?” without actually moving her lips, it took me three deer-in-the-headlights “Excuse me?”s before I realized she was asking if we all were still doing good here.  Once I had cracked the code and interpreted the question, my joyous and explosive, “yes, Yes, oh YES!”  had other people looking around to see if Harry had just met Sally.

DUCK DYNASTY:

Okay, this was the highlight of the vacation for me, and actually my whole reason for going:  getting a photo op in front of the Duck Commander warehouse, and ambling throughout the gift shop for souvenirs.  I’m easily amused.  The warehouse is actually where the duck calls are still made, and where the show is filmed.  Didn’t see any Robertsons, but enjoyed myself anyway.

PGA GOLF TOUR:

We drove down to the gulf coast, staying for 3 nights in Ocean Springs, MS.  Our first mission was to locate a golf course for Pete.  That was probably the highlight of the vacation for him, coupled with the fact that there was that 7-ft alligator near the tee box on hole #10.  I was the first to spot it and could barely believe my eyes.  Come to find out (later) that there are many alligators on the course (we spotted 7), but the real danger is the SNAKES ~ which I’d been happily unaware of when I was helping Pete locate a lost ball.  Yikes!

Here let's all look at the alligator on the golf course and NOT make jokes about lost balls okay

Here let’s all look at the alligator on the golf course and NOT make jokes about my dad’s lost ball okay

GATOR BOYS: 

Not content to simply see 7 gators on the golf course, we headed over to the Gulf Shores Gator Farm, where Pete got to actually hold a live alligator and we took an air boat ride through their swamp.  We met an alligator in the swamp that came to the boat when called by the guide.  Tidbit:  alligators like marshmallows.  Who knew?

THE HISTORY CHANNEL:

A cool/rainy/dreary day on the coast, so we took in a tour of Beauvoir, the last home of Jefferson Davis.  It was very enlightening to me.  I had no idea what a deeply committed patriot Jefferson Davis had been, active in the government in DC prior to the civil war. (My Civil War history knowledge consists mostly of what I learned from Gone With The Wind.)  All the doors in the house were literally 12 feet tall, but the bath tub was the size of a coffee cup.  (What did these people look like????)  We really learned a lot, and had a good time in the process.

THE AMAZING RACE: 

Almost every time we had to get from point A to point B, in spite of having written directions, a map, and a GPS, we inevitably spent time and again doubling-back and driving around in at least one circle.  Sometimes we could actually SEE where we wanted to be, but couldn’t actually see how to get there.  the GPS ~ which is named Gertrude ~ has a bit of a devious nature or warped sense of humor.  “When possible, make a U-Turn” or “Proceed to the nearest road.”  You can just about hear her wanting to add, “……Dummy.”

THE BIG EASY:

Although we didn’t spend the night in New Orleans, we stopped on our way through to take the bus tour, and I’m so glad we did.  It gave us the chance to see some of the sights of the city that we wouldn’t have otherwise.  (Passed close to Sandra Bullock’s house/mansion, but I’m thinking she was away for the weekend getting ready for the Oscars.)  I think we rode along a Mardi Gras parade route ~ there were chairs and stands set up along the way, and already tons of beads hanging in the trees from earlier parades.  I actually won some beads on the bus tour, by being able to correctly pronounce the name of one of the streets we passed.  I can’t remember what it was, although it sounded something like Oompa-Loompa……..   anyway, I walked away with 2 strings of green beads, and I didn’t even have to take off my shirt!!!  It was actually so cool on the tour that I had on two shirts, a fleece jacket and a windbreaker, so taking anything off wasn’t even a option!

THE MAN SHOW:

I’m not sure there really is a Man Show (there was, but I’m really glad you’ve never seen it, mom – R), but if there is I’ll bet it includes a 2-hour browse throughout Bass Pro Shop, followed by lunch at Hooters, and a guided tour of the Shreveport Water Works Museum, which was how My Man and I spent Friday, up until the time of………(wait for it)……..

MARDI GRAS PARADE!!!  Although not as expansive as New Orleans, Shreveport has a very respectable parade, with about 50 huge floats, and three marching bands, which lasted about 1 1/2 hours.  Unbelievable to me that we were actually there for a parade, but I have a significant collection of beads (and photos) to prove it.  (Again, no removal of shirts were involved; it’s a family-friendly event)  Almost as amazing as being there, is the fact that I was able to catch some of the beads when they were thrown from the floats ~ I’m so terribly non-athletic, my first instinct was to duck for cover when the beads headed my way.    Ended up with a bunch of them anyway, thanks to Pete.

Mardi Gras MADNESS

Mardi Gras MADNESS

Almost forgot to mention the favorite reality show!  THE FOOD NETWORK!!!  the BEST Mexican food, chicken gumbo, crab po-boy, shrimp creole, fried catfish, alligator bites (deep-fried mush, in my opinion), crab cakes, and some of the best sweet potatoes I’ve ever had.

STORM CHASERS:

Leaving Shreveport, the temp was in the 60s, and by the time we reached the outskirts of Dallas it was down to about 28 degrees.  I was behind the wheel ~ saying my prayers through wind, sleet, ice, slush, and rain ~ just hoping we’d be able to return “WDTCLL?”  to Avis in one piece.  God is good, and we made it, but once at the airport the weather only got worse, and we watched the announcement boards as three flights to Minneapolis were cancelled………

Ours was only 45 minutes late, and we made it back to our hotel in the cities by 10 p.m., feeling great that our part in SURVIVOR was over!

Arrived home.
Cold and snowy.
Two suitcases full of laundry.
Nothing in the fridge.
But nonetheless:
We had a wonderful time, but it’s good to be home!

And just in case you’re wondering what my dad had to say about the first vacation he’s had in years, here’s his summary:

"keeping up on face" means "we saw that you made a joke about us on Facebook," as if that was going to stop me

“keeping up on face” means “we saw that you made a joke about us on Facebook,” as if that will ever stop me from making jokes about my parents on Facebook.

I LOVE MY WEIRD FUNNY PARENTS. Next time let’s send them to Vegas.

Katy Perry Mad Libs

I listen to the radio because it’s the only thing that consistently works in my 19-year-old car. Starting the car means turning the key, then turning up the volume; unlike the windshield, the mirrors, the engine, the tires, the fuel pump or the battery, the radio does not break down (brakes, that’s another one). Flipping through the stations, resting on one for a song or two, and singing off-key by the flickering lights of my faulty dash is the only way I know how to drive. Right now, there are about a dozen stations I roll through every day; sometimes I stop for Led Zeppelin, sometimes for Doomtree, and sometimes I skip them both to belt out the stupidly catchy Ke$ha part of Pitbull’s “Timber.”

Because here’s the thing, I like all music, including top 40 pop songs. I’ve seen Aerosmith, Barbra Streisand, New Kids on the Block, Childish Gambino, and Tool in concert all within my adult life.  31 Songs by Nick Hornby and The Big Payback: The History of the Business of Hip-Hop are two of my all-time favorite books. So I try not to judge anyone’s taste in music; don’t listen to what you think makes you cool. Listen to whatever brings you joy.

But I have some seriously complicated feelings about Katy Perry.

I cannot decide if I like Katy Perry’s music, or if I like hating it. Occasionally I am impressed by her voice, while other times she reminds me of an Eastern Spadefoot toad. Sometimes I think she’s a genius getting the last laugh through slick satire, and other times I want to rage against everything she represents for pop music, feminism, and the future of the species.

Like I said, complicated.

“Roar,” I think, is the perfect Katy Perry song. Observe.

It has everything: the patented Belting/Heavy Breathing/Random Sound Effect style of Katy Perry vocals, occasionally within the same word (“Ro-a-a-a-a-a–uhuhr!”). It is Uncannily Current, in the sense that it sounds exactly like what else is out there at the time (Sara Bareilles’ “Brave”).  And most importantly, the lyrics that are Nonsense Clichés Strung Together In a Forced-Rhyming Fashion (“Now I’m floating like a butterfly / Stinging like a bee I earned my stripes / I went from zero, to my own hero”).

In college, I had an English professor who could not stand a single cliché in anything her students wrote. She was an older Sister with an attitude and  health problems, and she would slam her cane on the floor for emphasis as she wheezed out “Clichéd! Clichéd! Clichéd!” She was a little scary and mean, and it took me years to realize how much I actually liked her and appreciated her guidance, by which point she had passed away. This is what I think about every time I hear Katy Perry sing I stood for nothing, so I fell for everything: a nun who yelled a lot and then she died. I am not the first person to notice and be bothered by Katy Perry’s clichés – here’s a list of all 226 found on her most recent album – but I am willing to bet I’m the first person to tell that particular nun story.

And now there’s this new song, “Dark Horse,” which I initially thought I hallucinated due to my clearly unhealthy obsession with Figuring Out Katy Perry.

A) It has the singing style that haunts my dreams. B) It sounds Uncannily Current in that it sent me down an internet rabbit hole, starting with Miley Cyrus/Mike WiLL Made It collaborations and ending with too much information about what is or is not “ratchet” culture (don’t look it up).  C) The title itself is a cliché. And D) I can’t stop hate-listening to it. Katy Perry may be a complex genius hiding behind bright colors and loud noises because that’s what sells, or she might be so simple that singing “I know a place where the grass is really greener” while dressed as candy is equivalent to her baring her soul. I don’t know.

But I do know she’s a multimillionaire while I drive a ’95 Lumina. So. Dear Katy Perry, I am willing to give up all my English-major principles and follow your formula to success. I’ve done the research and I’ve got some ideas. Here’s a little something I came up with while cleaning my bathroom:

I’m taking out the trash
You’re my receptacle
I can’t see the light
You’re my spectacles
Your reflection! It’s perfection!
Think it’s a Jedi mind trick
You ask do I love you?
Boy, Is the Pope Catholic?
(random vocalization breakdown, Tuvan throat singing, maybe you go “Catholic! Lic! Lic!” for a while, etc)

Yeah. There’s more where that came from, Katy Perry. I bought a book of Mad Libs and filled in all the spaces with clichés, euphemisms and glitter. Let’s collab.

Margarita Monday: It’s important. Really.

I didn’t know what to expect when I moved in with my best friend, but I never guessed we’d actually see less of each other. It turns out we have sort of opposite schedules/social lives. That’s why what started as a “oh-hey-we-live-by-a-Mexican-restaurant-let’s-go-there” moment one Monday has blossomed into a sacrosanct weekly ritual: Margarita Monday.

There’s actually only about a 50% chance it will involve margaritas, but if it does there’s a 100% chance it will also involve online shopping and regret. Basically, this is our time dedicated to catching up with one another. Despite the fact that we are never actually out of touch. It’s just that text messages like this – although constant – are not enough.

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She gets me.

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We are the same, yet different.

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Honesty.

Margarita Monday roommate time is my favorite thing about living in this new apartment – aptly nicknamed the “Nerd Haven.” If you have the chance, I recommend having an awesome best friend and moving in with her and catching up with her in person at least once a week.

If that’s not possible, have a margarita. You deserve it more than I do.

Ten Years?

I made exactly one Resolution this year: spend less money on delivery Pizza Luce. Not on delivery food in general, or pizza in general, but specifically on delivery Pizza Luce. This has nothing to do with health. This has to do with spending about $150 on Pizza Luce in December alone.

Resolutions need to be that specific to work, I think. Saying “I will lose weight” or “I will get healthy” is too vague for me. “I will not treat this restaurant as my personal kitchen three days a week,” however, seems manageable. I do admire folks who try those other, broader, goals, and I admit I get caught up in it. This is it, I think. This is the month I buckle down and finish all my crafts including the braided rug I started in 1994. But more often than not I come to my senses and amend that goal to “either claim it’s a braided rug for Barbie or give it up. Also you don’t need to DIY floor coverings. You’re an adult with a job.”

If I had one “traditional” New Years goal this year, I guess it would be to write more. Even that is cheating, as I always want to “write more.” About a week ago I thought maybe I’d make a go of it and start writing a blog entry. A few days ago I hadn’t written a word, so I thought maybe I’d search my old writings for ideas/things to plagiarize. And that’s when I realized the internet has changed since I started blogging, and the only way I could access those old things was to change with it. I clicked some things. I downloaded some files. I uploaded some things.

And that is how my old, embarrassing, mostly-about-how-much-I-want-a-nap blog posts wound up imported onto this site. Instead of writing one new entry, I imported about 500, beginning ten years ago.  I was halfway through my freshman year of college; I was immersed in a group of girlfriends I still remember fondly, even though we aren’t close anymore. I was away from my small town – albeit in a different small town – for the first time in my life. I was overly fond of commas and parentheticals. And I was pretty sure about four people were reading what I wrote, which is maybe why reading them makes me think not that I should write more, but that I shouldn’t write at all.

Anyway, it all happened. It all seemed important at the time. In the words of my 18-year-old-self, “I don’t know why I keep doing this.  I don’t have anything remotely interesting to say so I talk about myself, and no one reads it anyway because it’s uninteresting.  And yet…here we go again.”

Well, what were you doing at 18? At least my mom will get a kick out of it.

Dedicated To My Roommate

A few days ago, I met up with someone I hadn’t talked to since early August. She asked me what was new in my life, and I laughed in her face.

There’s just a lot going on right now, guys.

One of the best things to happen to me recently – and probably in all of 2013 – is acquiring a roommate. This is not usually the top of the list for the almost-thirty crowd, but my roommate is not a stranger I’ve found on Craigslist; she is my best friend hetero-lifemate, Lacy. Who I found on Craigslist.

No, that’s not true, I found her in high school.  A dozen years later, we’ve finally fulfilled our teenage dream to get an apartment together and fill it with books. Nerds in high school, nerds 4 life!

So far, living together has resulted in texts like this:

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And notes like this:

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And nights like this:

night

Currently, we’re following up our traditional Margarita Monday (two weeks is a tradition, right?) with some Futurama in our pjs. She doesn’t know I’m writing this. And she just texted me an emoticon of Zoidberg from the other side of our couch.

So far living with my best friend is as amazing as I imagined it would be, but with more cartoons.

I know; it won’t always be this way. Check back in six months, and maybe the “Dedicated To My Roommate” post will be nothing but “It’s YOUR Turn To Re-Alphabetize The Books” or “If You Drank All The Wine I Will Eat Your Babies.” But right now, it’s great. It’s comfortable, and comforting, and more than I could have asked for.

Life is not perfect, but my life has some very good people in it. I’m lucky to be on this adventure with one of the best.