the universe has a sick sense of humor

September 30th is the busiest day of the year at my company. The whole month of September is bonkers for us, but the last day of the month is by far the zenith, and always involves people working late into the night to process orders.

Which makes it especially shitty that my workstation decided to shit the bed on Monday afternoon.

Monday night, the IT guy got the workstation back up and running so I was able to work on Tuesday. However, he neglected to tell me that I should not under any circumstances restart the computer after he got it going again. So of course I restarted it at the end of the day Tuesday, just like I have every day for the last eight years.

The resulting message on my screen saying things like “fatal error” and “imminent failure” seemed…bad. I hunted down the IT guy and told him what had happened. He seemed blase, saying basically, “Well that sucks. I’ll get it going again, don’t worry”.

Famous last words.


Total hard drive meltdown. Computer Chernobyl. Ka-boom.

The short version of the rest of the story is that the IT guy got me set up with a temporary workstation last night so that I could limp through today, but then my email died mid-morning and we had to set up a temporary work-around to the temporary work-around. On the busiest day of the year. When everyone and their brother is emailing me super-rush-must-do-immediately stuff that, you know, must be done immediately.

Everything ended up getting done and all’s well that ends well, but the timing of the whole thing just continues to slay me, the more I think about it. In my many years of doing a variety of computer-intensive jobs, I’ve never had a machine totally die on me like that…and certainly not at the absolute worst possible moment of the entire year. Once is enough, I think.

Are you listening, Universe? Once is enough.

how bad CAN it go?

I just did a Google image search for “how bad can it go” and among a whole bunch of pseudo-inspirational bullshit memes about adjusting a bad attitude, there was this completely random picture of butter. I really like butter and I really like completely random things, so I am linking to this picture with much delight.

When I finally decided to bite the bullet and start a new blog, I had a lot of trouble coming up with a name.  I wanted something clever and snazzy, something that was memorable and rolled off the tongue.  I’m generally neither clever nor snazzy, but that didn’t mean I couldn’t pretend to be on the Internet, right?!  The names I came up with were weak at best, though.  Finally, I put the question to a group of my favorite knitter friends on Ravelry (shout out to my LSG ALA hoars), and the suggestion of “Eat Your Words” came up.  Since eating my words in the figurative sense is something I’m all too familiar with, and since I was coming off a long (if sporadic) stint as a self-styled food blogger, it felt like a perfect name.

The Internet, however, is full of thieving rat bastards who come up with good ideas WAY faster than I do, so “Eat Your Words” was already long gone on every blogging site I searched for it. Incidentally, so were “Eat My Words”, “Eat These Words” and “Eat Some Words”.

‘Ok, Internet, I FUCKING GET IT’, I thought to myself. I started to question whether or not I should even bother with the blog at all, and had a good 45 minute grump session where-in I detailed all my life failings to myself (the list is vast but I’m so well practiced that it tends to go very quickly once I start), before finally saying, ‘Fuck it. I’m doing this. How bad can it go?’

And then it dawned on me. If I was going to write about my mental struggles, my whacked-out sense of humor…if I was going to write about ME…then “How Bad Can It Go” was actually a far better name than the ones I had originally been looking for. It fits so well because not only is it something that I actually say ridiculously frequently (usually in a sarcastic manner), but it’s also a play on how my brain works.

When you’re an analytical person, you tend to be the type that thinks through many possible outcomes of every action. When you’re analytical by nature and also have an anxiety disorder, your ability to think through multiple outcomes and weigh various options can swiftly turn from a useful asset to a crippling liability. I am a person who often quite literally cannot stop thinking of all the ways anything and everything can go badly. You could point me to a scene of utter tranquility, ask “how bad can it go?”, and I’d be able to come up with at least three nightmare scenarios right off the top of my head. Granted, they would likely be far-fetched at best, but that’s one of the supreme ass-aches of an anxiety disorder – even when you know damn well that what you’re thinking is completely fucking ridiculous and far-fetched, you can’t not think it. You can’t shut off the part of your brain that is continually saying, “what if, what if, what if, whaaaaatttt iiiiiifffff”.

One of the ways I’ve learned to deal with my anxiety and depression is to try and find the funny in it. Even if it’s the type of terrible gallows humor that I can’t explain to anyone without making them grimace and back away slowly, it still helps. It’s a little bit harder to get stuck in a “what if” feedback loop when I’m coming up with the most ludicrous and unfeasible scenarios possible on purpose in the interest of making myself or other people laugh.

Like I’ve said before, I’m really good at starting things but pretty crap at finishing them, so this is the point in my little shit-show of an essay where I’m struggling to come up with something eloquent to sum everything up. So instead, I’ll just stop writing for now and wonder how bad it can go…

I like to make shit

Figuratively speaking.

I mean, I guess I could say that I literally like making shit too because I like to eat and eating leads to shitting, unless something has gone terribly awry.

But that wasn’t where I was headed with this when I started typing. Shocker, I KNOW.

Seriously though, I like to make shit. Knitting, cooking, embroidering, making weird sculptures out of paper clips and tape while I’m on hold at work…basically, if there’s stuff in front of me that can in some way be re-shaped or destroyed and re-formed, I will be compelled to do so.

As such, I have a lot of, uhh…stuff. See? I didn’t call it shit! SOMETIMES I LEARN!

Anyway – so I have all these little things I’ve made, and the problem is that I don’t actually use a lot of what I make. If I knit some crazy complicated lace shawl, it will usually just languish on the laundro-bed indefinitely after blocking. When I finish a needlework piece, it just kind of sits in a pile waiting for a frame for ages while I move on to start 47 other new shiny projects. I mean, yes, I do sometimes make things specifically for other people and those things get given to those people and are well-loved, and that in turn gives me a big ol’ pile of warm fuzzies. But for the most part, I’d say about 85% of the things I work on just end up languishing in my apartment all sad and un-enjoyed.

So I was thinking (and I know that sets a dangerous precedent but hang with me here), what if I made stuff and then instead of just adding it to the existing piles of stuff, I sold it instead? People do that. I know they do. Could I do that? I think I maybe could. How will I ever know if I don’t try, right? And really, how bad can it go?

I haven’t set up an Etsy shop yet because, in a completely shocking for me move, I want to actually try to plan this out a little before I just start throwing up pictures of embroidered pterodactyls and telling people I’ll make them custom ones (like I may or may not have sort of done on Facebook the other night after two rather large glasses of wine…heh). I need to figure out stuff like shipping and, I don’t know, material costs? And probably all kinds of other shit I haven’t even thought of.

Know that the pterodactyl invasion is coming, though. Be prepared.

Here's my prototype. This one is going to be rainbow-filled, because pterodactyls love colors and also gayness. Don't believe me? Ok, find a pterodactyl who can tell you differently. Yeah, that's what I thought.

Here’s my prototype. This one is going to be rainbow-filled, because pterodactyls love colors and also gayness. Don’t believe me? OK smart guy, find a pterodactyl who can tell you differently. Yeah, that’s what I thought.

easy come, easy go

This morning while I was cooking breakfast, Husband was harnessing up the dog for the morning constitutional and said something to him about being “just a poor puppy”. In my head that immediately turned into “I’m just a poor pup, nobody loves me”, which in turn lead to me singing Bohemian Rhapsody in dog-voice while Husband made the dog dance along.

That was quite possibly the sanest thing I did all morning.

It went downhill quickly after that, with stops at “surely I’ll have time to watch an episode of Jeopardy without being late for work”, and “this sweater with giant horizontal stripes doesn’t look THAT bad on me”, before reaching the near-inevitable nadir of me choosing to fully line my eyes with black eyeliner a la Jared Leto circa 2006:

30 Seconds to Mars, indeed. It almost works in a goth-lite type of way in this picture but trust me, it's much more ridiculous in real life.

30 Seconds to Mars, indeed. It almost works in a goth-lite type of way in this picture but trust me, it’s much more ridiculous in real life.

And I’ve still got bloody fucking Bohemian Rhapsody stuck in my head, four hours later.

“Scaramouche, Scaramouche, WILL YOU DO THE FANDANGO?!”

…and then I lost an hour’s worth of work.

I went on vacation over the weekend.  I wrote a big long post about how great it was.  There were all kinds of pictures with funny captions and everything.  It was probably the best thing I’ll ever have written.  We’re talking Pulitzer material here, honest.  If they gave Pulitzer prizes for blog posts about vacations, anyway.

Then, The Internets decided to have a freaking seizure juuuust before I hit “post”, and all my hilarity went right down the tubes in one fell swoop.

I am not some grannie who has never used a computer before, people.  I grew up in the 90’s!  I SHOULD DAMN WELL KNOW BETTER THAN TO NOT PERIODICALLY SAVE MY WORK.  It’s like I’m back in 7th grade again, trying to convince my teacher that I DID have a book report but the computer ate it.

I can’t even with this shit.

I also can’t decide if there should be a comma in that last sentence or not.  Technically, it probably isn’t even a sentence so it doesn’t really matter.

OMG I am so annoyed.

Here, enjoy this picture of Pierre photobombing a scenic vista while I cry a little bit and curse my inability to simply hit the “save draft” button once in a god damned blue moon.

“Oh, hallo! Ah am ze Fronch anteater, Pierre. Ah weel show you zeez rocks en Maine. Zey are velly good rocks, ah promeez!”

hear me roar…quietly, and mostly to myself…

Yesterday evening while walking the dog, I got heckled by a stranger.  I had scolded the stranger for driving too fast down our quiet dead-end road (by way of yelling “SLOW DOWN!” and waving the mail I was clutching in one hand while I tried to keep my small and exuberant dog from getting run over with the other hand).  The stranger pulled into the neighbor’s driveway and stood making what I can only assume to be entitled commentary on my physique while I made my way up the road toward where he was parked.  Once I came into earshot, he shared some choice opinions with me, to which I replied with a few of my own, all the while not slowing down my pace.  The words themselves are not as important as the intention.  This guy, whether drunk, high, or just an asshole, had decided that since I was a woman and/or a person of significant size, that I could be bullied.  In that split second he judged me as someone who would take his bullshit, but he was wrong, and it got me thinking.

I am someone that prefers to be quiet most of the time.  I am bookish and nerdy, I like to knit, I am often lost in my own daydreams.  I detest small-talk because I’m terrible at it. I am confrontation-averse because I have a hard time arguing / debating – my brain is usually going in 47 different directions and I struggle to settle on a point, let alone the language to convey said point, unless I am at a keyboard where I can go back and edit myself continually (and even then, I’m generally far from eloquent).

None of these things, however, mean that I’m easily scared or intimidated.  If someone says something I don’t agree with, I will most definitely speak up.  I sometimes regret having done so after the fact, but I’m by no means afraid to speak my mind.  Also, possibly because I have always been physically large my whole life and grew up around many other large people (genetically, I couldn’t escape being big even if I wanted to. If I lost 150lbs of excess weight, I’d still be built like a linebacker because that’s just how everyone in my family is built), I am not very easily intimidated physically either.  My mom and I used to soda-bottle sword-fight or milk-jug box in the kitchen for fun when I was a kid.  Those activities are exactly what they sound like – hitting each other with empty 2-liter soda bottles or gallon milk jugs until someone legitimately got hurt and stopped playing or we were both laughing too hard to continue.  I doubt she was doing it on purpose at the time, but my mother basically taught me via goofy semi-violence in the kitchen that I was a fighter.  I’m never going to be the one running TOWARD a fight (unless a loved one is in trouble), but if a fight comes to me, I’m not going to run AWAY from it.

I’m made of far harder stuff than I sometimes give myself credit for.  I bet you are, too.  Let’s remember we talked about it so that the next time we need a boost, we can come back and remind ourselves that we’re actually bad-asses who don’t take anyone’s shit.  Deal?

Dear Internets: WTF is this thing?

There’s a thing growing on the edge of my lawn and it’s kind of freaking me out:

Does it not look vaguely sinister to YOU? It does to me. I mean, most stuff does...but this REALLY does.

Sorry it’s blurry – the light was really bad and I was a (very full) glass and a half of Chardonnay in. Not a good combo, at least for taking nature pictures.

It’s not actually on the lawn proper – it’s growing just past the edge of the lawn where the underbrush and woodsy shit starts.  It has been there for a couple weeks now.  Last night was the first time I actually went and looked at it closely, so I don’t know if this is just one disturbing stage in its metamorphosis into some kind of Mothra-esque creature that wants to suck my brains out or what.

Is it some kind of bonkers mushroom?  There are weird skinny leaves coming off the stalk, so I don’t think so.  There are day-lily plants (now died off, but the bulbs are still there) that grow right next to where this thing came up – I don’t know if that matters, but I thought I’d mention it just in case.  More information is better, right?

The actual berry-looking part is maybe 2.5 – 3 inches tall, and the stalk it sits on is quite woody-looking, and another maybe 3ish inches tall.  You can kind of see the long skinny leaves coming off the stalk in the picture.  The whole thing just looks vaguely sinister to me.  I mean, most stuff does, to be fair…but this REALLY does.

Is it some kind of delicious delicacy that I am fortunate to have found?  Will it give me a rash if I touch it?  Does it mark some ancient Native American burial ground?  A ghost might explain the missing scone, anyway…

Help me, Internets.  I need to know what this thing is if I’m ever going to sleep well again.

the curious case of the missing scone

I bring treats into work on Tuesday mornings for staff meeting so Monday nights, I bake.

Sometimes I make banana bread, sometimes muffins…it really kind of depends on what I have around, what food blogs I’ve been perusing before making the shopping list, and what I feel like doing.  This week I was back in scone mode after a run of blueberry coffee cake made with the lovely local blueberries I picked and froze earlier in the summer.  The scones I had in mind to make this week were studded with dried figs and toasted walnuts, and warmed with some ground ginger, nutmeg and allspice.

I hadn’t made scones in quite a while so I had to keep referring back to the recipe a lot (baking is the only time I really ever pay attention to recipes, because way too much can go wrong if I don’t…which I have learned the hard way!  How bad can it go, indeed…), and maybe also neglected to remember that my preferred recipe only makes 12 scones.  I like to try and bring at least 14 or 15 servings to work with me, so after I had scooped out 12 nice neat piles of scone dough, I went through and trimmed a bit off each one to make them smaller and hopefully yield a few more scones in the process.  When I finished, I had 14 scones – six on one baking sheet, eight on the other.

I could almost swear to this.


It should be noted that I wasn’t drinking at the time, either.  I just…want to throw that out there.

Anyway – so, I’m PRETTY SURE that 14 scones went to the oven, and I’m also PRETTY SURE that 14 scones came out.  I set the pans on top of the stove to cool, like I always do.  At that point Junior was spoiling for his evening constitutional, so Husband harnessed him up we took him for a quick five minute jaunt around the driveway together.  As we came inside I needed to pee so I kicked my shoes off and ran upstairs to use the loo.  I came back downstairs, went into the kitchen to package the cooling scones up, and noticed something odd…

There were only 13 scones – six on one sheet, seven on the other.

Husband happened to be coming back through the kitchen just about then, and I glared at him accusingly.

“Wha?” he said.

I pointed at the space where the scone was missing.  He blinked and shrugged.

“SCONE STEALER”, I said, pointing at him.

“I didn’t!”, he replied, without a hint of a smile.

Now, it’s not like he hasn’t nicked warm baked goods off my pans before of a Monday evening, but to be fair to him, he almost always makes it enough of a production that I’m aware he’s absconding with the goodies and have a chance to stop him if it really matters.  And even if he doesn’t, he certainly never lies about it when I call him on nicking something.  So, when I stared long and hard at him and he vehemently denied having stolen the scone multiple times without even a trace of smugness, I found I had to believe him.

And yet…I could almost swear there were 14 scones when we went outside.

Could our crazy neighbor or one of his kids have sneaked across the breezeway into our apartment, grabbed a scone and slipped back into their apartment without us noticing from 30 feet away in the driveway?  Possibly…but not likely.

Could it have been some kind of R.O.U.S. infiltration?  Again…possible, but I’ve not noticed any sign of even normal sized rodents in the apartment (thank fuck), let alone ones big enough to make off with an entire scone without leaving so much as a trail of crumbs.

Ninja pterodactyls?  Stealth scone-stealing pixies?  Aliens?

I mean…it’s POSSIBLE that I miscounted and only actually baked 13 scones…but I don’t think I did.

It’s pretty much always aliens.

Also, for the record, the next morning Husband DID admit to stealing a scone, but he was adamant that it was after I went to bed and was definitely NOT the original scone that I accused him of stealing.


confessions of a sometimes wino

Friday night I drank a whole 750ml bottle of cheap pinot noir.

Rex and I have a long and storied relationship.

Rex is my favorite frenemy.

Beer tends to give me a headache before I get much of a buzz going so I usually stop after a couple.  Wine, however, affords me a nice long of a window of “buzzed but essentially functional”.  It takes me to that wonderful loose place where life is essentially good, everyone is at least entertaining if not downright lovely, and dancing doesn’t seem like entirely the worst idea ever.  I can string words together more effectively, I become a creative genius in the kitchen, and I often become prone to small to medium sized philosophical epiphanies.  All things seem possible when I’m half a bottle in.  Of COURSE I’d like another glass!  This highly enjoyable state of mind must be preserved for as long as possible!  Bring me more happy juice!

Except…eventually I have to sleep, and be able to drive and go to work and, you know, not be drunk.  Which is kind of a bummer.

I don’t drink entire bottles of wine in one go very often anymore.  In my early 20’s it was nothing for me to drink a 750ml bottle of an evening, and I used to fairly frequently consume the majority of 1.5L bottles when the mood struck.  This was not done during a party, mind you.  This was just me sitting at home on a Saturday night, knitting and watching PBS, getting tanked on cheap wine and staggering up to bed.  I didn’t mind the feeling of being out of control at that point because there wasn’t anyone around to call me on it and frankly, I often didn’t realize quite how shit-faced I had actually gotten until the next morning when I looked back on the things I had done the night before.

That’s what I mean about wine making me “buzzed but essentially functional”.  If I sit at a table and drink three shots of tequila or a couple of Dark & Stormy’s in rapid succession then stand up, I will FEEL drunk, and I will not especially enjoy that feeling.  If I sit there and drink three glasses of wine, even very quickly, then stand up, I’ll feel cheerful and loose…but I won’t feel what my body and brain recognize as drunk.  I won’t feel like I can’t do certain things or like I should switch to drinking water.  I’ll feel excellent and want to keep drinking to keep the excellence flowing.

What bothers me more than my actual drinking habits (because like I said, I really don’t drink all that much anymore. I might have a couple glasses of wine or a beer after work, maybe three nights a week on average), is the fact that I actively miss the wine feeling when it’s gone.  I miss feeling like all is right with the world and like I am capable of most things.  I know that to seek wine out regularly in an attempt to continue those feelings is to flirt with functional alcoholism, so I try very much to keep myself in check in that regard…but it makes me wish very much that there was a way to achieve that level of contentedness without having to subject myself to possibly addictive substances and irresponsible behaviors.

If you have any suggestions on that front, I’m all ears.

new morning habits

This is my dog, Junior:


Don’t let that sweet innocent face and exposed belly fool you. This dog is a MONSTER.

Since I’ve started trying to get into this “do yoga in the mornings” habit, Junior has developed an accompanying new habit.  It’s actually a series of habits strung together into one ridiculous performance of dog fuckery the likes of which I feel few people could truly appreciate without video documentation, but I’m going to do my best to describe it to you.

Stage One (which honestly is the same basic Stage One that we had on non-yoga mornings):

Junior starts whining at about 6am.  Husband and I take turns alternately pulling blankets / pillow over our head for ten minutes at a time while the other one pets Junior and tries to soothe him back into another half hour of dozing.  It never works.

Sometimes there’s also a Stage One, Part B where-in I try to sing the song of Junior’s people back to him in an attempt to offend him so deeply that he fucks off and lets us sleep a while longer.  Again, never works.  It does have the residual bonus of being a minor husband trolling maneuver, though.  I mean, he’s never SAID he doesn’t like it…but I can infer.

Stage Two:

Resigned to my fate of eternal sleep deprivation, I claw my way out of the tangle of sheets and feel around the bedside for my glasses like a developmentally challenged raccoon feeling for a dropped morsel of food.  Once glasses have been located and placed on my face, I pick up my phone and stumble from the bedroom to the bathroom.  I can usually get about five minutes of peace at this point before the whining starts up again, assuming I’ve had the presence of mind to actually shut the bathroom door.  If I haven’t, then there’s immediate whining and, far more disconcertingly, disappointed staring.  We’re still talking about the dog at this point, by the way.  Husband knows better than to follow me into the can first thing in the morning…or ever, really.

Stage Three:

After the whining has once again reached Emergency Alert System proportions, I abandon the bathroom and stomp downstairs.  It should be noted that Junior isn’t actually whining this way because of any deep and desperate need to go outside, by the way – he’s literally just being an attention-whoring tit.  Also, this may be your first sign that my choosing not to procreate was probably the right decision.  Anyway – Stage Three culminates in me rolling out the yoga mat on the living room floor and firing up my favorite yoga video on the laptop.

Stage Four, AKA: The Pre-Trolling Warm-Up:

The pre-trolling warm-up begins with me laying down on the yoga mat to begin the practice.  While I’m on the floor trying to like, harness my chi or find my center or whatever, Junior is busy looking out the living room windows, scanning for neighbors, neighbor cats, chipmunks, birds, swirling leaves…really anything that moves in any way.  Once he inevitably spots a target, he unleashes a tirade of the shrillest yaps imaginable.  To his credit, the yaps are usually interspersed with some pretty amazing tiny-angry-Wookie noises which I do find amusing, but generally this stage ends with me picking up the nearest dog toy and chucking it at him to try and shut him up.  There are usually grumbles coming from the husband upstairs at this point as well.

Stage Five, AKA: Full On Trolling, AKA: Shit Gets Real:

Shortly after I run out of dog toy bark deterrents to chuck at Junior, Stage Five goes into full swing.  Because, you see, my dog does nothing by half measures.  Just barking and whining while I’m trying to better myself via the ancient art of yoga is simply not enough for him.  He will at this point bound off to another part of the living room where he stockpiles all of the stinky dirty socks that my husband peels off and gives to him at the end of every work day (hey, at least it’s not underpants?), and gleefully return with one of said stinky socks in his mouth.

Now, to be fair to Junior, we DO treat socks as dog toys in this house and always have, so he comes by the sock-fetching naturally enough and I have no problem with that.  However, when he takes the sock by one end, carefully orients the other end of the sock right next to my head and then proceeds to shake the ever-loving shit out of it in a manner such that it rapidly and repeatedly fwaps me DIRECTLY IN THE FACE…I tend to take that personally.

After the sock-face-fwapping, we proceed quickly to Stage Five, Part B, which is where Junior moves from above my head to somewhere near my hip and actually launches his entire 12 pound self directly into my solar plexus, quickly and effectively undoing any deep oxygenation, chi harnessing and/or muscle relaxation I have thus far accomplished.

Conveniently, this is just about when the yoga video wants me to stand up and start doing more painful movey-aroundy stuff anyway, and it’s also pretty much when my husband has finally started to wonder what the hell is going on down in the living room. He comes downstairs at this point, leashes Junior up and takes him out while I finish my yoga routine in relative peace.

"Namaste? That roughly translates to 'abuse mom with sock', right? I mean, my accent may be a little off, but I'm pretty sure that's what it means."

“Namaste? That roughly translates to ‘abuse mom with sock’, right? I mean, my accent may be a little off, but I’m pretty sure that’s what it means.”