Anti-Trump bucks

A couple weeks back, a funny thing happened. A good friend of mine who also happens to read this blog sent me a private message on Facebook, and the following exchange ensued:

Friend: Sooo…I have a slightly awkward question for you.

Me: Oh, fun! I love those! Hit me.

Friend: Ok. I feel like we know each other pretty well in a lot of ways, but politics is something we’ve never actually talked about and I’ve just kind of been wondering…do you support Trump?

Me: WHAT? NO. OMG. No, no, no. Uuuugh. (barfing noises)

Friend: O…kayyyy…

Me: What, uhhh…what gave you the impression that I would be a Trump supporter?

Friend: Almost every time I go to your blog, there’s a Trump ad at the bottom of your post. Like, nine times out of ten. It got weird enough that it started to make me really wonder.

Me: Holy shit. Thank you so much for telling me. I must find a way to fix this.

A matter of hours later, another friend who DOES know my political leanings pointed out that he had seen a Trump ad on my latest post. Two days later, several more folks brought it up as well. My guts churned every time someone else piped up about it.

I was livid. I pulled up my WordPress account and clicked all around looking for an ad filter, preferences, ANYTHING that would allow me to stop the Trump ads from appearing on my posts. It turned out that the only option was to upgrade from a free account to a paid one.

It didn’t take me long to decide that that racist, narcissistic, tax-evading dumpster fire is NOT getting the benefit of the eyes of my readership, however small it might be. I’m not saying that you have to agree with my politics in order to read my blog. I’m just saying that I will not knowingly provide his campaign with ANY avenue to further spread his hate-filled rhetoric. If you can even call what he says ‘rhetoric’.

So, long story short: I just coughed up $35 real, actual dollars from my bank account to upgrade my WordPress account so that you guys wouldn’t have to keep seeing Trump ads at the end of my posts.

THAT is how much I love you all. At least $35 worth.

lizard brain

Apparently I slept in a way last night that caused a muscle or nerve in the back of my neck to seize up. Not hugely uncommon for me – I tend to carry all my tension in my neck and shoulders, plus I type eight hours a day and have relatively poor posture while doing so.

The muscle or nerve in my neck that’s unhappy happens to be right near the base of my skull, so every time I move just right, it sends this pain up into my head and my lizard brain is like ‘WAAAAH, MENINGITIS! WAAAAH, STROKE! WAAAAH, TUMOR! WAAAAH, PARASITIC AMOEBAS EATING MY BRAIN!’

Ten years ago I was a pretty much full-blown hypochondriac and wouldn’t have been able to stop thinking that I was sitting here slowly bleeding out into my brain pan or something. I would have eventually worked myself into such a panic that I’d have made myself physically ill. Nowadays I can identify that lizard brain is the culprit when I start thinking a random ache or pain is Something More Serious. I can’t put lizard brain totally on mute, but I’ve gotten a lot better at not letting it control me.

Or maybe that’s just what the parasitic amoebas want me to think…



Amoeba aliens. In my brain.

When in doubt, apply otters.

There are big blocks of time that it feels like I don’t remember.

I say “feels like” because I know that in reality, you can’t ever remember everything that’s happened to you because that’s not how the brain works. Long-term memory kind of acts like a card catalog in a library. You go to the catalog with a subject in mind – ie: “summer camp”, and that’s like giving your brain-meats the Dewey Decimal Number for what you’re trying to remember. Your brain-meat then acts as librarian, taking that card and running up and down its stacks at lightening speed (or slightly slower for some of us…heh), pulling memories of that thing from the shelves for you to inspect.

In other words, long-term memory isn’t a constant loop of all the moments of your life being played over and over again, just waiting for you to hit “pause” on the one you want to access at that particular moment.

Think what life would be like if that WAS how it worked, by the way. I imagine it would be like the worst possible case of ADHD ever. You’d never be able to get anything done because your brain would constantly be like “Hey remember that one time, at band camp? And Aunt Mildred’s dog? And Easter morning, 1978? And the day you were born, and the 47th time you skinned your knee falling off your bike, and the drive to the cemetery when Grandpa died, and the smell of the lake at night and how your first kiss felt and smoking weed behind the gym between classes and the words to that song from 3rd grade music class and and and…”, but multiplied by literally all the moments of your entire life.

That sounds kind of horrible. I’m pretty glad it doesn’t work that way, now that I think about it.

I should probably take this opportunity to point out that I’m an accountant, by the way, NOT a neurologist. This may actually not be AT ALL how memory works. I didn’t even finish college and I’m also prone to making shit up, so…probably don’t use me as an academic citation on your fancy brain science term paper or whatever. Show-off.


So, it feels like there are these chunks of time that I can’t remember, and sometimes it bothers me. When it bothers me, I start actively trying to recall things from my childhood in order to prove to myself that no, I was NOT in fact just beamed down from the Mothership. Except, then I start worrying about how maybe aliens have the technology to basically pre-populate our brains with just enough memories to make us think that yes, we DID in fact have childhoods and that the idea of being beamed down from the Mothership is preposterous, now be a good drone, keep incubating those trillions of bacteria and stop questioning reality. And really, THAT’S a can of worms I can’t even really handle on a GOOD day, so that’s when I usually start just looking up pictures of baby otters online instead. Two or three good baby otter video clips will put me right back on track.


I would literally pay for this experience.

Well, as on-track as I ever get, anyway.

turns out I may be part raccoon

Sometimes, on the way back to my office from having gone to get my lunch out of the staff fridge, I’ll realize that I need to make a pit-stop in the bathroom. I blame this largely on the fact that the bathroom is directly in front of me for the entire route from the conference room fridge back to my office. I can’t NOT see it, and my bladder is nothing if not strongly subject to suggestion.


So, sometimes…in fact, we’ll say often…I find myself in the bathroom with my lunch in hand. Our bathrooms are individual ones, like half-baths in a home, and the one upstairs by my office even has a little sideboard type thing with drawers and small cabinets in it. So it’s not like I’m bringing my lunch into a bathroom stall and setting it on the toilet tank or the toilet paper dispenser while I take a leak, you know? But, every time I exit the bathroom with lunch in hand, I can’t help thinking that people must kind of wonder.

Like, ‘is there a fridge in that bathroom?’

And ‘is she so antisocial that she actually eats lunch in there?’

And ‘is she part raccoon and dousing her lunch under running water right before she eats it?’

Being part raccoon would actually explain a lot about my life though, truth be told. My poor eyesight, my body shape, my eyeliner preferences, my propensity for eating garbage…it’s all so obvious now that I think about it…

Quit hittin’ yerself

This morning I caught myself being a judgemental jerk about something I saw online and it got me thinking.

As I read the thing that set me off, I was initially thinking, ‘This is terrible. How does this person not see that this is terrible?’. That led me to wondering whether the author was just supremely self-confident and literally gave no fucks about what anyone thought of what they wrote, or if perhaps they were that rare type of person who is truly naive to the fact that they may not actually be any good at the thing they’re trying to do.

At that point, I realized a couple things.

First, it dawned on me that I am, in fact, deeply jealous of most confident people. People who go through life doing what they want to do and not worrying about how it looks to anyone else tend to annoy me because that’s how I would like to be. It’s like the whole teenage girl phenomena of hating the pretty girls because they’re pretty, you know? We tend to resent people who have the things or traits we want for ourselves. And yes, I absolutely understand that jealousy is an enormous waste of energy, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy to shut off.

Second, and far more importantly, I realized that I am the asshole that I am most afraid of. I am not just the loudest one running myself down but in fact often the ONLY one running myself down. I talk myself out of all kinds of things because I worry that I’ll be seen as ridiculous / pathetic / unskilled / a failure, but it’s really only ME that will repeatedly tell me that I’m any of those things anyway. My husband doesn’t do that, my parents don’t do that, my friends don’t do that…hell, most random strangers don’t even do that. It’s pretty much just me.

I’m in an abusive relationship with my own mind, basically.

Soooo…yeah. There’s that. Leaving the situation doesn’t really feel like a viable option currently (and I am grateful every day that that’s the case, trust me), so I guess that means I have to learn how to not be that asshole to myself anymore.

If anybody has any tips on how to go about that, feel free to lay ’em on me.


“Look, I can keep listening to you but it’s going to cost more peanuts. Chipmunk therapy ain’t free.” – Steve the Chipmunk, MD


Let’s face it, the world has been pretty extra fucked up lately. The 24 hour news cycle only serves to exacerbate things, and social media is never so busy as when there’s a tragedy or a polarizing debate. You have to be pretty determined in order to not hear any news or opinion over the course of a whole day.

There are some people who thrive on this constant stream of information, these depictions and descriptions of sometimes downright terrible stuff. They enjoy reading, if not participating in, debate and they would much rather be connected to what’s going on than disconnected. There are others who don’t get so actively involved. They see things and just take them in stride. Or maybe it’s that they know their limits and can walk away when they need to. Perhaps they’re even detached and ambivalent – just observing what goes on in the world around them without ever getting “sucked in”.

Then there’s people like me. As much as it often pains me to admit it, I’m sensitive.

Being sensitive wasn’t considered a good thing in our family when I was a kid. My people are an exceedingly undemonstrative people and I had to learn to at least fake toughness, if not actually toughen up. I tend to feel things very deeply and they stick with me for a long time. I cry ridiculously easily. I get over-stimulated by conditions and situations that a lot of friends and acquaintances often don’t even notice, let alone get bothered by. These traits all work at direct odds with that toughness I was taught to cultivate growing up, which leads to a near-perpetual cycle of me beating myself up over getting upset, then trying to fake normalcy, then getting overwhelmed and getting upset, etc.

There are situations, people and things in life that I’ve finally learned to just avoid if at all possible because of the mental fuckery that I know will result if I don’t…but sometimes…

…sometimes I can’t help myself. Sometimes the lure of doing the “normal” thing is too strong. Or, sometimes I know damn well a thing is going to set me off but I care enough about it that I keep subjecting myself to it anyway.

This is what’s been happening with me since Sunday, frankly. I knew as soon as I heard about the shooting in Orlando that I should just back away from social media and let information slowly trickle down to me from my short bursts of NPR exposure during my daily commutes. I knew I should make the conscious decision to not read certain peoples’ posts for a certain amount of time. But I couldn’t look away…I didn’t WANT to look away. I wanted to sit down every gay-hater, every racist, every Islamophobe, every 2nd Amendment spouting gun-nut, and every person who kept sharing that UTTER BULLSHIT post about Wounded Knee and how actually THAT was the worst mass shooting in U.S. history (you know, because it’s a fucking competition) and how it was actually a perfect argument for OMG MOAR GUNS (I’m not even anti-gun, but I am so, SO fucking anti-revisionist-history), and try to make them understand that the arguments they were making just didn’t hold water. Or at least to make MYSELF understand why people can believe such things.

By yesterday afternoon I was DEEPLY angry. I started snapping myself with rubber bands to try and bring myself back to the present, back to what I needed to get done (which, I know, that’s not exactly an A+coping strategy, but I was working with what I had in the situation). Unsurprisingly, it didn’t really work and I started getting That Feeling…the one I half-jokingly call ‘circling the drain’. It’s basically the realization that I’m rushing headlong toward a panic attack if I don’t wise up and get the fuck out of the situation I’m in. I knew that my husband was going to be away for most of the evening and I didn’t want to ask him to cancel his plans (even though I know he would have, had I asked, because he’s awesome), so I reached out to a friend. We met up for ice cream and, as we often do, ended up laughing, telling stories and completely losing track of time. It was 9pm by the time I got home.

And I felt better. SO much better.

It didn’t cure my depression. It didn’t make me an optimist who thinks the world isn’t going to hell in a hand-basket. But it DID help me side-step the imbroglio of anger and sadness. It was respite from the near-constant barrage of awfulness I had been subjecting myself to, and it reminded me of just how lucky I am. Lucky not just for the wonderful people in my life, but lucky to have a life full stop.

The people at Pulse were celebrating Pride. They were celebrating being alive, right before someone stepped in and took it all away. Mourn them, absolutely. Be angry, and rightly fucking so. Fight this culture of hate and bigotry with not just your words but with your deeds and your votes.

And in the midst of all that, try to remember how lucky we are to still be here. Try to remember to live.


Love is love.

bad brain days

It’s difficult to explain a bad brain day to a non-depressed person. They usually want to know what went wrong, what caused you to have a bad day. The thing is, I can’t usually answer that question.

I mean, yes…some days go to shit for very specific reasons that you can point directly to. And lots of days just kind of bob along in that nebulous area between “ok” and “not ok”.

But when you’re dealing with depression there are also these days that are just…bad. The things you normally get done with no problem become an epic struggle. Stuff that usually amuses you or cheers you up just serves to remind you of how fucking miserable you are. It could be perfect weather, your spouse could make you the best breakfast, you could have the most traffic-free commute to work while all your favorite songs played on the radio…and the day would still be shit, because your brain just isn’t cooperating.

Hence, bad brain day.

Today was one of those days for me.  I woke up in a fine mood, had a nice breakfast with my husband and my dog, got ready for work, and everything was copacetic. I was fine for about the first hour of work and then it just hit me out of nowhere.

First I was annoyed by someone not responding to an email in a timely fashion. Which, that seems semi-reasonable at first glance but the degree of my annoyance was WAY disproportionate to the importance of the issue the email dealt with. Like, if emails were gambling and I was mad about losing money, I was in the “I just lost $200” range when really the email was only worth about $5.75. Which made more sense in my head, but whatever.

Then I started berating myself for being mad about the email, followed swiftly by berating myself for berating myself (I KNOW…welcome to my world). Within minutes things had snowballed to the point where I was hiding in the bathroom because I couldn’t stop myself from crying.

What was I actually crying about? Existing, basically. That’s about as close as I can come to an honest explanation. It’s not even that I don’t WANT to exist. I do! I like existing! BEING ALIVE IS RAD! It’s just that sometimes it hurts simply to exist, let alone actually get anything done or have any kind of meaningful interactions with the world.

On days like this about the best I can do is let myself have a crying jag or two (or ten, ugh), try to get on with what needs doing afterward, and hope that tomorrow my brain gets back with the program.

How do YOU describe your bad brain days, your down days, your hide-in-the-bathroom-at-work days to others? Do you have some kind of code word or phrase you use to clue your loved ones in to the fact that you’re in a bad place? Talk to me, Goose.

Err…Geese, I guess, since there’s more than one of you…

Brain Weasel Fight Club Practice…uhh…Club

I really like making people laugh. That moment when someone goes from just politely listening to actually laughing, their whole face lights up and for a short time they radiate waves of happiness. In turn, my brain sucks up that radiating happiness like a sponge. It’s like something inside of me throws the doors wide open and is all “HELLO GOOD FEELS, I HAVE BEEN EAGERLY AWAITING YOU. PLEASE COME IN, I HAVE PREPARED REFRESHMENTS”, and it just feels really, really good.

Maybe that makes me a psychic vampire or something? I don’t know. I’ve been called worse, I guess.


The thing about depression is that it lies. Not just once in a while, but constantly. Even on my good days, it’s still there. It’s either just not lying as loudly as on the bad days, or maybe my inner Lying Cat is awake and reminding me of what the depression is doing.


Lying Cat is a character in the graphic novel series “Saga” written by Brian K. Vaughan and drawn by Fiona Staples. It’s really, REALLY good and you should read it.

This often makes it quite difficult to trust that what I think is funny in my head will a) come out as funny when I say or type it, and b) that the audience I’m addressing will see it as funny. Comedy is subjective, after all. One woman’s Ferris Bueller is another woman’s…Wolf Blitzer.

Or something.

You know what I mean.

So basically, I spend a lot of time with a blank page in front of me, berating myself for not writing anything on it because nothing is ever good enough. This is completely fucking counterproductive, because the only way to get better at a thing is to PRACTICE. Every day that I let this blank page intimidate me into slinking off into non-writing land is an opportunity to practice that I’m losing out on.

And granted, some days  I just…can’t. Either I’m busy or I’m just truly lacking the spoons to string words together meaningfully…whatever. Shit happens. You wouldn’t try to practice playing the clarinet if you had bronchitis and couldn’t breathe well (I’m assuming. I’ve never actually played the clarinet. CLARINETS, HOW DO THEY WORK?!), and I’m not going to try to practice writing on days when it feels like my fucking brain is dissolving and getting ready to leak out my ears. But I feel like maybe I need to start making myself practice even when I don’t feel exactly “on”, when I don’t have a funny story in the chamber all ready to fire…and yes, even when my brain is trying to tell me that nobody wants to read a single word I could possibly type in this space.

Because honestly, it’s not just writing practice. It’s fight practice. It’s shadow-boxing with the smaller, more docile brain weasels so that I’m a little better prepared when those big sweaty Ivan Drago type brain weasels inevitably roll up wanting to pummel me and steal my lunch money.


My husband will be so proud I remembered a character’s name from one of the terrible movies he’s made me watch!

So bear with me if I start posting boring shit about like, my house plants, the weather, or my obsession with Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. It can’t be all cookie licking and floor poops all of the time, y’know?

WTF is a Liebster Award?

Hey, I got nominated for an award! Now I can claim to be an award-winning author, right?!

Yeeeaaaahhh. Maybe not.

The “award” I was nominate for is called the Liebster Award. I was nominated by StigmaSayWhat. The Liebster Award is basically a blog version of a networking dinner. Someone links to you and asks you to link back to them plus a few other blogs, theoretically increasing exposure for all involved. Which is cool, I have nothing against potentially increasing my audience…hence my participating.

So, let’s fucking DO THIS.


This may become relevant later on.

According to StigmaSayWhat, there are Rules, and I should post these Rules. So here they are:

1. Thank the blogger who nominated you

2. Answer the 11 questions the blogger gives you

3. Nominate bloggers who you think are deserving of the award but more importantly promote newer bloggers who have fewer followers

4. Tell the blogger/s you nominated them

5. Give them 11 questions of your own

Thanks, StigmaSayWhat for nominating me. That takes care of number one.

Now here’s the list of questions I was given, with my answers following:

  1. What made you start blogging?  I’ve struggled with depression and anxiety for many years and breaking down the stigma attached to mental health issues is deeply important to me. I spent a long fucking time pretending I was OK, pretending I was normal, and all that got me was more screwed up in the head. When I started to acknowledge that I wasn’t “normal” (and that perhaps there really IS no such thing as normal), it became easier to stop blaming myself for the way my brain works. I want so much to help other people find ways to accept themselves and I feel like telling my story honestly and with humor is the best chance I have of doing that.
  2. How has blogging made a difference to your life? It has helped me get back some of the creativity I thought I’d lost as I grew up. It has also given me more confidence to just be myself and not revert back to pretending to be “normal” in order to fit in.
  3. What inspires you on a daily basis?  Funny stuff my husband and dog do. Funny things I see on Twitter and Instagram. People like The Bloggess who are not only brilliantly funny but also incredibly brave in their willingness to be dead honest and completely vulnerable. Also, dinosaurs. OMG, and squirrels! Annnnd giraffes. Ok, I’m done. I think…
  4. What is your favourite food?  Sooo, this may actually be the hardest question to answer, because I love, love, love to cook and to eat and to try food from different cultures. If I had to pick just one super perfect, never-get-sick-of-it, acid-reflux-be-damned food though…it would be pizza.
  5. Who do you aspire to be like? Probably my Nana. She’s super smart, she’s fiercely independent even at 81 years old, and she basically just does what she wants and gives no fucks whether or not anyone likes it. She’s also ridiculously generous.
  6. Why do you want to continue blogging? For all the same reasons I listed in questions 1 and 2, I guess. Plus, who’s going to stop me?
  7. What is your favourite tv show? I have an unholy love for Antiques Roadshow. I’m also obsessed with nature shows and nerdy documentaries – basically anything where I can learn something. I also loved Downton Abbey because the Dowager Countess was my spirit animal.
  8. What kind of music do you like? My musical tastes are pretty varied. I like everything from blues and bluegrass to classic rock, hip-hop, dodgy 90’s dance music, funk, techno, metal, classical…basically the only kind of music I really DON’T like is crazy speed-metal stuff. It makes me nervous. Also, I abhor the song Kokomo by the Beach Boys.
  9. If you could live anywhere in the world where would it be? Probably right here, honestly. I still live in the town I grew up in and I really like this area a lot. Second option would probably be the Pacific Northwest. Somewhere where it doesn’t get super hot, basically. I don’t do hot.
  10. What kind of animal do you think you’re most like?  A SQUIRREL, DUH. Or a dinosaur. Were there dinosaur squirrels? I could definitely see myself as a dino-squirrel. Proto-squirrel? Whatever. You know what I mean.
  11. What gives you courage? Seeing other people be brave.


Now I’m supposed to nominate some other blogs to promote. I’m going to nominate Woolen Diversions (a blog is full of super awesome knitting goodness), and Shove It In My Piehole (a fun and thoughtful food blog), both of which are run by friends of mine and both of which I enjoy immensely. You should definitely visit both of them!

And now, the fun part: I get to make up eleven questions for my nominees to answer! I’ll warn you in advance, these are very me-style questions, not thoughtful / meaningful ones. I kind of figure, if you want to drive traffic to someone’s blog, why not ask them really silly things so that people will click through to see what they answered, you know? Also, anyone reading this that would like to answer these questions in the comments or on their own blogs, please feel free!

So, here goes:

  1. If you had to pick between doing Tom Hiddleston’s laundry or washing Johnny Depp’s windows, which would you choose and why? You’re not getting paid (in cash OR favors…ifyouknowwhatimean andithinkthatyoudo) for either, by the way.
  2. You’re going to be stuck on a desert island for two weeks. What three albums do you take with you for entertainment?
  3. Petite lap giraffe or tame house-trained squirrel?
  4. What is the airspeed velocity of a laden swallow?
  5. You’re having a dinner party and you can only invite Muppets. Which three Muppets would you invite and why?
  6. Which is worse, underwear that constantly ride up or underwear that constantly fall down?
  7. Gin: abomination, or tasty when mixed with the right ingredients?
  8. Who would you pick to hang out with for six hours if your life literally depended on having to pick one: Ted Cruz or Donald Trump?
  9. What’s your favorite dinosaur?
  10. What would your life story be titled?
  11. Would you rather win a million dollars or discover that you had some hidden talent that you were truly amazing at?


Jesus, this turned into a fucking novella. If you’re still here at this point, A+ and extra bonus reader points to you. Also, penis. Why? Because I can randomly say penis if I want.


home alone 3: the sandwiching

Oh, hey. Remember when I used to write shit here a long time ago? I should probably do that again. Right now seems like a good time since it’s a gorgeous day out, I told like three different people I’d visit them today, AND I have a list of Chores I Wanted To Get Done. So obviously, the best course of action is to procrastinate like a motherfucker.


The last couple weeks have been weird. My husband has been having to work later shifts than normal so I’ve been home alone for dinner like 3-4 nights a week lately. On the one hand, that means less dishes to wash and not having to watch Judge Judy while we eat (don’t ask). On the other hand, I get weird when I’m home alone.

I mean, I’m definitely weird anyway, but Home Alone me is…weirder. More weird? Whatever. You wouldn’t think it would affect me much, considering I was an only child who was alone a lot growing up and then I lived by myself for like seven years before I got married. But, yeah. Home Alone me is an odd duck.

Basically, I forget how to feed myself when I’m home alone. Not in the sense that I run around smearing pureed squash on the dog instead of eating it (the squash I mean, not the dog. He’s kind of an ‘it’ because he’s neutered, but I definitely wouldn’t eat him. Wait, what? Jesus, reel it in Shelby. Gahd.), but more in the “let’s eat three bites each of several disparate foodstuffs, or just a generally inappropriate amount of any one thing and call that dinner” sense. One night last week it was smoked cheese, maple creme cookies and chicken soup. Not all together, but like…a few bites here, a few bites there. One other night I had like four pieces of bread and butter, and a beer. NOT AN APPROPRIATE DINNER ON ANY LEVEL.

It’s not just dinner. Pretty much any meal where I don’t have to feed another human being other than myself, I end up eating strangely. This afternoon, for example, Mark is out doing a thing and I’ve managed to eat: four dates, a handful of salt-and-vinegar almonds, and a “sandwich” for “lunch” (picture me air-quoting those). The “sandwich” consisted of a piece of steak left over from last night’s dinner, stuck between two pieces of the Cheddar Parmesan sourdough bread I made yesterday. No dressing, no veggies, no accoutrements of any kind. I didn’t even fucking slice the steak or warm it up first!

You think I’m kidding but I’m not:


Seems legit.


I guess throwing a steak between two pieces of bread and calling it a sandwich isn’t THAT weird in the grand scheme of things, but still. For someone who actually really likes to cook, you’d think I could have come up with something a little more ambitious to gnaw on.