I found an undeveloped roll of film the other day. It was in a bag of random stuff that has gone through at least three house moves with me. I’m pretty sure I haven’t used my non-digital camera in close to 20 years, so this sucker has been around a while.
There’s a place in town that still processes film and prints pictures, so I’m going to drop this off to be developed soon. I fully realize that it’s so old and has been stored so disrespectfully (for real: it has been banging around kitchen junk drawers for many years), that it likely won’t even turn out. But I’m curious enough about what’s on it to want to spend the money anyway, just on the off chance.
I used to take tons of pictures, often with the aim of wanting to be artsy, but I wasn’t very good at it. So, more than likely, this is a whole roll of pictures of branches or a cornfield or something similar. There is one other possibility: I took a trip to Kentucky to spend time with a boy circa 2000-ish (don’t quote me on that date, I’d have to get the scrap book out to confirm). I shot two rolls of film while I was there, but only one ever got developed. This may very well be that second roll of film. That was a weird trip and quite frankly, a weird time in my life in general (although, when is life NOT weird, honestly), and I have mixed feelings about the possibility of having that little time capsule available to examine. The boy doesn’t matter—he’s long gone and there were no deep feels there anyway. But I’m equal parts nervous and intrigued at the prospect of perhaps getting to see a glimpse of myself, or at the very least, of my perspective, from so long ago. Aging is such a mindfuck in that, the older you get, the more sure you become of yourself in some regards, but the more you (or a lot of us, anyway), tend to understand that the only constant is change. We are somehow always the same person we’ve always been in a general sense, but there will have been tens or even hundreds of versions of us from year to year, day to day, sometimes even minute to minute. And that’s fine—that’s completely natural. But it can feel very odd, especially if you’re an overly sensitive, always-in-your head person like me.
Anyway. If the pictures come out, I’ll post some of them. If nothing else, they should be good for a laugh at my complete lack of photography skills.
Tell me you live in a very small town without TELLING me you live in a very small town. I’ll go first:
This morning on my town’s community Facebook group, there was a post about a “rogue turkey” hanging around someone’s yard. There were a couple of comments asking if the original poster could get a picture so that people could try to ID said turkey, but the original poster couldn’t provide a photo.
“It’s just a huge white turkey”, they said. “There are no markings, it’s white all over from what I can see.”
A little while later someone commented saying they thought they knew where the turkey belonged and posted the address. This was followed by debate over whether that was actually possible, as surely a domestic turkey wouldn’t be willing to travel so far afield, especially with so much snow on the ground. A series of photos and comments then followed which tracked the straying poultry’s progress across yards and pastures all along one end of town.
Someone finally got in touch with the bird’s owner, who joined the Facebook group so that they could arrange a pick-up. There were a bunch of comments expressing relief that the turkey was finally going to get back to his rightful home.
But then, drama! The owner arrived at the last known location of the turkey and it wasn’t actually there anymore.
“I’m here and I can’t see him”, they wrote. “If anyone has eyes on him, please let me know ASAP”.
A photo with a reply that read as quite exasperated in tone popped up moments later:
“He’s in my yard again, trying to get in with my chickens. PLEASE COME GET YOUR BIRD.”
A little while later the owner was back on the thread posting again about how they were at the spot and the turkey wasn’t around.
This started SEVEN HOURS AGO. I just checked the thread again and as of six minutes ago, the turkey still hasn’t been apprehended. It apparently keeps circling this one woman’s property and she (of the COME GET YOUR BIRD comment from mid-day, among others), is getting prettyyyy saltyyyy about it.
The incident has spawned several other spinoff threads with pictures of the wandering turkey, as well. Multiple people have asked for his name. There might be an “I Saw The Stray Turkey” Tshirt in the works. I made that last one up but I would sure as shit buy one if it were true, because this has easily been the most entertaining local social media thread I’ve seen in years.
I’ve had it in my head for at least a week now that I wanted to make some muffins. Specific muffins: they’re pumpkin muffins with spices and nuts and dried cranberries and maple syrup in them and they’re delicious. They’re the kind of thing that I’ve made so many times that I eventually got sick of having to bring the recipe up on my phone and almost dropping my phone in the bowl of muffin batter while trying to read and measure at the same time, so I scribbled the recipe down on a scrap of paper and now it lives on the side of my fridge.
This morning was perhaps not the best morning to embark on my muffin-baking fantasy, in retrospect. Last night was rough. I was up and down several times in the night, as was my husband, with our various respective bathroom-related issues. My FitBit practically asked me if I was OK this morning when I brought up my sleep data…or lack there-of. Suffice to say, I have not been firing on all cylinders today.
But those muffins. Those sweet, sweet pumpkin nuggets of joy with the walnuts and the cranberries. I had been thinking about them for days. I decided I couldn’t wait any longer. Because if there’s one thing I DEFINITELY want to do when I’m tragically overtired, it’s eat baked goods. I mean, I want to eat baked goods 24/7, basically, let’s be honest. But my decision-making barometer goes especially askew when there’s a lack of sleep and sugar involved.
Once I saw my husband off to work and got the dishwasher going, I had roughly 35 minutes to get the muffins going before I had to log into work and start pretending to give a shit about non-muffin subjects. No problem, plenty of time. I measured my drys in one bowl, my wets in the other, then I combined the two. Mix mix mix, taste to make sure it wasn’t poison, and bingo! Ready to bake! I got out my trusty scoop and started portioning muffin batter into the wells of the pan. Everything was going splendidly…
…until I got to the end of the batter after 11 muffins rather than 12.
Hmmm, I thought. That’s not right. This recipe definitely makes 12 muffins. It always has! And I didn’t even do extra rigorous poison-tests this time like I tend to do with cookie dough, so it’s not even like I could blame myself for having eaten too much of the uncooked batter (yes, I know, raw flour and raw egg, clearly I don’t value my life. If I get salmonella I won’t come crying to you, I promise). I stood there looking back and forth between the scraped-clean bowl and the empty muffin cup for what probably would have felt like an embarassingly long time had I been operating on enough sleep to feel shame. Or anything other than muffin-lust.
I grabbed the recipe and started going down the list, mentally checking things off:
Brown sugar? Yes.
Maple syrup? Two eggs? Flour? Baking soda? Salt? Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes.
100 grams of oil.
I looked at the measuring cup I had been using. Dry as a bone. Definitely hadn’t held oil since the last time it was washed.
Well, balls. That was a no on the oil, then.
I looked at the portioned-out batter again. It looked fine. It had definitely seemed slightly thicker than usual even before I realized I was a muffin-cup short, but it certainly wasn’t thick enough to make me think something was very out of whack. LIKE THAT I HAD FORGOTTEN THE OIL, FOR INSTANCE. I poked at it. I tested for poison again. It was a good batch. The spices were really nice, it wasn’t overly sweet. I REALLY wanted these muffins to happen. And I REALLY didn’t want to try to scoop batter out of 11 portioned out muffin cups so that I could mix oil in and then portion them all out again.
I checked the time. 8:55. I needed to punch in by 9. With a lack of time as my final justification for not fixing my mistake, I muttered a resigned “YOLO, I guess” and slid the pan into the waiting oven.
20 minutes later I came back to survey the damage. The muffins certainly smelled nice and they didn’t look too shabby either, aside from not having puffed up much. I tested them with a toothpick and they seemed done so I pulled them out to cool a bit while I made a cup of coffee.
Finally I couldn’t stand it anymore and I tore into one. The muffin wrapper was…reluctant to come off. That’s putting it nicely. Probably close to a third of the muffin hung on to the paper like cement. The part that did come off was basically fine, though. The texture was a little weird but the flavors were good and the muffins were certainly edible. I stood there picking stuck crumbs off the muffin paper like some kind of kitchen gargoyle after I finished the main event, so that should be a testament to the flavor. Or at least my level of commitment to muffin consumption. And possibly my addiction to carbs in general.
So, in summation, I would offer you these points:
– you can totally bake muffins without oil in them. Would I recommend it? No. But will they be at least vaguely edible if you skip the oil? Probably.
– maybe double-check your ingredient list BEFORE you portion out your muffin batter, if you don’t want to live life on the bleeding edge of culinary experimentation like some of us.
– weird muffins are better than no muffins. I think this is probably a good metaphor for some kind of deep life observation or something, but I’m too fucking tired to go there right now.
One thing nobody mentioned when I was talking to various people ahead of buying my first house a few years ago was buckets. Plural.
“Make sure you buy a step-ladder”, they said.
“You’re going to need a roof rake for the winter”, they said.
Extension cords, a shop-vac, those disposable drain-zippers that pull disgusting squirrel-sized clumps of hair out of your bathroom sink drains…all things that were suggested to flesh out the basic tool kit I had been maintaining for the nearly two decades since I had moved out of my parents’ house. And all of these things have come in very useful in the last almost three years, for sure.
But what happens when you have to open a drain pipe to replace a P-trap and the sink is full of gross water that hasn’t drained in days and is full of gods only know what? How do you store water for flushing the toilet during a big storm where the power will surely be going out? How do you tansport sand and salt for your inevitably icy driveway in the winter time?
Buckets. You need them.
And I…did not have any. We were making due with large mixing bowls, empty plastic totes left over from moving, reusing gallon water jugs…you get the picture. It’s not like we’re in a constant state of needing to contain fluids around here, by the way…but you know. Stuff happens. And it wasn’t that I was resistant to buckets or the buying there-of in any way. It was mostly just that buckets were never front of mind whenever we went to the hardware store, so they never ended up getting purchased.
Fast forward to last week. Back to back ice storms (thanks, climate change) turned our driveway into a slush-fest, which then froze over into an icy death trap. We had been storing some driveway sand in one of the aforementioned plastic totes, but those totes are big and sand is heavy. Plus we only have a small car, so while getting an empty tote into the trunk and out to the town sand pile is no big deal, removing said tote half-full of heavy, wet sand from the small car’s trunk upon returning home is a full-on struggle bus situation with much back-tweaking potential. Which is all a really long-winded way of saying that our driveway was icy as fuck, we needed some sand, and we had no reasonably good way of transporting said sand.
“Maybe we should get a bucket,” was my contribution to the sand-acquistion logistical discussion we had after using up the last of last year’s sand to try and get the car unstuck for the third time last week (which didn’t end up working, by the way).
Once we were able to get out of the driveway again, thanks to an entreprenuerial snowplow driver with a sander on his truck, we made our way to the local hardware store in search of a bucket.
Turns out the store had more sizes and types of buckets than we were expecting (which was one. I was expecting 5-gallon buckets and nothing else, given that this is not a big box store. Shows how much I know), so we ended up getting buckets…plural. We got two 5-gallon buckets and a 1-gallon bucket, the idea being that the big buckets were for sand transport and the little one was for sand dispersal. We went and got sand the next day, made the driveway much less treacherous, and felt pretty accomplished afterward.
And middle-aged. Because what screams “middle aged home owner” more than purchasing multiple buckets for the conveyance of driveway sand? Not much, for me. I’ve bought cars, furniture, appliances, insurance, even this actual house…and none of that made me feel quite as adulty as spending a Saturday morning buying buckets.
It’s grey and rainy and my back hurts and I need a shower and I have some Adult Problems with Only Expensive and/or Scary Solutions, so my brain has been looking for a dopamine fix even harder than usual today. ADHD does, after all, generally come with a built-in sidekick of dopamine deficiency. For me that deficiency gets kicked into high gear when I feel like I’m struggling with something or feel uncomfortable in some way. I have been both struggling AND uncomfortable lately, so that explains a lot.
Here are some places I haven’t managed to find any dopamine today:
– in my coffee cup (neither tea nor coffee) – in half a chocolate bar – in a bowl of cereal – in a burrito – in a handful of trail mix – in Medieval Dynasty (a video game I’ve been playing lately) – on social media (which is weird bc social media is basically engineered to reward people with dopamine pellets but it’s not working on me at the moment) – in work (that’s one of the things stressing me out so no surprise there) – in conversations with real human beings (although I’ve been talking to my non-preferred humans (ie: coworkers) rather than actual friends so that’s probably the issue)
I think movement is going to be my best bet for getting some kind of go-juice into my brain today, but it’s hard to muster up much enthusiasm for that when my body hurts. The idea of hurting myself even further via exercise gone wrong also makes me very anxious, which further saps the juice reserves.
What I really need is to just suck it up, break the seal, and do some of the Adult Things so that they’re not hanging over my head anymore. It sounds so simple to someone without ADHD, I know…but trust me, breaking that seal is a real challenge sometimes.
In New England, we have these orange daylilies that are pretty ubiquitous in the summer. They pop up all kinds of places: yards, abandoned lots, fields…and they’re especially common growing in ditches along the sides of back roads. A lot of people actually call them ‘ditch lilies’ for exactly that reason.
My neighbor hates ditch lilies. He has several flower gardens around his house that he tends meticulously, and one of his spring rituals is to find and dig up any ditch lilies that have somehow found their way into his beds. They grow via bulbs, but sometimes they don’t all come up at the same time, so it often takes years of successive diggings to get them all out. The last three springs since we moved here, I’ve watched him ferret out any burgeoning patches of ditch lilies and carefully dig all around them. He pops the whole clod of soil out, (presumably so to not further spread the lily bulbs), loads them into his wheelbarrow, wheels them down to where our driveways merge together, and dumps them down over the bank toward the brook.
The thing about ditch lilies is, they can grow just about anywhere. They need barely any dirt, they don’t need a ton of direct light, they’re pretty drought-resistant. There also happens to be a really nice layer of mulch in the form of wood chips from last year’s fallen tree that was cut down, chipped, and the chips dumped along that bank. So this year, right at the juncture of his driveway and ours, we now have a big cheerful new stand of ditch lilies from all the clods of bulbs he’s been dumping over that bank for the last few years.
I do kind of wonder if he glares at them every time he comes down his driveway, or if he’s fine with them as long as they’re not in his flower beds. Either way, I appreciate the symbolism: something discarded and unloved thrown into challenging circumstances takes root, rises up, and flourishes, waving its bright orange flowers at its oppressor on a daily basis, as if to say “you can’t keep me down, fucker”.
We could all use some help in the resilience department these days. May you find the ability to root where you’re thrown, rise up again, and tilt your face to the sun with a smile while knowing those fuckers can’t keep you down.
Sometimes it seems like my life is just a series of things I do to amuse myself that end up backfiring and causing me extra work or costing me more money.
Case in point: today’s vegetable peeler incident.
I have Fridays off for a while – I won’t bore you with why (it involves needing to use up a bunch of vacation time at work because I can’t roll it over). Just know for the sake of this story that for the last six-ish Fridays I have been largely home alone, with only the dog for supervision. Which, being an only child, a latch-key kid, and a social pariah for most of the 90’s, you’d think I’d be used to functioning under those conditions.
It’s not that I can’t function when I’m home alone, so much as that I have a harder time filtering the near-constant stream of questionable ideas that my brain produces. Especially the ones that I think are funny. This isn’t even a case of ‘doing it for the ‘Gram’ or making TikToks or whatever…this is literally me just indulging the stupid shit that pops into my head because I know no one is around to judge me for it (not that my husband would judge me for most of the stuff I do…not out loud, anyway. He IS British, after all).
Today I was making a batch of soup ahead for tonight’s dinner. I had my dance mix going and was grooving along to Jamiroquai (I know that guy is problematic – I assuage my guilt by reminding myself that he’s probably only getting like half a penny from Spotify whenever I listen to one of his tracks. And yes, I know Spotify is problematic, too. I assuage THAT guilt by reminding myself that I get to pay the student rate rather than the full monthly subscription rate because I take one measly college course per semester. Also, good luck finding someone / something that ISN’T problematic these days, mmkay?), as I peeled some carrots. I peel the carrots over the garbage can because I hate cleaning up carrot peels off the counter, but my garbage can is also across the room from the counter where I chop stuff and there’s no flat surface around the garbage to put anything down on, so I was taking one carrot at a time over to the garbage can to peel it, then bringing it back to the counter and grabbing the next one.
That makes it sound like my kitchen is huge. My whole house is like 1100 square feet. The kitchen is like three paces across, max.
So, carrot peeling got tedious very quickly. As I finished the last carrot and was half-dancing back to the counter, the song I was jamming to reached a funky breakdown part. Carrot in one hand, vegetable peeler in the other, I did a little twirl, then flipped the vegetable peeler up in the air with every intention of catching it.
Now, it’s worth noting here that I’m actually pretty good at doing this. Flipping things up in the air and catching them, I mean. It’s a random stupid human trick that I’ve been doing for as long as I can remember, with basically anything that has a handle. I’ve done it with screwdrivers, hammers, paint brushes, all manner of kitchen utensils, pans, a curling iron twice (once it was on…had to up the stakes, apparently. While home alone. I am very stupid)…you get the picture. There is literally nothing else physical that I’m good at, so I’ve really honed this one craft, trust me. As a result, I almost always catch whatever I flip.
I’m sure you can see where this is going.
The vegetable peeler flipped end over end, almost up to the ceiling. I reached out with perfect timing, right on the apex beat of the song’s crescendo…and missed the handle by a hair’s breadth. I watched the bastarding thing hit the floor and, in seemingly slow motion, the blade popped out of the handle and skittered directly under the stove. I got down on the floor to try and fish it out with a wooden spoon, but the thing was so far in that I couldn’t even see it. It is officially lost to the Beneath.
So now I have to shop for a new vegetable peeler. I’ve had that one probably ten years. Have there been exciting new innovations in vegetable peeling technology in the last decade? I’m guess I’m about to find out.
Like…technically I can…but there are days where anything more than two or three sentences in one go turn to smoke somewhere between my eyeballs and whatever half-rotten corner of my brain is responsible for word comprehension.
Part of it is definitely interest-based: I can read what I’m writing right now, I could pick up the novel I’ve been reading and be perfectly fine getting sucked into that for an hour. But I have this 11-page instruction manual that I’m supposed to be reading (and understanding) right now and it’s just not happening. It’s not even that my brain is making a specific choice in that regard, either. I’m not sitting here saying “I’ll read this but I won’t read that”. Rather, what happens is that I go in with every intention of reading the thing I’m supposed to be reading and my brain is like “hey, here’s something else we definitely need to do RIGHT NOW”, and that just keeps happening until it’s 4pm and all of a sudden I’ve done everything except the one thing I really needed to get done in my workday.
Urgency is a big thing for a lot of people with ADHD. Many of us joke about leaving important things until the absolute last minute as a strategy for success and that tends to sound kind of unhinged to neurotypicals but the thing is…it works. It SUCKS, don’t get me wrong. I definitely don’t enjoy sitting here knowing that I have six hours to do a thing and then waiting five and a half hours before I start it, but I’m so much more likely to get the thing done if I start it with half an hour left before the deadline than if I start it hours ahead. My brain literally needs that pressure, that sense of dread, to function some days. It sounds masochistic, I know. Trust me, most people with ADHD wish we didn’t operate this way as it causes us a lot of stress and aggravation…but sometimes you have to do the best with the maladaptive coping mechanisms you have, and some days putting things off until the last minute is the way that happens.
I sat down at my desk this morning with literally two things on my to-do list: deal with emails, and read this 11-page instruction manual with enough understanding that I could then put it to use in the software it’s for. The emails part was easy because it’s quick snippets of stuff with definite answers, and I get a nice little dopamine hit from each one that I deal with. But since I’ve finished emails, I’ve done the following, all in the interest of not reading aforementioned instruction manual:
clipped the dog’s toenails
made a snack
spent an unmentionable amount of time on Instagram (my dopamine peddler of choice)
downloaded a video editing app I don’t need and will probably never use
spent 20 minutes practicing German (another way I try to feed the dopamine beast)
had two fully unnecessary chats with coworkers
did some stretches
did a circuit of planks, push-ups, and various other upper body exercises with a resistance band (which, to be fair, the physical movement did at least settle me enough so that I could sit down and write this, so…winning?)
writing this blog post, which originally started out as an Instagram stories post but for once in my life I realized maybe writing on the blog rather than just word-vomiting on IG would be good practice for, you know, writing…which is a thing I claim to want to do more of
And probably other stuff that I don’t even realize, because that’s how ADHD works. See the shiny, chase the shiny, go back to the thing you were meant to be doing three hours later with sticks in your hair, missing one sock, a strange taste in your mouth, and the inability to think of sea anemones without shuddering in fear.
I have a theory about long weekends. I developed it just now while standing by the microwave waiting for my burrito to cook. I guess technically it’s not actually a theory but rather a hypothesis. Also, full disclosure, I DID just have to Google ‘scientific method steps’ to come up with the word hypothesis because I knew it started with ‘hyp’ but all my trash brain could come up with to fill in the rest of that blank was ‘hypotenuse’, for like the full 60 seconds that I was able to devote to trying to remember that word. Also I definitely just Googled ‘hypotenuse’ to make sure I spelled it correctly. My brain may be trash but I still have standards.
So, my hypotenuse is this:
Long weekends that involve a Friday off are FAR SUPERIOR to ones that involve a Monday off.
Think about it. What’s better, a normal week that converts to weekend a day early, or a weird week that doesn’t start when it should so you spend the whole week slightly out of whack? A week where the routine is already basically set and you just have to adjust to get stuff done one day earlier, or a week where you can’t wrap your brain around what fucking day it is because everything that SHOULD have gone on YESTERDAY is happening TODAY along with all the TODAY stuff and it’s all just very confusing?
Mondays get so much hate, but Tuesdays are already worse than Mondays to begin with, and then a long weekend like the one we just had essentially converts Tuesday to Monday, and that seems like too much shittery to pile into one workday. As much as I dislike Tuesdays, I don’t want them to have to bear that burden.
So that’s my hypoalgesia. My hippodrome. My hypotenuse. Now I’m off to try and figure out what work I can get away with putting off until later in the week when my brain finally catches up to my body in time and I know what day it is again.