Jeez, what a fucking couple of weeks. Here’s a run down, not necessarily related to the pictures.
1. I am still recovering from my last carpal tunnel surgery; it was so much more painful than the first one. The first (right hand) healed really quickly but even after a month the skin on my left hand is red and super sensitive. It’s not raw or anything, but it hurts to the touch. It’s truly just the surface and scarring area; the surgery part is fine and I no longer have pain. Both hands can’t support serious weight on the palms, so holding pots and pans can be really painful. Thankfully, I’m taking a 37 year break from push-ups so I’m sure I’ll be fine soon.
2. I have a fair amount of skin coloring and have always had various freckles. I categorize them as freckles, not moles as they are small, flat and symmetrical. Fact: when I was a kid, my family used to tell me that freckles were fly poop :( Anyway, I discovered an odd marking on the back of my right leg, right below my calf muscle. I went to the dermatologist and they did a shave biopsy. It bled forever and it hurts like hell. As far as I know, there is no abnormality (cancer), but that dermatologist is the kind that doesn’t contact you unless there’s something wrong. I don’t know if it’s because I’m a wimp or if it’s just because the skin is being constantly pulled if I’m walking or what. Hurrrrrts.
I really should call because leave it to my lovely luck that I’ve been dead for a week and the doctor just forgot about me.
3. I finally went to an ENT (ear, nose, and throat doctor) to check out my ridiculous nose bleeds. At the particular office I went to, I had to see the Physicians Assistant who then proceeded to do all the nose things that aliens do. She also proceeded to cauterize two blood vessels in my nose. You can watch the procedure here (but don’t because it is as bad as you might think); I had cauterization with silver nitrate. She noted that she couldn’t see any spots that appeared to have bled recently so she literally cauterized the two places she thought might be suspicious. The PA neglected to tell me that it was going to hurt like fucking hell and I should have just been happy with bleeding to death.
The general consensus is that it feels like you’ve had your nose broken and while I’ve never had my nose broken, it did feel like I was dying. I honestly thought I was going to have to go to the hospital because I didn’t think this was normal.
4. My nose ran non-stop. Not like, sniffles, but shit was streaming out of my face. I know I’m painting a delightful picture here. I was not expecting that since again, it was not mentioned. What the PA did let me know is to call the office immediately if I had a nosebleed so that I could come in and have them re-cauterize any bleeding areas. If I waited then they wouldn’t be able to tell where I bled (like that day, for instance). Two days after the cauterization my nose started bleeding again. As per her instruction, I called the office to try to come in on a Friday around noon.
“There are no providers in the office today; you will have to wait until Monday.” The receptionist sounded like I offended her and her whole family by trying to explain that this is what the PA told me to do. Ugh, fuck all this shit. I’ll just bleed to death.
5. My windows are still not done. The windows that are paid for and installed two months ago are still wrong and need to be replaced. I could write a whole post about this aggravation and I’m tempted because I want the whole world to know how fucking stupid this has been. But I really want to wait until the whole ordeal is over to see how events unfold.
So after surgery I couldn’t do anything with my right hand which sucks because it’s incredibly dominant. As in Ol’ Lefty can’t do anything. Toilet time is the worst. THE WORST. Aquarium maintenance is fucking awful but I must say, my back and left arm hurt a LOT so I guess I have that going for me. The last time my left arm was stronger than my right arm was when I cashiered; right hand grabs the stuff, left hand bags and puts it in the cart. It’s really weird to use my left hand and I have to stop myself from grabbing things with my right hand out of habit. So, here’s what I did while I was being pathetic:
I read Dead Mountain: The Untold True Story of the Dyatlov Pass Incident. I’ve loved this story since I was a child and I was always in the paranormal conspiracy camp. This book gives some real discussion as to what exactly happened and I think the answer makes a lot of sense. The only part of the book I didn’t like was that it was half story, half introspective writing and the introspective part bored me. I can say that it really built up to the ending and explored all the angles. All in all, it’s a real tragedy no matter what you think happened.
Second book was The Cinder Spires: The Aeronaut’s Windlass by the amazing Jim Butcher. I’m totally a fangirl but when I started reading it, it wasn’t exactly my cup of tea. For about two pages and then I read it all in one day. That’s the real fucking shit right there–I wait for months if not years for a new book to come out and the authors have the gall to write a book that I read non-stop in one day. Lather, rinse, repeat. So discourteous. It’s a steam-punk world and the writing is very visual. I felt like I could absolutely see everything. If you’ve read The Codex Alera series and of course The Dresden Files some of the ideas and imagery will be familiar but I’m not giving anything away. I am not saying that he writes some timeless literature, but I will say he writes damn good fucking stories that I can’t put down and I want to binge read them until my eyeballs fall out.
He’s going to be at Dragon Con this year and the Mr. and the Boy are going AND I AM NOT BECAUSE THE WORLD ISN’T FAIR but hopefully the Mr. will get Jim’s autograph on a piece of sheet music that I have. Then again, I bet they won’t even get his autograph because the lines will be crazy pants. Maybe I’ll just write him a fan letter and enclose the sheet music for him to sign. Because that won’t make me sound crazy.
Last but not least, I read Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns). A fun, quick read that was overly relatable in some places but not so much in others. You have friends? You have family? Okay, Miss Perfect! But seriously, I thought it was an honest little memoir, funny, and interesting without the gut wrenching confessions that you get in a lot of these types of books. As in, normal girl does well! Let’s congratulate her on not getting pregnant at 14 and becoming a heroin addict! I want to be best friends with her but I’m 100% not cool enough.
Story Time! Names have been changed because I’m not interested in talking about other people. This story is about me–it’s my blog if you didn’t notice.
A very, very long time ago, I knew these two guys named Steve Urkel*. They were friends, and privately I nicknamed them “Good Steve” and “Bad Steve”. We’ll talk about Bad Steve first.
Bad Steve was a nice guy, but bad news. He was a drug dealer. Not a street corner drug dealer, more of a middle man. Not a king pin, but doing well enough that I saw money, drugs, and guns. I distinctly remember video security at his front door, a 9 mm under his pillow and an automatic rifle of some sort in the closet. Aside from all that, Bad Steve was good looking, nice, personable and liked koalas. He also liked me well enough that we never really used each other for anything. This was past my days of drug use. We enjoyed each other’s company–I was no threat and I didn’t do drugs so he could relax and I thought he was fun and to be perfectly honest, it was exciting to be around someone like that. I was young, naive, and very, very stupid.
Now, Good Steve was friends with Bad Steve which is how I met him. He was half Filipino and very frat-y and gregarious. A good talker and good looking and he showed me the kind of attention that made me think he actually interested in me. (As a side note, I don’t usually know when a guy is interested in me, so I’m going to assume in hindsight that Good Steve was very forward). We talked a lot and tried to make plans (LIKE A DATE WHAT THE HELL) but either he or I always had something come up.
One night, very late, he gave me a call and wanted to see if he could come over and hang out since we never could meet up. It was late-late, like 1 or 2 AM. I scrambled around picking up and hiding my disgusting living conditions to make it look like I was a normal person and not the horrible slob I really am.
He came over with liquor and we stayed up drinking and talking and it was fun. He told me about his family and how his Mom hated that he never dated Asian girls, how his dad wanted him to go into a specific field of work. He walked around my apartment and complimented me about my choice of books and movies, but most specifically, he told me he was impressed with my art. I couldn’t believe it! I thought he was just being nice but of course inside I was screaming “OH MY GOD I THINK HE LIKES ME” because no matter what age I am, I still think of it as ‘a guy likes me’.
We went out into the stairwell so he could smoke a cigarette even though I said he could smoke in my apartment. (HOW THOUGHTFUL!) As we were talking out there, he leaned in and gave me kiss out of the blue. I asked him what was that for and he replied Just because I wanted to. (OHMYGODOHMYGODOHMYGOD I THINK HE REALLY DOES LIKE ME)
Now, at this point I would like to note that I was technically an adult, but I distinctly remember that I wanted to call my best friend right that second to tell her what happened.
Since it was so late, I didn’t call her. As the night went on, I got progressively more and more drunk and ended up in a bad situation. I think I mentioned previously that I was young, naive, and very stupid. Very, very stupid.
That night Good Steve turned into Bad Steve and Bad Steve was suddenly Good Steve. I never saw or heard from the newly appointed Bad Steve ever again. Good Steve and I talked and saw each other here and there for a few months after but I never said anything about it because what was I going to say? I know it wasn’t my fault, but there were a million things I could have/should have done to prevent it. I don’t even know if Bad Steve knows what happened because he was also very drunk. I don’t blame him as much as I blame my own poor choices but I don’t beat myself up about it.
This was a very long time ago and as weird as it sounds, it wasn’t so dramatic and I’m not overly traumatized. I’ve had plenty of other things to ruin me, and in the big scheme of things, Bad Steve is barely a blip on my radar. The thing that does stick with me and bothers me to this day is that I wonder if he actually thought my art was good or not.
I know that sounds dumb, but can’t recall actually finishing any original piece of art since that time. Starts but no finishes. I will make plans to start a sketchbook. Draw every day. And nothing. It’s been such a long time so I don’t think I can blame Bad Steve Urkel anymore, but I do wonder if he planted that seed of doubt in my head.
I don’t expect to suddenly start churning out amazing pieces of original art just because I came to this conclusion. It took me almost 20 years to compile this random thought, so maybe in another 20 years I’ll have something tangible to show for it.
* The guys I’m talking about are actually not Steve Urkel or Stefan Urquelle. Just thought I’d make that clear.
If you ever get a chance to go to the Georgia Aquarium, you should go. It’s expensive but the souvenirs are comparatively reasonable, lunch not so much. 3 years ago it was $3 for a bottle of Coke so I doubt the price has gone down or anything. Still, totally worth it.
As a person who loves fish, it seems strange that I’ve always had nightmares about fish and whales. I can’t actually recall any specific dreams about the ocean, just things that live in it. The dreams often sound ridiculous or even cartoonish: start at the 10 minute mark. But all of them have a really ominous tone about them. A fish tank, a swimming pool, something with dark green-black murky water. Something is moving in the water.
Often it’s a whale. A huge whale where there should be no whale. I can’t see the whole thing because it’s so big. It breeches the surface, and sinks back down into the darkness. Just typing it out is really uncomfortable to me. I am drawn to and at the same time repulsed by whales. On a spiritual level which I rarely discuss here (or anywhere for that matter), I have bits and pieces and hints of what it all means but at the moment, I’m choosing to deny and ignore it all. I’ve had these bad dreams since I was a child and I’ll probably have them until I’m an old(er) lady.
Halloween is one of my favorite times of the year: the weather finally has a chill in the air, football is in full swing, Hallow’s End, and of course, all of the spooky stories and TV shows. In this modern age, we can really watch ghost stories on TV anytime, but I remember as a kid how exciting Halloween TV was–the ghost special of Unsolved Mysteries? YES! Tree House of Horror? YES, PLEASE! Halloween I and Halloween II back to back on TV? YESYESYES!
We routinely check out something like 20+ books a week between school and personal books. I set up a reading list every year during the summer so that I can start requesting books and DVDs starting at the end of September. Right now, we have windows open, costumes on the sewing machine, skulls in the living room. It sets the mood and we always have a good time. With all the ghost stories going around, I thought I would throw my hat in with a story that happened to me in the house I grew up in.
In my teens, I had the upstairs bedroom which had been renovated from attic space. There were two rooms, one each for my brother and sister who were both significantly older than I was. Over time, I lived in one room or the other; this particular story takes place in the green bedroom, formerly my brother’s room. I think I moved into that room around 14 or 15 years old. There were no windows in the room, just an obscured skylight that let in light, but wasn’t clear enough to see through. The skylight was on the slanted part of the ceiling and for some time I had my bed beneath it but at some point, being the angsty teen I was I ended up covering the skylight so that no light entered the room at all.
As you can see in my insanely accurate and realistic rendering above, I actually positioned my bed in the closet. The closet was just deep enough for clothes but stretched the width of the room so there were a lot of storage boxes and junk in both corners. There were old clothes in the closet as well, so it wasn’t functional for me. The twin sized bed fit in to the closet perfectly with the accordion doors open (I didn’t know how to take them off at the time) so the closet acted like almost a canopy. Unrelated: I used to glue pictures of cute guys to the wall in the closet. So if you were a good looking musician or actor in the 90s, HELLO THERE.
In retrospect, the trigger was Ouija boards and other spirit boards. There was a particular Ouija board that we used multiple times at my house. It belonged to a friend and supposedly had one dominant spirit that spoke through it . We used that board in my house during slumber parties, sleep overs, etc multiple times since junior high school. In fact, I wrote a story about a Ouija board for the junior high’s annual literary book that got a lot of attention because of how scary it was. EDIT: It was a terrible story written by a 12 year old. I do not recommend it. I had played with Ouija boards at other people’s houses and it was always a spooky but fun experience. No one ever thought anything of it and neither did I.
Things started to change when I slept in that room. I don’t remember what came first: weird feelings in the room or making my own Ouija board. First I’d just use large sheets of scrapbook paper with the Ouija board words and letters written on it. A planchette could be anything, really, so from just other paper or clear plastic make up lids. We’d play and then when we were done, we’d throw the paper away. This happened a few times until I had the great idea to use a permanent marker and draw out a Ouija board on a small table I had. It looked like wood, but was actually plastic, about the height of a coffee table, but not as long. It was heavy but had wheels that were exceptionally squeaky. This table was made in desperation because so many things had been freaking me out and I wanted to find out what was happening. Little things like light tapping, creepy out feelings for no reason, and cold temperatures. There is an air conditioning vent in the room but at that time, it didn’t make the room cool in the least. Unless you were right next to the air vent you wouldn’t feel anything. There was one air conditioning unit for the house which was enough…until the attic was renovated. It wasn’t until much later that additional air vents were added which made it more comfortable so usually it was annoyingly hot nights and days spent downstairs or out of the house completely.
One night I was laying in bed, head at the foot of my bed, not in the closet, and watching TV. I had my back to the chair in the corner. At first, I didn’t notice anything but I kept hearing a tapping noise from behind me but explained it away as the noise from the television. When it kept happening, I turned the TV off to listen and for a minute it stopped. I was relieved and as I was about to turn the TV back on the tapping was back and I felt completely terrified. I never once turned around but I could feel something there, in the chair, looking at me. You know when you stare at someone and think to yourself “look at me! look at me!”? That’s what it felt like. I never turned around. I got up, grabbed my clothes off of the floor (it was HOT, okay?) and walked to the door. I was trying not to panic but I wanted to scream my head off and run downstairs and cry. I am not sure why, but I felt like I absolutely had to retain my composure, so I said out loud, “I’m leaving now.” I had gotten about two steps away from the threshold when the door slammed behind me.
THE DOOR FUCKING SLAMMED ON ITS OWN BEHIND ME.
The stairs were steep and wooden, like the stairs on an outdoor deck. I ran/jumped/fell down the stairs as fast as I could. I don’t remember much after that except I knew I wasn’t going back up there. I ran the experience over and over in my head, trying to find an explanation. The most common theory from people I told was that I was just scared and I must have accidentally pulled it with my clothes or it got blown shut. These are perfectly reasonable ideas except that I wasn’t wearing any clothes (I generally left that out in retelling) and there isn’t any way that the door could have just swung shut. The carpet was a regular, plush carpet and the door always scraped across the surface. You could shut the door fine but you had to use force; slamming the door was difficult, though not impossible because if you remember, I was a teenager.
I started sleeping in my Dad’s office/hide out. There was a bed next to the desk, and on the desk was an old stereo, probably from the 70’s or 80’s. It was a tiny room, with just my Dad’s desk, a twin bed and storage shelves. I didn’t like the silence and of course, the general terror I was feeling so I turned on the radio. It had the dial for tuning, but there were only a handful of stations that were close enough to come in clearly. When the station was tuned in fully, there would be a green light next to the red power light.
I was listening to WCIL at a normal volume and it slowly began to fade out. I was annoyed, not scared. So I tuned in to the next station, an oldies station. This was actually my favorite station at the time because CIL was so hit and miss regarding good music. Anyway, I listened for a song or two and again it got quieter and quieter. I started to feel the panic welling up inside of me, but I really didn’t want to believe this was happening. It had been a few days and I honestly thought that if I just stayed out of my room I’d be okay. I thought I was done.
I hated country music, but on to the country music station it was. Same result. I was crying and panicking but doing it quietly. Again, I don’t know why, and I still don’t know why to this day. I didn’t want to act scared. The rational answer for the stereo thing would be the simple fact that it was old, except that it had never happened before or after as long as I was with someone or if it was daytime. It happened one more time at night while I was alone but I left before it could do it repeatedly. I ended up sleeping on the couch in the living room, all the lights and TV on. This lasted for a couple of weeks until I got in trouble for sleeping on the couch–my parents thought I was just staying up late to watch TV.
I didn’t go up to my room unless I was with a friend and it was during the day. One time, a friend left her purse upstairs so she ran up to get it. This was in the middle of the afternoon, after school. She flew down the stairs. white as a ghost, so to speak. She was screaming at me, wanting to know what the hell was wrong with my room. She knew of course, but “what the hell is wrong with your room!?” seemed to be the only thing that she could say. When she calmed down, she explained that she hadn’t seen a thing, but was just terrified when she went in to my room because she felt like someone was in there with her.
At least I didn’t feel all that crazy anymore. Or maybe I was just happy that someone else was crazy, too.
I really wish there was some kind of amazing ending to this story. Priests, maybe. Voices or blood running down the walls. But there really isn’t. As an expert clueless group of teenaged girls, we decided that the best thing to do was to cover the Ouija board I made so as the genius idiot I am, I painted over the top of the table to obscure everything I had written on it. This didn’t really do anything other than further ruin the table so sneaked the table to the curb one trash day and that was that. I got in trouble a few weeks later when it was discovered that a piece of furniture had just disappeared from the house. I said that I broke it, which is actually not entirely a lie in my opinion. Nothing particularly terrifying happened in that room again to my knowledge, but it was never comfortable again. It was never ‘my’ room after that. I moved into a different room eventually and went on to have terrifying experiences in there that seem completely unrelated to the terrifying events in this story. Those were more bizarre, but actually more explainable. Or at least more easily rationalized.
So do I think I was being haunted? I guess it depends on what your definition of haunted is, but yes, I think my playing around, trying to talk to spirits did something. I feel like a lot of my experience in that room was unexplainable even though I really did want a rational reason. It was in that room when I started having seriously bad dreams and night terrors. They weren’t regular or often–that didn’t happen for a couple more years and they came about on and off for more than a decade. I had other strange (terrifying) experiences in the house, living on my own, living in my own house now. I don’t think about this often, but when I do, I wonder if that experience was some sort of catalyst for other strange occurrences.
Okay, so maybe I was being stupid. Maybe? Yeah, probably. I know new parents get mush brain, so I should not have worried about it so much. I’m relieved. Dumb, but relieved.
On the Good Parenting front, the kids are watching Bleach. AND we’re watching it with subtitles!
I’M SO CRAZY FANGIRL EXCITED! Josh is keeping up well; Robin needs help because she can’t read as fast as he can. It’s still fun to watch.
Other than that, nothing much has been going on. We’re cleaning bedrooms. I’m finishing a quilt which I should be posting more about. Playing a ridiculous amount of Civilization IV and Hearthstone and very little Warcraft. It’s been hot as balls and I hate everything in the outside world. On a positive note, I washed a whole bottle of nail polish in the washing machine and it didn’t break or open or anything. I also cleaned the fish tank today, so I’m on a roll.
To see a rock in your dream symbolizes strength, permanence, stability and integrity, as conveyed in the common phrase “as solid as a rock”. The dream may also indicate that you are making a commitment to a relationship or that you are contemplating some changes in your life that will lay the groundwork for a more solid foundation. Alternatively, a rock represents stubbornness, disharmony and unhappiness.(via dreammoods.com)
I dreamt I was in an outdoor marketplace, like a bazaar. Lots of colorful tents and some stone/mud buildings. Lots of either dirt or clay–it was very bright. I came to a stand where there were all different kinds of rocks in a tray on display, but I couldn’t tell how they were sorted. Some small but jagged, some flat river stones about the size of my palm and so on and so forth. The man said I would have to swallow a stone. If I chose, I would have to pick 100 stones to swallow, but if he picked, he’d only give me one stone. I was afraid of what he’d pick for me, but in the end I said he could pick the stone. Then I woke up.
I am doing all kinds of crazy bullshit things, like teaching the kids. This is Thanksgiving week though, so two hours a day is about the maximum I can stand. What with all the knitting and WoWing and cooking going on.
Believe it or not, I am going to do a ChÜberlist: 2014.
I’d say more, but it’s 10:45 AM, so I think I’ll take a nap. Also, I haven’t uploaded any pictures in forever. More updates soon!
I knew I wasn’t crazy. At least not about this. At least not this time. Earlier this month I was lamenting a poetry earworm and couldn’t figure it out. Even if I had the correct phrase in my head it wouldn’t have been helpful. So, without further ado, here it is!
Down in the courtyard Beneath my high window, Victor of wizards and hazards and mazes, Beautiful, proud on your horse. You are calling my name. Often I dreamed As I sat by my window Dreamed of the prince and the horse and the journey.
Gray day in gray day dissolved, But my prince never came. Often I dreamed But the brambles grew thicker. Until I became an old princess accustomed To daydreams, the safety of towers, This room and this chair. And now you are calling Beneath my high window. Victor of wizards and hazards and mazes, Beautiful, proud– How you shine in these shadows! No, my prince. No, my dear. I will not let down my hair.
Hopefully this is all correct; I can’t find a copy online so all I have to go on is what I wrote in an old high school notebook. I had the book name wrong, by the way, so I’m officially an unreliable source.