Friday, December 28, 2012

Week of Inward Looking Day 2 AND 3

OOOO I'm playing catch up here with my Inward Looking questions! And I'm trying not to eat a whole bag of clementines. I mean, I'm eating most of them, I just don't want to eat ALL of them. Cause I'm making soup later. Which is my favorite thing ever. I freaking love soup.


Question 2:

In what way have I been living in the shadows in 2012? How might my life change if I came out into the light in 2013? What strengths could I discover and share if I gave up hiding my weaknesses?

How have I been living in the shadows? Hmm. Well I always live in the shadow of money issues. And honestly, this is a big "I hate talking about" issue. Money is always tight, or really never there. I am swimming in a sea of student loan debt. And with apartment costs, food, car payments, car insurance, etc,. I don't have a safety net. Actually, I have no savings what so ever. Which scares me. A lot.  

But I hate asking for help. I am 30 years old and that's old enough to be able to swim alone just fine. I want to show people that I can do this life thing. But it's hard. I try not to think about it, because if I do think about it, I tend to melt down. Cry. Stop eating. Typical depression stuff. And it's hard for me to get out of the money depression funk because I don't know how to fix it. 

In 2013 I am going to try my damnest to do better with money. I have a great job that makes me happy and pays more than my bookstore job did (not by much, but it's enough to make a difference). I'm also going to pray for a bunch of money to come my way with no strings attached so I can pay all my student loans off. That's really what's sucking my soul out. If they are done, well all that extra money will just go to savings. 

Perhaps if I am more honest with other people about my money issues, then I will find strength in my family and friends or a generous benefactor. Maybe the more I talk about it, the less worried I will feel that people will think bad things about me because I'm in this tight spot that has lasted about ten years now. 


Question 3:

When I look back over 2012 and think about how time, choices and objects have been organized, do I see harmony and ease? Did I seek out the natural place for things to land and rest? Where did I struggle to force things into literal or figurative containers? Do I recognize the order in the universe and see my life reflected in that order?

Heh. Strangely, when I learned to relax (okay, okay, I haven't learned to relax but I'm practicing!) things have been coming towards me. I've had a crap time at my old job after seven plus years and then, on a whim, I applied to a job and received it. I knew it was time to leave the old place and move on to something new. And lo and behold! It happened. 

Since then, I've been trying to go with the flow more. How is the universe going to direct me today? Lots of new agey type stuff, but something that is resonating with me right now. I'm trying to listen to my instincts and what I really want to be doing and trying to stop forcing myself into a postion that I wasn't made for or outgrew. 

It's been working. I'm happier. And while there are still a bunch of things that can be fixed, (money issues, Jack finding a job that is actually feasible, my health) I am trying to be confident that things will work out. That everything will be fine in 2013 and beyond. 

Thursday, December 27, 2012

The Week of Inward Looking Day 1 (if a day late)

I'm taking this week to follow something that my friend Patti started last year (or was a part of last year) that she revived for this year. Every day for this next week there will be a question to answer. I'm answering them here so I actually write. Hope you enjoy. 

Inward Looking

Question 1
Where have I learned and lived in 2012? In my head, in my body, or both? What would living more fully in my body in 2013 bring to me? How can I embody life and learning as I move through this liminal space between now and next? How can I more fully learn from the neck down in 2013?

This year I lived in my head. I had to pay attention to what it was doing when I wasn't looking. There has been a lot of changes this year in my life and being bipolar, change can turn into a mood swing if I'm not careful. 

But this year, I've learned to pay attention to the rest of me. I am more than just my bipolar/chemically different brain. I've started reading The End of Illness and I realize that I am a system. My gut has more serotonin in it than my brain. If there is something wrong with my feet, then I should probably get off of them and help them heal. 

2013 will be my year to heal. I will heal my body from my constant aches and pains by wearing comfy shoes. By going to yoga (which I found out I love after going to a class for a fundraiser). By just moving more. I will heal the mind/body disconnect. I will not ignore my mind, but encompass it into my body. I will meld together and heal and grow. 

I look forward to it. 

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

It's all right, I love you

Over the past couple years, I've been getting crazy about Christmas music. I have to have it. I have to listen to it all the time. Every single time from when we leave where ever we are on Thanksgiving, to at least New Year's Eve. 

I love it. I love it. I love it. 
Right now we have 430 songs on the playlist, but we didn't pick up the Twisted Sister Xmas Album or the new Cee-lo Green one (he has The Muppets!)

So yeah.
Then this happened. 

I cannot tell you how many times I've listened to this song. I'm in love. 

This may have changed my attitude towards unicorns as well. We will see. 

Monday, December 17, 2012

Response to Reactions

I have lots of thoughts about the latest school shooting reactions. Not the shooting itself. But the reactions that I have read from the people on my friends list on Facebook. From the people I follow on Tumblr. From the links that are linked.

I've seen video games get blamed.

Violent video games are not the problem. In fact, there are a whole lot more people who play violent video games that are NOT violent, than who are. Just because I like killing zombies/Nazi/Zerg/Flood does not make me a violent person. People do not look at me and call me violent.

I've seen guns get blamed.

Are guns the problem? I don't think so. I consider myself a liberal, but I understand the need to have a hunting rifle if you are going to hunt. I understand the need if you are in law enforcement. I understand the need to collect because of history. All these things are fine. All these things are sane. These people (some of my family in fact) will never go out and decide one day to use their firearm on other people. However, I do support more background checks. I do support banning those firearms not used in hunting. Will this stop shootings? No. People can steal just as easily. But will it create another barrier that will just take that much longer for someone who should not own a weapon, to get said weapon? Yes. And durring that time, perhaps the person will be deterred. Or s/he would get help.

(which brings me to my next point)

I've seen mental illness get blamed.

I hate this. I hate the term "mental illness." I hate it. Because I fall in this category.  I have a mental illness. I am bipolar. But am I "ill"? No. I cannot "get better" or "heal" this. This is a disorder I have. My brain does not make the same chemicals that a person who is not bipolar does. It's a chemical imbalance that leads to mood swings.

I am not sick.

Nor am I violent on the scale of this violence. I will not paint a rosy picture of my past. I have been violent towards others when I have not been on medication, when I wasn't being helped, when I didn't know I was bipolar and that something was wrong. I have been violent towards myself. I've cut myself for therapeutic reasons, I've taken way too much medication. I've landed in the psych ward a couple times because of this. But I got help.

I've been lucky in a way. I've had friends who held my hand and taught me to stand on my own feet. I've had loved ones hold me up and teach me to stand up for myself. To embrace myself. To love my flaws. I've had close people call doctors for me because I was too scared to do it myself. I've had them drive me to the appointments because they knew I wouldn't go otherwise.

I've also found some awesome doctors. And some medication that works for me without any side effects. I know I'm lucky with this one thing alone.

But is mental illness to blame?
Can we talk about mental health outside of a tragedy? Can we have this discussion that people refuse to have? I know it's hard. I had to fight to get family members to understand what I'm going through. What I've been through. But it was worth it. They get it now. They are supportive. They understand.

We need to talk about mental health. All the good stuff and all the bad stuff. And not make it feel like I'm sharing this deep dark secret when I say "I'm bipolar." It's not a secret. I'm very open about it because I want people to understand. To question me.

We need to be open. We need to not shun those who act "off." We need to not look down on the woman on the corner muttering to herself. We need to relax and not tense up when there is an autistic child throwing a fit in a public place. We need more empathy. We need more knowledge.

We need to stop judging everyone who isn't like us.

We all need to talk.

Perhaps then, the people who need help will find it.
Perhaps then, people can find safe places for their loved ones who need help.
Perhaps then, there will be funding for this to all occur.

Perhaps then, it will be less of a stigma.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Ugh. I got Tagged.

So my friend Jen over at Authorized Musings tagged me in a silly post about what we are currently working on.

Now, I'm just letting you all know here that 1. I don't consider myself a writer. I am a person who likes to write and I guess I wouldn't mind getting paid for blogging, but, I hate deadlines. I suck at them. So yeah. I'm not a writer. and 2. I AM ONLY DOING THIS FOR JEN. stupid being friends for a long time. *shakes angry fist*

I'm breaking the chain here. Mostly because I don't know anyone else who has a blog thingy who occasionally writes. BREAKING THE CHAIN BREAKING THE CHAIN.

Here we go:

What is the working title of your book?

Hmm... I didn't get that far. I'm only kinda writing it. But if I had to name it right this second, it would be called "Sunrise"

Where did the idea come from for the book?

Really, shouldn't this sentence read "where did the book idea come from?" Screw you and your not ending sentences in a preposition. Your question is awkward sounding.

The idea came from a series of dreams I had when I was in high school and college.

What genre does your book fall under?

Did you know "under" is a preposition?

Science Fiction. Perhaps Teen Dystopian Fantasy, but only perhaps.

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?

Now really, I have only about 2k words under my belt. And no one really has names. I know, confusing. But it's told as an epic poem, so it would kinda suck as a movie.

Narrator: Kate Winslet
J (girl): Angelina Jolie (for looks, and she played Lara Croft, which would be perfect for J (girl))
J (boy): David Tennet
M: That guy who played Spike from Buffy.
D: Benedict Cumberbatch

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

Epic poem post-apocalyptic story told as a memoir.
That really isn't a sentence, but that's what it is.

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?

If by "self-published" you mean "I hit print on the Word file," then yes. You're lucky if I finish this thing. But POD books suck. RANDOM HOUSE ALL THE WAY BABY.  Or maybe HarperCollins? Probably Tor though. (which I think is Random House anyway?)

How long did it take your to write the first draft of your manuscript?

I'm counting my abandonment of my NaNoWriMo version as my first draft... so 3 days.

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

Sharp Teeth

Who or what inspired you to write this book?

Homer actually. I reread The Odyssey late this summer and I thought that would be cool. Also I Love A Broad Margin To My Life by Maxine Hong Kingston gave me the idea for the memoir part.

What else about your book might pique the reader's interest?

I have a habit of referencing song lyrics in my work.
But really, the synopsis should be enough to make you read my book. Or at least open the first page.


Thursday, October 11, 2012

Mad Men

I was out of a teevee show. My sister hasn't gotten season 4 of True Blood and I wasn't going to actually own it. I've been caught up with Doctor Who now for a while. (Don't get my started on series 7 so far. Ugh) Rewatching The X-Files can only satisfy me for so long before I start looking for the plot holes. (Really, why don't they ever have back up?)

So, I started watching Mad Men. Mostly because everyone says how good it is. And a little bit because whenever I listen to Fresh Air, I hear Terri Gross fan girl over the series.

In case you didn't know, I just got surgery done on my nose. Deviated Septum. Hopefully now I'll be able to breathe better. However, I can't do much besides sit up and look straight ahead for a few days. Over the course of the past two and a half days, I've watched about a season's worth. I'm midway through season 2. Exactly on episode 9.

Peggy is really my favorite. Fuck Don Draper and his affairs. Peggy's life is so much more interesting. Also, I really hate everyone else. Well except for Joan. (MRS REYNOLDS!) and that not really gay man, gay man art guy. So really. Everyone else except for those three.

Now don't spoil it for me. I'm gonna watch some more.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012


My life these days is best summed up by this:

Jack and I moved. From where we were, to where we are now. A more ubran-ish environment where there is only on street parking and I worry constantly what the hell we are gonna do when it starts to snow. However, all this shadowed by the wonderful apartment itself and that we are in walking distance to things. Like a diner. AND THE LIBRARY.

Mmmmm libraries.
Mmmmmm David Bowie.

I'm also getting a new job! Whoohoo! *new job dance*  No more bookselling! Now something different! I don't start that now until another couple weeks, and I actually have to keep my B&N job for the health insurance, but it's nice knowing I'm moving on and up.

More news! I'm getting my nose fixed! I hear you: WTF Kelly? Well, if you've known me more than a few days you would realize I'm always stuffed up. Always sniffling. Always sick with something. So, when I finally did something about it this year, my ENT took one look at my CAT scan and said OH DEAR. WE NEED TO FIX THAT. Sooooo... surgery. I'm excited and nervous and I'm curious as to what the world smells like for real and not through a gooey haze of snot.

Moral of the story is that I'm actually writing again. (In my personal physical journal and not here on the cyberspaces) But that also means I'm starting to write here again. I'm finally getting a small routine going here. The boxes are all mostly unpacked (we have about 6 left with odds and ends) Things still need frames and we still need another freaking bookcase (7! I HAVE 7! and I need more. (that's seven. not seven factorial. If I had that many bookcases, well I'd have a bigger house and would actually have a driveway and not worry about the snow and street parking))

Huzzah! For Change! Huzzah!

Sunday, August 12, 2012

This is all so you keep me to my word

I'm a sucker for creative self-help books. The Artist's Way, PronoiaLife is a Verb and Creative is a Verb. Love them. Have I read them all? No. Do I own them? Yes. Will I actually finish one of these many books? Maybe one day. But I will goddamnit. But now I'm actually! reading a new one.

So. True story:
A customer called looking for this book. I never heard of it but the guy swore that it's the next big thing.  I get it for him, flipped through it, was intrigued. I wrote down the title and that was that. A few days go by and I keep thinking about this book. So I get it. (actually it's not that hard for me to buy a book but that shouldn't be a surprise) /end story

The book is The Fire Starter Sessions by Danielle Laporte

All of this is just a very long preamble to this following sentence:

I will bake to my heart's content and I will go back to school.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Rage against the dying of the light

My Michee has died.

I've spend all day sitting at the jersey shore and at the beautiful ocean and I keep thinking of her and how she told me a few weeks ago she was going to write me a song to help heal me because I've been so sick for so long and my head keeps getting worse.

And I hadn't talked to her on the phone for a while and I thought about doing that. And now I can't.

And it was a wonderful day at the beach and I'm crying so hard and it's hard to talk about because the people who knew and loved her aren't in my life as much as they were before (if at all) and I just want to talk about my michee.

My wonderful beautiful michee. Who would listen to me. Who invited me to her wedding and loved me and him together and me and him apart and just loved. Whom I told that I would carry her child if she ever wanted to have kids.

I remember the Michelle clause we had in our relationship.
I remember when I was one of the first people she called after her mother died.
I remember her stories of her exes. I remember the love and the music and her beautiful words.

People my age are supposed to be having kids and getting married. Not dying. Not someone who loved as much as she did.

And how am I supposed to breathe?
I can spout a bunch of things about how I knew something was wrong. She was too quiet. Or that the random carrion birds I've been seeing should have warned me. Or the face that she's been in my dreams and thoughts lately along with others.

Or how I still feel her. Over my right shoulder. Whispering in my ear "It's okay my love. It's okay." Or feel her hand on my back and her tears mixing with mine.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012


How does one write about grief?

For me, grief is numbing. A hole in the heart and spirit.
I feel utterly alone, but at the same time, connected to the earth in a way I normally don't feel.

Dust to Dust. etc.

I go through the motions. Answer the phone. "Hello, hi, how are you?" Get people their books. Work. Smile. Cook dinner. Watch a movie.

But I'm a shell.

The inside of me is turmoil. Or, extreme calm. Unable to feel. Just a cold dead ocean.

In a way, I'm grieving for my father along with my aunt. Death bring up all the sludge that just sits at the bottom. Years of debris and sediment on top.  Being ignored until another passing.

I'll miss my aunt. I miss her already. I missed her when I went to florida to see her and she was just skin and bones and pained smiles.

I'll miss the stories I'll never know about my father and her. About my family. The secrets and the reminiscing.

I'll miss feeling like someone in my family understands my particular brand of crazy. I'll miss talking to someone who was frank and treated me with so much love and told me the truths about things. How she dealt with being called bipolar. Her hurts and feelings. And how it runs in the family.

I never understand how I get back to normal after this. How the pain slowly stops. How everything stops reminding you of your loved one. How I can breathe and laugh and smile. I know it happens. It always does. But right now I'll take the sobbing and the numbness. And my lack of words for everything.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Cooking Through My Cookbooks: Moosewood Edition

I went to college in upstate New York.  Yes it was a liberal arts college. Yes there were a lot of neo-hippies around. Yes I was friends with a good chunk of them. There used to be pot luck suppers, (that for the record, I never attended) where people would use The Moosewood Cookbooks as their basis.

What's the Moosewood Cookbooks? Oh my are you missing out.  The Moosewood Collective is based in Ithaca, NY and is a vegetarian restaurant. Now that's really the bare-bones explanation, but it will do. It's good to know that they make fantastically delicious food that you wouldn't know is vegetarian/vegan and they are cookbooks that I recommend to everyone who asks me for a good veggie cookbook. Now, I love bacon as much as the next bacon lover, but I love these cookbooks when I'm looking for something lighter.

And so, thus begins my 30 Things Cause I'm 30 Cooking through my Cookbooks: Moosewood Edition.

Tonight's recipe comes from Moosewood Restaurant: New Classics

Pasta with Easy Summer Sauce

This isn't so much a "sauce"as a dressing, and really this would make a fantastic picnic pasta salad. And omg it was amazing. Really. It truly was. I loved it, but I don't know if Jack did as much.

Does he like it? Or does he not like the picture?

I also have a habit of not following the directions/ingredient list I ended up with waaay more than the 4-6 servings it said it was gonna be, but that's ok, leftovers are good.

2 cups quartered grape or cherry tomatoes (I used small heirloom tomatoes like the cookbook notes said I could do. And I used a bit more than 2 cups, probably more like 3 cups)
1/4 cup minced fresh parsley
2 tablespoon minced fresh basil
1/2 cup minced red onions
1 garlic cloves (I used 3, cause garlic is love)
1/4 cup chopped black olives (I used a bit more)
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar (optional, taste the mixture beforehand and see if you want to add it. I did but I could see how it all depends on the tomatoes)
1 pound farfalle (bowties! bowties are cool)
2 cups string beans (oh. 2 cups? hmm how about a whole bag of frozen ones because I didn't read the directions...)
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese (I used a whole 6oz container)

So. BIG pot of boiling water.
While you wait for that to boil, combine the first 8 or 9 ingredients.
Water boiling? Add pasta, when water gets back to a boil, wait 2-3 minutes, add string beans.
When pasta and string beans are done, drain. Put back in pot or a very large serving bowl. Add tomato "sauce" and toss.

ooooo so pretty!

What I was watching while eating dinner:
So Jack and I when I make a real meal and not a frozen dinner or a sandwich, we watch a movie or something.  For this we watched episodes 3, 4, and 5 of series 6 of Doctor Who (The pirates, the doctor's wife, and the gangers!)

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

30 Things to do 'Cause I'm 30

I've been thinking about this whole being 30 thing since January. I'm kinda fixated on it. 30. Still a lot of years for something that I'm repeatedly told is "still a baby."

But 30 is important. I want it to be important. So I've decided to do thirty new things this year. I have until May 28, 2013 to accomplish these goals. Also to figure out thirty things. Because I don't have thirty items yet, more like twenty-five.

So in not much of an order here are my 30 THINGS TO DO 'CAUSE I'M 30!!

  • Get my passport
  • Travel to a different country
  • Get Motorcycle license 
  • Take a yoga class with Kurt
  • Take a spin class (with or without Kurt)
  • Go on a food tour ala Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives
  • Wine Tour! 
  • See Niagara Falls
  • Go whale watching
  • Visit Atlantic City
  • Learn how to operate a sewing machine
  • Make a quilt
  • Volunteer 
  • Go to a beer fest
  • Write a novel
  • Run a 5K
  • Sing Karaoke 
  • Learn to kickbox
  • Go to a Comic Con 
  • Go hot air ballooning
  • Become a bone marrow donor
  • Learn how to play a ukulele 
  • Cook through my cookbooks
  • Take a bookbinding class
  • Buy a metal chicken
  • Ride a horse, camel, and/or and elephant
  • Pay off all my credit cards
  • Watch all the Criterion Collection 
  • ????
  • Profit

So there we are. 24ish things to do because I'm 30. If you have more suggestions, please do tell! I'm gonna document this whole thing here too. So I'll be held accountable. Also, if anyone wants to join me in my adventures and/or can help these things become a reality (damn, these things can get expensive) I will love you more than I already do and thank you forever. 

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Hello World

I'd like to point out that I am turning 30 tomorrow.

It's a number I've always been scared about. It is a very grown-up number. 30. That means 3 WHOLE DECADES of LIFE. HOLY SHIT. That's a lot.

I compare it with other ages in my head. 30 vs 25 for example. My mother had me when she was 25. And her mother had her when she was 25. When I was a kid, I always thought it would be the same for me. How awesome would that be? Born, 25, 50, 75. The kid would know his/her great great grandmother! It didn't happen like that. Or, to put it a better way, it hasn't happened yet. I bring up having kids and my mother yells at me saying she'd make it so it wouldn't happen again. When I point out the fact that she had two children by the time she was 30 she shrugs me off and says, "it was a different era." When I remind her that the mid-to-late 1980s weren't all that different she just tells me to shut up. Because that's what mothers do.

I'm not really worried about getting older though. I still look young. I get asked where I go to school and when I mention I graduated college in 2004, parents look horrified. Mostly because I'm probably not that much younger than they are and I look so much better. Good genes. Also, I don't go outside in the sun. And I use awesome moisturizer. So I'm not worried about aging. Or looking old. Or caring that I look old.

What I am worried about is that I don't feel 30. Nor do I feel like I should be allowed to be 30. Shouldn't I be more responsible than I am if I'm going to be 30? Should I feel like I'm an adult? I should be doing adult things! Like owning a home! Or at least not living with my boyfriend's parents. I should own a business suit! 30 year old women have business suits right? I should know how to walk in high heels without falling on my face too.

And a cat. I should have a cat.

So in conclusion, Hello World. This is my personal blog. I'm spo(e)rk. Nice to meet you.