Sunday, June 30, 2013

Ocean at the End of the Lane

I went to see Neil Gaiman a few weeks ago. I've been wanting and waiting for months and years to meet him. And when I heard this was his last signing tour, I couldn't not go.

I wanted to show him my tattoo. And I did sort of. He was busy with signing hundreds of books and by the time I was there in front of him, I stuttered. I awkwardly showed him my tattoo and had my copy of Brief Lives in front of him to sign on the page where my ink is from.

I started to read his new book that night, while waiting in line to get it signed. I remember reading Amanda Palmer's review. I remember her words while Neil was talking about the book. I remembered her words while he was reading passages to the audience. 

There was no way I wasn't going to like the novel. There hasn't been a single thing that he's written that I didn't love. (Except Good Omens, I'm not a huge fan of that so much.) My gateway drug to the land of Gaiman was American Gods. Shortly after it was published a copy went around my circle of friends. Around almost the entire theatre department of my college to be honest. I fell in love. Eventually my friend Dave lent me the Sandman comics and Jacob watched over me as I read them, knowing they were going to affect me in a deep deep way. 

He was right. 

I don't think I cried as hard as I ever did at a series or book, before or since. There's just something that resonates to my deep soul. My deeper consciousness. I had never read anything like it. When people say something "moved" them, I had no idea what that truly meant until encountering this graphic novel. 

I reread the series earlier this year, or late last. I can't remember. But upon rereading, I found the words that became my tattoo. A clear headed crazy woman because someone needed to hold it together if her brother couldn't. There are things that even the person who knows everything doesn't know. There are ways to travel and understand that others just don't see or get. How can I not understand that?

The Ocean at the End of the Lane moved me like Sandman did. It touched me. I cried and was scared and I believe I've had some nightmares because of the book. My heart aches and I want to know more about the family and about the narrator. And about that land that is neither there nor here. I want to find those places in my life where I can dream and remember and feel that otherness. 

This is not a book for the day time. Read this book at night. In the quiet of 2am with a cup of tea that will probably grow cold as you read chapter by chapter. Read this book during a summer thunderstorm (like I did) that's as ferocious as the one you'll read in the pages. Read this book alone. And when you are finished, find someone to hug. 

Other people have said it, but yes I firmly believe that this is his best work yet. The Sandman comics are my water mark, and (like I stated before) this is at that level. 

It's a story about a boy and the wonderful and awful world his neighbor shows him. It all starts with a birthday cat. From there there's an opal miner. And then a nanny. And lots of other fantastic stuff. And more cats. And a fantastic storm. 

Not to mention, beautiful writing. 

And beautiful truths that I only half knew before going into this book:

"I'm going to tell you something important. Grown-ups don't look like grown-ups on the inside either. Outside, they're big and thoughtless and they always know what they're doing. Inside, they look just like they always have. Like they did when they were your age. The truth is, there aren't any grown-ups. Not one, in the whole wide world."


I thought about adults. I wondered if that was true: if they were all really children wrapped in adult bodies, like children's books hidden in the middle of dull, long adult books, the kind with no pictures or conversations. 

Read this book. Even if you don't like what I read. Read this book. You might not love it as wholly as I do. Actually, you can't: none of you are me. But I'm pretty damn sure this is a book that will stay with you long after you close the book. 

Especially when you look outside when it rains and just wonder. 

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Father's Day

To be honest, I don't remember Father's Day when I was a child. (Nor Mother's Day for that matter.)

I guess after one's father dies, it's hard to care or think about it without hurting. Without being jealous of everyone else.

I learned very early on to get under people's skin and be highly amused at their reactions.

"What are you doing for Father's Day?"
"My father's dead."

The reaction never gets old.
I know, I know, gallows humor, but after all these years, I can't help but smile at this.

I've had 20 plus years to deal with this. 20. Twenty. It's almost unreal that one day I will be older than my father.

It took me a very very very long time to accept my step-father as my dad. Growing up with Bill was, to put it lightly, very hard. Granted, I was an undiagnosed hormonal teenage girl; I know I wasn't easy to deal with or parent. And on his end, I was the first daughter he ever encountered. Talk about a steep learning curve.

But accept him I do. He will walk me down the aisle when I get married (that is, if Jack and I can ever get our act together to plan this damn thing) whether or not he wants to. I am proud to say that I'm his first daughter. I may not be his favorite (oh come on, people, EVERYONE knows that my sister is the favorite. :P ), but I'm the first and really, the best, and the smartest, and the one that is amazing.

So, thank you Daddy and thank you Bill for raising me, both in your own strange fashion. I know for a fact that I wouldn't be where I am today if it wasn't for you two.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013


(My horoscope just explicitly told me that I need to get my ideas down on paper. To make the ideas in my head concrete. I guess I'll listen and actually write. You know how many blog posts I have in my head right now?)

I turned 31 a few weeks ago. 

I started this blog to specifically do things that I never done before. To go on adventures and get into trouble and just expand my life because I'm now a 30-something instead of a 20-something. 

I didn't accomplish much on my list

I did take a yoga class with Kurt. I did better than I expected to and felt more relaxed and alive than I had in a while. But have I gone back to take another class? Nope. Time and money barriers. Well, mostly money barriers because of life things. 

I did go to New York Comic Con. AND IT WAS AWESOME. I plan on going again this year, but 3-day tickets have already sold out. I will try my hardest to get some at least a ticket for Friday and Saturday. I didn't cosplay (dress up) last year due to the fact that I had surgery a few days before hand. But this year I plan to. There's no reason for me not to. Jack and I got some fantastic art that we only recently got up on our walls, and I can't wait to get more. 

Ha! I had forgotten that "visit Atlantic City" was on there! I did! I went to Atlantic City for my birthday actually. I lost $40, went to a club, and danced. Had some tasty drinks too. There may be a video of me dancing on the book of faces... We did take a ton of silly-ass pictures, and for a change, even the silliest ones don't embarrass me. 

3 out of 30-ish items isn't that bad! I do plan on doing the others! Perhaps I'll shoot for 4 this time...


There were some other things I accomplished. Like getting a new job, a new apartment, and an engagement ring. 

It's been a strange year. Finding my voice. Sharing my voice with new people. Going back to my geeky roots and embracing my spirituality. 

I'm reading tarot cards again, and digging into the meanings. I'm finding I'm learning a lot and truthfully, I haven't felt more at home with them. I was told by someone that reading cards was my super power. I don't know if he knows how much that made me smile. 

I'm writing again. Small little poems. Some are actually kind of decent. Others aren't, but not everything can be a winner. 

I'm slowly coming off my medication too. I'm finding I'm more stable now that life has settled down some. Not that I'm not moody still. I'll always be bipolar, but I'm trying to handle it more. Focus my energy differently. Being more aware of my warning signs for a upswing and downswing.  The new found spirituality has helped. Also, pushing myself to actually accomplish things helps too. 

Trying to tear down the walls that I set up to keep people out. Trying not to be the hedgehog. 

Trying to be a child of the universe as well as a child of communication. 

Realizing that I'm supposed to write. That when asked what I would do if money was not an issue, I keep saying that I'd be a writer. Why can't I actually get that through my skull?

So here I am. 
Thing change.
Fuck the status quo. 
I guess I am trouble.