Your son meant more to me than

Today, in Anxiety Corner:

Can Holly face the truly terrifying human interaction of her twice-annual hair cut without the aid of chemical intervention? ONLY TIME WILL TELL, however, Past Me, a doubting Thomas if ever there were one, has packed Future Me half a dose of Xanax.

My anxiety seems to have gotten a lot worse recently, and I can't tell if it's because my grandmother died last month (yes, it sucked just as much as watching the first one die), because of national fuckery, or because my antidepressant has gotten less effective in dealing with it after three years. Maybe I'm the lucky winner of all three! I've already thought about calling and cancelling my appointment twice this morning, even though I literally have not had a hair cut since June. Maybe my antidepressant IS still effective, and it is the voice in my head saying, "Suck it up, buttercup."

Anyway, I was thinking about getting a pixie cut, because my preference is short hair always, but I might also just get my current style cut off at the chin, because apparently this cut makes my face look pleasant. Allegedly. And let's be clear, the person alleging this is my sister. Let's clarify further that I have started saying "let's be clear" on a daily basis as a tribute to President Obama.

Probably should not have had the second coffee. I am wearing the proper shoes for a long walk after Schrodinger's haircut, so whether or not that occurs I'm going to try to walk it off for a couple of hours. I did that last night after work regardless of improper footwear and earned two blisters, which was my own damn fault, which is also an accurate description of the origin of most of my problems.
On days like this I would just disappear

comatose chillin'

Snowed in since Friday -- I've finished a decent book and a terrible one, baked and consumed too many bagels, and worn pajamas and fuzzy socks almost exclusively.

I began waking up at 6:30 in the mornings about two years ago as kind of an anticipatory decompression measure. I am not, nor have I ever been, a morning person, but my boss and one of my two coworkers are. Before, I was rolling out of bed at 7:30, showering, and heading out. But as irritating as I find people in general, they are immeasurably worse when I have only been awake for 45 minutes and am already being asked how I feel.

So now I get up early. I have a shower. I make coffee in my fancy little moka pot, I have breakfast, I read the news or a book. I am a fully-functioning human by the time I arrive at my office at a quarter after 8. This system works so well for me that I tend to keep it up on the weekends as well, minus the office bit; I even did it at the beach this summer.

Something about the snow, though, reminded me of being a kid and sleeping in on a cancelled school day, even though I don't work on weekends anymore, so I disabled my regular alarm and woke up around 9am both yesterday and today and just kind of quietly existed. Removing the possibility of going anywhere or seeing anyone almost entirely dissipated my regular anxiety around feeling like I have to be going somewhere or seeing someone, and while I was washing dishes a few hours ago, I found myself thinking how nice it was, just to be alone, not to feel responsible for anything other than breathing. I might be more stressed out, on the average, than I realized. Maybe it's just recovery from the holidays, with the non-stop closeness of family and friends. I have been scolded so often for being introverted that I have a public mask - as everyone does - that is cheery, open, and friendly. But also apparently quite heavy.

I will be glad to see people again tomorrow, I guess, if the roads are clear. Another day off and I might go a bit stir crazy.
We did have really good luck that year.

we did have really good luck that year.

My plan was to be in bed by 10:30 last night, but instead I stayed over at my friends' house, where we collectively drank seven (7) bottles of wine, ate so much, and had an impromptu dance party at midnight. And then this morning we made pancakes. Protip: butterscotch pancakes. You're welcome.

Something I realized while I was doing that end of year meme yesterday was that if I don't write down the moments that make me happy, I struggle to remember them. So I had a lovely evening and a delicious breakfast, and today is the day for my favorite joke: this is the happiest I've been all year!
No man needs nothing.

but me i'm a machine and i was built to last

A reflective meme from apiphile.

1. What did you do in 2016 that you'd never done before?
Hmm. I attended an eight day class with about 32 other non-profit professionals and got a certificate in management at the end of it. Somehow became in charge of a program at work. Flirted dangerously with paying interest on my credit card, because paying off my damn student loans broke my frugal button apparently. Took my family to the beach--first time my parents had been in nineteen years, the first vacation they've had other than day-trips in the same time. Yoga. Learned to bake, and made things consistently throughout the year, including stuff that people actually begged me to make again. I think my crowning achievement in this arena is learning to make bagels. Had two laser tattoo removal treatments. Voted for a presidential candidate who lost.

2. Did you keep your new years' resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
I didn't make any, unless you count my solemn and angry vow to Win My Goodreads Challenge this year. Last year I only managed 41 out of a goal of 52 and drank long the dregs from the bitter cup of failure, but I clocked in at 59 books (21,518 pages) for 2016. I suppose any resolution for 2017 will be along similar lines. I will read more nonfiction next year. I want to re-watch all existing Star Trek series in chronological order--Netflix is helping a sister out on this one. More hiking.

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Just more fucking justified.

I am in a state about all of this.

I'm reading As Always, Julia, a collection of letters between Julia Child and her friend Avis DeVoto. The letters are deeply engaging, even though I don't care overmuch about bouillabaisse, and I am enjoying it quite a bit. The endnotes are a useless waste of paper/bytes, though. Some detail would be nice. Anyway, here is a bit from one of Avis' letters after Eisenhower was elected, which feels somewhat relevant to me right now:
I am in a state about all of this. I comb the newspapers. I listen to the commentators. And I get into fights all over the place. If a Republican knows his place and hates McCarthy and wishes to God Eisenhower would get more aggressive about these bastards, well and good and I will admit him to the brotherhood. If he says nasty things about Truman (who is rapidly becoming the Man I Love although I have been sore enough at him in my time) or still thinks taxes are coming down and we can get out of Korea and we ought to fire all the Democrats in Washington and don’t worry, McCarthy-ism will blow over or alternately Where There’s Smoke There’s Fire—well, dear, I am no lady and I argue loudly and lose my temper and it’s disgraceful.
Tags: ,
For a revenge driven conspiracy nut

there's something lonesome about you

I've started this entry about five times now. The past few days, after the black hole of despair that was Wednesday, I have veered between running off at the mouth and being unable to speak, so I suppose that's at least consistent. Wednesday, my big accomplishments were only crying while I made my bed and making it to work. Fortunately (I guess?) this week is the busiest week of my year, every year--the set up for a big silent auction that runs for the next month. So I was able to throw myself into something during the work day that kept my mind from running off the tracks with horror. And I did put in some long days, only partly to avoid the potential to scream inchoately in my apartment.

I'm not here for jokes about moving to Canada. This is my country, too. I am a real American, too, whatever "real American" means. I'm not going away.

In terms of responding pragmatically, I donated to the ACLU and I have set up recurring monthly donations to Planned Parenthood, the Southern Poverty Law Center, and Lambda Legal, and I have encouraged my friends to support organizations that are important to them as well. I have hopefully shared a bit of understanding with my moderate friend - I am eternally the flaming liberal of our friends group - as to why so many people are now living in fear.

I am trying to determine how to react on a local level, what to do, how to help. One of my high school classmates posted on Facebook that she was a beneficiary of DACA, which is the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals/"Dreamers" executive action that protects people whose parents immigrated without documentation and brought them over as children. I grew up with her. She doesn't know if she will be deported, leaving her three children in the US without her or a family support network.

The scale of our failure here is what I am struggling to cope with. Crying again thinking about it, although at least that is the first time today. Yesterday it was because I read an article comparing this moment in time to the aftermath of Lincoln's assassination on post-Civil War Reconstruction, which suggested Americans fifty years from now will one day look back on the eight years of the Obama era as a "tragic moment of lost promise, a failed opportunity to build a more just and equitable society." (source)

Ah, Jesus. That's still rough. I keep reminding myself that Clinton won the popular vote, which sometimes helps. It means there are more of us than there are of them.

For the first couple of hours, every time I thought to myself, "President-elect Trump," my mind slipped off the phrase like it was oil-coated. I kept thinking about her having to call him at 3 in the morning to concede the election. I was genuinely sick to my stomach most of the day. Just the thought of it. I have made myself get accustomed to the knowledge that yes, he is going to take power in January, yes, he is going to have complete control over our executive, legislative, and judicial branches of government on the federal level, yes, his cabinet is probably going to destroy the earth and possibly NATO.

Of course, I also participated in that most useless form of Internet activism, the signing of a petition requesting the Electoral College (THE MOST RIDICULUOUS, ANTIQUATED, UNDEMOCRATIC--stop it) support the popular vote and elect Clinton.

I actually have signed three Internet petitions today, although at least one I expect might have some positive outcome. It was from my college, looking for support to turn Oberlin into a Sanctuary Campus. My college has an internationally renowned conservatory attached to it, which incidentally received a Medal of the Arts from Obama a few years back, and a large part of the student body, at least when I was there, is international.

I was raised in and live still in the rural South. The first presidential election I remember is the 2000 election. One of my most visceral memories is watching the 9/11 attacks in my social studies class in eighth grade and the boy next to me excitedly saying, "We're going to wa-ar, we're going to war." And I think I am less afraid of what is going to be done to us than I am of what we are going to do to everyone else.
Black: like my mood.

the fuck

Bit of radiator broke off into radiator hose and all antifreeze leaked out. Arrived at my parents' house last night in a literal cloud of smoke, feeling like Harry Dresden. Fortunately, replacement radiator was only $57 on eBay. Dad thinks the place that changed my oil last month broke it and tried to hide it by moving the hose clamp and had to be restrained from Hulking out. Now I gotta find a new place to get my damn oil changed.

Very much looking forward to my intro to meditation class next Saturday.
Here's another fine mess you've

Help needed

kita0610 is one of the kindest, funniest people I have ever known, and on top of dealing with breast cancer and chemo, her family has just suffered a brutal and unexpected loss. This GoFundMe page is to raise the cost of travel expenses to get her and her husband to his brother's funeral. Help if you can. If you can't, please share the link.

GoFundMe page is here.