*grumble grumble*

Still alive, still kicking, back at my WordPress.com blog because I got distracted at the end of January (someone must’ve been shining a nickle in my eyes – that or a nice fluff of pocket lint) and didn’t renew my hosting. So anything that I wrote in January is gone (it’s a good thing I wasn’t updating all that often), but I was smart enough to backup everything at the end of December, so not much is lost. I had my old host point the DNS for my domain to my WordPress.com blog, so this is where I’ll be for awhile. At least until I get off my ass and sign up with Dreamhost again. I’ve been with them before and liked them quite a bit, plus my friend Michelle is with them and will get credit if I say she referred me, so it’s win-win!

Except for losing my January entries.

Anywho, part of the reason that I let my blog lapse was my stupid depression. While things had been going pretty well, especially with HotScienceGuy (seriously, I am constantly amazed by how fantastic he is), I noticed that I was getting very easily wound up over stupid things while having difficulty giving much of a damn about anything of importance. I realized that my Prozac wasn’t working as well as it had previously, which made me nervous because the thought of having to stop using a medication that I knew didn’t give me any side effects and move on to another one which was unknown to me was not a pleasant thought. When I ran out of Prozac in March, I decided to stay off it about a month, then refill the prescription and start taking it again, just to see if I could kickstart things again. I’ve been taking it again for a little over ten days now, so I’ll see how I feel in another couple of weeks. If it doesn’t seem to be doing me any good, I’ll talk to my doctor to see what she recommends.

While getting back on Prozac, I read a blog entry by Keith Wilson, the husband of my lovely friend Kim. Keith has been battling bipolar disorder for most of his life, but didn’t realize it until last year, when he went through a major breakdown. He’s been chronicling his struggle and journey and, while I haven’t followed him every step of the way, I have been reading and catching up when I can.

Back to the blog post – he wrote a sentence which leapt out at me and slapped me in the face:

In a nutshell, I really don’t give a shit about anything. When I do, it’s forced.

A big part of my depression is my brain racing around in circles about all the things I should be doing that I’m not, which digs me further into my depression. But not being arsed to care about things that are important to me and mine – while hating myself for not being arsed to care – is another huge component. When I can rouse myself enough to let people know that I really do care on some level, it’s very difficult and takes way more effort than it should, which brings out the self-loathing and, yes, burrows me deeper into that gawd-awful hole.

The thing is, I know my depression isn’t anywhere near as bad what other people have to suffer. As in many parts of my life, I’ve been relatively lucky in the Mental Illness Lottery – if anyone with any kind of mental illness can be considered “lucky.” But, as Keith wrote in an entry on Wednesday (which happened to be my 46th birthday):

If I’ve learned one thing since this journey started it’s that there are millions of people out there suffering the same thing. Whether it’s Anxiety issues, Panic, Depression, or any of the multitude of other conditions collectively labelled under mental illness, I’m just one in a million. My friends all know someone who suffers, some in silence, some are very vocal. I tend to be one of the vocal ones. Yet I feel alone.

That’s the issue with many of us suffering from depression or any kind of mental illness. Even when I know I’m not alone, it certainly doesn’t feel that way. I feel like I suffer it in the dark and maybe that’s where I should fight it as well.

But I don’t have to.

Not only do I have friends who are going through the same thing and aren’t afraid to talk about it, I have friends who are there to support me and help me, if I would just allow them to do so. They may not suffer from mental illness themselves, but they know others who do, whether it be friends or family members. They may not know what I’m going through exactly, but they are compassionate human beings who understand that my struggle with life is just different from theirs and doesn’t make me a lesser person.

And I have HotScienceGuy.

There is this fear that, the more he sees what a mess I can sometimes be, the more he’ll realize that I’m just too much to deal with and will disappear. But that hasn’t happened. If anything, he’s shown me time and time again how much he loves me and that my issues aren’t going to scare him away.

While my past boyfriends have been good people, I have to say, I really lucked out this time.

I’m trying to think of a pithy way to wrap up this post, but nothing comes to mind (proof positive that I really need to work out my writing muscle). So just a huge shout-out to my awesome friends and to my fantastic boyfriend. In so many ways I’m a very fortunate person. Thank you to all of you.

but there is this gap…

Last month I linked to a word graphic which quoted Ira Glass. It talked about The Gap that all beginning writers are confronted with – being people of good taste in reading, they aspire to be as good as the writers they admire, but, being new, are frustrated by the lackluster writing that all beginning writers put out. And so they quit.

I’m here to tell you that it’s not just beginning writers who run into the brick wall that is The Gap. Rusty writers bust their nose on that damned wall too. Rusty writers such as myself.

For way too long I barely wrote. I lost my creative self and didn’t know how to find it again. Now that it’s coming back to me now (along with visions of lightning, billowing curtains and a motorcycle crash), I look at things I’ve begun and get frustrated by how…not that good they are. I can’t even find the throughlines of novels I’ve started in the past. Where was I going with this story? Why is this character the way she is? Is this even interesting? And so I close my word processor and go back to surfing the internet or I stretch out on my loveseat to watch TV, Edison curled up on the armrest above my head.

On Saturday I went on one of my weekly long walks with Sarriah and during the mandatory coffee break we talked about many things, as we often do. Amongst our topics was writing. She’s always managed to keep writing, no matter what, and while I’ve always known that her perseverance is largely due to her being much more disciplined with writing than I am, I still wondered how she managed to keep at it and how I could find my inspiration again.

“Carol, do you want to write?”

“Yes.”

“Then write. Don’t wait for inspiration. Just do it.”

Simple words. And yes, much more was said, about my overwhelming need to write something unique and how I’m letting that stop me from writing at all, along with so many other words. But the final point of it all is that, if I’m going to write at all, I just have to start again. And keep going once I start.

And thus is the genesis of a new section to my blog: writing prompts…

It is where I choose to place the results of my writing exercises. Some may be very good. Some may be very bad. And some may be very average. There will be fiction and personal memories and who knows what all.

I hope they provide entertainment to y’all.

doh!

Sometimes I am not the brightest bulb on the tree.

WordPress has a new update that I was considering installing. Before I did so, I backed up the entries on my blog. Cause I’m smart like that.

(Sometimes.)

I thought it would also be a good idea to back up the database for the blog as well. Unfortunately, I selected something I shouldn’t have selected, clicked on whatever it was that would have made the back up happen and…

I wiped out my database.

Crap.

Luckily it didn’t take much to reinstall WordPress 2.6 and import my previous blog entries. I may have fallen from the Stupid Tree, but I was close enough to the ground that I didn’t hit too many branches on the way down.

Now the only thing I really have to do rebuild my sidebars, which is a pain in the ass, but not as much of one as losing all the entries I’ve written since I started the new URL would have been. A plus? I get my categories back after an ill-fated attempt to do something fancy a few months back, which turned them all into tags, which I found I liked a lot less than the categories.

I guess I’m not the dimmest bulb on the tree either. *phew*

However, the people mentioned in this YouTube video just might be:

oh joy oh rapture…

So, I went to the doctor yesterday to see what this big red bump over my eyebrow is. This big red bump that is getting bigger and more painful every day since it first started developing on Friday afternoon.

It’s staph.

Oh joy.

I’ve got anti-biotics to help eradicate the buggers. It’s pretty itchy so I’m trying very hard not to scratch it. I even slept with gloves on last night so I wouldn’t scratch it in my sleep. And I’m practically attached to my little bottle of hand sanitizer to keep from spreading the bacteria, just in case. But damn, this thing is bugging the hell out of me.

Still, as I told HSTeacher last night, it’s probably a good thing that, if I was going to get staph, it showed up on my face. If it were on my back or my buttocks, where I can’t really see it or where I’m especially cushy, it would have taken longer for me to notice it and to get it treated. As it is, it was caught before things got really bad.

Doesn’t mean I’m not concerned about the location. The swelling is even a little bigger than it was yesterday and is putting pressure on my eye. If it hasn’t started improving by tomorrow, I’m going back to the doctor and seeing if I can get this thing lanced or something. Because I’d rather it not start messing with my vision. I just got these cute glasses and I ain’t giving them up.

starting to calm down just a tiny bit…

…some of the fires in Southern California, I mean.

Many of them are still ferociously blazing, unfortunately: the worst of them in San Diego County, for instance. But apparently the winds are finally starting to die down in L.A County, allowing the firefighters to start to get an upper hand.

Many have said this, but it’s true: this is the worst fire season that I’ve ever seen. I’ve lived in Southern California since 1977 and many fire seasons have come and gone, but so many fires simultaneously springing up over such a wide area is unheard of in my recollection. When I first heard about how broad an expanse the various fires covered, my first thoughts were arson. It looks like that may be the case in several of the fires. These are the sorts of people who need to be strung up by their most sensitive body parts and left alive for a very long time.

No one I know has yet been affected, which is of the good, but I still feel for everyone who’s been affected. If y’all want to help out and haven’t done so yet, please do.

*************************

On a less positive (and far more cynical) note, while I’m happy that the folks in San Diego County who are being displaced have found shelter at Qualcomm – amongst other refuges – I am furious that this sort of coordination and level of help wasn’t available to the folks profoundly affected by Katrina. Granted, part of it is that the head of FEMA in 2005 was an idiot who didn’t have the first clue of how to organize a sock drawer, let alone such a vitally important federal emergency agency. The current FEMA chief comes from an emergency response background and shows signs of competence that is stunning for anyone appointed by Bush and Buddies.

However, that doesn’t excuse the continuing lack of attention paid by the federal government to the fine folks in New Orleans and the surrounding areas. There’s no reason why ALL the federal attention is going to the displaced in Southern California and none is being diverted to NO. Well, no good reason. The only other thing I come up with – besides FEMA being run by someone who knows a thing or two about fires – is that the areas hardest hit by the fires are in northern San Diego County. And if’n ya know anything that area, you know that the residents are, for the most part, rich, white and Republican.

Cynical? Perhaps. But being “governed” by those currently in the Executive Branch has engendered a definite cynicism where none previously existed. Besides which, I, like many others, have seen how this administration caters to the wealthy and Republican. It’s certainly not beyond the realm of probability. It would also explain why the only people really doing anything to help the Katrina-ravaged areas are those who live there. People who, for the most part, are not rich, are not Republicans, and are less white per capita than the population of NE San Diego.

Again, I am happy that the displaced have got quality shelter. But the federal government still needs to turn their attention back to the Gulf Coast.

We’re ALL American citizens, Bush and Co. Don’t you dare forget it again.

grrrr. arrrgh.

I’m really into clothes and fashion. Not so much that I can name designers, mind you, but I tend to know what’s in, what’s out and what’ll look good on someone. There are numerous times I see people walking down the street and I really want to take them by the hands and show them how to shop for clothes that are current and suitable for their coloring and build. You know, like they do in the opening credits for What Not To Wear. At the very least, I think, “Did you dress in the dark this morning?” Because sometimes I see some truly heinous outfits.

Well, this morning, I not only must have dressed in the dark, but I may have even had my eyes closed. It’s the only reason I can think of for what I ended up wearing to work today.

See, it all started with these pants:

Yes, they’re verging on golf pants, but they’re still subtle enough so that they’re not very loud. And I like the pinkish and reddish stripes that run throughout the fabric. So much so that I thought I’d pair it with a shirt of this color:

Thing, I almost always wear that top with this top over it:

The colors are close enough that it usually looks good.

Except today, when I realized, after I was well on my way to work, that this is the predominant clothing combo that people would see:

That? Is just hideous. Too much pattern and too many colors. And to top (or bottom) it all off, I went with these shoes:

Which are very nice shoes, but so don’t work with the entire ensemble.

Good thing I’m not a celebrity. The ladies from Go Fug Yourself would be on me faster than Lindsay Lohan on would be on the Really Bad Idea Express.

unbelievable…

It’s now 2:01 pm.  Today has been so busy that I wasn’t able to look at Go Fug Yourself until two minutes ago.

TWO MINUTES AGO.

Y’all, that just ain’t right. GFY is my morning crack, right up there with Whatever and my regular webcomics.

The nerve…

i’m afraid of the internet…

…because I know Harry Potter spoilers abound.

I’ve just reread Order of the Phoenix and Half-Blood Prince in anticipation of the Order of the Phoenix movie (which I saw last weekend – warning: do NOT reread the book right before seeing the movie – no matter how good the movie might be, it’ll only pale in comparison) and Deathly Hallows (there may or may not be spoilers on this Barnes and Noble link – I don’t know and I don’t want to know – click at your own risk). Unfortunately, I can’t afford the latest book for a couple of weeks, thanks to various unexpected expenses, which means that every time I bring up Firefox, I risk stumbling across spoilers. Especially since pretty much everyone who’s a Potter fan pre-ordered the book, received it on Saturday at 12:01am and had it read by 5am, even though the book is eleventy thousand pages and weighs thirty pounds, because Potter books are notoriously fast reads.

As early as Thursday some dickweed posted spoilers on my beloved LOLTheorists without marking it as spoilers at the top of the entry or hiding it behind the jump. As soon as I saw two words that were Potter-related, I whisked myself away tout suite, but it was a close thing and, soon enough, someone took down the offending entry.

But now… Now that the entire universe – aside from me – has read the last Harry Potter book, my fear of the internet has reared its ugly head.

Someone hold me…

(PS – Please don’t do this to me. I WILL beat you down.)

quiz so clean you could eat off it…

Online Dating

This rating was determined based on the presence of the following words:

* dead (2x)
* sex (1x)

Mingle2Online Dating

For fuck’s sake. That’s bullshit.

(Maybe I should have written about Goatse double-penetration felch hentai. Yeesh.)

(Words of warning: if you don’t know what those words mean, DO NOT look them up. Trust me on this. BTW, I’m not about to tell you how many of those words I had to look up and which ones I already knew. Sorry.)

(Update: after publishing the above, I tried the quiz again:
Online Dating

This rating was determined based on the presence of the following words:

* dead (3x)
* fucking (2x)
* ass (1x)

Mingle2Online Dating

None of the flag words appeared in this entry. “Fucking” was the closest.

Quiz is whacked.)