Category Archives: random tidbits

Honoring the Good

Breakups suck all around, but queer breakups are probably the most heart-wrenching.

We queers have a unique brand of co-dependency. It’s hard to explain to the rest of the world, but we get into each other’s skin and become each other’s life-breath. It is the best thing in the world when you’re in it, and the suckiest thing when it ends.

The breakup feels like a part of you has been ripped out. You feel off balance afterwards. Something very important is missing: your counterweight, your partner, your best friend.

This might make you angry, make you lash out, make you block out the other person. Or you might become super clingy and call or text the person every day to tell them that you miss them.

Porkchop and I reacted in very opposite ways during and after our breakup, which is appropriate because we were always each other’s counterweight.

But now we’re hitting our stride and becoming real friends again. I can’t speak for Porkchop, but the process for me was quite a struggle.

I’m at a good place now, though. I feel peaceful with honoring the good of our relationship and cutting each of us slack on the bad.

Shit happens, neither of us is perfect, and what matters most is the here and now. And now I’m glad to have my friend back. The person who knew me better than anyone else in the world, and still does. I don’t have to use words around Porkchop, I just have to breathe and be in the silence.

What Porkchop Gave to Me

To honor the good, I’ve compiled a list of things that Porkchop taught me during our relationship. This is non-comprehensive and a bit jumbled:

  • How to express pure love.
  • How to be affectionate.
  • How to express happiness and joy and not be so damned serious all the time.
  • How to talk about my feelings instead of running away.
  • How to set type.
  • How to be a printmaking assistant.
  • How to sing backup vocals to Jackson 5 songs.
  • How to pick the freshest bags of Nibs and little chocolate donuts at gas stations.
  • How to plan a kick-ass vacation.
  • How to watch an ice hockey game.
  • How to do a wrist shot.
  • How to sometimes leave things messy.
  • How to judge when a Mt. Dew has been in the freezer long enough to be just the right about of slushy.

————

Hi! This is Porkchop…  It’s October 8th, and today would have been our 12th anniversary. Some people may wanna just sit and sulk on a day like today. But I say screw that! Today is the day that I first started loving Carrie. And a little breakup doesn’t change that. She’s my best friend… the one who understands me the most… the one who knows me like the back of her hand. She’ll always be a part of me. And I think that should be celebrated. So I am re-branding today,  “Amanda and Carrie Day”…. and I’m gonna continue celebrating it every year.

I’m so lucky to have Carrie in my life…. and I’ll never forget everything I’ve learned from being with her. Here’s a very small sampling of:

What Carrie Gave to Me

  • Balancing a checkbook and paying bills on time is probably for the best.
  • Sometimes when you work for a computer company… you may train on computers.
  • Good chocolate is actually amazing… not Hersheys… but real, good chocolate.
  • Making a bed makes you feel good… and it’s worth the time.
  • Temper tantrums are for two-year-olds. Throwing things is never acceptable.
  • Dierbergs > Shop N Save
  • Sometimes it’s nice to just sit… and not talk.
  • There are vegetables in the world. And they are probably good for you.
  • Some people clean their mini-blinds… and the blades of their ceiling fan.
  • Maybe it’s not best to have Mountain Dew after 3pm.
  • Who gives a shit what other people think?
  • Don’t be afraid to try new things.
  • Love. Be Happy. Enjoy each and every day with your loved ones. You never know when it will be your last.
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Tumbling Tumbling Tumblewords

The words spill out my eyes and ears; my fingers can’t keep up with the clickety-clack in my head.

The stream shut off in March. March 27 to be exact because I recorded it here. I shut off the words, shut off my feelings, shut off some people. Packed it all in and turned it off.

But the blockage has been unstopped, uncorked, and the words come unfettered again.

I could write here 10 times a day, fill up boxes of journals, and I still don’t think I’d have enough space to write down everything.

I move through the world thinking thinking thinking in paragraphs and feeling in compositions.

If I’m silent around you, it’s because I’m typing in my head. I don’t know how others think, but I type. And sometimes I get all OCD and have to type only words that are balanced between my left and right hands. Type is actually one of the most satisfying words because the left hand bookends the right so neatly, and everything is up on the top row of the QWERTY keyboard. I’ll take any word, but a nicely balanced one is a trophy, a prize to be savored and retyped again and again.

PS If you’re not on to me, I have a confession. Sometimes I write these posts at night when wordiness is best, and then schedule them to be published in the morning. TRICKSTER! While sometimes I write at 4:30 am, I’m usually not up posting things at 6:00 am. Because that’s just plain ol’ nutty and I’m not nuts.

Sunny Sunday Sun

I want to bottle up this October sunshine goodness and stash it under my bed.

Instead I stroll out for four repeats of Cat Power’s Manhattan.

I walk with the beat, face up to the sun, close my eyes, sing along.

Run zig-zag across the streets to stay in the warmth.

I smile, sigh with contentment, stretch out in this skin and these bones.

For a while, I forget that Cherokee Street is not my own private living room.

From another walk today. Chalk art in Benton Park.

Now is the Best Place to Be

Yesterday was a very good Saturday of randomness.

There was volunteer work in the morning, and even though I spent 3 hours doing nothing but freehand ceiling-wall trim work and half of the group cut out early, I enjoyed working with some of my fellow OT students (the responsible ones who stayed to clean up, that is).

Back at the house, there was a perfect little present from a friend waiting in the mail for me! After that, there was an unexpected lunch invitation from another friend. As a bonus, he picked up the tab at El Bronco. After touring his new loft at WireWorks, I went to the Mud House for homework and a gluten-free cookie.

As a homework break, I roasted chestnuts that Porkchop’s girlfriend’s parents foraged at Creve Coeur Lake. Served with hot apple cider, it was the perfect little snack. Also, as opposed to my previous chestnut-roasting experience, this time I neither cut off part of my thumb nor caused a minor explosion in the oven. Definitely a success.

Nommers!

Keeping Up

When my friend and I were walking back from El Bronco, we were talking about exercise and how walking is so much more common in Europe. My friend was walking at a good clip, and I stepped it up to keep apace (also to appear European with my fast-walking). He commented on how I must be walking a lot because he could barely keep up with me. Then I laughed and said that I could barely keep up with him. Unconsciously, we were both trying to keep up with the other and this resulted in something akin to a power walk race. Afterwards, I thought about how this illustrates so much of my life in the past 5 months.

Convenient Conduits

I was also struck while reading my textbook about intentional use of self. In the section about managing difficult client behavior, the author writes about how therapists must remember that we are often only a convenient conduit for what is most likely a predetermined pattern of behavior.

It’s an obvious observation, I suppose, but wow. It really opened up my mind. I’m going to keep this as my mantra whenever I interact with my family.

Ewww

I paid a whopping $3 for this drink last night while having dinner at Whole Foods, and I really really really wanted to like it.

Pretty! Deceptively so.

But it was the most vile drink I’ve ever had. Really, I can’t think of anything grosser. I ended up discarding the rest, which hurt my soul a bit.

This morning I’m off to spackle and paint at a group home in St. Charles, and then it’s homework homework homework for me.

A wall of homework stretching through Tuesday evening.

I would say I don’t like it, but I’m glad to have an excuse to be a big nerdy introverted homebody (read: my real self). Maybe I’ll fit in some This American Life and knitting along the way.

Also, the nursing home visit went quite well! I surprised myself with my therapeutic use of self skills amid the geriatric set. However, there was no custard because we were crunched for time on the way back. Sadness.

POS SPSS

When considering with whom I should pair up for my stats lab, I chose another older student who is pretty laid back about stuff. What I didn’t realize is that he is an amazing curser.

I hang out with some pretty good swearers, but this guy’s cursing is gold. Which is awesome because I’m amused during our lab work rather than bored out of my mind.

Picture a computer lab full of young, hardworking, shiny students, and then me and my partner in a corner. I usually look like something the cat dragged in, and he hulks over the computer with his 6′ 5″ frame. All the other students are la-di-da stats la-di-da while a stream of expletives comes from our corner, all said in a hard Baltimore-New York-Chicago hybrid accent:

Goddamn piece of shit motherfucking SPSS you fucking piece of shit. Fuck you Excel and your goddamned fucking copy and paste shit, fuuuuuuck youuuuu. Motherfucker. Fuck. I’m going to fucking tear this up, shitty SPSS. Goddamn motherfucker.

The usual wrap up is:

Fucking stupid stats tables. Fuck them motherfuckers pieces of shit. Hey, do you want to grab some lunch from the food truck?

I chuckle. A lot.

Two-Step Anarchy

Porkchop recruited me for a two-step class, and the first one was last night. This is part of our independent projects of Trying New Things. And for me, Get Out of My Comfort Zone.

Guess what? My dance skills have not improved at all.

I’m a whiz at the emo head-bob dance. I can even move my lower body. However, paired dancing is a totally different story.

I was paired up with a bossy lesbian who said things like, You have to follow and let me lead.

As my stats partner would say, screw that motherfucking piece of shit dancing.

Seriously, I have a problem following, but I don’t want to lead either. I realized on the drive home that I’m more of a dance anarchist. I’d much rather have a collective team rather than a leader and a follower. But I suppose that wouldn’t really work.

Also, there was a lot of lesbian talk during the session. Groan. Queers: where are you?

Pony Up

On the way home from two-stepping, I cranked up this song and smiled.

Carrie Brownstein, come take me away.

Song for Today

What I’ve been listening to. I think only Porkchop can truly appreciate my Cat Power benders. Someone needs to turn this off for me.

Oh Hey

Starting, starting, starting again!

To avoid the overwhelming sense of writing a post about everything, I’m going to pretend like I just posted the other day.

School continues to be intense, and I continue to engage in procrastination and self-sabotage by staying up too late and not being productive on my non-class days. But that’s alright.

I feel totally engaged in life, and I love it. For so long, I felt as though life was just happening to me. Now I feel like I’m determining my course, and it’s quite exhilarating.

Sometimes I stay up too late, sometimes I drink too much, sometimes I smoke too much, sometimes I want too much, sometimes I fuck up. And I love it all.

Sometimes I cook tasty things.

Image

Sometimes I go rock climbing.

Image

Porkchop introduced me to the climbing.

ImageBuddies again!

(Is it just me, or does WordPress totally suck now? Apologies for wonky formatting.)

Starting this Again

If anyone still reads this, hello! I’ve decided to reopen this joint because I want to write again, but starting a new blog didn’t feel like the thing to do.

So here we are again.

I have many new changes to report in my life, starting with…

Antidepressants

The Celexa generic was messing with my body big time, so I tapered off it beginning mid-April. It helped me through some rough spots, but the side effects became too overwhelming for me. These included:

  • Night sweats. Horrible night sweats. The worst occurred during dosage changes, and I often had to change pajamas six times during the night because I was soaked through. Ew.
  • Feeling cranked up all the time. I was a machine on citalopram. Sleep? Who needs it? Tired? What’s tired? Some people might see this as a good thing, but I’m so happy to become tired and sleep.
  • Inability to orgasm. Yeah, that sucked and was unacceptable.
  • Menstrual cycle wackiness. One month I was a week late, and the next month I was two weeks early. The early period freaked me out, and I was ready to go to an urgent care clinic for some sort of weird internal bleeding. Then I realized it was my period. Two weeks early.

I’ve been off the pills for a while and feel great. The tapering down week was the weirdest ever. Night sweats meant little sleep, and my head felt all zappy. Little lightning strikes would move through my brain. Such an odd feeling.

School

I was accepted into the Masters of Occupational Therapy program at Washington University! Hurrah!

Orientation starts August 23, with classes beginning shortly thereafter on August 28. I’m excited and anxious and looking forward to quitting my  job on August 10. Just four more weeks, which I hope are long and short all at the same time.

House Stuff

Taking care of the house and yard by myself is tough work, so the yard is dying, the garden barely exists, and weeds run amok. Those things kind of suck, but I’m too distracted by other things to get in the backyard and weed. Some things have moved down in my priority list, and that’s totally fine.

As of yesterday, I have a roommate! This setup could have the makings for a roommate comedy, but we shall see. The new roomie is young at 24, and she’s from a little town just 10 miles from where I grew up. If I’m not careful, my Bootheel accent could return. She also has a little Jack Russell terrier, which I think will be fun. A pet without the work! (Keetah now lives with Porkchop due to her inappropriate urination issue.)

Trips

For my birthday, I went up to visit friends in Minneapolis. The lakes and the greenness there were a welcome break from St. Louis. If I do end up moving to Minneapolis after my OT program, I’ll have a great group of built-in friends:

Minneapolis birthday dinner!

My friend Katie has a motorcycle, and we went on some rides around her neighborhood. The motorcycle helmet totally dwarfed my head:

Helmet heads

Knitting

I still try to get in regular knitting sessions. Over the weekend, I started Leftie. I can see myself making a few of these using different color combinations. This is my first:

Fun new shawlette in the making.

Relationship Stuff

In April, I started to try out online dating, and it’s been rather successful. Also complicated.

I started out wanting to try for another long-term relationship right off the bat. It’s what I was used to, and I thought it was what I wanted. Then I actually went on a couple of dates, and I realized the idea of an LTR felt suffocating and claustrophobic. Also, monogamy…I realized that I’m not feeling it. And I might not ever feel it again, and that’s totally okay.

Together, these two realizations were a rather big shift. But then I let myself come to another realization: that it’s okay for me to explore my attraction to men.

Men! Crazy, right?! It took a lot for me to give myself permission to do this, and it helped that a new good friend of mine was going through a similar process at the same time.

Right now I have a couple of new relationships forming, both with men. I had been seeing a woman for six weeks or so, but I just wasn’t feeling it. Part of not feeling it was specific to the person, and part of it was due to the fact that she was a woman. I’m still queer – no need to worry about that! – but I’m just feeling kind of meh about women at the moment.

Summary

In short: feeling good, going to school soon, quitting my job soon, dating men. It’s a crazy new world out there.

On Stolen Time

I’m in a bit of a crunch time at work with nearly every minute planned out, so I’m stealing a few minutes to post on this here neglected blog.

Yesterday was a big event at work, and then we have a conference that starts Sunday night. So…I’ll be clocking around 8 hours on Sunday, 14 hours on Monday, and 10 on Tuesday. Then I have a test Wednesday night. And then, then! I leave for Minneapolis on Thursday for a good five days! Hurrah!

Last weekend was my dad’s birthday, so I went down for a visit. The big difference for this trip was that I flew! Yes, there is now a flight between St. Louis and my parents’ town in northeast Arkansas. February is the first month of service, and round-trip tickets are promotionally priced at $50. Sweet!

Little plane!

The plane, as you can see, was small. Teeny. Seats for 8, and don’t even think about a bathroom or beverage service. Pictured above is the plane I rode in on the way down. It was once the private plane of the governor of Maine (hey, that rhymes), and had big, comfy leather seats that swiveled around and laid all the way back. It was rather luxurious.

One nice thing about the teeny planes is that they cruise at such a low altitude, you have plenty to look at during the flight. Stuff like…farmland.

Farmland all around

There was more farmland, but I only took one picture during the flight.

When leaving Jonesboro, I remarked to my parents that there were no security measures at all. Not even a wand. While glad to take my full water bottle on board, I couldn’t believe it. Upon arriving in St. Louis, we found out that any passengers with connecting flights had to go through security there because Jonesboro doesn’t have any TSA stuff going on. Just think of all the stuff I could have smuggled aboard had I only known!

Shoes

On Tuesday, I bought a new pair of shoes. This is rather monumental for me.

What is especially notable is that these shoes are shiny metallic and have a stylized bow on them. Apparently, this is the sort of shoe I wear now:

These shoes are prettier when not on my office carpet.

I’m also in love with a pair of bright yellow pants at Target, but they’re a tad too tight for comfort. These are surprising changes in the clothing front.

Journaling

For the past couple of weeks upon awaking, I’ve been writing a list of 10 things for which I’m grateful. Actually, I write down things that make me sad and angry too. The point is that writing them down is supposed to move you towards acceptance. I like this practice, but since I always spend some time free-writing afterwards, I either need to get up earlier or move it to the night.

I used to keep extensive, detailed journals, but I stopped quite some time ago. It’s been good, yet uncomfortable at times, to start again.

I’ve also been rereading parts of some old journals, and I’ve been quite struck at some of the keen insights I had way back then.

Journaling: it’s a good thing to do.