Beltane blessings! (May Day!)

Greetings to you on the 2nd of May!

Yesterday was a holiday. It was Beltane, the last of the spring celebrations in the wheel of the year. It’s all flowers and maypoles and passion and honeybees… and, above all, fire. Beltane is a fire festival. It is the fire festival. There’s usually a bonfire somewhere in Beltane celebrations, but any fire will do if a bonfire isn’t possible! I kept candles burning all day.

A bit of background, for anyone who’s unfamiliar: Outside of the religions of Wicca and Paganism, Beltane is celebrated as May Day on the 1st of May, just as Samhain is celebrated as Halloween on the 31st of October. Beltane and Samhain are the two times of year when the veil between worlds is the thinnest, so both holidays involve traditions around protection from spirits… the spirits of the dead at Samhain, and the spirits of nature and the Fae at Beltane. The two holidays are not only direct opposites on the wheel of the year, but they’re also opposites in essence: Beltane is about celebrating life and fertility (of all beings, and of nature), while Samhain is about honoring death.

A part of my Beltane celebration was spending time outdoors in nature with Geronimo and Salem. Another part was baking. It was while I was baking that a bird hit the living room window. Again.

I hurried out of the kitchen to look through the guilty window, and I saw the little gray bird lying on his side on the patio, struggling. I didn’t know what to do. I went back into the kitchen, then returned to the window about 15 minutes later. There was no movement that time. The bird’s spirit had left his body. Suddenly, my day of celebrating life had been punctuated by death.

I felt responsible. (Why did I ask for a picture window in that huge window space?) It wasn’t the same kind of sad as Salem’s dove kills in the backyard. I wasn’t facing the disposal of days’-old, torn-apart pieces of large bird remains. It wasn’t nature that killed the little bird in the front yard. It was my window.

At dusk, I went out to the front yard and dug a tiny grave about a foot and a half deep. I tried to collect the bird gently, but his little head was stuck to the concrete with his dried blood… I believed that he’d broken his skull. I had to slip my fingers beneath it and work a bit to loosen it. (Yes, I was wearing disposable pandemic gloves.)

When I laid him down to rest in his grave, I said a prayer before covering him up, telling Mother Earth that I was returning to her the body of one of her children.

After that, I did some (alchemy) workings in the Beltane energy, then ate a Simple Feast of (vegan) vanilla cake, fresh strawberries, and ginger ale sweetened with extract from the stevia plant. Stevia.

It was a beautiful and magickal day overall. Even though.

Now, to end on a cheery note, I want to share these pics I’ve taken recently of the flowers in my yards. I’ve got a plethora of them!

First, the ones that are not in my yard:

Gerberas – flowers in the daisy family (which is associated with Beltane) obtained at the grocery store a few days ago.

Beltane colors are fiery and botanical: reds, yellows, greens, colors that happen to be in generous bloom all over my front and backyards.

Starting with Geronimo’s hibiscus! These plants are exploding! I’ve never seen so many blooms at once on all of the hibiscus plants.

Even this one by the back gate is loaded with flowers this year. It’s always been sparsely flowered.
Prickly Pear in bloom in the front yard, which is entirely carpeted in golden Palo Verde pollen.
Back to the backyard! The red hibiscus behind the burrow of a certain desert tortoise that I know.
Desert willow
Ruella
Verbena? Lantana? One of the two. I never know which.
Mesquite
Fig tree doing nicely!
Desert rose also doing nicely!

This desert rose looks like a Dr. Seuss flower, doesn’t it? What a wonderful character it is.

Happy Beltane Season to you, my friends.

Tomorrow night’s Pink Moon, April’s full moon! (and it’s a supermoon!)

Here in North America, April closes with the blooming of a tiny, ground-creeping wildflower that covers the ground thickly in a cloak of bright pink. Thus, Native Americans named April’s full moon the Pink Moon.

This year’s Pink Moon will rise on Monday the 26th (or Tuesday the 27th, depending on where you are), and it will round out this month of celestial wonders in spectacular fashion: this full moon will be a supermoon, closer to the Earth than average full moons, appearing large and low on the horizon as it rises. Check your local moonrise schedule to determine when you can expect to see it!

SkyView screenshot I took in the wee hours of the 25th, the day before the full moon

Rising in the constellation of Scorpio (element of water) while the sun is positioned in Taurus (element of earth), this full moon will bring challenges – growth-inducing tensions, let’s say – to us as Taurus’s earthy, grounding energies of the physical, material realm opposes Scorpio’s watery, esoteric energies of the spirit realm.

As a result of this polarity, this particular full moon presents us with a unique opportunity to engage in shadow work, to bring out our shadow selves… our dark selves that we’ve repressed in order to avoid emotional pain. Shadow work involves looking inward with a magnified intuition in search of the root causes of our emotional blocks and drives, whatever they may be.

In other words, this is a good time to address our inner demons, not with the goal of driving them away, but with the goal of acknowledging and accepting them. Rather than fixing our inner demons, we can work with them, and we can work to heal from them.

This is not easy. Shadow work is work. It’s facing ourselves and working through trauma, the toughest sort of spiritual work we can undertake. In my humble opinion, a good way to start shadow work is to work with a therapist, whether a traditional Western therapist, a metaphysical therapist, or a church counselor. We can delve into shadow work as a part of our solitary spiritual practices, certainly, but it’s always good to add in the assistance of an expert, if possible.

There’s a lot of talk about self-love floating around. The full moon – especially the energetic powerhouse of a supermoon – rising in Scorpio while the sun is positioned in Taurus serves as a reminder that self-love includes love of our shadow selves.

It’s scary making space for our inner demons to breathe, I know! I’ve been working on mine for most of my life. It’s a process that I’ll continue indefinitely. For me, tomorrow night’s rising of the glorious Pink Moon will be a time for quiet celebration, reflection, and gratitude.

Happy full moon-viewing, and merry meet again, my friends.

Love your mother. (Earth Day 2021!)

Happy Earth Day 2021, my friends!

In recognition of Gaia, the ancient Earth goddess….

She is the first Goddess, Gaia,
our mother, Mother Earth.
She is our Ancient Mother, and she needs us right now. This is her time of need! Sadly, it’s been her time of need for a very long time, and she’s worsening.

What, as an individual, can I do for her?

I already recycle. I’m already vegan. I already keep my driving to a minimum. I plan to go solar one day… that’s on the long-term list.

What I can do right now, I realize, is resolve to limit my use of synthetic resources. There’s more to this than bringing reusable bags to the grocery store, which I already do. I mean, I already do, but…
but then I’ll sometimes reluctantly ask for plastic bags, and I’ll put them inside my reusable bags. This is my Earth Day walk of shame for all of you to see, my friends: I ask for plastic bags at the grocery store every so often because I use them for the waste that I scoop out of Nenette’s litter box.

A couple of week ago, my feelings of wrongness regarding this finally got to me, and I purchased a hefty packet of brown paper lunch bags. I didn’t know what else to do. When I looked up “eco-friendly kitty litter bags,” I found bags designed for the purpose. The problem is that I’m not confident that they’re okay. They’re made of plastic, I believe, and technology aside, plastic is synthetic. Maybe I’m not understanding it; I’ll do more research. All I know for now is that I’m using up the plastic grocery bags I have left, and then I never want to see a plastic grocery bag in my house ever again. I’ll use the paper lunch bags until/unless I find a better way.

So there’s my Earth Day confession and intention.

To close, I’ll leave you with my movie recommendation in honor of Earth Day! Allow me to suggest Seaspiracy (Netflix Original Documentary).

The End… but not.

Thank you for reading, as always! Merry mid-week and HAPPY EARTH DAY!!

Paranormal encounter at work? (Possible ghost story.)

Greetings, my friends. I have a story to share with you. I actually meant to post this last night, but I couldn’t stay awake. Typical!

Something unexplainable happened at work last week Friday: I heard footsteps approach and pass as I was fixated on the task before me, and they didn’t sound right. I mean, they didn’t sound familiar, much less right.

(I wish to relay the story without workplace details, so please to excuse the vagueness henceforth.)

The footsteps sounded odd, like a sort of shuffling and gliding at the same time, and they were swift. They were gone within two seconds, as that’s how long it took for them to shuffle-glide past me.

My reflexive glimpse almost missed it completely; it was just at the outer edge of my peripheral vision that I caught an impression of black footwear and dull attire, some kind of pale neutral fabric with mottled dark patches. It looked dirty.

But it was the footsteps that made the back of my neck prickle. The way they sounded. The quick and light shuffle-glide. It was a walking cadence that I hadn’t heard before, at work or anywhere.

A chill went through my body. I had to take a deep breath.

I took a long step sideways to look around the corner, and I saw no one. Then I quickly moved to where I could see the expanse of space between my location and the front. I was afraid of what I would find, but I had to look! Sure enough, I saw most of my co-workers at the front end. Not only were they nowhere near me, but the footsteps had gone in the opposite direction.

Three co-workers were missing from my view, so I thought there was still hope for a logical explanation. One co-worker was on the other side of the space. It couldn’t have been him. Another one was on the side that I was on, but toward the front. It couldn’t have been him. When I ran into the remaining person, he said that it wasn’t him, and I believed him.

None of my co-workers shuffle-glided past me in old black boots and pale clothing dirtied with fading black splotches. Someone did, though.

Now, we all know how I love horror and all things spooky, but I’ve looked at this situation from every objective angle and can’t convince myself that I conceived of it somewhere in my subconscious. I do believe in ghosts and in the supernatual, in general.

Could it have been a ghost? Absolutely, especially since a couple of people had told me before that the place is haunted. I wasn’t thinking of this on Friday morning, though. My brain wasn’t set on high alert for ghosts, and even if it was, my body reacted to the incident in a fraction of a second, before I could formulate thoughts around the lore of hauntings.

And there you have it.

I don’t have a ghostly pic to share, but I have this pic of a spookyish corner of my bedroom:

Cozy corner

Merry Friday and weekend to you all!

When the dark side of the moon is also the brightest. (New Moon!) (In Aries!)

A new moon will rise tonight.

There won’t be a moon to see, of course. The moon is new when she’s aligned herself between the Earth and the sun, with her dark side facing us; new moon night is a dark, moonless night. Planting crops on the night of the new moon boded well for farmers, as the darkness allowed their planting activities to go unseen by plant-eating wildlife. I love this mental image of farmers working in the dark of night, planting their crops in secrecy.

So there won’t be anything to see, but there will be a lot to feel. We have an exciting and momentous occasion with this new moon, because the sun is in Aries right now!

The new moon marks the beginning of a new lunar cycle (there are 12-13 new moons in a year), and Aries, being the the 1st of the 12 astrological houses, opens the new astrological/solar year. The new moon is about goals and intentions. Aries is about springing to action. New moon energy is charged with potentiality to begin with, so imagine the new moon in Aries!

Aries is one of the three fire signs in the zodiac, and it’s the one that means business. This fiery sign is about doing. The new moon is about planning. If you want to change your life, now is the time! The new moon in Aries is the moon that lights the fire under our asses. The new moon is the catalyst, and Aries is the fuel.

We’ve been thinking, planning, preparing. Now is the time to start the doing, to take our plans and set them into motion. Aries encourages us to get out of our comfort zones, take risks, and dare to make changes, large or small.

Common examples:

Quit smoking or drinking or (fill in the blank). Change your dietary lifestyle. Start an exercise program/routine. Pursue new employment opportunities. Open a savings account and pay yourself every month (if you aren’t doing it already). Mark your calendar with the Ironman Triathlon (or whatever event) date and plan your training strategy! Change your hair color, your name; reinvent yourself. Re-decorate your home, or re-arrange your furniture. Start learning the instrument or the language or the (fill in the blank) you’ve always wanted to learn. Start school. Start writing your novel. Start auditioning for roles. Change your career path. Re-locate. Seek out new friends, whether in person or online; socialize more or in new settings or both. Start whatever new habits you’ve had on your “to start” list. Change your relationship status, if you’ve known for a while that you should. Work on yourself. The new moon in Aries is a tremendous time for self-improvement goals, in particular.

Whatever the case, we’re well-positioned to begin working toward our goals with focus, care, and intent.

(Note: If we set goals and intentions during the new moon – any new moon – and apply dedication and drive as we move forward with them, we should see signs of fruition at around the time of the new moon’s corresponding full moon… about six months down the line.)

All that said, Happy New Astrological Year! Let’s make the most of the new moon rising under the energetic influence of Aries!

50% vaccinated, 100% wiped out. (+Happy Easter!)

My plan yesterday was to go to the V.A. hospital after work for some prescription re-fills, and I did. My plan did not include getting the COVID-19 vaccine, but I ended up doing that, too. They were taking V.A. patients as walk-ins, and I was right there! Pfizer vaccine injection #1: check. My second shot has been scheduled accordingly.

Everyone’s different as far as vaccine side effects go. In my case, it’s arm pain much worse than from other vaccinations, capital-F fatigue, and an occasional stab of pain in my head. Mild nausea this morning. Mild body aches as we speak. I finally took some Tylenol for the arm pain toward the end of the day, but Tylenol can’t alleviate fatigue. It’s a strange feeling to be this lacking in energy.

So I’m heading to bed. No doubt I’ll be back to myself tomorrow.

Speaking of! Happy Easter to you who celebrate the holiday. I’m still reveling in Ostara, the vernal equinox, so I’ve been celebrating spring for a couple of weeks now.

I don’t want to take my Ostara wreath down, so it’s staying on my door for another little while.

Love the colored eggs in my wreath! Love the Germanic folklore behind the Easter bunny. There exists many versions of the pagan story and countless endings for it, but they all arrive at a bird who was turned into a rabbit who can still lay eggs. The egg-laying hare was created by Eostre, the German Goddess of Spring, so we have her to thank for our Easter traditions involving the Easter bunny.

With that, I’m signing off to get ready for bed so I can pass out in the appropriate place.

Until mid-week!

Tonight’s Worm Moon, the first full moon of spring.

With the thawing and melting away of winter, earthworms can emerge from the soil. Here in North America, Native Americans named the first full moon of spring the “worm moon” for this reason… and this year, it’s not just any Worm Moon!

The treat we’re in for this evening at moonrise will be a “Super Worm Moon,” because in a couple of days, the moon’s orbit will bring it as close to the Earth as it gets (perigree). If we’re lucky, we’ll chance to see the large orange sphere close to the horizon.

2021’s Worm Moon rises tonight, and I have plans.

I’m going to celebrate this powerful lunation with a blessing ritual. The Worm Moon marks an auspicious time for new beginnings and fresh starts in any year, but this year, there’s a unique circumstance lending added importance to “new beginnings.”

It’s been a year.

It’s been a year since shit got real with the pandemic. I’m looking at my 2020 planner and remembering that social distancing began on Monday the 16th, and we went into full lock-down on Monday the 30th (here in Arizona).

It’s been a year and we now have a vaccine available to the general population, but we haven’t returned to BeforeTimes normal. I don’t believe we ever will. As we level out into our new normal at this vaccine stage of our year-long virus ordeal, I’m feeling a special reverence for the Worm Moon and its correspondence with new beginnings and fresh starts.

As above, so below.

I obviously don’t have a personal pic of tonight’s moon to share with you, but yesterday I took a pic of my not-so-feral-anymore daughter and partner in all things magickal in the Realm of the Outdoors:

Salem

Because she’ll be with me tonight under the full moon, as always. She’s such a blessing. We’re all so blessed!

Merry meet again, my friends.

Ostara blessings! (Spring equinox joy.)

Let me start off with an apology for my absence this past week. I am sorry. No matter the reason for it, a missed post never sits well with me. Missing a post is missing you, and I greatly dislike letting you down.

Tomorrow – this whole weekend, actually – is the northern hemisphere’s Ostara, the spring equinox and spring sabbat… a joyous celebration in the Wheel of the Year! My spring flowers have dried beautifully, and I kept them to adorn my second altar. May we all revel in the season’s energy and abundance as it comes to us in various forms.

I love the spring equinox. It’s a transformative time during which nature gives us blessings of opportunities; it’s a time of renewal: new growth, new beginnings, fresh starts, and fertile ground for change. Late in the week I was suddenly overcome by the strong feeling that this weekend I should finally paint the wall I’ve been thinking about painting for months and months. I’m ready to do a thing that I don’t like to do in order to charge my space with fresh energy.

The wall in question is the kitchen side of the floating wall that separates the living space from the cooking and eating space. I chose a deep purplish-brown gray shade called Expressive Plum for this accent wall. It’s time to throw some color into that area of the house!

I’ve been in serious nesting mode lately. Spring is a time for nesting, after all.

Speaking of nesting, I didn’t see Geronimo for most of last week, as we’d been in the throes of a cold spell. Snow up in Flagstaff means nighttime Phoenix lows in the high 40’s/mid-50’s, and that, my friends, is a scenario that will return a desert tortoise underground to his cozy winter nest for a few more days. Geronimo went back to sleep and hit the snooze button.

It’s warmed up these last two days, though, and I got to see the back end of his shell when I looked into his burrow the other evening!

This is what I see when he’s deep in the back of his burrow on his way down into his subterranean palace :

 

Back end of a tortoise disappearing into his tunnels.

 

Can you see him back there?

So I missed him yesterday (and the day before), but today was Saturday, and I was home to bond with my precious scale-baby.

 

A spring tortoise is a happy tortoise!

 

And a spring tortoise with hibiscus petals stuck to his mouth is an even happier tortoise.

On that note, I’ll leave you to your spring equinox celebrations, however that looks in your worlds!

 

 

 

Good times in the spring.

It’s been a productive and relaxing weekend, which translates to mundanity when it comes to summing it up, I’m afraid.

Mundanity can be invigorating, though. It can make you feel victorious. Yesterday I surprised myself and spent more than four hours cleaning out and organizing nine drawers out of the 15 that I have between my bedroom and bathroom, plus my closet.

I didn’t premeditate this act of violence. My original idea of organizing just one particular drawer blossomed, and next thing I knew, I was surrounded by the inner chaos of these eight other drawers that had been in my back-burner sights for too long. I took everything out and piled it up on my queen-size bed and stepped back to regard and assess it. There could be nothing more motivating than spreading out and looking at the evidence of my negligence. It was an egregious display of wasted space.

I vacuumed out the drawers and wiped them down with a delicious apple cider scented natural cleaning spray before putting anything in them.

Then I went through my closet ruthlessly and purged it, too. (Again, yes.)

Finally got around to freshening my hair color at 10pm last night.

Laundry this morning involved a little bonding with Salem. She’d been napping in the laundry room (aka Salem’s Lot – her room), and I felt badly about flushing her out with my insistence on doing laundry. I fed her and we spent some time together and it was sweet. I took a few pics.

 

Salem this morning

 

Also Salem this morning

 

We’ve been in the throes of a cold spell, but the energy of the equinox vanquishes! Doesn’t it always? That’s the beauty of this season, and the reason why I love it. Spring is when we come alive, along with everything else on Earth.

My neighborhood is even livelier now, and it’s not just the spring birds. The people across the street moved out, and the next day, new renters moved in: an ASU bro-squad of three.

[Sidenote for any of you keeping track from posts of yore: Now there’s the five bros in the (now unofficial) bro-house next door, and the three new ones across the street. The two bros in the house next door on the other side are the long-term renters who are actual brothers (their father bought the house for them to rent while they’re in school).]

[/University neighborhood demographic status]

Anyway, the new people across the street have been feeling celebratory, and so they’ve been celebrating. They’ve been adding to the spring bird symphony, only theirs has a pretty sick bassline.

Good times energy is good.

 

 

Not single. Solitary.

I realize that there’s been something of a mystery here for you longer-time readers, and some of you have asked me about it: “The Mystery of Callaghan.”

You’ve noted that in recent months I’ve mentioned living alone, that I never talk about “we” anymore, and that my personal life/domestic life ramblings are in the singular.

Yes, we broke up. We separated a year ago, and he moved out last summer, and it was the best thing for us both. (He knows that I’m writing this here, so there’s no blindsiding with this post.)

I don’t consider myself to be single, because “single” implies that I’m available and open to meeting people, and I’m not. Rather than single, I’m solitary… happily, purposefully solitary. It’s my choice now to walk my path without a romantic partner, as I know that it’s a path best walked alone. At long last, I see this. I think I would have always made this choice had it occurred to me. I don’t need to be with anyone. Finally I’m at ease, free to be myself.

I’m experiencing a personal revival of sorts. I am blessed.

 

[09 March 2021]

 

 

The late afternoon sun struck oddly when I took these pics in the backyard yesterday, but the desert wind blowing my hair in every direction made everything feel magickal. Elemental. The ghostly wave of light coming up in the lower-right corner of the pics was created by the synergy of my crystal pendant and the sunlight as it struck from its particular angle. This isn’t the first time this has happened. My crystal pendant and the sun have a connection, and the camera picks up on it.

I’m so excited for my 60th birthday that I wish I could wake up to it tomorrow, but I have to be patient and grow as I need to in the next eight years before I reach that milestone. There’s an infinity of knowledge to be gained through experience, and I want to take as much as I can into my next decade.

Blessings to you all!

 

 

The grass is always greener on the other side of midnight.

This week has been a strange one, a week of mundane evening obligations mostly of a domestic nature. Things that “came up.” Someone coming to repair something. Spontaneous but urgent and necessary errands to run. I’ve actually missed workouts! I didn’t work out on Tuesday, Wednesday, or today.

Neither have I been online much these last few days.

Pain developed in my right eye yesterday afternoon, making screen-time impossible as the evening progressed. I shut my laptop and played one spread of Quiddler solitaire and tried to get to bed early. I turned off the lights just after midnight. I was actually tired, and I fell asleep feeling victorious!

The previous night, I got to bed just before midnight, and it was a fail. I was tired, but I wasn’t ready to sleep; trying to force sleep when I’m not passing-out tired never ends well. I become a hostage in a compound of anxiety, and the morning alarm rings brutally too soon after I fall asleep.

But it’s been a good week. I do feel the need to ponder my relationship with sleep yet again, recognizing that I’m a night owl by nature… nothing is going to change that. There must be a way to reconcile this with the fact that I need to get up early!

Before I go, I thought I’d share Nenette in her own sleep haze the other night when I (inadvertently) woke her up:

 

I woke her up. She still loves me, though.

 

Happy Weekend Eve, my friends!

 

 

Tonight, I come bearing cat pics. (Nenette’s horrible camera ordeal.)

I took some pics of my office for an upcoming “office updates” post this evening, and I tried to capture Nenette in the process. Since I know you’re all totally about cat pics, I thought I’d do the magnanimous thing and share a few!

Given Nenette’s unwillingness to have her picture taken, these seven pics constitute a whole extravaganza. Let us rejoice.

Here’s the caveat, though: Nenette’s loathing of the camera is apparent in these pics as her expression and demeanor change in each one. She’s more about attitude than action in these pics.

 

1). WARINESS.

 

Bloody hell, not this again…

 

2). ANNOYANCE.

 

MOM.

 

3). INCREDULITY.

 

Seriously WTF!

 

Then I had the audacity to get closer.

4). ALARM.

 

WHAT.

 

5). REFUSAL.

 

Here’s a plant leaf. I can hide.

 

6). IMPATIENCE.

 

MUST I?

 

7). RESIGNATION.

 

Fine. Here’s a pose. Now drop the camera and back slowly away.

 

The End. (Says Nenette.)

Until Saturday, then; the aforementioned “office updates” pics are forthcoming. I hope you’ll all staying well!

 

 

This is what it sounds like when doves cry. (Cleaning up after Salem.)

[Started writing last night; fell asleep….]

It’s been an interesting week as I went into it determined to stop procrastinating. I had a situation in the backyard to address, and Monday was the day.

At the end of the day, I started my Monday evening workout with a slight headache after spending more time than I should have picking up dead bird parts. They’re not going to pick themselves up, I’d reminded myself firmly when I got home from work.

Such as it was that I found myself crouched in the shade of the hibiscus late that afternoon. I was there with a pair of disposable gloves and a plastic bag. Salem had been feasting on white-winged dove, and mommy finally got off her ass and went out to clean it up.

I found that she’d decapitated the dove and eaten almost all of its body.

Native birds of the Sonoran desert, white-winged doves are as common in my backyard as the hummingbirds and the grackles. They’re large, and they’re beautiful. Their cooing melodies are beautiful. My (also beautiful) feral feline daughter is delighted with them, too. What’s dangerous for them is the watering hole, actually a large plant plate, from which Salem drinks. Birds congregate in it, on it, and around it in the hot months. It’s warming up now, and the doves are starting to visit. It’s going to be murder and mayhem around here all summer, I fear.

 

Salem at the watering hole. [10 Feb 2021]

 

 

I collected one large white-edged wing still attached to the sparse remains of the dove’s body, and its iridescent head – hues of lavender and teal shimmering on the bluish dove gray – from its resting place a little further away. Smaller chunks of bird lay here and there, and there were so many feathers. Feathers, and a carpet of down impossibly adhered to the large gravel, stuck to the sharp edges of the rocks. But I gathered up what I could, tied up the bag, and took it out to the dumpster in the back alley (which is also an apartment complex parking lot).

And that should have been the end of that.

But it wasn’t. It was only as I was coming back in that I noticed the rocky gravel at the back gate looking fuzzy, like the ground had gone out of focus. I stepped up to inspect and found the carnage of a second feast splayed across the threshold of the back gate, where Salem often lounges.

It was a birdplosion even more dramatic than the one behind the hibiscus. Again, a patch of large gravel rocks blurred beneath a mass of soft gray down and feathers. Another white-edged wing, mostly intact. I went into the house and got another bag.

Two birds, many stones.

Oh! One thing is for certain: the mystery of Salem’s lethargy and lack of appetite last week has been solved. I actually thought that I might lose her the day I came home and she wasn’t waiting for me at the sliding-glass door.

Every day when I come home from work:

 

Salem at the sliding-glass door. [10 Feb. 2021]

 

 

The day Salem didn’t come to the door for her dinner, I found her huddled against Geronimo’s burrow. She blinked “I LOVE YOU” at me, but she could barely raise her head. She wasn’t interested in eating. I set her plate down and went inside (perplexed, trying not to worry) thinking that she’d come to eat eventually. She didn’t.

I admit that I was quite worried. What was I supposed to think? She didn’t want to eat. She was slumped against the burrow, barely moving. She managed to lift her head and blink at me before putting her head back down, her face resting against the mound of dirt. If you knew Salem and her habits, you’d be alarmed, too. I naturally thought that something was wrong. Anyone would. Turns out that she was just in a food coma.

So the yard is clear now, and I’m relieved. Geronimo will come out of hibernation soon, as tortoises do, and the last thing I want to see is my scalebaby plowing through dead bird remains and coming out covered in feathers and down.

I hope you’re all having an accomplished week, too!

 

 

I’m going to bed early tonight. (This is not a joke.)

You’re not going to believe what I’m about to do. I’m about to get ready for bed.

It’s 9:35pm (21:35).

I’m wiped out. I did my Body Combat workout half-asleep this evening, though it was still intense. What do you call a half-asleep hardcore workout? Adrenaline.

I’ll be back tomorrow night!

Stay safe, my friends.

 

 

The post that wasn’t. (Isn’t?)

[:Ahem::]

If you could see the inside of my head right now!

I’ve been at odds with my own schedule since circumstances have taken me out of the norm these last two weeks, and today capped it off in grand style as a perfectly chaotic Saturday that had me running all over Phoenix metro (aka tarnation). It wasn’t bad, but it was stressful, and it was a lot. Thus I come to you empty-handed tonight. I do have apologies in hand, though. Everything should be back on track starting next week.

Keep taking care, my friends. I’ll see you on the flip side!

p.s. I do want to share this video with you, though. It’s the sound of snow falling on a lake. It’s almost weirdly lulling….

 

 

 

 

2020 – YEAR IN REVIEW.

There’s nothing I can say about the retreating year that everyone isn’t already thinking, but I’ll put it forth anyway since this is my 2020 “year in review” post:

2020 said, HAHA let’s start off the new decade with a shitshow! Its brightly anticipated, shiny-new-thing luster dulled quickly, as if we’d been sold a fake. After just three months, we couldn’t see our reflections in it anymore.

Then 2020 combusted in a raging dumpster fire that wouldn’t go out.

So now it’s 2021, but dumpster fires are disagreeable and rude, and this one’s no exception. It’s not about to be extinguished with the flip of a calendar, and it hasn’t. 2021 is 2020’s Act 2. If we’re lucky, the final six months of the new year will return us to normal, whatever that even is, so we can at least look forward to that.

For me, personally, though, 2020 was a wondrous year (despite starting out with pneumonia), and the fact that such a year could take place concurrently with a dumpster fire kind of says everything about my life, if I’m going to be honest and self-absorbed about it. The virus is scary and relentless and saddening, but it’s only because of it that I’m happy. I’m myself. I’ve settled into a state of contentment overlying a subtle frequency of thrill, like an energetic zen, and I’m in better physical condition than I was in the Before Times.

And no, I still have no plan to sign up for a gym membership once the All Clear is sounded. Taking my workouts from the gym to the living room made an amazing difference, dumbbells in my private space proving to be just as effective, if not more so, and the whole circumstance opening up a plethora of workout options that I can take whenever I please.

What I want to do in 2021 is to write more poems and to sleep more. Broken-record aspirations. I’m leery in the suspicion that these two things might be mutually exclusive. Maybe they aren’t. I hope they aren’t, because I’d really love to achieve both.

On a lighter note, I thought I’d scroll through the search terms that brought people here to my blog in 2020 and then share some of them with you. If you’re here because you found me using one of these search terms, thank you… and thanks for sticking around!

2020 TALC search term hall of fame:

1). body disposal scene with acid
2). ezema ginka porn
3). what do you get when you cross a flamingo
4). dinner short horror
5). does hydroen peroxide kill flesh eating bacteria
6). palm tree roaches
7). hydrogen peroxide vs flesh
8). aisian naked blog
9). veloceraptor save doors
10). bodycombat geronimo 69 (<– my personal favorite)
11). does hydrogen peroxide eat away at your flesh
12). yoga crotch shot
13). panic at the disco panic at the costco lyrics
14). flavor that comes from an insect
15). orange is the new black asian
16). victor the cleaner point of no return acid
17). reacher’s creatures
18). bradley cooper jack reacher
19). is body combat good for martial arts fitness
20). henry cavill

I love that someone found my blog when they searched for Henry Cavill.

I’ll sign off with this pic that I took when I turned around in my desk chair last night:

 

Spooky gothic evil garden votive candle holders on the left and right (courtesy of my job). In with the new!

 

I hope that your new year is off to a good start!

 

 

 

What you don’t remember won’t kill you. (After-the-fact birthday post.)

Sunday felt like a good day to have a birthday, and coincidentally, it was my birthday. So it worked out well. It was good.

For breakfast I had chocolate cake (that I made). Friends and family texted, messaged, and called. Caroline and I discussed Alice in Borderland, which we were both watching raptly on Netflix.

And Jessica gave me a Slytherin necklace that she crafted herself, which was funny because I’d been looking for a Ravenclaw necklace to give to her for her birthday.

And she also gave me a print of Henry Cavill as Geralt of Rivia, because she knows of my obsessions.

And I had veggie fajitas with extra guac and Mexican rice, and also a vegan New York cheesecake, complete with candles.

The day was a mystery in some sense. It was different than last year when I woke up on my 51st birthday feeling ever more slightly like an undead being than I did the year before, refreshed in the wake of the full half-century disappearing like vapor behind me.

On Sunday, I turned 52 and woke up in quiet surreality.

I feel like a stalactite made of lava, suspended and piercing. Or like a splinter of glass, crushable and dangerous. I don’t feel older, though it’s not an age or a span of time that I’m feeling. It’s a jolt.

Remembering how I proclaimed my satisfaction with past decades when I was in them. I liked aging in an abstract way, is what it was, and now what’s left is hindsight exposing the gruesome underpinnings of those years.

My 30’s, for instance.

Saying in the moment that I loved my 30’s even as I hated my high-paying job and woke up every week day already stressed out and unhappy about going in. Resenting Sunday because it forced me to think about going back to work the next day. Sick, sick, sick with autoimmune bullshit riled up by stress. Way too thin. I think back on it now and feel absurd. “I love my 30’s.”

It would be in someone else’s dream, if anyone’s at all, that I’d choose a radically different sort of job at 51 and love it and look forward to going to work every day because it’s fun and not a grind and not an infestation. It can’t be real to enjoy getting ready for the work week on Sunday, and yet it is. I used to suppose that everyone disliked Sunday for its portent of Monday. My experience now is the opposite, so I know that this isn’t true.

This (job) is one of the few great things that happened in the year that I was 51, this past year, 2020, which will otherwise go down in history as damned.

Quiet surreality.

52 and rid of the expectations that weighed like some obscene diamond-encrusted piano on parchment throughout my previous decades.

30’s: too old to qualify as a young adult, too young to qualify as an older adult. 30 being a milestone birthday heralded either by keen anticipation or foreboding doom. One way or the other, everyone feels some kind of way about turning 30. It’s a big deal to exit your 20’s.

I can see now that with my 30’s came a shadowy trickster of expectations of various sorts. And uncertainty and self-doubt and wondering is this it and shouldn’t I be doing (fill in the blank). And all kinds of clocks, each one telling time through the perspective and ideals of others, muddling my own sense of being in relation to the concept of time, and what I really wanted, and where I was in my life. My life.

For me, 50 was the more (most) impactful milestone birthday, and this decade isn’t terrible, as an ageist society might have you think. My (big life) decision-making skills are still (somewhat) lacking, but I’m proud of my survival skills, grateful for good luck (which I’ve needed due to said not-great decision-making skills). And it’s a relief to be an older adult now, no longer an adult in limbo. No longer an adult under scrutiny.

At 52, the expectations of others have mostly dispersed. I’m past the age….

Well, for me (as for most women), the big expectation was the having-babies one. Now I’m in my 50’s and people ask if I have kids and I say “no, not human ones” and it ends there, no follow-up questions. (But you DO want to have kids someday, don’t you?) At 52, I don’t have to explain that I had my spawning parts removed long ago, or why. At 52, there’s no need for clarification, no sequel of assumption or indignation, because there can’t be. “OH. Dual Income No Kids.” Or “You don’t want kids? WHY NOT?” As if living a childfree life was a sin, or at least a personal affront. Such judgment has ceased to matter. The question of babies was a bomb that finally fizzled out when I turned 50.

52, safely in my fifth decade and enjoying the fizzling-out of such questions and comments. Aging out of the window of expectations has been freeing.

Freedom in unexpected forms comes with being an older adult, I’m finding. That’s what they don’t tell you about aging. That things start to make sense. That you can develop more of an indifference to what others may think of you. That the way out is through. My 50’s are my reward for getting through my 30’s.

So my birthday was good. I got a lot of love. I didn’t hear from certain immediate west coast family members, but I couldn’t say that I was surprised, sadly, and overall it was too gorgeous a day to be crushed by the not-hearing-from.

And I’m continuing to work on my decision-making skills.

Like that.

Happy belated Birthday to me.

~~~~~

A couple of b-day selfies on my way out!

 

52nd birthday, makeup-less in the morning, in bed. I woke up late. [27 Dec. 2020]

 

 

I look like a floating face. ^ haha

 

52nd birthday, outside on the shaded back patio, early afternoon. [27 Dec. 2020]

 

 

Next time I come back here to post it’ll be January 2nd, so Happy New Year, my friends! 2021!!!

 

 

‘Twas the post before Christmas, and all was random.

It’s not the night before Christmas, but this is my post before Christmas, so I mainly want to wish you all a merry one. Christmas day marks one week before the new year, so we should have a merry one, indeed. It will be the dark before the dawn. 2020 is dying down at last, and I love a dark Christmas.

I’m in the honeymoon phase with my new desk, meaning that it’s still clean and orderly. I’m enjoying it while it lasts. I know that a person of the literary persuasion is stereotypically too engrossed in their craft to think of tidying the desk. A neat and clean desk in the office of a writer is suspicious. I promise that I’m a real poet and writer; I’ll declare my desk a disaster soon enough.

I’m in a good mood.

Sometimes all it takes is the memory of a quirky coincidence, like the time I drove home for lunch behind a pale-colored pickup truck with a white washing machine in its bed, secured with ties and facing me, and then, 15 minutes later, I drove back to work on that same street and found myself behind another pale-colored pickup truck transporting another white washing machine facing me. What are the odds that I’d drive down the street staring at a washing machine, and then drive back staring at a different-but-similar washing machine tied down in a different-but-similar pickup truck? Weird random coincidences like that. I only take one street to and from work, and that day, the universe said that I’ll make the short roundtrip lunchtime jaunt behind some pale pickup truck transporting some backwards-facing white washing machine or another. (No, the universe was not telling me to do my laundry. I’d done it recently.)

Outlook makes the difference between inane observation and amusing coincidence, is what I’m saying. If the washing machine thing is any indication, my outlook is positive these days. These months, actually. The washing machine thing happened a few months ago. Yes, I’m easily amused, BUT.

I’m in a good mood, and I’m also feeling somewhat restless. I have big feelings about big things that I can’t talk about. I want to share everything with you, but I have good reason for keeping certain things under wraps for the time being.

Today I went to the V.A. to have my annual mammogram, which revealed the cold hard truth that I’m never going to be a contortionist.

Also at the V.A. today, I went to the pharmacy to pick up some refills along with a new medication. I’m now being medicated for OCD. It’s official. I figured this day would come. If you have OCD tendencies and serve in the armed forces, you know that this day will come. Dress-right-dress and all that. I could never shake it. It just intensified. My case is mild, though, thankfully. I’m okay with it.

I miss the Army.

Oh! I was browsing “best of Craigslist” tonight, and I saw that on January 20, 2020, an Arizonan posted a Craigslist “for sale” ad for a white hearse with purple flames on the sides and “the last ride” inscribed on the back beneath a graphic of a bowler hat. One year from that posting, January 20, 2021, certain keys will change certain hands.

Also in 2021, I’m going to be a ninja armed with a boxcutter for Halloween.

I’m getting way ahead of myself, though. I’ll stop dwelling on Halloween for just a minute to say Merry Christmas and everything that you celebrate!

See you on the flip side, friends.

 

Christmas playlist for your dark holiday mood. (Eight days away!)

Season’s greetings!

Tonight, I have some darkly festive sounds to share with you. Pursuing the Christmas spirit while mourning the end of Halloween season, I looked to music to bridge the two. Keying “spooky Christmas” into Spotify’s search bar brought up a playlist called exactly that. (Thank you, litchen78!) I just now added my favorite Christmas carols from that list into my own Christmas playlist, and I thought I’d share it with you before I slink away to bed.

To my ears, the music on this playlist is as beautiful as it is haunting. I’ll be listening to it on repeat for the next eight days:

 

 

Until we meet again, as they say.

 

 

Sharing a couple of new things. (New desk and evil grandma dress!)

Witching hour greetings from a barstool at my kitchen peninsula! There’s currently no desk in my office. I finally admitted that the time was nigh to invest in a new desk. It’s arriving tomorrow, so I’m temporarily stationed here in the kitchen.

My old desk is still so loved, and I’m going to be a little sad to see it go. It’s just too small and too completely devoid of organizational storage space. It has a couple of shelves underneath, and nothing in the way of drawers or cabinets.

I liked my set-up with the small, low bookcase perpendicular to the desk, but I’ve been feeling crowded into that corner as of late. The makeshift L-shaped desk situation invited clutter. My new desk will be large enough to hold my printer, so I won’t need another little piece of furniture for that purpose.

This is the desk that I chose:

 

Desk from IKEA

 

Though I ordered it grudgingly, I’m excited about this new desk. The improvement will boost my inspiration receptors that are already on high these days.

This sounds sad, but it’s not: I pretty much live at my desk when I’m at home. When I’m not in the living room working out or in the kitchen cooking and baking, I’m in my office, at my desk. I do everything there! I eat at my desk, watch Netflix/Hulu/Prime/Shudder there on this laptop, play Quiddler there, and, of course, I write there.

Thing 2:

I’m also excited about this dress that I got on clearance (me? excited about a dress?!) that’s totally timeless and ageless. Actually, it’s not ageless. It looks like it’s meant for a specific age. It looks like it belongs on an evil grandma, like the Victorianesque Flowers in the Attic grandma. It’s black, mostly cotton, with long sleeves that button at the wrists. It buttons down the front, too, all the way down from the throat. The shoulders have a design detail with a lace panel in between. It’s difficult to describe, so here’s the retailer’s pic:

 

Dress from Killstar

 

It’s called the “Wake The Dead Shirt Dress,” which is clearly a euphemism for “Evil Grandma” dress. I’ll grow into it, as it’ll look better on me the older I get. I can’t wait to be a spooky elderly lady wearing this dress. Haha! Until then, I’ll wear it as my go-to Christmas party dress, if we can ever have Christmas parties again.

Whatever the case, it’s definitely an occasion piece. If you know me, you know that I don’t like to wear dresses, in general.

Those are the two new things I thought I’d share with you tonight as I sit here in the kitchen. The desk was a necessary expense. The dress was a frivolous early birthday present to myself.

Enjoy your day or night, whatever it is that you’re doing!

 

 

Magic all around.

Last night, I slept while I’d usually be writing and posting here. It was involuntary, so much-needed, for sure. I felt so much better today!

It was a magical sleep. I wanted to listen to the sound of rain when I went to bed, but my favorite rainfall sounds are captured in a certain YouTube video, and I didn’t want to risk the possibility of ads interrupting the rain. (Plus, I don’t need to know that the McRib is back.) I didn’t fall asleep to the sound of gentle rain, but I did wake up to it. We had a gentle rain this morning, and it continued on and off all day. The rich scent of creosote saturating the air put me in an especially good mood. I will never get tired of the smell of rain in the desert.

Creosote fragrance in the rain is magical.

It was magical to wake up to gentle rain after falling asleep thinking about it.

It was rain, and it did magical rain things, such as replenishing us here in the desert. It rinsed my dirty car and watered my yards, and at work, its cloud-cover insulated us from the cold. It felt almost cozy at work today while it rained! I wore the hood on my hoodie and felt like I was at home.

 

After work today. [10 December 2020]

 

 

I’ll share a couple of videos before I sign off! Here’s the rain one that I love, to give you an idea. Maybe you’ll enjoy it, too. It’s a rain forest sort of rainfall:

 

 

And here’s a video that made me cry laughing. Did you hear about the humpback whale spotted in the Hudson River on Tuesday? A Late Show did a thing about it:

 

 

Happy Friday Eve!

 

 

Waking up in the dark and the cold and not loathing it.

SUCTION CUPS, guys. Those are suction cups lining the octopus’ arms/tentacles. In my last post I’d written “tentacles” even though I knew when I wrote it that they were suction cups. Have you ever done that? You write something incorrect and you know that it’s incorrect but you just go on your merry way intending to fix it later, only to forget to do it until after 900 people have received it in their inboxes?

I promptly made the correction. No one called me out on it! Either you didn’t notice, or you hadn’t read the post yet. (Or you let me slide.)

Still can’t stop thinking about that film.

It’s dark and cold when I get up now, and quiet and still. It’s peaceful, and I’m grateful for that. I’m not a morning person, though. Neither am I a winter person or a cold-weather person. First thing I do in the morning is a thing that makes the day feel welcoming: I light the two front rooms with pink light and candlelight. There’s a pink salt lamp in the living room and a triple-wick candle on the dining table in the other room, and it’s nice because I can see into both rooms from the hallway, on either side of the partial wall that separates them. The glow from candlelight on one side and pink salt lamp light on the other makes the front rooms cozy, and I can ease into the day without feeling like I was jarred awake by an alert.

May your early mornings be filled with peace, too.

 

Sharing my interior morning view.

 

My bleeding fingertips and I are heading off to bed at this moment. November Favorites coming on Saturday night!

 

 

“Safe” is the happy common denominator.

It would be pleasing to write for real right now, but I’d need all two of my thumbs to operate the space bar, and I can’t. I have a tiny open wound on the tip of my right thumb and I rubbed acetone into it when I was removing black nail polish, and now I can’t touch anything with that thumb, and that’s the absurd situation. I washed my hands and coated the wound with pain-relieving Neosporin and loosely applied a Band-aid and took two Tylenol, but idiocy isn’t that easily undone.

I wanted to expand upon this: If you live in the States, have a happy and safe Day of Expressing Gratitude! If you live elsewhere, have a safe day.

 

Burning down to the dregs in the deep fall. (Mood.)

Fall cleaning took place today, finally, and now my freshened house smells like sweet, warm spices and apple cider. It’s been years since I’ve been much of a candle person; I cycled back around to candles this season. Currently I’ve got a “pumpkin muffins” soy candle burning on my dining table, along with a couple of tea lights.

 

Burning down to the dregs in the deep fall.

 

You wouldn’t know it from my last post (which I edited for brevity), but my mood for the month has been super chill. Now that October is over, I back-burnered my Halloween Spotify playlist and created one for November. It’s what my house would sound like if you were step into it at any given time these days, and I thought I’d share it.

Warning: Four of the 13 songs contain explicit lyrics. I should add that I’m not about the lyrics in the case of this playlist. I love its lilting, slow tempo and its soft roundedness and occasional edge. I keep it on in the background for the melodies, for the vocals whose sounds I find gorgeous in and of themselves, and for the lulling effect of the beats. Nine of these tracks are old favorites, so there’s a bit of a nostalgia factor here, too.

 

 

Also in the vein of seasonal festivities, I confess that the winter holidays ahead have me envisioning Michael Myers’ return to the front patio sporting a Santa hat and a lei of colorful Christmas light bulbs around his neck. It’s a whim and a fairly potent temptation, and I’m already shrugging my shoulders at whatever anyone night think. I feel that my neighbors think I’m strange, anyway… even more so now that I’m free to be my strange self.

I’m that neighbor, I guess. I won’t yell at people to get off my proverbial lawn, but I’ll put a mannequin out there dressed like a classic fictional serial killer.

Not to get ahead of ourselves, though. Thanksgiving is coming up this week in the States! I’m going to spend it safely with exactly two people, both of whom see me on a regular basis. I’m prepared. I’ve secured a tofurky – a minor triumph, as they sell out so quickly – that’s hunkered down in the freezer. I have the Martinelli’s sparkling apple cider, a Thanksgiving must. My Sunday baking tomorrow will include pumpkin scones with raisins and walnuts that’ll keep in the freezer until Thanksgiving Day, as well.

Happy autumn holidays to you!

 

 

In lieu of an actual post,

I’m just popping in here to apologize for having been zombified by sleepiness and general fatigue since around 6pm today, meaning that tonight’s post will happen tomorrow night. I hate to miss my posting time. Alas, it can’t be helped. The energy has been fraught all day, and I’m feeling it.

Tomorrow night is a new night. Until then, my friends! And thank you for being the understanding lot that you are!

Mommy paparazzi. (Kid updates!)

So I asked my friend whether she had any requests for a blog post, and she said Nenette and Geronimo and in other words all of my babies, meaning Salem, too… but mainly Nenette, from what I gathered. I was happy to oblige. Nenette consistently refuses to avail herself of opportunities for fame and adulation, but I was up for the challenge. There’s no point in mulling over the complexities of stalking her with the intention to point and snap. You just have to get in her face and do it.

 

That glare!

 

And now, I can say that she who loathes a camera pointing in her direction has been properly paparazzied.

The thing, though, is that since Nenette hates to have her picture taken, I usually find myself with a). pics of her sleeping, or b). pics of her making weird faces. It’s difficult capturing her just being adorable and sweet. You get crashed-out Nenette or weird-face Nenette, mostly.

 

Crashed-out.

 

Crashed-out.

 

Startled awake.

 

Weird face.

 

Weird face.

 

Semi-weird face, but mostly sleepy-sweet face.

 

As for Nenette updates, there’s not much to say. She’s blessedly the same… healthy and happy. Her fur is still soft. Her kitty breath is still cute. Her conversational skills are still better than mine.

Moving outside, now, we have Salem in the grass:

 

She’s intense. An intense sweetheart.

 

And Geronimo, of course!

Geronimo doesn’t need to be stalked and paparazzied. When he decides to come to me, which is his usual response to seeing me, he actually runs. It may not look like he’s running, but somehow, he is. The tortoise version of running is an interesting phenomenon. You look at the way he moves, and you just can’t quite understand how he can get from Point A to Point B before you know it. I took these pics in quick succession:

 

Close

 

Closer.

 

HI MOMMY I HAVE ARRIVED

 

My little dinosaur is doing well, too!

One thing I’ll say about Geronimo is that the poor little guy only had one storm to enjoy this monsoon season, and it was at night. There was no way that I could find him in the dark and the rain, much less take his picture with any success. I was happy thinking of him marching around out there under the downpour, though.

Happy Sunday to you, friends!

 

 

 

Moral of the story: eat more pasta.

Apologies for my epic 24-hour tardiness this time, guys.

It’s been a weird week. Sunday felt sluggish and overindulgent as I did basically nothing in order to rest my hand. I wanted to do things. I’m inexplicably growing a new pile of mail, and even the idea of getting into that was enticing.

I felt off and braindead last night, probably because of my failed mission to get the V.A. before work. My doctor put in my order for hand x-rays at inpatient radiology, rather than outpatient, because she’s rad. (She knows that I can’t go to outpatient radiology without requesting time off, and I already requested time off in order to go see her.) I can go to inpatient radiology whenever! My plan for yesterday was to get up at 4:00am and leave the house by 5:30am. Instead, I got up with the alarm at 4:00am, went to the bathroom, said to hell with it, re-set the alarm for 6:00am, and went back to bed.

So much for that.

Granted, it was probably for the best. I know that I can get to the V.A. outpatient lab for a blood draw before work with time to spare, but inpatient radiology for someone who’s not an inpatient? We’re talking about an unknown. There might be a wait. There might be some kind of a process. In any case, x-rays take longer to do than blood draws, and you have to hang out afterward to make sure that the images come out clear. A 5:30am departure time from home is no guarantee that I wouldn’t end up calling my manager to say that I’d be in late. Nahhh… I’ll wait until Saturday to get the x-rays done.

Today I felt better… unusually hungry all day, starting at five minutes after I finished breakfast, but better. I was inordinately hungry yesterday, too, and also on Monday. But today was the hungriest. I was wondering what could’ve been the reason, and then I looked at my step-counter and saw it:

 

Screenshot I took today of my step-counter app

 

My interpretation of this graph: I need to eat more! My lowest step-count of the week so far was yesterday, and it was 12,161. I walked just over five miles at work on Monday, just below five miles yesterday, and 6.34 miles today. After work, I did my usual 30 minutes of cardio (LM Body Step) on Monday, an hour of weight-lifting (LM Body Pump) yesterday, and an hour of cardio (LM Body Combat) today. Tomorrow it’ll be another hour of weights, as it will be on Saturday morning. Between my activity levels at work and working out when I’m not at work, I’m no doubt burning more calories than I’m consuming. Ergo, the correct interpretation of the graph is that I should make pasta more often, because my stomach is a pasta bottomless pit. I’m making linguine with garlic and olive oil tomorrow night.

Happy almost-Friday-eve, my friends!

 

 

Small victories. (+ October coming up, + other stories.)

At CVS there was a situation underway involving an inebriated gentleman who had a grievance of some sort. I waited in line and heard him ranting loudly from the opposite end of the store, and I held my shit together, I’ll have you know. (Drunk humans rattle my PTSD.) In case you’re wondering, it wasn’t the murder CVS down the street. It was the next-closest CVS, a bit further down and around the corner.

Small victories.

I can’t believe it’s already September 20, guys. The entire month of August swept out before I knew it. It went so quickly that I kept track of nothing, documented nothing, didn’t even look at my planner (!!!), and basically lived more “in the moment” than I usually do. It was an anomalous state of being for me, a mode that I naturally slipped into due to circumstances, so I didn’t think about it one way or the other. I wasn’t bothered by it. It just was. I didn’t even keep a running list of August Favorites!

I’m exhilarated and getting back to my life now. I’ve returned to my planner, enjoying looking at that which lies ahead; e.g. the entire month of October. I can’t wait to keep cozy and get spooked. I’m going to kick off the month with a 500th re-watching of the original Halloween. I want to set that movie’s theme song as my ringtone, as well.

 

 

Speaking of ringtones, my new cell phone is rad. It’s the Google Pixel 4a, and I finally unboxed it last night, setting it up and transferring my data before an activation mishap (user error, not phone error) led me into limbo and I lost cell phone service on both my old and new phones. The idea of not being able to connect with anyone on the phone stirred up my anxiety. The scary, foolish reality is that we without land-land phones are subject to isolation in the event of a service outage.

At what point did we become vulnerable in such a way? Being a Gen-X’er, I can wonder that.

My peers and I survived a decade of adulthood before the internet happened, and it would be another few years before cell phones; I think I was 32 years old when I got my first cell. I’ve lived more than half of my life without a cell phone, so the idea of getting nervous without cell phone access is unnerving in and of itself.

We’re a small generation, Generation X, but a lot of shit happened in our lifetimes, didn’t it? And it still is. I was in my late 20’s when the internet crept up, exploded, and took over everyday life. I remember pre-digital times very well.

Anyway, I survived the phone-less night (small victories!), and this morning I went to Verizon after my workout. It was pleasant. I was the only customer there when I went in. The Verizon dude was cool and chill and fast and I left with both of my phones squared away. (The old one now being send-back ready.)

I’ve accepted that Thursday blog posts simply don’t mesh with my new schedule; I’m not fighting it anymore. My workout regime is integral to my mental well-being, so it’s non-negotiable. I may have mentioned this before, the fact that it’s the addition of Tuesday/Thursday evening workouts. I started Body Pump during the Time of No Day Job, so I always did the morning classes. The only place for Pump in my Tuesday/Thursday schedule now is evenings, and I’m okay with that.

Also something I may have mentioned: I’m enjoying sitting down with you guys on the weekends, whether it’s on Friday or Saturday nights, or on Sunday mornings. It feels like “us” time.

Hope you’re having a great one!

 

 

Apropos of nothing, + Geronimo

Today I left work exactly at 4pm because I was thinking that Fed Ex would bring my new phone between then and 8pm since the tracking update last night said tomorrow by 8pm, and in my experience, packages almost always arrive toward the end of the delivery window, but when I got home I found my front door festooned with the little Fed Ex door tag thing saying “Sorry, sucker. we were here. You weren’t,” or something like that. (They got here at the ungodly hour of 12:45pm, about 30 minutes after I left to go back to work after lunch.) I could check the box and sign to have them drop the package off without signature next time they come (tomorrow) if I’m not here again, thus acknowledging that Fed Ex wouldn’t be responsible for any misadventures that may occur to the package, or I could go down to the shipping station to pick up the package myself between 6-7:30pm. I chose option 2 and it was 7pm when I got home so I jumped into some gym clothes to do my hour-long workout immediately. It was Body Pump #109 (far from my favorite, I remembered after it started), and then it was already late, which is why it’s after midnight once again as I write this. I won’t be able to open the package until tomorrow, but it’s safe here in the house, and that’s the important part.

At least but far from the least, I had time to see Geronimo’s sweet and scaly little face and scritch it on the sides and beneath his chin, and also on the sides of his neck. I took a pic, of course.

 

This is his thrilled face. I know all of his faces.

 

The End. Those of you asking how I like my new phone, there’s my reason for not knowing yet.

p.s. how is tomorrow already Wednesday? Have a good one!

 

 

Well if it isn’t (wasn’t) Tuesday.

All day today I thought it was Monday until twenty minutes ago when I remembered Body Combat and how it’s tomorrow, and the other Wednesday thing, which is the recycling that has to be out on the curb early in the morning, and just as I was turning over the Wednesday things, it occurred to me that if tomorrow is Wednesday, then today is Tuesday, and now I’m blathering about this in my blog because I didn’t identify today as Tuesday until, like, now. (Tuesday being blog day and all.)

And now it’s not Tuesday anymore. It’s midnight and 13 minutes, so Tuesday is ancient history, and that’s why I’m falling asleep, and about that, WTF. I fail at sleep almost every night.

I guess I’m still rusty with my “new” schedule, and apparently I’m way out of practice when it comes to three-day weekends. Sunday felt like Saturday. I put on full-face makeup and went to get my picture taken for a document, and I also took a selfie at home because I haven’t worn makeup on my face in months, so I thought, might as well. I only wear eye makeup to work. There’s no point in wearing makeup that’s going to be hidden under a mask all day. My skin likes to be naked under a mask, anyhow.

 

Taken on Sunday, not on Saturday. [06 Sept. 2020]

 

At least the recycling bin is more empty than full, so I won’t have to worry about it in the morning. My only responsibility tomorrow will be to come home from work and kick my own ass in cardio kickboxing. I can handle that.