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.

 

 

On three-day weekends, procrastination, and negatives into positives.

I’m snuggly in a soft, plush robe. It’s quiet and dark and I’m clean from the shower and I’m delighting in the cozy comfort and the beautiful fragrances of the Body Shop products I used in the shower and afterward. I’m thinking about how it’s Labor Day weekend, and of how I’m kind of disappointed that I won’t be able to go to work on Monday, and of how weird it is to have a job and workplace that I enjoy enough to even have that thought enter into my head, because it’s never happened before in all my years in the workforce.

And of how this three-day weekend will put an end to a certain avenue of procrastination, because it leaves me no excuse. I have time now. There’s really no way out of it if I want to avoid beating myself up later: I have to take Weekend Day Three as an opportunity to get my shit together. By that, I mean that I have to open the mail.

Yes, my friends. The mail continues to be the household obligation that sharpens the blades of my procrastination fan more than any other. I realize how ridiculous this is. It’s the one thing that I can’t seem to change. Remember when I wrote a post about hating to do the dishes? I felt so foolish after writing it that I’ve been doing the dishes without complaint ever since. Worked like a charm! Well, I’ve also written about this mental block I have about opening the mail, but it didn’t do the same trick as it did with the dishes. I still avoid opening the damn mail, regardless of how foolish it makes me feel.

It’s inexplicable. It’s just the thing that gets me, and I have to change it for good. I’ve tried! My intentions to open the mail every day have been strong, but so far, I’ve only managed to stick with it for a week before the pile-up begins anew. Once it starts piling up, it’s all over. The more I look at unopened mail, the harder it is to get myself to open it.

Anyway, it’s Saturday, and I treated myself to one of my favorite deli food items of all time: the bomb-ass tofu spring rolls with spicy peanut sauce from Whole Foods.

 

Whole Foods deli tofu spring rolls with spicy peanut sauce

 

Today was an adventurous day of minuses that turned into pluses:

The person who was supposed to come to fix the fence this morning was a no-show.
+ I used the waiting time to accomplish something else that had to get done, and I felt super accomplished after I did it.

I went out to purchase something and ended up on a wild goose chase all over tarnation, ultimately failing in my mission.
+ While I was out, I found myself near the Chandler Whole Foods and went in to purchase some items that I needed, along with the luxury of the above-mentioned spring rolls.
+ Also, not finding the thing led me to ordering it online, and in doing that, I unwittingly lowered my monthly phone bill by a few bucks! It was a new phone that I was after. No retailer around here seems to carry it. Online, I found it on back-order, so it won’t even be shipped until mid-month. Popular phone, the Google Pixel 4A, and for good reason. (I also know someone who has a Pixel and absolutely loves it.) For me, it’s an upgrade to an inexpensive and better phone – at a trade-in price, no less – that somehow resulted in lowering my phone bill that was already low.

Nenette threw up.
+ On the hard floor in the hallway, not in a carpeted room.

The pain in my left thumb joints was extra-excruciating this morning.
+ This led me to call in for a veterans’ phone triage nurse, who enlightened me to the fact that I can start on the road to a cortisone injection at a nearby urgent care where my V.A. healthcare will cover the cost. I won’t have to take time off from work to get the x-rays!

I love my life, and I love sitting here with you guys late on Saturday nights. Thank you for being here.

 

 

Rain at last!

We had our first real storm of the monsoon season on Thursday night! Meaning we had RAIN. It happened well after dark, so I couldn’t behold Geronimo, but it made me happy to know that he was out there in full marching mode.

The following morning I discovered that the large, heavy front patio doormat was gone. Who would take a doormat? I puzzled over it as my eyes scanned the yard, and then I spotted the doormat. It was plastered against the side of the date palm tree, which is over six feet away from the door. It was the first time I had a storm come along and lift a substantial doormat and fling it against a tree, so I figure it was a decent storm. It was a strange thing to have to peel a doormat off of a tree.

Also that next morning, I found Geronimo hurrying around his backyard domain, looking as energetic as I’ve ever seen him. A summer rain-watered desert tortoise is a happy tortoise, indeed.

Nenette wasn’t as pleased with the weather event. Already nervous from the increasingly noisy wind, she darted under the couch at the first flash of lightning, and that was the last I saw of her for a good few hours.

What else? A section of the fence separating our yard from the neighbors’ broke and fell during the storm. I investigated the damage and found the fence boards lying over the verbena (or lantana?), nails up. At least there’s no danger of Geronimo climbing over them. I have to figure out what to do about the situation, though.

 

First monsoon storm of 2020 – Thursday, August 20

 

Whether verbena or lantana, this is a hardy plant.

 

That was it for storm damage. Pretty mild. I swept the back patio this morning, and that was the extent of the effort I had to make in the aftermath. It was an effort that I was glad to make! We finally got our rain.

 

 

Message in a bottle. (Missed Connections Exquisite Corpse, 8)

I’m a Missed Connections skeptic. I don’t believe that people recognize themselves when they read Missed Connections, and I’d bet that the writers know their messages won’t be found by their intended recipients. A Missed Connections posting seems to be more like a message in a bottle, doesn’t it? The writer throws it out there and hopes that anyone finds it and reads it. It seems like a lonely kind of thing to do.

Woman in the Porche with a nail in the tire from Vegas

I love how the writer tells us so much here. We have a woman in a car, and we know what kind of car it is. There’s something wrong with the car, and we know what. We don’t know whether the nail in the tire is from Vegas, or if the woman herself is from Vegas (dangling participle problems), but regardless, Vegas is involved and named as a location. That’s a lot of info in just twelve words.

For those of you unfamiliar with my Exquisite Corpse series, here’s my standard explanation:

To create these poems, I skim through the list of Missed Connections entries on Craigslist and pick out the subject lines that I find intriguing in some way, and then I arrange them into a shape that pleases me.

Credit goes to those strangers who unwittingly dropped wonderful bits of poetry in Missed Connections.

 

Missed Connections Exquisite Corpse, 8

I’m tired
Goodwill cashier and vinyl lover
Dark hair woman with skeleton mask
Cute woman in the hazmat suit
Cute guy who walks around the park
Hotel pool
Pain Clinic

You changed the creamer for me
You waved at me at our apartment complex
Exchanged glances while you jogged
You were getting gas on 3rd St and Thomas at 1130pm
Let’s go fast

Woman in the Porche with a nail in the tire from Vegas
I Saw You
Dancing in Gold Canyon

 

 

 

Making plans, getting back on track.

The weekend starts tomorrow, as do a lot of things. I’m sorry for my vagueness here. What I can say for now is that events have turned. Shenanigans are afoot. I have all manner of personal and house-related work to see to.

But first, I’m taking this weekend to decompress, I’ve decided.

Throughout the upcoming week and into the next weekend is when I’ll clean and purge the house, and that’s going to feel good. I have some new routines to establish, and I’m looking forward to doing that, too.

Most importantly: I’m stepping back into my creative cycle, where I’ll pick up the poem series I left to collect dust too long ago. I’m anticipating sending out my novel again when the new season opens – that would be mid/late September – and I want to start thinking, again, of my next novel. There’s so much that I want to write, so many worlds I want to visit.

I’m feeling energized thinking about my task list. I know it won’t be like a few weeks ago when I tried out every pen in my multi-colored felt-tip pen set so I could toss the ones that’ve dried out, and it felt like a big accomplishment. No. I see many days ahead filled with big accomplishments from doing actual big things.

Speaking of shenanegans and apropos of nothing, a new group of bros moved into the university-owned former frat house next door, and they’re having a huge party tonight. At 7:30pm, the sidewalks on our street and around the corners were already lined with cars. People were walking toward the house with cases of beer. Because it seems that COVID doesn’t exist anymore, have you heard?

The university is actually re-opening, at least partially, with students moving into dorms and everything, and the house next door is packed with party-goers who probably aren’t wearing the masks they had on when they went in.

I fear that this isn’t going to end well for some of them.

I’m not grumbling, mind you. This is not a “get off my lawn” situation I’m feeling. It’s a “worried for the human race” kind of thing. Like Pluto, COVID is no longer a planet as far as some individuals are concerned.

Have a wonderful weekend, friends.

 

 

Mini minimalism update + mini UNminimalist haul.

Well, since you asked how it’s going… minimalism is hard.

I’ve been able to keep categories of things minimal, but others have been more challenging, and I’m constantly heaping things up in a garbage bag destined for the Goodwill. I manage to hover in a degree of minimalism in some areas, I struggle in others, and I donate a lot throughout. For me, it’s about the maintenance of the effort along with a desire to inch forward into sparser territory.

It’s never been my goal to live in a white/neutral space with five possessions. Of all the rooms in my house, my office comes the closest to my minimalism ideal as far as interiors go. Have I mentioned that I painted my desk wall black? I love it so much that I’m planning to paint an accent wall in the living room the same shade. The black wall gives me a fulfilling sense of emptiness and peace. It frees my mind, inspires creativity.

My recent interior focus, though, has been my laundry room. It needed attention after years spent in disarray; with the washing machine finally repaired, I fixed an eye on it. Why not create a space that I can enjoy? Several things from the house made their way out there, some of which I had in my office… old things, thrifted things.

I do have some recent acquisitions that are new, though. This is my latest minimalism fail: there’s a shop on Etsy that sells additional items on their website, and there, I found some items for sale at ridiculous clearance prices. I liked them. I got them. They go with the laundry room’s boho vibe. Yes, there’s furniture in the laundry room… a large ottoman, a bookcase, a wicker and metal dining room chair, and a small glass vanity table. The latter serves as a roof for Salem’s winter bed.

Anyway, I have pics. I know you want to see them. (Heheh.) I took these in my office against the aforementioned black wall, even though none of these items belong in here. I’ve got the throw pillow with its new cover out in the laundry room along with the origami star ornaments, and three of the green glass tumblers are in the kitchen cabinet. The fourth one is in my bathroom.

Check it out!

Jewel tones for your dark boho mood:

 

Adah Mandala throw pillow cover, heather light green tumblers, purple 3-piece origami star ornament set (from Just Artifacts)

 

Heather light green tumblers

 

Purple 3-piece origami star ornament set

 

Purple 3-piece origami star ornament set

 

Adah Mandala throw pillow cover

 

As always, these pics are 100% untouched-up, not only due to my laziness when it comes to learning how to do cool stuff to pics, but also because I wanted the colors to represent themselves.

Links:

Adah Mandala throw pillow cover
Purple 3-piece origami star ornament set
Heather light green tumblers

I just love these colors. I love purple and green together.

Have a wonderful Wednesday, friends.

 

 

Ahem.

Tonight’s deal is the same deal as last week Thursday’s… that is to say that I’ll post my “real” Thursday post tomorrow, Friday night.

Still not sure whether this will become a trend for the long-term, but for now, we’re going with it.

Meanwhile, have this pic of Nenette chillin like a villain in the dim light of the livin room:

 

Too sleepy to care that there’s a camera (phone) pointed at her face

 

Thanks for hanging with me, friends!

 

 

I don’t take naps.

Saturday afternoon was odd. Sleepiness crept up out of nowhere and pushed my eyelids down, as one would do to a corpse, and I fought it violently but it was much stronger and it won easily. It held me still and breathing through a twilight doze for two hours. The conscious part of my mind protested on a loop, what is happening, I never get sleepy like this, I never take naps, I can’t take naps… I startled awake at one point as I suddenly thought the virus! …of how some people who survive the virus describe extreme fatigue as a symptom, though I really just felt intensely sleepy. In my mind, there’s a difference: fatigue, I think, is felt in the body, while the sleepiness of that afternoon felt to be outside of my body. I spent the remainder of my doze immobile in a semi-panic, but then I got up and felt awake and strangely new.

On Sunday morning I woke up to a hazy day that made me want to stay home, and so I did. I cleaned the kitchen and the living room, baked a new pan of breakfast cookie bars for the week, shamelessly placed a grocery order for delivery, organized the upcoming week’s meds and supps in their respective pill holders, did a couple of light loads of laundry, opened the mail and recycled and filed and shredded. I went to Amazon Prime to rent a spooky movie long on my list, Lake Mungo… and then, in the evening, I went to Netflix to watch the pilot of Shameless while eating dinner, and it left me in a good mood.

It was funny that I started Shameless on Sunday night, because on Monday morning at work, I overheard people talking about it – I’m pretty sure that was what they were talking about, because I heard the name “Fiona” – and I thought, Spoiler Alert! Maybe!

But there were no spoilers.

May your week be spoiler-free and off to a good start.

 

 

My week was great, but Wednesday was a train wreck.

You guys, I don’t know, Friday posts just might become the new Thursday posts here in TALC. Friday fits better with my new schedule. I don’t work out on Friday evenings, and I don’t have to get up early for work the next day. It’s Friday night and I’m sitting here writing this without any time-related stress. It’s nice. I’m digging it.

We’ll see.

Back to what I was writing, though. I was telling you about Wednesday.

Sirens blared and warbled down the street as I got ready for work on Wednesday morning, which wasn’t unusual. They didn’t stop, though. It was one emergency vehicle after the other for what seemed like a long time, and they sounded pretty close. Not a garden-variety shooting, I remember thinking.

Turns out that the Union Pacific train that crosses over our lake (Tempe Town Lake) on our old UP railroad bridge derailed and went up in flames while a section of the burning bridge collapsed and fiery wreckage spilled into the water, an apocalyptic disaster that ended up in the international news.

2020, just stop, please, will you. FFS.

This happened less than a mile from home. The endless sirens were indeed loud.

It’s sad; this is sad for Tempe and for Phoenix Metro, in general. That Union Pacific rail bridge was as historic and iconic as our mill. On our walks, we’d go to the lake and its bridges and through the areas around it. I took pics along the way as we went on our “pandemic walks” back in April:

 

Walking along Rio Salado on April 6, 2020. The old brown bridge in the foreground is the UP railroad bridge that collapsed.

 

RIP, old bridge. I’m glad I took these pics of you.

 

The railroad bridge is the one in the background in this pic as we walked under from the opposite direction.

 

Here’s what the site looked like on Wednesday:

 

[Pic from the web the day of the disaster, Wednesday, 29 July 2020]

 

I took my pics at the spot on the right where the derailed train landed, behind that bush where the newer, geometric-design bridge visually intersects with the old UP railroad bridge.

 

Walking along Rio Salado on April 6, 2020. The old brown bridge in the foreground is the railroad bridge that collapsed.

 

So I drove to work that morning under a dark haze without knowing what it was, just thinking that today might be the day we’re finally going to get our first storm of monsoon season. I didn’t learn the reason for the dark sky until a co-worker told me about the disaster a few hours later.

Tempe is still busy with clean-up. The FBI is investigating. Union Pacific is saying they’ll rebuild our bridge. We’ll see what happens.

Thankfully, no one was seriously injured on the scene of the accident.

There were the chemical leaks, though. The train’s damaged cargo included 500 gallons of cyclohexanone, and it spilled in the disaster. There were also chemicals from burning rubber, and maybe more from who knows what. I don’t doubt for a minute that there were airborne particles of these chemicals hanging in our atmosphere that day, and of course my mind goes immediately to the possibilities.

Such as, the sequel to this story could be a Kafka-esque nightmare in which we local residents mutate into supervillains or zombies due to the toxic plume of smoke that rose above our section of town in the disaster. 2020 being what it’s been, I actually wouldn’t be surprised if NW Tempe becomes the epicenter of the zombie apocalypse.

As if the challenges presented by the virus aren’t massive and daunting enough.

It’s good that we’re all wearing masks outside of our houses. They might protect us from more than just the virus.

We’re on the eve of August and we’re well into monsoon season, but we still haven’t had our first storm. Too bad it wasn’t pouring rain on Wednesday morning.

Happy WEEKEND eve, my friends.

 

 

 

Blog fail tonight.

Ahem.

Hey, friends. It’s after midnight and I’m passing out while sitting here trying to see the screen through extremely dry eyes that I can barely keep open, so please look for Thursday’s post on Friday (today, if you’re in the States). Thanks for understanding!

I didn’t come empty-handed, though. I’ll leave you with this pic of a cartoony tree that’s on the street side of the wall bordering my workplace’s parking lot. It amuses me. It makes me think of Dr. Seuss:

 

I call this the Dr. Seuss tree.

 

Tomorrow night, then.

Happy Friday, all!

 

 

 

Ancient LJ meme. (Throw-back Thursday post!)

Signed into LiveJournal (LJ) over the weekend on a whim and ran into this popular old meme, and I figured it would be cool to share it so we can all appreciate the simple ways in which we were entertained in the nineties and the aughts. These answers are my answers of today, though. I wish I had my answers from back then. Nothing like a self-centered little questionnaire to get to know people!

THREE NAMES YOU GO BY:
1.) Kristi
2.) Kris
3.) ?

THREE SCREEN NAMES YOU HAVE HAD:
1.) kittyconcrete
2.) kkryogenic
3.) kgar

THREE PHYSICAL THINGS YOU LIKE ABOUT YOURSELF:
1.) hairless legs
2.) no periods
3.) eyelashes

THREE PARTS OF YOUR HERITAGE:
1.) Japanese
2.) English
3.) Welsh – ?

THREE THINGS THAT SCARE YOU:
1.) COVID
2.) roaches (phobia fear, not ordinary fear)
3.) drunk people

THREE OF YOUR EVERYDAY ESSENTIALS:
1.) sunscreen
2.) lip balm
3.) music

THREE THINGS YOU ARE WEARING RIGHT NOW:
1.) short black and white flannel shorts
2.) oversize khaki green t-shirt
3.) white ankle socks

THREE OF YOUR FAVORITE BANDS OR MUSICAL ARTISTS:
1.) ::wumpscut::
2). Sirus
3.) Front Line Assembly/Einsturzende Neubauten (couldn’t pick just one)

THREE OF YOUR FAVORITE SONGS:
1.) No Mercy
2.) Autonomous
3.) Golgotha

LAST THREE SONGS YOU’VE LISTENED TO:
1.) Neologic Spasm
2.) Basilisk
3.) Feurio!

LAST THREE MOVIES YOU WENT AND SAW:
1.) I don’t remember what I last WENT to see in the Before Time.
2.)
3.)

THREE THINGS YOU WANT IN A RELATIONSHIP:
1.) security
2.) stability
3.) harmony

TWO TRUTHS AND A LIE:
1.) I’ve jumped out of airplanes
2.) I was arrested for trafficking drugs over an international border
3.) I’m an Orion starseed

(you figure out which is which)

THREE THINGS ABOUT THE PREFERRED SEX THAT APPEAL TO YOU:
1a.) (“the preferred sex” – ! Not all memes age well.)
1.) In everyone: humility
2.) and intellectual curiosity
3.) and graciousness and compassion (okay, that was four)

THREE OF YOUR FAVORITE HOBBIES:
1.) working out
2.) listening to music
3.) watching horror movies

THREE THINGS YOU WANT TO DO REALLY BADLY RIGHT NOW:
1.) sleep
2.) clean my house
3.) see my parents

THREE CAREERS YOU’RE CONSIDERING/YOU’VE CONSIDERED:
1.) FBI agent (past)
2.) lawyer (past)
3.) musician and/or writer (always)

THREE PLACES YOU WANT TO GO ON VACATION:
1.) Murmansk, Russia
2.) New Zealand
3.) Germany (I always want to go back)

THREE KIDS NAMES YOU LIKE:
1.) Presley
2.) Faith
3.) Sam

THREE THINGS YOU WANT TO DO BEFORE YOU DIE:
1.) publish my novel
2.) write another novel
3.) find a way to fulfill an old promise

THREE WAYS THAT YOU ARE STEREOTYPICALLY A BOY:
1a.) (OMG this meme)
1.) I’m not interested in rom-coms or “arts & crafts” (I do love art in a general sense, though)
2.) I swear a lot
3.) I wear a lot of band shirts

THREE WAYS THAT YOU ARE STEREOTYPICALLY A CHICK:
1.) I love skincare products, rich and fragrant creams and oils and shower gels and perfumes and etc.
2.) I love lip products, from balms to lip colors in lipsticks and stains and glosses
3.) I sleep with a stuffed animal. He’s a black cat named Binxy.

Binxy isn’t just an adorable plush stuffed animal, though. He has a zip compartment on his back, because he was actually made to be a purse. Inside, I keep a small flashlight and my Smith & Wesson M&P spring-loaded tactical/survival pocket knife. Binxy is a special stuffed animal. He stays in my arms all night.

THREE PEOPLE THAT I WOULD LIKE TO SEE TAKE THIS QUIZ NOW:
Haha! This question at the end of almost every meme used to drive me nuts.