The continuance of the Christmas Card


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To get a jump on the Christmas season, I sat down a few weeks ago to write our Christmas letter.

It’s always harder than I think it will be.



Several years ago when I was writing reviews for a co-op blog, I found that when critiquing films, television, and books, it’s much easier to type what didn’t work, what you disliked regardless of whether said complaint was objective or subjective. This crosses over into all areas of life. Negative thoughts abound. Everything and everyone has flaws. Living day to day can be a surprisingly boring experience or, depending on your situation, damn near impossible to survive.

But with about 30 days to go before the end of the year and 335 days(ish) behind us, we often look back and wonder where the minutes, hours, and days went while we sit in front of a blank computer screen trying to sum up our lives into crisp, footed font (sorry not sorry Comic Sans) that fit into an 8×11 piece of paper.

Because our lives are so much more complicated and intricate and dull than we’d care to admit to those we love enough to give missives. On the one hand, those who show us affection probably won’t stop being supportive through one card, but we still feel the need to impress. We may not be the greatest American heroes, but we need to feel proud of our life. This is the only one we get. A letter is a little more than a social media message or a text. Something about putting in enough effort to buy a stamp just says I care a little more. By the way, the stamp is an item I will forget to buy as often as Kevin’s parents forget him on trips in Home Alone–way too frequently.

Then there’s the nuclear family that is sending the card out. Not many people send cards these days, or if they do, it’s the one picture, one sentence yearly statement which contains its own sets of problems I won’t address here since I’m not the one who sends them. We have to come to a consensus of what we spent our year doing and how we’d like to convey that to everyone else. Or specifically, what lies or spin would we like to put on it?


via Buzzfeed

So here we are.

My mom used to be really great at penning and sending off Christmas cards. She has a great memory, used to enroll me in all kinds of yearly activities, and managed to save enough for us to take a trip somewhere every year. As a child, I was far more active and worldly than I am now for a number of reasons, but I always find myself longing for the same kind of excitement and pizzazz that she used to throw into our annual announcements.

More than anything, the reason I continue to send out our cards each year is to let our closest friends and family know that even though we aren’t as active and lucrative as we’d like to be, that we’re still here thinking of them year round.

The other is what my husband’s sister told me when we went to her house last night–that every year she saves our Christmas cards and keeps them in a file called “letters.” “If you ever wonder what you were doing a certain year, just let me know, and I bet I could find it,” she said. That tradition and time capsule is one that warms my heart and makes me feel a little better when things get tough or when life comes between what your life is and what you would like it to be. This is something worth remembering, especially during this festive and spiritual season.



Well, it’s Groundhog Day. Again.


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via Reddit

I’ve always known my mom and dad as being separate entities. They’ve been divorced since I was a baby, so I never knew them as being a single force divided by quarreling, they’ve just always been two individuals who happen to share a child. When you grow up viewing your parents as independent of one another, on the occasions they do share commonalities, these things regardless of how random, seem like a big deal.

One of the first shared interests I noticed was how much both of my parents love Groundhog Day, the Bill Murray philosophical flick from all-around awesome Buddhist, Harold Ramis. For those who haven’t seen or don’t remember, Phil Connors, played by Bill Murray is a self-serving narcissist who hates humankind and doesn’t lift a finger to even try to be nice to others. One fateful day, he gets stuck in a small town where he repeats the same day over and over again until he eventually starts living his life differently.

As a kid, I didn’t get it. It was okay. I neither loved nor hated this movie. It’s one of those films that despite being appropriate for younger audiences to some degree, the film just doesn’t appeal to kids the way it does to parents. But this is true of many movies when you’re a kid, so I never really questioned it until I got older.

Two years out of college, I asked a co-worker at a job I’d been working for a few months if he felt his daily life mimicked that of Office Space. I was beginning to realize how accurate that movie was in depicting adult existence (it’s worth noting that this is another movie my dad loves). “I feel like my life is less like Office Space and more like Groundhog Day,” he responded.

It’s been very cold the last 3 weeks, and last night as I lie awake in bed unable to sleep due to chronic pain worsened by chilly temperatures and the crippling depression that surrounds the condition, I realized why my parents, and maybe so many other people, enjoy Groundhog Day. 



A few years ago, I watched a fantastic review of this movie online that described the transformation of character of Phil Connors and the meaning of Groundhog Day. I can’t do it justice, and I’m going to take a different angle anyway, but if I find it, I’ll post the link.

The majority of the movie Groundhog Day is what it feels like to have depression. When it first starts, Phil is irritated by what he perceives is a practical joke. “We already did this,” he says, then later in the day states, “It must be some bad dream!” His reactions begin to take on the 7 stages of grief as he is confronted by a loss of control. Not only is he stuck in a situation he doesn’t know how to change, but he longs to be as oblivious as those around him to the truth that their world is the same. Shouldn’t he be as happy and content as these lovable fools? He is trapped not only in an outwardly stagnant world but with his unbearable inner voice, the creeping suspicion that he may be a bad person, and the fear that no one will love him, specifically his boss with whom he loves.




He also tries to kill himself over and over again. In his conceivably infinite loop, he does not succeed, but this can describe depression too–feeling like you are dying or want to die without actually doing so.


Also how I feel about Black Friday shopping (via

Of course, the film is about becoming a better person. Phil turns over a new leaf and becomes a better man after the old him eventually gets melted away in the passage of living the same day over and over. Something had to change, and our inner selves are capable of it, even if it doesn’t feel that way. Still, the majority of the film mimics the range of emotions someone with depression feels: anxiety, anger, hopelessness, isolation, self-loathing, sadness, guilt, and boredom. Phil eventually begins his journey to become a better person, but he doesn’t do it alone. His co-workers and the people of the town get to him and change him.

Hopefully, those of you who are out there who suffer from depression know that you don’t have to do this alone either.

giphy (3).gif


Aziz and the Art of Life


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I’ve had a cold min-rager this week, which is now what I’m calling colds, because it sounds cooler. If this post is all over the place, you’ve been warned. It’s kind of Parker’s fault.

Gee Weird Button, why is it your husband’s fault? Did he give you the cold? Not exactly. But earlier this week before symptoms, he was complaining. See when we moved home after living in TX for 3 years, our friends had a rabbit situation going on, not in terms of lots of sex, but the group had started to grow, and now it’s waaaay too big for the average 30 or late 20 something year old to handle. So every other week, we have like 3 events to go to. And I’m not complaining about getting invited, because invites are cool. But there’s always something going on.

So Parker was like, “I just want a weekend where we don’t do anything,” and I said, “Yeah, but this weekend we’re going out of town!” And then we got sick. It’s not directly his fault, because we both announced feeling ill at the same time after work. I’d be lying though, if I said I wasn’t afraid we will never, ever go on this belated anniversary trip. Because now it’s what I’ll refer to as “deep” Fall, because I broke in my wool pants more than once this week and have been wearing multiple pairs of sweats simultaneously. I am also sick, but the weather took a turn from comfortably chilly to wet, rainy, and hardcore pants mode.



Even though I’m sad we didn’t get to go, I’m grateful I didn’t go on the trip ill.

There’s been a lot going on recently, so what I have been doing is trying to develop new hobbies and practice becoming better at the ones in my spare time I have while also getting my comedian love on via Netflix. I’ve rocked out to some good stuff this year: Garfunkel & Oates, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt (this was a comedy that was just okay at points, I don’t want to talk it up too much), and lately Aziz Ansari’s Master of None has been my buddy while I lie on the couch with a pounding headache.

Aziz is a pretty cool guy. He’s funny, he co-wrote this book called Modern Romance that I cannot recommend highly enough, and his second episode of Master of None about family heritage hit home me. His friend and collaborator Harris Wittels passed away recently, but wrote a few episodes before he died. So that’s an additional perk of watching the show is becoming more acquainted with the humor that Harris was famous for.

The episode I am currently watching, Aziz is chilling in Tennessee. Which brought back a ton of flashbacks to when my husband and I lived in Texas.

I have a love/hate relationship with the South. I’m not from there, but I love their food, the people of Houston are very hospitable and sweet, and drivers move much faster than they do in the PNW. There are also a lot of things I hate about it, but we’ll stick to the good things right now. Aziz is currently drinking on a rooftop Nashville, and I got all reminiscent. Part of it is that cold weather worsens my chronic health condition, but more than that, seeing strangers/comedians you feel like you know drink in a humid climate reminds me of rooftop bars, bright, new flashy cities, and discovering parts of the country that I didn’t know existed.

That's what I look like in a new place, except not a fish and with a camera. (via

That’s what I look like in a new place, except not a fish and with a camera. (via

My husband worked very long hours between school and work while we were down there, so we never got the chance to road trip to New Orleans or Tennessee. And now I wish that we had. Although, I must admit, if we were going to travel, I’d want to go to NYC or LA.

Dreaming can be frustrating when you feel like you’re stuck inside a steel cage from which you’ll never escape. That steel cage is your ordinary, day-to-day life. My hope is to work hard on being the best bird I can be, in the hopes that someday I can fly off on a little trip now and then to return to a less gloomy, more enriched life. I like coming up with stories about situations I encountered and places I went and food I ate, so it would be nice to come up with some new material.

Same shit, different day via (

Same shit, different day via (

I know that there are a lot of you out there that are reading this, nodding, and thinking to yourselves, “Yeah, me too. I’m living on a shoe string budget. Can’t do a lot right now. Have some debt. Can’t go anywhere nice.” Maybe you can’t afford to take a vacation right now or are looking for a new place to live that costs a little less.

The best things that I’ve been able to do while we muddle through this crazy world is to talk about it with someone who can help quell some of my fears, keep making and working towards goals (you’re supposed to write them down), and art. Neil Gaiman once said, “Make good art,” and he’s right. Sometimes I get so stressed out, and when I look at a beautiful photograph or draw something I didn’t know could come out of me, there’s a piece of my soul that is set free. It’s such a fantastic feeling.

Tomorrow I’m going to buy a little something to create new work with. Someday, I might even get brave enough to post some of my work on here.

Until then, I will rest my immune system and live vicariously through Aziz. Never stop dreaming, readers. And don’t forget to create your world as you want others to see it.



Happy Halloween! A discourse on holiday fandom


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Today is All Hallows Eve.



As past posts have proved for those of you who weren’t here, I LOVE Halloween. The decorations. Silly theme music. Adorable food you can turn into mummies or trees or ghosts or whatever. Dressing up in multiple costumes for different events. I even occasionally subject myself to scary movies. Shaun of the Dead has to be watched each time the season is upon us (obviously not that scary, let’s continue).

My holiday spirit tops that of most of my friends. It boggles my husband’s mind. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t frustrated with the casual way people either shirk wearing a costume or half-ass it or general apathy for this day.

I get it. Not everyone is into this holiday. Some people have legit reasons, some people just historically have never been into it. That’s fine. Everyone’s entitled to their opinion–wrong or otherwise.

Since I do love Halloween, and much of the world doesn’t understand, allow me to explain.

When I was little, we didn’t have a ton of cash lying around. Every year, my mom and I would go to the fabric store and the thrift store down the street from our house. I always asked for a plastic wrapped, brand new costume, and my mom always said no. And I get it now…they’re expensive and not much thought goes into them.

She did pull out all the stops to make this day as great as possible for me. I remember her cutting out pieces of felt and making me try on my witch costume that including tiny felt monsters on the dress. I also recall her applying glitter glue to a costume that would transform her into a wizard and her excitement at finding the perfect hat.

One year, I was obsessed with 101 Dalmations, and she bought me a white sweatsuit and attached dots to it to turn me into one of them with a headband with attached ears. My best friend went as a cat, we got hyped up on sugar, and to the exasperation of our teacher, I chased her around the classroom.

Via amazon

Me and my bros/sistas (Via amazon)

When I was in 6th grade, I slipped on my stockings, and without my broomstick, went plummeting onto the gym floor. I received 5 stitches and got the afternoon off from school. My mom said I could go as a mummy which was shot down with a simple look. My friends still picked me up for trick or treating.

My friends also had memorable costumes that I still think about today, years after the fact. This year, I had the pleasure of working at a place where creativity overflows. I have never seen so many co-workers dress up and have had as much fun as I did at work. Watching people explore their creativity and see the fruit of their pursuits is one of the amazing and beautiful reasons I love today.

I picked out what costume I was going to have about 5 months ago. I have an ongoing list of costumes, and ideas literally falling out all the time. It reminds me of theatre, when we’d rehearse, or the times we would practice improv and have to be someone else on the fly. It’s exhilarating to be someone who isn’t you, even if it’s just for an hour or two.

Halloween is a parade or a collage of all the things that make us unique. It’s an attempt by “ordinary” people to show you a side of them they may not normally produce. This might seem overwhelming to people out there, but it doesn’t have to be. Halloween spirit means that you have the courage to be vulnerable, to dress up, look silly, and feel confident in that.

Freaks & Geeks is not one of my favorite shows, but I really enjoy their Halloween episode. To ruin it for you, Sam decides that he and his friends need to be young and go out trick or treating one more year. He is mocked and laughed at for this, by the bullies at their school, by his own father, and lastly ridiculed and egged by his sister accidentally. His friends abandon him, and he walks home alone, feeling dejected. Meanwhile, his mother who has been overjoyed at the holiday finds herself older in a changing world that she doesn’t understand and her babies all grown up. But by the end of the episode, Sam reminds Lindsay that she is “not cool,” which prompts her to make amends with her mother and pass out candy to children.



Community has a similar message in their 2nd season Halloween episode, called Epidemiology. That I won’t ruin for you, but you should totally watch it. It’s kind of a stand-alone episode.



The takeaway from this is that throughout life, people are going to step on your dreams. People are going to misunderstand and dislike who you are. It’s just how things go. But the good news, is that ultimately, the people who matter most will love and accept you for who you are. And also, Halloween is a chance to not care about what all the haters think (unless you pick an unwise costume that mocks or ridicules someone, in which case I would beg you to reconsider since there are so many incredible opportunities for costumes).

I hope you have the determination, will, and courage to dress up this Halloween. If it really isn’t your thing, I hope you’ll support those of us who live for this day, and that every now and then you have a chance to show the world how awesome you are.

Happy Halloween, everybody!!

The Single Awareness (But-Not-for-Long!) Dance


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The other night, I was at a cocktail party discussing the future wedding of a friend of mine. She expressed distaste for the bouquet and garter toss.

I laughed. “I like that tradition. The pictures after with the winner…there’s always someone who looks uncomfortable in them. Those pictures are priceless.”

“True,” she said. “But you like awkward more than I do.”


Do I?

It’s been rolling around in my head since it happened, because here’s the thing: I thought it was about being awkward. However, I don’t like genuinely awkward situations outright. There are merits that I like in them, and I could go into these, but I’ll focus on the subject at hand.

It can be arduous to put into words why something means something to you when you’re on the spot. Then you’re forced to respond and defend your opinions when you’re not sure why it even matters to you at all. Beliefs are weird like that.

It took a couple days, but I figured it out.

When I was 10, my mom’s boyfriend had a family member that was getting married. Niece, cousin, something, doesn’t matter. We went to a wedding in a huge building where the guest list must have included around 300 people.

Me, irl or rather in 27 Dresses (

Me, irl or rather in 27 Dresses (

I love weddings. I have ever since I was a flower girl at age four. You dress up, celebrate love, and own the dance floors. What’s not to love? People feed you, somebody drinks too much and acts silly, weddings are great.

When it came time for the bouquet toss, my mom explained that the DJ requested “All single ladies.” This was thrilling. I could be the next to get married. 



In my small human mind, this was paramount to God’s law. A compilation of flowers and a pitch in the wind would determine the future of all the unattached women in the room. I didn’t care if it was “just for fun.” I wanted it to be true. I wanted that bouquet.

It’s not like I had a plan. There wasn’t anyone in fourth grade I could’ve pointed to and said, “YOU. We have a future together. The chrysanthemums told me. The prophecy must be fulfilled. Come with me.” All I had was a decree from my mother that I wouldn’t date until like FOREVER from now, and a boy in my class who failed to talk to me when I started what I assume was awkward elementary school talk. “Sooo you like basketball huh? I’ve played a few times.”

But this was about the future. This was about me and Mystery Man. The giant question mark. If I caught this bouquet, it would be sealing my fate. I would be getting married, and I’d beat all the older ladies in the room.

I did catch the bouquet. I think they took my picture. Once my triumph was complete, I was very receptive in leaving like my mom and her boyfriend wanted to do. We’d driven a couple of hours into another state for this, and it would take us time to get back.

It happened 21 years ago, but I still remember the victory that pulsed through my veins. When we got married, there wasn’t any question. I recognized that my single friends and family may not have been as excited as I was about it. But I’m surprisingly old fashioned sometimes. We also did the chicken dance for the same reason–because the chicken dance is fun regardless of what people say.

I get why someone wouldn’t want to do it. Especially if you had a small number of single friends and wouldn’t want to put anyone on the spot. When Parker and I got married, 95% of our friends were single. The only people our age we knew who were married were Parker’s sisters and my two sets of high school friends who’d gotten married earlier that year.

It also reminds me of something else that happened at our wedding that night. Parker’s best man had been dating someone for a long time but wasn’t quite right for him. He didn’t know it at the time. Our engagement caught him a little off guard. He hadn’t expected us to tie the knot so soon after dating even though we’d known each other for awhile.

My friend who caught the bouquet wanted it. I could see it in her eyes, and I liked it, because I saw the little me. The “my moment will be next” look. It only happens when someone catches the bouquet or when she gets engaged. It’s fleeting and beautiful.

But when Parker’s best man caught the garter, something else happened.



He was surprised. He got baffled. He did not want this. And a change came over him. He’s happy now. And even though that garter is a fraction of what was going on, to me, it represents a new beginning for him.

Which is why I will always love that wedding tradition.

All pictures without sources courtesy of and Giphy.

We All Need Help Sometimes

Admit it, you’re a fraud.



I once had a friend in high school who started a sentence one day with, “My therapist says.” This from a guy who pressed buttons, gave performances onstage that would move you to tears, and could get almost-strangers to open up about anything. He was loved, feared, and hated. And probably still is wherever he is.

His approximate response was no, that he just wanted to say it to see how people would react. But later when I started seeing a therapist, I’ve wondered why it’s such a hard thing to say.

Amanda Palmer calls this “the fraud police.” Where you’re certain someone will show up at your house and take you away for faking your way through your life. You DIY. You’re adulting. Deep down, we all feel like we’re supposed to have all the answers, yet we still read articles that try to address our questions. Some of us in turn act like it never happened.

I read an article last year called “Can Women Really Have it All?” The topic was a hot piece about how women specifically have a hard time balancing work and home life. And while I agree that it is harder for women in this respect, I still walked away from the article doubting the pedestal of attainment that society fosters and we all so cruelly measure ourselves against. Which prompted me to wonder if any of us have even half of “it all.”

None of us can do it all alone.

I saw my therapist today. There are dozens of reasons you might like going to one even if you don’t know it.

  • You get to talk about yourself guilt-free, and if you’re really desperate, she will probably stay longer to help you work through things if she can
    She’s paid to listen to you. You’re not supposed to ask about her. That’s not how it works. And it feels good not to worry about it
  • She’s objective
    When she says something or asks you a question, it comes from a place where she wants to help make you a better person. She’s not going to tell you something she thinks you want to hear, she’s going to help you realize what you need. She’s your life coach.
  • She believes you and is on your side
    I once described a terrible social incident that happened to me. One of my ex-boyfriend’s friends had said written some bad things about me post-breakup. I hadn’t told my friends or my mom, because I knew they’d be pissed at my ex-boyfriend’s friends. The only one who knew was my ex-boyfriend who told me I was overreacting. When I described this to my therapist, her face started to transform into anger. She began to speak, and had to pause so she could retain composure. She responded by saying, “I don’t think you’re overreacting,” and helped me to deal with the situation. Watching her temper her response for me but at the same time respect my decision of how I would address these people is something I will never forget.
  • Talking helps you un-hoard your emotions
    There’s a reason they call it “emotional baggage.” It weighs down your soul. When I go to her, it’s not dissimilar to going to the dump or recycling center. Our time together allows me to take items out of my mind that I can’t bear to part with, and then give them away. Therapists also practice letting go of all the emotional stuff people bring to them.
  • We have fun
    My husband and best friend both were surprised when I said the words “therapist” and “fun” in the same sentence. When I was little, I loved animation. I watched a Disney special after one of their Sunday night movies once where they talked about the Imagineers. They basically think up new rides and concepts to make Disneyland the optimal family fun experience. When I sit with my therapist, my life is the amusement park, and we work on making it MY happiest place on earth. We talk about what’s good. Things I’m looking forward to. We generate ideas on how to make my life better.
  • She helps me stay positive
    One of the most challenging aspects is continuing to stay afloat when hit by life’s storms. Frequently, I feel like I’m drowning, and occasionally, I hope that it kills me instead of flirtatiously torturing me into a half alive state where I’m still expected to function but am unable to do so. She reminds me that while I may not have “it all,” I have people in my life who I love and love me, fun events to look towards. Also, relates to the next thing.
  • But if I’m having a really bad day, she just listens
    Everybody needs to be heard.


  • Cognitive Distortion checks
    It’s defined by Google as “ways that our mind convinces us of something that isn’t really true…usually used to reinforce negative thinking or emotions — telling ourselves things that sound rational and accurate, but really only serve to keep us feeling bad about ourselves.” We’ve renamed it “Cognitive Illusions,” but basically cognitive behavioral therapy works on retraining your brain to think about things differently since “neurons that fire together, wire together.”
  • It helps you let go to talk about it
    Augusten Burroughs said he got through his problems, because he wrote books about them. Louis CK told Judd Appatow in an interview that his stand-up is his way to leave his anger/frustration behind. But both of these people saw somebody first. Everybody has their own way, but bringing in a professional is a good way to get started.

One size does not fit all
Keep in mind that the first person you work with may not be a match with you. It’s like working with a new co-worker or finding a place to live. You have to find the human that you feel comfortable with. Give it time, but if the first person doesn’t jive, don’t give up! Most people date more than one person in their lifetime before they get married, therapy often works the same way.

Find out your family history
If one or both of your parents suffer from depression, anxiety, or both, you could be at risk. Ask your parents or find out about your family tree from one of your relatives or online.

Temporary, short-term solutions
If you’re not comfortable seeing someone on a regular basis but are still going through a rough time, research your mental health community. Each county has their own crisis number. Even talking to someone for a few minutes can help. I’ve called a couple times in emergencies before I started seeing someone on a regular basis.

Check out the self-help section at the library 
The library rocks, and going to the section and just browsing can be relaxing.

Talk to a friend
Tell them you’re thinking about seeing someone.

If you have a drug/alcohol/addiction problem, look into getting help 
Nobody can do it alone. There are lots of resources.

Ask for recommendations
Your insurance or doctor’s office is a good resource for recommendations. If you feel comfortable asking a friend or family you know sees someone or knows someone else who does, you can also ask them. Your information will be confidential with whoever you end up seeing. You can also search online through a variety of different search engines, like or National Institute of Mental Health.

Drawlloween Effects


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Every day since I found out on Oct 4th, I have drawn a picture a day (with some variance being two pictures in one day, some shading on an off-day, etc.) following the theme for Drawlloween. Its origins are in Inktober, which was started by someone who promoted October as a drawing a day. At that time, it was not specifically Halloween themed.

As I type this, I am surrounded by my and my husband’s art. I have received compliments from friends who didn’t know I could draw and applause from family who are happy I’m picking up old, positive habits again.

It feels good to know that I’m doing a little thing each day that means so much to me. Taking an idea in my head and letting it spread to my hand, using my motor coordination, muscle memory, eyes, and spacial skills to create something beautiful. Art.

Augusten Burroughs once said that as a child, he wanted to become an actor. He wanted to connect with people. His dreams were crushed when he realized he was not a great actor. Instead, he became a writer through practice. He found a new way to connect with people. He still achieved his dream, but he did so by a different method. He still gets to do what he intended, just not the way he thought he would.

I can have a vision, and when I finish touching the paper with pencils, markers, and pens, I have something new. It never looks exactly as I imagined, and yet, every time I draw, it teaches me something. I still come away from the paper (on a good day) with pride and awe. I’m getting better, slowly but surely.

Many artists and writers do not have children. I’ve talked to some that do and many who do not. I marveled at this with one friend who expressed no interest in having children and said, “I think for us, our creations are our babies.” I didn’t have to expand on this–she immediately knew what I was talking about and agreed. Lots of artists do have children, and their love for their young ones is reflected in their pieces as well.

If Frida can rock it, so can I (and you)

If you ever give up plans, quit jobs, or become increasingly lax on chores/duties due to an illness or chronic condition, boy howdy, this post is for you.

The month of October hates me. Judging by the conversations I’ve had with friends, family, and co-workers, I bet it hates you too. Not sure what plant/flower/chemical cryptonite infiltrates my world and the world of most of my dear friends this time every year, but it’s like God or the Fates (or Science or the Spaghetti Monster or whatever you believe in) is turning us all into zombies because everyone has this headache/sinus bullshit from hell, and we all just have to keep on keeping on. In addition to all the normal body malfunctions we have.

I’m trying to get better about not trash talking my body, because I’ve been told it’s doing its best, so I’m going to continue. It’s difficult not to do it, but I don’t rage up and down against my loved ones so why should I put down the person that’s closest to me? Anyway, it’s one of my goals…

As it happens, the universe doesn’t shut down just because I feel like feces incarnate. Instead, I have to cancel plans, avoid interactions in case I am contagious, and lie around a lot. Even my hand/arm has started rebelling against my #Drawlloween/#Inktober contributions where everyday I draw a new creature to celebrate the glory of Halloween. It’s required icing, a special arm vice that makes me look like a professional (minus the pain, that part’s kinda bad ass), and rest. And an increasing dose of reminders, mantras, and acceptance to deal with slowing down, taking it easy, and not pushing myself beyond my limits.

It’s not easy.

It’s not easy to say no to your friends and family when events happen. It’s not easy to say no when your boss offers you more hours at work. It’s not easy when you’re lying in bed in the middle of the night close to tears, because you’re so tired you feel like you can’t crawl out of bed into the living room, but lying in bed ups your already mounting insomnia. It’s not easy wondering if your low-grade fever is from an actual flu passing around or your chronic condition flaring.

Letting down the ones you love hurts everyone, but especially the person who’s letting you down (or just the guilt involved with the letting down). It’s hard to watch your friends accomplish their goals like buying a house when you have to resign due to medical conditions that no one, especially you, understands (even when you’re so, so excited for them, because they’re doing amazing, wonderful things with their lives and that’s awesome). It’s hard to see babies and small children and wonder if you’re ever going to be able to have them (regardless of whether or not you want them…because it’s a whole new ballgame when that option feels like it’s being taken off the table). It’s hard trying to decide what errands you have to do right now, because you hurt so badly that your judgement is clouded (spoon theory, look it up). It’s hard when your doctors who are supposed to help you tell you that “you have to believe you’re going to get better.” Bitch, this is not all in my head. I have a documented problem that is finally recognized.

These are all challenges. Everyday physical, mental, and emotional challenges.

I’ve tried to stop RSVPing to events. I’ve tried to stop telling friends why we’re not going to make it. But the guilt will never end. I will always feel bad, just like I feel bad when my body stiffens up, and my back spasms from my multiple injuries.

What I am doing is reading books that help like When the Body Says No and How to Be Sick which is a Buddha based guide to help sick people and their caregivers understand and strategize ways to make their burdens lighter. It’s much more helpful than the title makes it sound.

I am also still working on my art despite setbacks. Frida Kahlo is my new hero. Here is an excerpt about her life from the book I was reading called Genograms: Assessment and Intervention



To summarize, Frida Kahlo had a pole go through her. A POLE. And she still rocked the art world. We shall prevail.

In the words of Britta Perry, “Maybe I’m not done raging against the machine.”


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For the last few months, politics has been much, much worse. Maybe you’ve noticed?



But what makes it even more unbearable is the fact that I am unable to argue effectively.



This has never been a skill of mine. I’ve always been bad under pressure, I literally forget words when I’m angry, and am terrible at metaphors. I try to research what I’m saying, but I can’t even find what I want. EVER. It’s painful to me, because pop culture holds the predisposition that women are good at arguing. And I would literally rather stone someone to death and then get the death penalty than be forced to have to talk to them about why I think they’re a stupid, poopyhead.

Me after disagreeing with someone (via

Me after disagreeing with someone except NOT me, because Sherlock is brilliant and articulate

Unfortunately, I still get mad, and feel the need to voice these opinions which are then rendered as weak by my peers.

Which would be fine, if I could argue the equivalent of this

LITERALLY everyone who is not me arguing ever even if they are SUPER WRONG via

LITERALLY everyone who is not me even if they are SUPER WRONG (via

It doesn’t matter what the subject is, I’m equally bad at arguing any of them. In high school, I only picked speech and debate, because some idiot at the high school’s administration office put all of the electives during the SAME period. The good news is that most of the people in the class were freshmen, which actually gave me something of an advantage.



I’m pretty lucky I’m not the main character in Gathering Blue, because she has to stand up for her life with words. I’d probably end up stabbing myself through the stomach with my own knife just so I didn’t have to through the anxiety of the process. Just thinking about that makes me break out in sweat, but on the other hand, I’m already feeling under the weather, so I’m sweating regardless.

I was reading a non-fictional book the other day, and one of the topics it discusses is how you’re NOT supposed to stew in your anger or push it down inside you or express it in rageful ways, because it can make you sicker. The book asks you to be “productive” with your anger, and maybe that’s the problem. I don’t know how to do this. I can’t bury it, plant seeds there, and have the seeds grow into flowers. What happens when I try to be productive with my anger, is that I over-exercise and end up making myself sick.

I found this picture last night, and this is my current resolution:

(Game of Thrones via Pinterest)

I realize that you, the reader, may also be angry and want a solution for this. I don’t have solutions for this particular problem at this time. All I have is gifs, because I’ve recently noticed that I’m bad at coming up with solutions for this, but I’m slightly better at distracting myself.

If you’re out there like me, and you are also bad at arguing but still get mad about stuff, I’d love to hear your ideas. Or maybe if you’re GOOD at arguing, do you just have like some back-up articles or what? What’s your secret!? The person

McCluring it up! and Other Songs


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Hi Readers!

Saying that makes me feel like Mr. Rogers, which is funny because I have a sweater like his and also change my shoes when I get to work.

It’s Autumn, and that means that everyone everywhere is getting what my friend Audrey referred to as Sexy Viral Victim for Halloween on her selfie today. I told her we had the same costume, and we should trade in for something better. Then I stood in line to try and trade, but they weren’t taking returns on that costume. They told me all sales on that costume were final. I explained that it was bought for me by one of my friends who got it from her boyfriend (it’s a very popular costume this year). They said that it’s rare the costume is genuinely sought out and that most people just get stuck with it when someone leaves it at their house then they fall into it by accident. The lady at the returns counter did NOT look amused when she told me this either, probably because I was wearing the costume at the time.

Anyway, so I’ve got the state of mind on that is dumb me being dumber, because sickness. Which sounds a LOT like Troy McClure. If you don’t know who that is, watch this!


Evidence of Sick Brain Syndrome 

  1. Made pumpkin pie yesterday, and put in two cans of pumpkin instead of two cups. When confronted with this mistake, I wrote on directions “c=cups, not cans,” even though I didn’t make that mistake for anything else. How could I? Nothing else came in a can.
  2. Sister’s birthday is today. When husband asked if I wanted to sing with him, I said, “Sure! What are we singing?” and an awkward pause took place, at which point I said, “Oh…you wanted to sing ‘Happy Birthday,’ huh?” Answer: That is exactly what he wanted to sing. He wasn’t really taking requests. Although, the next time someone sings this to me, I’ll be like, “Thanks, that’s great. Now the song I requested was…”
  3. Looked around the area where I sit for the remote. Husband pointed out both remotes we own were sitting on the table in front of me.
  4. Probably countless of other things yet to be discovered or that people were too nice to point out to me.

On the BRIGHT side, I got 92 out of 99 on ” ’90’s Movie Quiz by Picture Frame.” I did fail to notice what my husband (who got a lower score, I’d like to add, but not by much) pointed out which is that a lot of the movies on the quiz didn’t take place in the 90’s.

*I don’t own the above clip. I found it on Youtube.


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