No Gnus (is good Gnus)

Social media is not news. It is not journalism. It is individual people (sometimes platforms or entities: NPR, PBS, the US Park Service) sharing information. Some of these people have specific qualifications that make their communication on any platform… actual useful factual information. I am not following most of those people and neither are you.

Most of us are just following other people – friends, artists, celebrities, influencers (shudder) that provide their P.O.V on … whatever. So it’s a curated echo chamber for most people. People who like what you like. People or causes you admire. Maybe if you’re adventurous, people that challenge your view. Though I can’t think of many people that specifically seek out that content… knowing by and large that social media is our way to push a button and get a dopamine hit, unless conflict feeds your dopamine?

You’re just ingesting things. Memes validating collective outrage. Woke-flexing to show that you give a shit about the “right” things (right = whatever pleases your chosen social/tribal group). Performative dissent. Re-sharing content that expresses the issue of the day. The next shooting. The next erosion of rights. The next attack on human beings who don’t fit other human beings definitions of “good” or “worthy”. The next hot button issue that the thought-police have decided you should focus on, or you’re off, out of touch, in the wrong queue. Fucking cancelled.

What am I talking about this for anyway?

Your posts and stories don’t change things for most people. The people who disagree with you don’t see your feed. Your witty Twitter repost, your viral TikTok hot-take… no shithead redneck middle aged man is going to stop voting to make queer people criminals because of your outraged Instagram posting, or mine.

It’s not that I don’t give a shit. I give too much of a shit, like a lot of people I know, and like, and respect. I just don’t think that social media is how those things change. I think it’s probably useful to people searching for community, who need support or resources or relief from alienation. And I want those people to have free worldwide access to those things, those other souls whose ideas and support and community uplift them.

But can we all stop pretending that our posts change anyone’s minds. I’m not going to convince anyone that Black Lives Matter, or that Trans Right Are Human Rights because I’m yelling about it on my social media accounts. My shit is locked anyway. The people that disagree with those things have their own curated audiences of like-minded people to validate their outrage and opinions. They are not looking to me or anyone else to teach them anything. I’m not educating anyone on the “issues” or “saving my rights”. That’s just not how it works. I believe in protest and civil unrest and supporting organizations and people who do things that can have an impact. And I’ve always supported those things, and will continue to do so. And not have to post about it every time my monthly donation to Abortion rights, or the LGBTQ+ community, or saving animals gets cashed. I’m not doing it to run my mouth about how great I am or how worthy of being recognized for being a decent person.

The shit that you do, that matters, is what you do when there’s no audience. The end.

I’ve ditched Facebook and Twitter but kept Instagram because I love photos. Because once upon a time I wondered if maybe I could make a living creating images (I quickly realized I was not going to try that and expect to make any decent $), but I love the medium anyway. I love a running visual catalog of where I’ve been and things I’ve seen and done. A never ending snapshot feed of my life.

I left Facebook because the “people” I wanted to stay in touch with rarely ever posted about their lives. They shared memes and news articles and other content that I don’t particularly want to receive from every former colleague or old friend. I rarely saw much of them, or their lives, or anything that previously, when it was incepted, felt like “seeing and keeping up with a person”. And as the signal shrank and the noise grew, I found it just brought me feelings of dissatisfaction and dread. So I deleted it. And I stopped thinking about it, and didn’t really “miss” anything.

And then as more of the world fell apart (or, as with all technology, did so in a way that was suddenly vastly more accessible and visible to witness i.e. it’s always been falling about, it just wasn’t “televised”0, Twitter felt more and more like that. A collective bullhorn of frustration and grief. Which… everyone is entitled to share. But it just felt like more to carry. I already have frustration and grief, and it’s not lack of compassion, but sheer lack of capacity to “take on” any more, so I logged off of there too.

So lately Instagram, at least the stories, have also started to feel like a never ending wall of other people processing all of the worst of the world, and again… it just makes me feel depleted. I don’t want to be on the hook, that I put myself on, of “performative activism”, in any capacity. It’s exhausting.

I am typing this out to remember that I don’t have to do that. I don’t owe anyone anything. No posts, no explanations, no commiseration to prove my dedication to any cause. If I want to stop participating in any of that, I can. So I’m willing it into existence.

I’m not signing off, but maybe, stepping back. And if my “presence” on any platform seems… limited, or frivolous, guess what, I don’t care. Maybe stop, and remember, I’m an entire person, and if I simply deleted my account. I would still exist, and in far more meaningful ways that I ever have on any social media site.

No Forwarding Address.

Your memories of a person are not who they are. It sounds obvious phrased that way but it’s worth saying. Any description I have of a person, even a close person in my life, is just a summary of my personal experience with them. My relationship and interactions, the actual experiences we shared, my knowledge of them from the other people that were there, some memories of my own, and then often, a lot of stories of other people’s memories.

So not exactly cold hard irrefutable facts. But still, this isn’t a prelude to a disagreement about who a person was, or what did or did not happen. It’s simply to state that all of this is the truth as I know it to be, and I write it all down because I’ve thought of it often. My memories will fade and shift. It’s important to me to capture these things before they’re so blurry that they lose any cohesive story, or more importantly the impact the have to other people in this person’s life. I’m writing this for me, but also for “E” and more for “J”, who has the fewest clear good memories, but as the only Dad in our group, deserves to know more and hopefully finds some solace in understanding a person who is no longer here, but whose influence still shows up in all of our lives, because we’re the people he left behind.

This is a story, my story, about my step-dad. Pep. That wasn’t his name, but it is what we called him. And given his proclivity for giving all of his children weird nicknames, it only seems fair.

Pep met my Mom because he volunteered at the college daycare. Mom and I lived with her parents – Grandma and Pap (who for all intents and purposes served the role of the “other” parent), since my actual Dad wasn’t really great at being consistent.

Pep loved kids. Which, in light of his childhood and his parents, is something of note. I can’t say if we ever talked about it specifically but understand that none of us in the years that passed ever really understood why his own parents had children.

They clearly didn’t like them. And I don’t just mean their own children, I mean children in general. Theirs, or so I was told, was a household where kids were supposed to be seen but not heard. I cannot imagine what sort of fearful tyranny you’d have to unleash to keep three boys, who were no more than a few years apart in age, quiet. I do remember my Mom telling me later, how they objected to my Mom and Pep dating, Pep’s mother saying “she’s only looking for a father for her kid.”. Which, ugh, summarizes my relationship with them for most of my life. When I became an obnoxious teenager, all birthday cards and holiday acknowledgements of my existence ceased. I think they’d been waiting for an opportunity to forget I existed for years.

Regardless, I’d always summarize the situation by saying that I think, in those days, in those circumstances, in a smaller town in the 50s and 60s a lot of people did the shit they were “supposed” to do, without much thought about what they wanted. Women in particular. If you weren’t a hippie or a strong rebellious person, you fell in line. You got married, you had kids. You worked and raised your family and put on the window dressing of a normal nuclear family life. What else were you going to do?

I realize this is a dramatic oversimplification, but still, it’s not wrong. They did those things (got married, had kids), it made them (Pep’s parents) into miserable people, or maybe they were already miserable people and it just compounded that into something worse (alcoholism, repressed rage, massively dysfunctional personal relationships, etc.).

So Pep had parents that didn’t really want to be parents. So, no surprise, they kind of sucked. And so his childhood probably kind of sucked, and one of the key ingredients in who he became as a person was someone with no decent example of “good” parenting, not a whole hell of a lot of compassion or support as a person, and ultimately he got slingshotted out in to the world with a pretty fucked up nuclear family and not a lot of tools for being a self-aware, emotionally stable person. He had parents who didn’t give a shit but he loved kids anyway.

Is it entirely their fault he became the person he was? No, certainly not. Did they offer much in the way of a decent start into what kind of a person he would become, no, they offered him nothing.

One of the main stories I always come back to, one that he told me, one that he repeated, laughing. I’m not sure if it still hurt his feelings. I don’t think he knew how to untangle this one story from the mess of his entire shit relationship with his parents. But he’d been off in the Navy, maybe it was bootcamp, or his first deployment. Either way. He came home, and his house was empty. Because he parents had moved, and they hadn’t bothered to tell him.

Sky high with a heartache of stone

This is a day I’m very glad to not be on Twitter. I don’t think I can absorb anyone else’s feelings about today’s news.

Roe v. Wade has been overturned. I’m not even going to attempt to struggle with articulating any coherent reasoning or stop to think about how I’m going to spew on here will be received. No editing, no rewrites, just vomiting forth the disconnected stream of rage I’ve been choking on since I read this.

Fuck this joke of a democracy we live in.
Fuck this country and its pathetic identity politics in a rainbow of sheep’s clothing.
Fuck the white male patriarchal homophobic dick measuring power struggle.

Fuck anyone too lazy to educate themselves about the language the “woke” are using. It is patriarchy. It IS GILEAD. It is a war on women and forced-birth and lies packaged as compassion.

It is a capitalist hellscape of special interests and old irrelevant white men making laws for an entire body of people that they do not understand, represent, or care to protect.

Fuck your Pro-Life bullshit empty promises. There is no universal healthcare. There is no free birth control. There is no structural support for women or children. There is no health or safety or freedom for the queer, minority, poor, others who can’t throw money to participate in your rotten-to-the-fucking core system of support.

Fuck your lies.

Fuck me for ever losing sight of why I have been a contrarian outsider who made the conscious choice to embrace my “otherness” is all facets to show most of the fucking sheeple in this goddamn hellscape that NO, we’re not alike. I believe in autonomy even for you and your dark ages beliefs that treat women like chattel and possessions, as long as you keep that terrorism to yourself.

Fuck your religion for giving this any weight with anyone. I think you missed the entire fucking message of that messiah you’re leaning on.

Fuck SCOTUS it’s a joke. Fuck the electoral collage. Fuck your gerrymandering. Fuck the lack of term limits. Fuck the GOP you facist shitheads. Fuck the Dems you gutless cowards.

Women have been surviving your shit for generations. Fuck you for thinking you can control us. Fuck you for even trying.

Let’s burn this motherfucker to the ground.

Long Form Reboot

Noticed that my last post here was from 2019. Hello again. *Tap tap* is this thing on?
I nuked my Facebook back in December of 2021. Yesterday I decided to log off of Twitter, not delete, because I have less annoyance with that platform. Keeping Instagram because I can’t quite yank the plug entirely on the “push a button, get a treat” phenomenon that is social media but the decision to step back from Twitter was a conscious uncoupling (ew, F you Paltrow for introducing that shit in to my vocabulary) as an attempt to retrain my brain to make use of time in better ways. I’ve said this before. I always mean it.

I want to use the time I used to spend on Twitter to read in the space between work tasks (I finished an entire graphic novel today), and to flex my writing muscles in longer format here. Maybe with the goal of grabbing on to some of the loose threads of ideas I’ve had to turn them into posts or essays or just recognize that this format has always felt better – it’s the format that sucked me in to this godforsaken online hellscape initially (pours one out for LJ).

I like myself better here, in this space. Twitter lately has just reminded me that the scales tip from side to side on if it’s providing me with meaningful fuel. I enjoy a lot of the people I’ve “met” and I don’t begrudge them their space or thoughts but even in the smart/niche communities of people (infoSec, TST folks) people still use their respective feeds to ruminate in short form on shit I don’t want to spend my bandwidth on (horrible social issues, politics, drama within the various communities and “congregations”)

Random sidebar –> On the TST thing… admittedly this is why I am not interested in TST, I realize it’s a non-theistic “religion” but once people become an organized “community” all the same petty issues that plague every larger group of humans surface. Also I am not a joiner. I am happier with my own loose boundaries with various people in various places. I “belong” best as an outlier to all of that, happy to befriend but not interested in being part of any fucking congregation, non-theistic or otherwise. It’s still a “religion”, it’s still a “group”, it’s still got one flawed person as its mouth piece and a bunch of people arguing about who meant what and said/did what to whom. Just… no. People in large groups are hot garbage. the end. Happy to let others manage that in whatever way is meaningful to them (oddly enough this also extends my family and their Christianity) happy for you, none for me thanks.

Regardless. I am slowly creeping back in to creative things, I make no apologies for the lack of consistency, atleast I keep telling myself that when I am annoyed at my lack of consistency.

I must remind myself to view the reality as the result of recovering from the drain of navigating an ongoing pandemic, and pursuing a life rich in other engaging things (being outside, doing things with my people, supporting those people, experiencing art, etc…)

Maybe indulging myself here will improve my writing. Maybe it won’t. It’s still worth trying 😉

Hump Daaaayeee

Checking back in.  Monday I didn’t read. Tuesday I read but didn’t get off my ass, in fact, the opposite. I was so tired on the way home I dragged myself to the grocery store and then immediately went home to sleep for an hour. I have a follow-up doctor’s appointment that I hope will finally give me a bit more clarity on what kind of shit I should be doing to take care of myself (most of this is common sense IMO) but the doctor is a naturopath and has been giving me very specific supplements.

Case in point I’ve been taking magnesium for atleast two years, and apparently I still have a magnesium deficiency, so she hooked me up with a supplement that I hope is actually doing something. -_-

I just hopped back on to finish this. It’s 8:30 and legit, I could go to sleep right now. But I’ve been successful at a bunch of other things today. In spite of only having like 4 days left at my job I’m still plowing through a ton of stuff (organizing files I’ve created so they’re easier to find, helping to retool the job description for the person they’ll need to hire to replace me, editing a bunch of stuff other people wrote today, working through a big guide/paper I’d started before I resigned). I also managed to remember to grab a package from the post office this morning before work, successfully offload our old bed through bulk trash pickup, pick up dinner to feed me and the kid without violating my dietary goals and drink like 90 ounces of water.

I got my new Fitbit watch yesterday. Having invested in the digital nanny I hope wearing it reminds me to drink water, get off my ass, log what I’m eating just to be mindful of it. Though I’m hoping mainly to use it as an exercise tracker once I’ve given my body a week or so to adjust to the wicked sugar reduction. Can we talk about how last night it was screaming at me about how I needed to eat 40 pieces of toast and a bucket of chocolate for NO REASON because I wasn’t hungry. FFS. The sugar struggle is real.

30 Days.

I’m tired in a way I haven’t been tired in a way that’s hard to measure.

My brain is tired. I feel like between the loss of my job, coordinating the move and unpacking, taking a new job and feeling like there is no room at all for dropping the ball has left me exhausted. Because R is buried in work and doesn’t have the bandwidth either. And everything. Every show, every errand, every event has felt essential. If I don’t fit this in, when will it fit in? Like if I let any of it slip the entire fucking train was going to go off the rails. From hitting up a giant vintage fleamarket, to driving to Baltimore three times in a single week for shows. Like I accidentally over-scheduled things I want to enjoy and  every element of my life has felt like obligation and work. I mean I’ve enjoyed it, don’t get me wrong. But I’m so tired.

Getting through the birthday BBQ this weekend really felt like getting to the end of something. Like I can finally start changing other things. And the first part is going to be taking care of myself in a way that’s beyond just sprinting from one major thing to the next.

It’s weird to have quit this job and still have to be here. The culture, as broken and pained as some of it is, some of the people are close. It feels false to participate since all I want to do is get out of here, wipe the slate and put my energy into something that I feel like has the foundation to let me work towards a role I really enjoy that feels like it’s moving me forward. I learned a ton from my last job, I miss it tremendously, I also realize now, that for me it was one of the best jobs I’ve had for a bunch of reasons unique to the people, the culture, and the specific role that I was in. It’s much easier to see that clearly now. I mean I appreciated it the entire time I was there because I escaped a really terrible role before that but taking this new role I realized that I have a much stronger grasp on what I need to be doing. The last three months have really beat me up. I didn’t realize it.

I think being in a job where I realized I felt valuable because I was good at putting out all of the fires and being “everything” to everyone, without building something was a backwards feeling of validation.

Yesterday I spent most of the day thinking about how I wanted to start actively taking care of myself more… Mind & Body. So here’s my stream of concious listing about how I’m planning to do that.


  • Sleep – I’m good about getting sleep, so sticking to 8 hours of melatonin assisted shut eye are critical to maintain.
  • Read – I’d like to read a minimum of 20 pages of something every day that isn’t related to work or social media.
  • Write- I also want to write, like this. Atleast every other day.
  • Plan – Once I get settled into my new job I want to make sure I immediately look in to the professional development they offer (basic management training, writing conferences, writing classes, building a team)
  • People – Trying to make time, once a week, to connect with someone outside of my immediate circle (see R, my Mom, Colleen).

Most of it’s body, but I know that’s all completely tied up in mind.


  • Skin – So far the things I’ve been good at are: maintaining my skin care regimen. All of the serums, eye cream, lash booster, sunscreen. I’ve stayed on top of all of that. My stupid tinea versicolor is back so I need to treat that, which I did this morning, and I want to make sure I don’t end up with melasma on my face again (from too much sun on my face) MOAR HATS
  • Vitamins – My supplements (I’ve been faithfully taking the D-Mannose, the uber probiotic and I followed the overall schedule for the month the Dr. prescribed.) I’ve yet to replace some of my other supplements because I have a follow up appointment with her on Thursday to go through my macro-nutrient analysis and will get better guidance on what I need to be eating. I hope to have a more specific recommendation on diet and supplements from the doctor by the end of the week.
  • Water – 80 ounces daily (per doctors orders). I’ve been good but I need to stay on top of it. I struggle during the weekend and if I’m at home. I guess more distractions make that harder. I downloaded the FitBit app (I also ordered a Fitbit) so I started logging water today.
  • Food – This is where I’ve struggled, victim of being overextended and unable to focus. No sugar, no bread/rice/etc. Meats,veggies, low sugar fruits, fats, nuts, etc… Going to manage a cheat day once a week for sanity and planning’s sake. No dairy except for coffee in the a.m. No gluten, trying to work more fish into the mix. Hoping to maintain this until we head to LA. 30 days.
  • Exercise. For the first two weeks I’m going to be lenient about this until I get adjusted to the dietary changes. Hoping to spend time walking, light lifting as time/my headspace permit. My baseline goal is to just walk around the neighborhood if I need to. To get out. I want to try to run atleast once a week for the next four weeks. And to get myself a new swimsuit and googles to hopefully take advantage of our pool this summer. Once the new job starts I can work from home two days a week. I’d love to try to get in a weekly lunch time swim.

I read an article recently that said the idea that you can only make one thing a habit a time is a myth, and make no sense. So I’m viewing this as a full scale undertaking. I’ll change it all at once. I’ll read more, cook more, eat better, try to be kinder to myself during the process. Drop 20 fucking lbs and 3 inches off my waist. Stop using my privilege to _just_ throw_ money at the problem and put in the actual work for the shit I can change.

Here’s to the next 30 days. Fuck I’m already tired.

We Interrupt This Broadcast

So two weeks ago (or so, I’m too lazy to check), I was assuming my next post was going to be the second post about my trip to Iceland. And then my somewhat “routine” existence exploded.

First, we’ve been researching and watching carefully out of the side of our eyes at the local real estate market. And a house popped up for sale in our neighborhood. So in the matter of a few hours we went from bystanders to mortgage pre-approval participants. 0 to 60 in short order. Suffice to say my “free time” and “mental energy” reserves were all redirected into the land of interest rates, loan types, deposits, 401K lending, and down-payments. It was exciting if a little harrowing. We live in a super competitive market and after viewing the house on our own we went back over the weekend to check out the open house. I’ve never seen that many people at an open house.

The property ended up with 11. ELEVEN offers. The winning offer’s escalation clause was dramatically over the list price. In hindsight, after the shock of the whole experience wore off, it was highly educational. We obviously, did NOT, end up getting the contract.

Which seems weirdly fortuitous, because 4 days later, I lost my job.
And so far I’m ok with it. It was… shocking but not a surprise. Which sounds contradictory but let me explain. I work for a startup. We were pushing really hard to turn our products/business into something profitable and we have a board of directors that are in place to make sure the investor’s money is being used wisely. So.. we had goals defined to meet within a year (which would be late June of this year), and things were improving but not fast. So I expected layoffs, but later… sometime in March.

Instead they opted to abandon our core product, to focus on the newer and potentially more lucrative product we just launched in November.  Which from a business standpoint, I understand, but it was still a dramatic move I didn’t see coming. As part of this they basically cut our organization in half. I was laid off along with 30 other people.

So… in some ways I feel like I was booted off of a potentially sinking ship. I am in excellent company (my colleagues are truly some of the most capable and intelligent people I know). And in the immediate (I’m talking under an hour) aftermath we were banding together. Someone put a group chat together, we now have an ex-employee Slack (team chat application) going. Several former coworkers reached out to offer to make introductions and get us in touch with hiring managers. I’ve been in touch with people nonstop since the hammer fell.

I’ve personally been offering resume support and have reviewed half a dozen resumes for my peers. It makes me feel helpful and like the positive energy that I’m putting out makes life a little easier for someone else, which is something I value.

R expressed his surprise at how I was immediately up and running. But to be honest it can’t be helped. I know I’ll process this all slowly, unconsciously. I loved my job. It was the first job that I had that I never had a day where I was just …over it. Tired sometimes, stressed, but literally every day of the nearly 3 years I was grateful. Glad to work with smart people, glad to be treated like an adult with support, respect, and autonomy. Something when I slow down, that I will be mourning in all sorts of ways. I just can’t right now.

Circumstances and my personality dictate that in a crisis, which hey… this very well is (unplanned unemployment is pretty traumatic, even if this is certainly not the first time I’ve been laid off) … I have to keep moving. So my feet hit the ground the afternoon I lost my job and I haven’t stopped moving since.

Being busy, being proactive, being supportive and helpful to my colleagues, I’m not going to lie, is leaving me feeling pretty optimistic. For now. Ask me again when the very short period of severance pay I have runs out. Let’s hope that hope holds.


Iceland (Part 1)

So for Thanksgiving (and as a belated anniversary trip) we went to Iceland for the first time. And some of the things I’m going to rattle off will be familiar to people who know more than I do (about Iceland) which is probably not hard but I’m writing this more for my own benefit (and later recollection).

Iceland is located north and east of Greenland and has a population of about 350,000 people. The things I was not prepared for going there were innumerable. When we planned the trip we both knew we wanted to go, neither of us had been, and I trusted that it would all be amazing. I did something I don’t normally do and I booked us a tour. We only had 4 & 1/2 days and I wanted to get as much out of our time as possible. I expected we’d see more if we weren’t dealing with driving around on our own (we did), and I didn’t want to roll the dice navigating an unfamiliar country in the winter or worry about gear (for ice caving), knowing when to stop (because you could drive for an hour an see nothing), or dealing with crappy driving conditions. It turned out to be a really wise choice for our first visit (even before we got there I knew we’d be going more than once).
While we may have traded the freedom to linger and be self-directed everything we saw was amazing. I wasn’t disappointed with anywhere we stopped, both of our guides were locals that were knowledgeable and friendly and took us off the beaten track to see little stops we would have struggled to locate, let alone identify. We booked with Extreme Iceland (which is run by Arctic Adventures) and I have nothing but great things to say. Being able to gaze out the windows at the amazing landscape while someone else drove made the relative sacrifices completely worthwhile. Our tour was on a shuttle with about 18 people total, so larger to offset the cost, but not an unwieldy mess of 50 people on a big stupid bus. Everyone kept mostly to themselves and the people we did chat and interact with were all really nice. (People were from literally all over the world: Saudi Arabia, Hong Kong, Indonesia, various parts of the US).


At the start of the winter in addition to being cold it is unbelievably dark. The sun doesn’t rise until about 10:15 and then for the hours of the day that are technically daylight the sun never seems bright. It always hovered around a dusk or dawn. Around 4:30 the sun would start to disappear again and it would be pitch back by 5:15. On the shortest day of winter (Dec 21) the sun is only up for 4 hours. Nothing could have prepared me for the experience of what it’s like waking up in complete darkness. While I can’t imagine the struggle of dealing with that as a permanent resident the challenge of dealing with it for a few days with something that was kind of exciting and interesting. It added to the feeling of other worldliness.


Day 1 – West Coast


We arrived on Thanksgiving on an “overnight” flight (the short duration of the flight makes this a little painful because at no point during that first 36 hours are you going to get adequate sleep – the only advantage this had for me was training me to be a cat napping master on the bus in between our travel spots). Another sort of interesting element of this trip for me is that I planned very little. Other than booking the tour and getting us a hotel for our last night I planned and researched nothing. As a planner this was a weird exception and I wholly enjoyed have ZERO expectations and just showing up to see what would happen.

After getting through customs and a hilarious interaction with the ATM (periods, commas, foreign currency and sleep deprivation make for an interesting situation – luckily the ATM didn’t allow R to take out the $1200 US he initially attempted.)

We found a shuttle bus to Reykjavik and it dropped us at Hallgrimskirkja (the crazy church in the center of the city), to wait for our tour to collect us. Our tour would be broken into two mini-tours. With one guide picking us up and taking us out to the West Coast and then returning us to Reykjavik before the second two-day tour started. We headed out of the city about 90 minutes give or take and made our first stop in between a waterfall and a mountain at Kirkjufellsfoss (I only remember this because I took a photo of the sign).

Continue reading “Iceland (Part 1)”

VIP Seat on the Strugglebus

I think the concept of a struggle bus is funny, even if the phrase is cheeky and annoying in the same way that people are now famous because they open packages for a living on YouTube.

I am annoyed at my 2019 not starting with more momentum. I’m not sure what to blame it on but I feel like it’s a combination of:

  • the winter
  • a mild case of seasonal bleh disorder (it’s cold and dark and hard to do things)
  • Having a shittastic cold that mutated into lame viral bronchitis for all of December
  • the lull in routine at work and in life that let me get used to sitting around watching history shows with my heart’s bff
  • My back being a dick because I am lazy jackass that sits on the couch watching too much viking murder tv (but is there such a thing?)
  • Not sleeping great because of all of the above
  • Being healthy for about 36 hours only to end up with a stomach virus that rolled right in to the start of my period.

It’s making things hard.

I like feeling motivated. Being unhealthy makes everything impossible. I don’t want to run or cook or lift weights or read or take down the goddamn tree and put all this shit away and OMG EVERYTHING IS ANNOYING.

I am having issues with motivation. I am .. sick and tired of being sick and tired, when it’s already hard, in the winter in particular, to push yourself to do things.

Things I want to be doing but am not doing, yet.

  • Exercising.  OMG. I need to find a way to work this back into my habits. We hiked before NYE and it was so nice (even if I was hacking up a lung). See, here’s a photo even.


  • Being more engaged with work and pushing to make progress with stuff…. I need to find some training to attend, I think that will help. (I like my job and am immensely grateful for that so I refuse to spend time complaining about that, atleast for now)

Things I am already working on improving

  • Making more art. Being sick and out of town made it really hard to get to the studio since before Thanksgiving. But I got back this weekend and hope to get back into a better rhythm now that we have a break in our travel. I make pots if you find that sort of thing interesting.
  • Reading more. I say this every year but really… I want to read more (I am actually on a roll with this even though I have been feeling like arse). I finished a graphic novel in one sitting and have been working through a chapter per night of the Scar, which is very good. (Let’s not talk about the Murakami book I’m stuck 60% of the way through). I’m on Goodreads, I still really like that site.

Things that are minor and dumb but still worthwhile

  • I got my car serviced
  • Set up my new login and info for our new health insurance
  • Got my annual mammogram
  • Took down the tree and packed up all of the decorations
  • We dragged our asses out yesterday for real groceries so we made dinner last night and have all of the stuff we need for tonight too.
  • I’m writing, here and hope even if it’s just me howling into the wind about stupid day to day stuff I can work on making it habitual and that writing about the random things I’m thinking about will bring me a greater sense of accountability, plus lists!!!





We all end up alone.

Abandonment. Textbook abandonment. Whatever that means. For any child isn’t it sourced ultimately at the disappearance of a critical figure. A parent, a sibling, a close childhood friend. People leave. Accepting that is part of your life forever.  Or should I say making peace with it, or maybe never making peace with it and wrestling it forever in some type of Promethean torment. Consciously. Unconsciously.

Maybe I did carry it around. Maybe I still carry it around. I will admit that a cornerstone of my last relationship was built on a feeling a safety I don’t remember having previously. I spent over 9 years feeling like I had one less worry. That I wasn’t going to have to concern myself with being alone. I had a family that I made, even if it was just the two of us. I had a teammate, a partner. Someone to help tread this weird path we’re all on. Help me along. Take care of me if it all fell apart. Love me even if my body or mind failed and make sure that I wasn’t left discarded at the side of the road. He said forever. He meant it. I meant it when I said it. Then forever changed.

That’s the thing. I still want those impossible promises to be made. Knowing they can and likely will end up being broken. Maybe that’s what marriage is for non-religious people. The subscription to the belief that you are trying to make the same kind of iron-clad promise, that’s your intent. We all want forever but I don’t think any of us knows what that means, we see the end but we don’t see the journey. Here’s the point A, the goal is the point B, seems obvious right. But what about that fact that the path we’re talking about is this undefinable road. The not knowing is what you’re trying to use that promise as a shield against, to plow forward, to keep going, to free yourself from one of the litany of worries we all hang on to.

No one wants to do this alone. Not the exhilarating bits or the dull ones or the simple agony of being alive. It’s intended to be shared. But gods how we fuck that up.

The only peace I am ever going to make is accepting that the only constant in the entire world is knowing things will always change. We’ve been defiantly shouting it at each other since the 8th grade. NOTHING IS FOREVER EXCEPT CHANGE (ACCEPT THE CHANGE). If it was a thing when we were younger we’d all have shitty tattoos that said it. We tossed it at each other like we had an inkling of what it meant. Fuck we were idiots. Beautiful, optimistic, children. Thinking we’d sort it out, we’d find some impenetrable shield in each other, in our relationships to navigate it together and ride these changes like some epic tidal wave. But you can bet that we assumed we’d be on top. In charge. Adapting and doing it with grace and success.

It’s all an illusion. There is no grace anywhere to be found sometimes. And the success, the bitter reality of redefining that is understanding that success means getting your ass kicked again and again. Your heart broken. Your sense of stability obliterated. And standing up and moving forward because you are too stubborn to give up.

Kittens clinging to cliffs on shitty motivational posters.

Hang in there.

Sometimes that’s all that I feel like I’m doing.