Sunday Morning, Rain Is Falling

Sunday evening.  Close enough.

I don’t like the holidays.  I get grumpy, fidgety, and depressed.  Here are some highlights (lowlights?) from a late-December weekend.


At the coffee place, yesterday:

I had earbuds in, because of the Christmas music (holiday thesis statement:  I hate Christmas).  There was an unsupervised small person next to me, and he asked what I was listening to.

Me:  Velvet Underground.

Him:  Is that the name of the song?

Me:  No, the song is called “Venus in Furs.”

Him:  What’s it about?

Me:  Love.

And no, I don’t have children.  And I’m not ever around them.  So don’t call DSS.


I can tell it’s getting really close to the dreaded 25th because my anxiety is through the roof (more than usual).  I had a substantial freakout yesterday that resulted in frantic texting, mostly to assure me that I had not ruined my life forever and always.  Apologies again to the person on the receiving end of that one.


It’s not all my typical anxiety, which tends to come from overanalyzing everything.  And everything else.

Both bulbs in my bedroom burned out, which I put off dealing with as long as possible:  I decided to fix it, finally, when I was squinting in the semi-darkness this morning, trying to determine if I was holding the navy tights with stars or the black ones.  For future reference, the navy ones have the small stars, and the black ones have larger stars.  And I changed my mind and didn’t wear either pair, in the end.

That was just trying to get out of the house.


So I wisely waited until after nightfall to change the bulbs, because darkness is the ideal way to attempt that.  I dragged a kitchen chair into the bedroom and finally got the fixture down.  When I got the box of bulbs, there was only one of the correct wattage.  I have a box of four bulbs of a different wattage, but having non-identical lightbulbs hovering over my head would effectively blow my mind.  So I changed one bulb.

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One is the loneliest number.

See also:  previous post about the so-called Minute Rice, which I ended up giving away.


When washing dishes, wash dishes.

Or, alternatively, brood!  This is where “Sunday Morning” comes in.  I was thinking through the lyrics and trying to decide if that or “Heroin” is the most depressing song on that album.  I unfairly created a tie by designating the latter the most overtly depressing and the former the most subtly depressing.


I tried to pep myself up with John Prine, but I gave up midway through “Sam Stone.”  In retrospect, probably not the best pick, either.


This picture, taken while visiting my parents, sums up how I feel:

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Fat, drunk, and stupid is no way to go through life.


 

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Can I Offer to Take out Anyone’s Garbage?

This one is about the care and handling of the feral holiday creature.  You know:  that person in your life who approaches the holiday season by hiding under the bed and screaming “resistance is futile!” as you try to drag them out by the leg (the one that’s kicking you).  Me, for instance.  And any of the rest of you who fit that description– or are bewildered by the person you know who does.


 

For some people, cold weather means a series of festive holidays:  decorations, celebrations, and community.

For people like me, it means looking up state statutes, trying to figure what precise crimes to commit that would result result in your unfortunate incarceration throughout the holiday period.

It would make RSVPs and no-shows a lot more interesting:  I’m sorry, but I didn’t qualify for good behavior (but I swear I didn’t start it!).  Or:  the warden and I have a prior engagement.

Yep.  Every year.  I have to.  

50th anniversary this year!  [recorded 1967–> 2 Thanksgivings ago –> 1965]


 

People like me will also tend to feel alone and isolated during this time.  Paradoxically, we will also hole up in our hobbit-holes and refuse to engage with the outside world.

The problem here– and what people tend not to understand– is that we don’t want to be alone, and we are not actually avoiding people.  What we’re avoiding is the mega-watt sensory overload that is October through December.  Spend time with a friend?  Sounds great.  Does this involve going to a mall (in traffic), having an anxiety attack while trying to park, fighting hordes of people, shouting over piped-in music, and hunkering down for limited real estate at a Starbucks?  Oh.  Never mind.  I suddenly have a cold, or perhaps bubonic plague.


 

I’ve lost count of how many times SAD has come up recently, as if I might not have noticed that this affects me.  Vitamins, sunshine, and special lights are popular solutions.  My favored solution is hibernating until I see daffodils.  The medical community does not endorse this.

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Signs of better days.


I’m fine with the idea that some people like to go all-out.  What I don’t like is feeling like Debbie Downer because this is not something I enjoy, and I start to consider a smoking habit just to have an excuse to step outside.  Somehow, I always end up being defensive or mocked.

All of that is somewhat painful, because it’s difficult to say, “I’d like to participate, BUT.”  The “but” tends to be where the misunderstanding (“failure to communicate”) begins.  It helps if you keep listening to what follows the “but,” because that part is going to be different for everybody. It’s the crucial information, though:  the part where someone is going to be honest and skip over any canned explanations about why they’re not going out (consumerism, whatever) and tell you what’s really up.


 

So here’s a fairly modest proposal:  this holiday season, find the person who has refused every invitation on grounds such as toenail fungus and brain fever.  Ask them if they’d like to get coffee somewhere small and quiet.  Talk and joke aimlessly.  Don’t tell them how they “should” spend the holidays or try to solve things.  No advice is necessary.  Just sit and talk.


 

Greta Garbo was frustrated by the ongoing misattribution of “I want to be alone!” as her own words.  She said (of herself):  “I never said, ‘I want to be alone.’ I only said, ‘I want to be let alone!’ There is all the difference.”

Most of us can’t quite deliver a Garbo performance, and we end up seeming aloof and indifferent.  But we don’t want to be alone; we just don’t want to be in the thick of things.

Probably we could explain better over a (quiet) cup of coffee.  Wouldn’t that be nice?

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Garbo on a picnic– that’s the spirit!

image:  http://www.garboforever.com/Cooking_and_eating.htm

 

 

I Wish It Would(n’t) Rain

First of all:  YAY, I went away for the weekend!  Sorry.  I’m very excited.  We can argue about the meaning of “vacation” all day, but I’m counting this.  So there.

Also, before I move into quasi-content:  vote on the 2016 Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame.  I can’t actually buy your votes, but why aren’t more of you voting for The Smiths?  I’m not even talking about music here.  I’m talking about how this would somehow involve trying to figure out how to get Morrissey and Marr on the same stage.  Or in the same building.  At the very least, it would be a very, very exciting year for this ceremony.


Also, to go ahead and get this out of the way, I was going to quote something from Furiously Happy at the end (I did anyway).  When I flipped to find it, I realized I had inadvertently written something pretty much along the same lines thematically as the Australia chapter of that book (except not clever, funny, etc.).  That was probably part accident and part some sort of back-of-mind recall.  In my defense, that was the first book I’d been able to complete since August, owing to a mental crash-and-burn (which I’ll say again, but that’s due to no current external circumstance; I get paranoid about that sort of thing re: myself, so I feel like I need to say it), so I’m still getting the pieces picked up.  It’s also after 2 AM.


Photos Go Awry . . . Before I Even Leave Town

I had a nice little plan set up, which is probably when the universe decided to heave buckets of rain down.  See, I was anticipating one of those photo albums of mountain-type fall pictures to show (read:  prove) that I’d been outdoors and all that stuff that I hear other people do.

I’m already taking weird pictures to demonstrate I do normal things.  I realize other people Instagram fascinating meals and exquisite culinary preparations.  I took a picture of this . . . whatever I made last week:

WHOEVER is currently in charge of the kitchen on OITNB (because I lost focus so many times last season, except when some favorite character was disappearing) will now have to relinquish it to me.

WHOEVER is currently in charge of the kitchen on OITNB (because I lost focus so many times last season, except when some favorite character was disappearing) will now have to relinquish it to me.

Technically, I sort of used a recipe.  More importantly, EXCHANGES.

Oh, I did take a picture of coffee last week.  This reminds me of a chromosome pair I saw once in a photo, but I haven’t figured it out yet.  Let me know if you recognize it.

Requisite coffee photo of vaguely biological looking splotch.

Requisite coffee photo of vaguely biological looking splotch.


“He Says They’ve Already Got One!”

Anyway, that’s why I wanted some more impressive pictures.  Most of the ones I take around here are of garbage and other street debris.  Seriously.  Tons of those.

However, the weird-person-staring-at-street problem could be remedied, if I could have taken home my new friend, the Trojan Moose:

Calling him/her/whatever Bullwinkle seems very obvious.

Calling him/her/whatever Bullwinkle seems very obvious.  Please note that it is really raining indeed.

I also grew attached to a kindred cow and pig inside (not so much the raccoon; I was afraid it would go through my kitchen trash).  I’m not sure if I could have also remained in this apartment if all three had come home (and how I would have gotten them here), but it would have been lovely to have them around.


Apple:  Now Bringing U2 to All Devices

This is in a parking garage elevator.  Some enterprising soul made it picture-worthy.  It may be that I don’t have a great concept of what constitutes vacation picture material:

Good one, Banksy-in-training.

Good one, Banksy-in-training.


I think I did better with the yarn-bombed bike.  Of course, A) taking a close picture while B) not walking away might have helped.  I was distracted.  There were also things up ahead.  So sue me.

I just want to ride my motorsickle. Stop fighting me on this one, autocorrect.

I just want to ride my motorsickle. Stop fighting me here, autocorrect.  It’s a word if Arlo Guthrie says it is.


The Ballad of the . . . Well, Not Sad Anything, Really

What else have I got?  Here’s a house I saw that was falling apart and looked cool:

#lifegoals: be known as the creepy old woman who lives here in a distinctly Southern Gothic manner

#lifegoals: be known as the creepy old woman who lives here in a distinctly Southern Gothic manner

There was a version of that one that had me standing in front of it.  It does not appear here.  No pictures of me will be in this post.  The vacation was good, but I certainly don’t like the way I seemed to look in it.  This has been a message from the voices in my head.

Other assorted buildings:

Roofs! Tiles!

Roofs! Tiles!

Some sort of really interesting church!

Some sort of really interesting church!

No idea, but I stalled everyone on the sidewalk to take a picture because it was interesting.

No idea, but I stalled everyone on the sidewalk to take a picture because it was interesting.  I have even made it larger here, for your viewing pleasure.

Classy ™ Starbucks ™.

Classy ™ Starbucks ™.


“Sweeping Every Category Except Congeniality, Which Is Not Something the Women in My Family Aspire to, Anyway”

There’s some other stuff, but I’m not going to deluge anyone with a slideshow.  What I am going to say is that the past five or so days have been a lot better than some other recent ones, not for any reason relating to external circumstances (read:  no one’s fault, etc.).  I already put in a brief plug for Furiously Happy [link to blog; it may cheer you up] in the previous post, and I’m going to do it again here.

Here’s why:  most people would probably think I had a boring vacation, and I certainly don’t have a lot of wild ‘n’ crazy pictures to show.  Everything I did (well, except for the getting soaked bit) was something I like to do, though.  I probably went too slow for most people.  I probably took more naps.  Lord knows I had a more “interesting” eating schedule.  I also veer off sidewalks to look at strange things, duck into oddball shops where I will buy nothing, and pretty much set up shop in bookstores.  I even like old bricks.  A lot.  And if none of that is your thing, that’s also fine.

Here’s where I’m going to stop babbling and quote the book:  “It doesn’t mean I’m a failure at appreciating the good things in life.  It means I’m successful at recognizing what the good things in life are for me.”


“Better to Light a Flamethrower than Curse the Darkness”

I would absolutely not say I deserved any of this weekend, but it was such a wonderful relief to have five days where I felt like a human instead of a mole person.  When I try to tell people what the “good things” I’ve done or experienced are, I feel pretty paltry and want to fade away again.  So tonight I’m not caring about that part.  I’m going to bask in the feeling of not feeling like crawling back in bed and staying there.

Is this a picture of someone on a good day or a bad day? You decide.

Is this a picture of someone having a good day or a bad day? You decide.

And I also really want to thank [this sounds like a speech.  I should sleep.  I’ll be doing a pageant wave next] a few of you who helped me keep this up these past few days, especially since I’ve been so bad about hiding from, um, everything. Also the person who told me to quit shading everything on social media (none of it’s a lie, incidentally; it’s finely-presented truth) so that things look like they’re going fine until I end up in some train wreck situation (this isn’t social media per se, so those who never want to read this blathering will simply be able to ignore it).

I’m going to try to return the favor and be better about responding.  I will try to answer. I’m working on it.  I may be asleep or have the phone off at some times.  Otherwise, I’m  trying.


Finis, in the usual manner: