A Super-Deep Reflection: Solitude

Yeah, right.  I’m going to start off with how I dropped my phone down my pants.

Tomorrow is pickup day, and I was hauling the bins to the alley.  I needed to carry my phone but had no pockets, so I stuck it in my waistband.  MacGyver, right?  I didn’t even make it the five or six feet to the bins before the phone worked its way out of my waistband and down my leg.  It’s been raining, and the ground is soaked, so I ended up trying to hold my leg out horizontally so I could remove the phone without drowning it.

Later, after dark, my elusive new neighbor or neighbors came in, and I heard a bin thunk.  The one I’ve met, whose name is Chase or Hunter or Chet or something, appears to have gotten separated from his fraternity herd, and I wasn’t counting on him to pick up a bin that he’d knocked over with his car.  By this time, it was raining again, so I stood at my back door, in my pajamas, holding a keychain flashlight (shaped like a pig, and yes, it does oink while illuminating), trying to pinpoint the location of the trash.

What this has to do with solitude:  it makes you act like you were raised by wolves.  Or, more accurately, living alone causes you to lose your set of “is this normal?” checks and balances.  I suspect that even those living the contemplative life sometimes wear beanies indoors– who’s going to know?

I ended up going outside about 11 PM, in pajamas and Doc Martens.  It was a look, that’s for sure.


There’s no need for an essay discussing pros and cons of being alone, and I hate pro-con lists anyway:  they tend to be paralyzing, unless you actually do know what you need to do but have to rationalize it.

I was considering cooking Minute Rice last night.  I got entirely hung up on the directions:  why does Minute Rice take five minutes to cook, five to solidify (or whatever)?

I had cheese and crackers.  The Minute Rice question was too fraught.

That’s an example of when having someone with me to say “shut up and cook the damn rice” might have been helpful.

The point I’m getting around to:

  • At what point do these quirks hit the irreversible Grey Gardens threshold?

Increasingly, I worry that I’m incapable of being around other humans for extended periods of time.  Yes, I know my personality is a factor.  Thanks for pointing that out.

But:  are the other oddities becoming embedded?  Am I becoming inflexible?  Does isolation feed on itself?

When did I develop my mother’s habit of flinging myself into this-place-has-to-look-decent mode before someone comes over?

I’m not broken over here, but is my crack showing?


I am *killing* normal here.


Field Notes: Song of Myself

I have poked fun at outside entities in previous field notes entries (here, here, here), but I’m going to make fun of myself this time.

It has been a shameful amount of time since I was last here:  I blame political angst (or “That Joke Isn’t Funny Anymore,” my new official name for this) combined with paper-writing overdrive.  My mind is dull, and I’m tired of looking at the word “qualitative”(and implications thereof!) on this screen.

I’ve mentioned in previous posts that you really can’t take me out in public, as I lack multiple crucial filters.  I can try a bit of explanation:  when you’re an introvert who spends a lot of time in their head already, the things that have been building up join up and then pop out as seemingly bizarre thoughts at apparently random times.  It made sense to me; the problem is, no one can read my mind.  Wait.  That’s good, not a problem.

I was at a medical office recently and had explained that the code for something was “1066.”  I thought I’d picked an easy one, but it wasn’t sticking and kept getting transcribed incorrectly.  As I left the individual’s office and was standing in the hall, I blurted, “Battle of Hastings!  Don’t forget!”

What’s really unfortunate here, apart from yelling about the Norman Conquest in a medical office, is that out-of-the-blue allusions to William the Conqueror probably don’t seem all that odd in the context of everything that has come out of my mouth there from 2014 to present.

My brother joined me for lunch this past Saturday; it could have been two adults having adult conversation in an adult way.  What really happened is (I’m not even going to explain how this topic came up) that I ended up describing the original/cut ending to Clerks:  Dante gets shot at the end of the day.  The problem here is that I talk with my hands, so I was miming shooting a convenience store clerk– when I remembered that there was a children’s birthday party at the next table over.

Red card for lack of filter on that one.

I also accompanied by (poor, long-suffering, you’re thinking at this point) brother into a big box baby store in search of a particular item.  At the time, I was completely dressed for a night out, featuring both glitter on my face and glitter tights.  I’ve never even been in one of these stores, so while he took off in search of his quarry in a businesslike fashion, I put on brakes at a display of car seats and proceeded to translate the price into secondhand clothes, used books, etc.  The looks suggested that bystanders think I have a baby that I strap to the roof of the car as I drive in search of these items to spend car seat money on. (Clarification: I did not realize how much they cost and was surprised.)

Alice has a very nice carrier.  Just want to put that out there.  Not that she’s ever expressed anything approaching appreciation for said carrier:  more like Geneva Convention violations.


I possibly have an outlandish number of pictures of Alice.

As we continued to have difficulty locating the item, I finally asked for help in a request that involved the phrase “child thing.”  I was not referring to children, incidentally.  My brother says I might have passed for a new mother or, more likely, an eccentric aunt (the second is accurate).


With another unfortunate in tow, I went in Barnes & Noble.  Yet another long story, but I was in search of a collected or complete Ezra Pound.  I chose the store as the place to discuss whether buying Ezra Pound in a physical store would cause the employees to think I was a fascist and possibly mad (versus finding a copy online and cloaking the mad-fascist bit in anonymity).

The not-unfamiliar suggestion that I might possibly be overthinking things came up with this one.


Those are the ones that I can come up with immediately, but I really don’t like to skip a day of making a fool of myself.  However, I’m reaching my self-imposed word limit for a post, so that’s all for now.


1066 and All That is a book I probably first read (choke) years ago.  I still recommend it.

More about Ezra Pound (plus a lot of poems) here.

Actually, some background:  Pound came up because of a theory I have about the political race and Godwin’s Law.  At the time, it was a joke.  Now:  That Joke Isn’t Funny Anymore.





Field Notes: Physical Therapy

Perhaps I’m stretching with this one.  [ka-ching, thank you, here all week]  I do spend enough time there to fill a post, though, so congratulations!  You can’t always get what you want, and I’m here to give you what you don’t need.


Physical therapy appears to be yet another person/adult thing I don’t know how to do; this probably comes as no surprise.  I was having problems before I even made it to the first session:  namely, I was shifting through t-shirts trying to figure out which ones didn’t essentially read “hi, my name is Weird!”  These days, making a good first impression apparently involves not wearing the shirt that says “I KILLED JENNY*.”

*Note lack of link.  You should know that.  And I also expect you to still be grieving for Mr. Piddles.

I think of science as something largely discovered by philosophers (Thales is still completely valid, right?), so our initial discussion of things involving a lot of Anatomical Terms went completely over my head.  Over time, I’ve learned to deal with this by responding to every remark of that type with, “so, is that good?”

Another conversational problem is that we don’t converse.  I spend a lot of time counting, and he spends a lot of time looking at something on his laptop.  When we attempt the forced small talk at the beginning of the session (he’s very nice, I should clarify), I’ve latched onto football as something I definitely know he likes.  Unfortunately, I’ve managed to screw up football as a topic of discussion constantly by getting enthusiastic about the wrong teams (usually, the only team I knew was playing), confusing winners and losers, and being extremely clueless about bowl games.  I brought up the championship game today (which I didn’t see, but I did check the score) and tried to break the ice by saying it must have been very exciting.  The look he gave me suggested he’s on to me.


A fairly accurate reenactment of my sports small talk.



In spite of my “everybody act normal!” efforts, he still seems to think I’m odd– again, as of the first appointment, when I brought a book.  I knew I’d have to wait, so this seemed perfectly logical.  Also, I always have a book with me.  As I’ve said before, there is always a possibility of a zombie apocalypse.  Do you not want to have a book with you when civilization crumbles?  I didn’t go into the zombie bit there, but I think I’d done enough already  without putting the undead icing on the cake.

I put off laundry a shameful amount of time at one point (it was cold!  exterior stairs!), and I did have to go to my Dr. Teeth and the Electric Mayhem t-shirt, which seemed okay:  nostalgia value, right?  Not so much.  It was a new experience to have someone who was pulling my ankles lose composure and crack up.  I’m adding to my résumé every day.

Today, he asked if my mismatched socks were a style statement.  I had to explain that, this time, they were just laundry-fatigue induced accidents.  I didn’t mention that I have worn mismatched socks before (on purpose) and that now he was giving me ideas.  Of course, I also now have an inverse pair of the ones I wore today, plus one odd one that I assume is a dryer casualty.  All sorts of possibilities!


I am *killing* normal here.


Other things I’m learning:  I’m getting very, very good at counting.  Going up to 10, 15, and 30 are my specialities.  If you need help with that, let me know.  If it’s math more involved than that, call someone else; nothing’s changed with that one.

I am also in the gym portion eight minutes per session, where I have been seeing a show I think is called Meredith (?).  It’s what would happen if you took the 50s and told it to act hip and contemporary but to do a really, really bad job on purpose.  Perhaps you need to watch it for more than eight minutes at a time to get the full effect of it, and I’m misjudging.

I’ve also concluded that physical therapy should come with a masseuse to follow you home when all the actual aches and pains start up.  This has not been forthcoming.

In the meantime, if you’d like to come rub my back, I’m right here.  I’m also taking fashion tips and conversational bits of current sports trivia.

Until then, I will be reading, wearing clothes not suitable for physical therapy, wearing earplugs during Monday RAW/Thursday Smackdown/all football (apartments!), and avoiding daytime TV.



Play a Song for Me: Radio Revisited

Long story, but I currently have satellite radio in my car– something I thought I’d never enjoy and didn’t really see the point of.  One station, dedicated to one thing, all the time?  Boring.

I stand corrected, at least in my case, and stand before you an E Street Radio addict.  It’s surprisingly mentally healthy to get in the car and know– with 100% certainty– that whatever is playing is something you will like, it will be commercial-free, and that, if there’s commentary, it’s going to be people who are foaming-at-the-mouth enthusiastic and not afraid to hide that behind jaded coolness.  

In the short time I’ve had this, Bruce Springsteen has considerably improved my day on quite a few occasions (no, I’m not embarrassed to say that).  I was making a longish drive home yesterday– on a road I hate (bad directions, GPS)– and the low tire light flashed on.  My own gauge is dead, and there wasn’t a tire place to be seen, so I was just trying to make it home and hoping for the best:  then a cover of “Stayin’ Alive” came on.  Thank you, radio tarot!

This was playing as I entered the city that's not actually my hometown but is sort of close.  And yes, I know that the lyrics don't match the title, but you can't tell me that KARMA/GOD/BRUCE WASN'T SENDING ME A MESSAGE.

This was playing as I entered the city that’s not actually my hometown but is sort of close to it. And yes, I know that the lyrics don’t match the title, but you can’t tell me that KARMA/GOD/BRUCE WASN’T SENDING ME A MESSAGE.

I have radio on the mind at the moment; music in general often is, but it’s specifically radio at the moment.  #1 is that I was particularly grateful for satellite radio yesterday.  #2 is that, as of 3:38 AM last night (morning?), I was lying completely under the covers, wearing cans and listening to one of my multi-multi-hour playlists, thanks to the roller derby/mud wrestling/whatever upstairs.  If, from #2, you deduced I was pretty awake at the time, you are correct; that’s when I started thinking about satellite radio stations that could theoretically exist for extreme niche audiences.

And yes, I realize the Hedy Lamarr image really isn’t technically correct for satellite radio, but I’m just going with radio communications in general.

Here’s the segue:  early AM insomnia-meets-noisy-neighbor ideas!

(disclaimer:  I could have sworn I jotted some of these down, but the only list I see begins “peppers, shredded cheese,” so I’m not sure what’s going on with that)

I Have an Opinion about the Internet

Okay.  Never read below the line, right?  Maybe we could put this on a call-in show an delete the comments section from news articles (etc.) entirely.  Wouldn’t that improve your internet experience?  I’m thinking this one could be isolated somewhere in the high, high numbers.  Maybe an opt-in.

This is the first article that appeared in my Facebook feed at this moment.  I’ve deleted the candidate’s name, because it could really apply to any potential nominee (and has probably been said about all of them):  “[person]’s is spoon fed by Wallstreet criminals.”  It’s not clear what that candidate’s what is being spoon fed by, in case you think I’ve taken away too much context.

(see also:  Moff’s Law, for how to handle this better– but why it usually doesn’t work.)

Lather, rinse, repeat about . . . anything.

Stolen from the internet at some point, but it really says all that needs to be said.

Stolen from the internet at some point, but it really says all that needs to be said.

Spoiler Radio

Does anyone besides my next-door neighbor have a television with cable?  And, as far as I can tell through the wall, he watches mainly wrestling and SNL reruns– no network dramas.

Because everyone is waiting for an entire season of X to hit Netflix, the entire internet population (including me) starts screaming “no spoilers!” as soon as it does.  The result is that people who have finished a season of X are dying to talk about the finale of whatever it was but aren’t clear when it’s acceptable to do so.

So:  spoiler radio.  Maybe an hour of programming devoted to each show?  Callers must have finished viewing the entire episode/season.  Fandom can speak freely about whatever the pressing issue without fear of ruining it for anyone.

N.B.:  I’ve already seen all of Orphan Black, season 3, which isn’t on Netflix yet.  TALK TO ME.

*keeps mouth shut, with difficulty, which is obviously very, very hard*

*keeps mouth shut, with difficulty, which is obviously very, very hard*

“This One Time”

Do you have a really good random story that is pretty much impossible to work into conversation?  But you really want to tell it?  There’s a radio station for that.

Forget disrupting conversational flow, because this station doesn’t have it.  Just call and plunge right in:  “This one time, see, we had all this red Kool-Aid mixed up– okay, that’s another story– but anyway . . . .”

And then you can return from the patio, smile politely at your host, and get back to discussing work politics.  Or whatever civilized people do.  I really don’t know, myself.  I’d go ahead and tell the Kool-Aid story, which is why I need this station.

Shockingly, sometime after I took this picture in Target, these PJs found their way to me.

Shockingly, sometime after I took this picture in Target, these PJs found their way to me.

Unpopular Opinion Channel

Oh, yeah, this was one I thought of last night.  Remembered it right now because I have headphones in (again, same reason; it’s either Stomp or Riverdance right now), and I’m listening to one of my favorite Queen songs:  “I Was Born to Love You.”

There is no shame here.  Clearly.

Anyway, the Unpopular Opinion station is where you can call in and anonymously admit that you like whatever is going to get you called out on the internet/Twitter/social media.  Or you can just say on the forum of your choosing (in a non-abrasive way) that you like whatever it is and let people deal.

Perth Amboy Station

I’ve mentioned how I use Perth Amboy repeatedly:  it’s a stopgap term for whatever I’m trying to come up with, can’t remember, but will definitely remember at 3 AM.  Whatever it is, it’s something that’s missing too many variables to Google.

So, for a good night’s sleep, call the Perth Amboy station and ramble about how you read this novel where someone loses a Phi Beta Kappa pin, and it may have been his father’s, but you’re not sure, and you’re pretty sure it’s 20th century and Southern.*  Callers who have the same syndrome call in and offer the assistance that Google can’t.

*Seriously, I’m really pretty sure I read this, but I can’t figure it out.

My headphones are now doing that fried-wire thing they do when you’ve mangled them from overuse.  I’m sending the bill upstairs.

Another true story of being out of touch:  I’m using earbuds right now (the ones that seem to be fried and are currently distorting Chuck Berry), but, last year, I thought maybe I could replace them with another set of the big ones, which are so old I don’t even remember where they came from.  I kept hearing about Beats, so I finally looked them up:  if they’re so nice, they must cost about $20, right?

No.  Not right at all.  Did not replace.

I’m to Chicken to Put This on Craigslist

Okay, last one.  This one is clearly pretty personal, and I’m just going to leave it here, since it’s obviously autobiographical.  I think it would belong in the missed connections: m4w.

Dear dude in beanie who catcalled me as I was walking home,

First of all, I’m not even going to pretend to myself it was a compliment.  The guy driving was speeding, and there’s no way you saw anything about what I look like.  Probably what registered was that I was wearing a dress, and that was sufficient.  Please mention to the driver that he shouldn’t speed there; there’s a playground there, and there are kids on it during the week and on Sundays.  More than the catcalling, it makes me mad that you were speeding where children might duck into the street.

Moving on.  I don’t frequent the m4w section because . . . we’ll save that for another time.  But, if you found the brief glimpse of this ancient Old Navy dress so tantalizing, perhaps we should get better acquainted.  See, when you said whatever it was you said– and I didn’t catch a word of it, so I’m just going to interpret for myself– I was thinking about what I needed to do when I got home.  Cleaning, specifically.

The dishes are clean, and I did a pretty bang-up job on all the floors last week, if I do say so myself, but the bathroom is due for one of those good scrubs.  It’s tiny and has no ventilation, so I don’t like doing that (eau de mix of tons of chemicals).  I think we could really get to know each other if you stayed here and got that really sparkling clean while I go get a nice coffee and read (Apocalypse Baby— if you read it, too, we’ll talk book club– that’s the next level!).

Let me know when you’re done.  And gone.  Oh, and you might want to bring headphones.  Unwelcome noise is surprisingly annoying.

One Request Before I Go, DJ!

No point, as usual.  I need a coda, and I love this song/live version.