Not Just Your Garden-Variety Neurotic Smartass.

Curse the Foul Flakes.

It snowed again. While that in and of itself is no astonishing news for a Chicago February, what is strange is that just Sunday it was 58 degrees.

I’m no fan of snow. Sure, it occasionally looks pretty for about a minute before the plows come by and during the moments all the trees are full of sparkling white boughs; and if you’re not from around here you might call it picturesque, but if you are from here you know that it’s just an unwavering pain in the ass.

Snow sucks to walk in or to drive in; and if you don’t have someone else doing your grunt work for you, it truly sucks to shovel. I curse more while shoveling snow than doing anything else in life, and I curse a lot.

And is it just me, or do kids not “do” snow anymore? It seemed like when I was a kid (here goes my middle-aged white woman When I Was a Kid anecdote) kids were always out playing in the snow – building igloos with those big plastic brick-things, building snowmen, and of course, indulging in the occasional injurious snowball fight. I never see kids out romping in the snow anymore. I’m guessing kids today don’t want to lose their new iPhones or Nintendo Switches in the mess. *rolls eyes in manner of terribly old person who doesn’t comprehend the youth*

Unfortunately, though, my youth was the only time I ever appreciated the snow. Ever since, I’ve uttered the exact same phrase every time I see the first frosty flakes fall – “Oh, fuck.”

I’ll admit that we have been spared the worst of it this year, as it’s been an unusually mild winter (*knocks wood*), but that doesn’t mean I have to appreciate it when the snow blankets my sidewalk and lawn, causing the walk to the garbage cans to be treacherous both because it’s slippery and because I have no idea whether I will step in snow-covered dog poop.

Speaking of the dog, she’s not one to cavort wildly through the snow, either – she runs out, does her business, and immediately runs back in, which I would do as well if I had to take an outdoor shit with no shoes on.

I’d say that we got about three inches or so last night, and I’m done – my house can be taken off the list, I would like clemency. The universe can direct that crap in another direction, such as California, which never seems to get its fair share.

The only day in which I can appreciate a bit of snow (I said a BIT) is Christmas Day, during which I am sappy and sentimental and too drunk to shovel anyway.

So, if you’re a fellow Chicagoan, gear up today – bust out your boots and gloves and get ready to scrape your car off and drive through muddy slush.

If you’re not a Chicagoan, lucky you.

Happy Thursday.

Because I Got High.

Occasionally I smoke marijuana. I’ve never really done it much until the past year, but I’ve found that its medicinal properties work wonders for both my shredded rotator cuff and my seizures.

Lately I’ve seen a surge in seizures, so I’ve been trying to smoke a bit more often, particularly because I don’t want to have another seizure and whack my head post-concussion.

Yesterday I got high. I didn’t intend to get super high, but I was indeed completely stoned. The problem with this is that I had a therapist appointment, and one would think that I would have taken that into consideration before getting wrecked on indica, which is more appropriately named “in da couch”.

I was slated to be on the couch, but the therapist’s couch is admittedly not ideal post-weed.

I arrived at my appointment, completely nervous and paranoid that my ex-military therapist was going to call me out for being a drug addict. I wandered around the waiting room before she came out of her previous appointment, checking out the instant coffee pot, which I could not figure out to operate because I was high and stupid.

My therapist led me into her office, which seemed extraordinarily warm and uncomfortable at the time, because I was high and stupid.

She then sat me down and asked, “How do you want to proceed with therapy?” This was an inordinately difficult question, because I was high and stupid, so I just mumbled out something about a safe space to vent and “working on my issues” or some such bullshit.

Halfway into the extremely uncomfortable session that had already featured many awkward, prolonged moments of silence; she remarked, “I’m going to make some observations. You seem particularly tense today, and you seem as if you’re spacing out a lot, and I’m wondering if you’re having petit mal seizures.”

I was not having seizures – I was just high and stupid. I was also paranoid, so I assumed she smelled the weed on me and was just fucking with me for kicks. This made me even more tense.

By the time the appointment was over, my shoulders were up around my ears and I couldn’t look the woman in the eyes. I felt like a little kid harboring a bad deed.

It was the most uncomfortable appointment I have ever had, and I’m including my three-day labor with Jasmine in that tally.

I went home and immediately smoked more pot, because ANXIETY, and I felt better.

So, while I do wholeheartedly recommend weed if one is not being drug tested and has chronic pain or seizures (or anxiety), I don’t recommend getting high and stupid before going to the therapist.

Lesson learned. Have a super day.

The Mauling of the Mammaries.

Good morning, party people.

I went for my six-month checkup yesterday, and after both the nurse and doctor spent a good twenty minutes getting my medications correct in the computer system, I was given a breast exam.

The doctor asked me to “just pull my shirt and bra up”; but since I’ve put on weight, the bra I had on was very tight; and since I have a torn rotator cuff again, I had a hard time doing this at all. This made for an amazingly awkward situation, and she wound up taking pity on me and unhooking my bra.

After I was felt up by her extremely cold hands, she re-hooked me, and we just sort of smiled weakly at each other as if we had not just played out a bad high school date.

I have to get both a mammogram and a chest X-ray, since I was a bit wheezy. I am going to try to stop smoking this week, assuming my shrink actually refills my anxiety medication; because without it I would be a raging ball of nerves, chewing the drapes and possibly committing a homicide.

Today I have a therapist appointment, during which I will bemoan my increasingly poor financial situation and explain last week’s sudden, concussion-related cancellation.

Speaking of that, I’m finally feeling much better – my headache is down to a four or five on a scale of one to ten, and I no longer have the urge to split my head open like a watermelon and let the evil spirits out.

Have a superb day.

Small Animal Rising From the Earth Day.

Happy Groundhog Day, if you’re a believer that a little furry creature can accurately forecast the weather. Not that I’m giving old Phil a hard time by any stretch of the imagination – I’m sure he does a better job than half the high-tech scientific equipment on the market.

My head is still absolutely on fire and I am OVER IT. I can handle a bad headache for one day – as a migraine sufferer, that’s par for the course – but no longer, or I start to lose my shit. Logically, I understand that I bashed my head into a steel dog gate, and I have two lumps that I know are going to hurt; but the two-year-old in me is stomping her feet and squalling, “NO MORE, I DONE!”

It’s maddening, I tell you.

As far as much more pleasant topics go, have you tried ZipFizz? For the uninitiated, this is a powdered B12 and potassium supplement that comes in cool tiny cylindrical containers, and you add them to a bottle of water. I am absolutely addicted. They taste great, and I certainly could use the vitamin boost. My dad got us a box at Costco, and I hope he plans on keeping us stocked, because I probably can’t afford them.

I have a plant that my good friend Amy sent to me many months ago. It’s a sort of amalgam of four different types of green plants, and it’s been a point of pride that I’ve been able to keep it alive; because I typically have a black thumb that has murdered even small cacti.

I kept the plant on my front porch all through the summer and fall, and it flourished. Then, when winter came, I brought it in and placed it on the desk in my living room so that it wouldn’t freeze.

Nixie has discovered my hardy plant and has been frequently caught snacking on it, and I’m ready to swing her around by her tail with great force and then let go.

I love my cat so very much, but don’t fuck with the only green-baby I have ever been able to keep alive for more than two shuddering breaths.

Happy Sunday.

Concussed and Nonplussed.

Happy Saturday.

Yesterday afternoon I had a seizure in the kitchen and bashed the top of my head into the steel dog gate, knocking it right out of the doorway, and then I slammed my head into the wood floor several times before Jasmine could get to me and put a pillow under my head.

I was unconscious for a while, so she called my mom to come over (we’re not in the habit of calling 911, since unfortunately this type of crap has happened before, but I don’t recommend this practice) and eventually they were able to rouse me.

Big headache. Big. I also couldn’t focus properly for a while, and I couldn’t get up off of the floor for about a half an hour after I woke up.

I’ve had concussions several times before, and I knew I had one – the nausea, blinding headache, and increased vision problems tipped me off – but I didn’t feel like it was worth going to the ER, because there’s really nothing they do for concussions but tell you to rest.

I stayed awake for a while, since you’re really not supposed to go to sleep after a bad seizure, and then I finally sacked out at six PM and slept until four.

I still feel pretty crappy. I’m still nauseous, my head feels like someone drove a truck over it, and I’m moving a little slowly; but I didn’t crack my head open and I certainly could have, so I’m counting my blessings.

I’m actually pretty amazed at the resilience of my tough old noggin. I have smacked it on almost every available surface – wood, tile, steel, even concrete – and somehow I’ve still managed to bounce back.

*knocks wood* (but not with my head)

Obviously the universe is looking out for me, and I appreciate it.

Tomorrow I will be attending the birthday party of a very near and dear friend at her parents’ home. They were like my second family growing up, and I haven’t seen them in quite a while, so I’m very excited. (Don’t worry, I won’t get Too excited, and I plan to sit the whole time.)

Today is all about solo Netflix-and-chilling. I plan to park my ass on this couch and not remove it until this evening. Have a happy weekend.

LGBTQ Rights.

I was sitting on my front porch this morning smoking and thinking about certain aspects of LGBTQ rights – one in particular, since gender confirmation surgery will soon be covered by Illinois Medicaid, and that will mean a lot to someone very, very near and dear to me – and how these rights have come such a long way, but yet there is still so far to go.

For instance, gay marriage is now legal in all fifty of the United States (as of 2015), but that doesn’t mean it’s widely accepted or embraced by a lot of the general public.

Trans people face incredible difficulties, from having to stand before a judge to have their gender marker changed (which doesn’t always fly), to the insane twists and turns and expenses that come with gender confirmation surgeries. There is also a ridiculously high level of negative scrutiny and badmouthing of trans people, some of it present in the media or taking the form of tasteless “jokes”.

LGBTQ slurs seem to still be as common as ever, or at least they are in my neck of the hood. If I had a dime for every time I heard a guy call another guy “gay”, I’d be typing this from the third floor of my sprawling mansion.

Clearly the attitude of the general population needs to change and become more open-minded and less rooted in ridiculous, archaic pseudo-Christian ideals (Christ taught people to love one another, and as far as I know there was no disclaimer stating “unless they’re queer”); or maybe people just need to be kinder to one another.

Love is love, and in this world of stress and strife, people should be free to love who they want to love and be who they are without slander or judgement.

As far as sex is concerned, as long as you’re not involving children, animals, or unwilling partners, have at it! Use condoms, take PREP, be safe, and enjoy.

Life goes by so quickly. The least we can do is build one another up rather than tearing each other down. We can speak up when we hear LGBTQ slurs and say, “Hey, that’s wrong.” We can advocate for our queer and trans family members and friends and help them to get the support and healthcare they need. We can be active in our communities and on social media.

I am blessed enough to have an extremely diverse family and group of friends, and I will fight for them. Join the fight and stand up for the rights of our LGBTQ friends.

Have a delicious day.

It’s Early and I’m Tired.

Good morning! I’ve been up since three AM, because I am a Crazy Person for whom sleep has no meaning.

The images in the previous entry are finally fixed, thanks to my friend Gerard, who put up with me all morning yesterday. Gerard is a saint, and I’m going to start wearing a medal imposed with his image around my neck.

I recently watched a documentary called Fat. The title is somewhat misleading, since it is largely about the health benefits of the ketogenic diet; but what struck me was the effects of said diet on seizure activity. In several studies, one third of people doing keto had a major reduction in seizures, and one third had a complete cessation of seizure activity.

I like those odds. I’ve been having a lot of seizures lately, not to mention the fact that I’m at my highest weight aside from pregnancy, so I started keto yesterday.

I just ate a bacon and cheese omelette, and I have a pot roast thawing in the sink, and I assure you that I have absolutely no problem cutting carbs. Screw bread, I have bacon.

The only thing I’m truly going to miss is beer, but hey, vodka has no carbs, so there we go. My once-a-week night out can be accomplished carb-free.

Another thing I’ve been watching is the Netflix docuseries Cheer, and I am obsessed. I used to cheer and also perform on my high school’s dance team, but I was never into competitive tumbling or stunting, and it’s amazing to watch how hard these athletes work.

I also just finished The Witcher, which I highly recommend if you have Netflix. Yennefer of Vengeberg is my personal hero. Her costumes are FIERCE.

I’m still learning basic coding and doing my best to write bug-free code with the help of a book that was actually written for kids, because I’m childish that way. It’s been extremely helpful for a noob such as myself.

With that, I am going to go down an insane amount of coffee and start my day. Have an inordinately pleasant one.

Kittens!!! Also Music!!!

In addition to adorable kittens, I have an amazing music recommendation for you today. My friend, web designer, and all-around swell guy Gerard composes ambient house music and here is a link to his most excellent stuff on SoundCloud. I can’t say enough good things about it – go check it out!

Love, peace, and hair grease, kids.

Okay, So I’m a Slacker.

I said I was going to update every day and have I? No! The person in charge of this shitty operation should be fired immediately.

Oh wait, that’s me.

The kittens have had their shots and the poor things are now lethargic and hardly eating. They had their nails trimmed, too, so I can’t tell whether they’re just highly pissed off or actually sick from the shots.

We’ve had a hell of a time with the mama cat here at Casa Trance. I was told to separate her from the kittens for two weeks so that her milk would dry up and she could therefore be fixed, so I let her out of the back bedroom (the “cat room”) and gave her the run of the house.

Big mistake. Not only did my cats freak out completely at the presence of an interloper, but she PEED ON MY COUCH.

Trust me when I tell you that she is lucky to be alive right now.

After about a week and a half Jasmine and I were finally able to trap her and get her back into the back bedroom, but not before she attacked us both. The cat is scared and psychotic, and when the shelter lady arrived to take her to the vet to get fixed, she mauled her so badly that Jasmine had to use a puppy pad to stop the bleeding.

Two of the kittens are going out for adoption this week, and the mama is going to a shelter as soon as we can find one to take her. Then we are keeping one kitten, and Jasmine’s friend is keeping the other one.

Am I a crazy cat lady? Honey, I’m the craziest cat lady you’ve ever seen.

Photos coming tomorrow.

The Hibernation.

So, where have I been during the past two months? Well, you know, after convincing Harry and Meghan to relinquish their royal duties, working hard to get the orange idiot impeached, and building a spaceship out of recycled Diet Coke cans, not too much.

I’ve basically been hibernating. In November I had a truly horrible mental health crisis, and I cut myself off temporarily from family and friends, believing that this was the kind thing to do. (Helpful hint: It wasn’t.)

In December I once again joined the human race, began showering again (much to the delight of said family and friends, I’m sure), and started going to the local open mic night once a week as my re-entry into society.

Since the robbery (and if you’re not familiar with that whole mess, two guys kicked in my back door while my daughter and I were sleeping and robbed, beat, and almost murdered us) I have been constantly anxious and afraid. I’ve had the feeling that people are watching and/or following me, and it’s been hell to live with. My shrink finally put me on some anxiety medication and it’s thankfully working wonders.

The kittens are ten weeks old now and are ready to be adopted, except for the one we are keeping. Her name is Thor, since we are going along with the gender change in the Thor comics. We also have Loki, Odin, and Squeak, who did not receive a Norse name because he squeaks a lot.

I will post photos of them as soon as I can get the hyperactive little fuckers (I mean adorable little sweethearts) to sit still.

I am still active on Instagram, and if you’d like to add me, the link is on the menu on the left-hand side of the page.

I’m going to try to update this page every day, and I am still working on a book, but it’s taken sort of a different direction. If you know any publishers who’d be interested in giving me a fat advance, I’m game. Ha.

I’m also learning coding right now in hopes that I can get some work from home, and I plan to eventually take a class learning Python.

Jasmine is doing well. She has a job interview at a local car dealership on Monday, so good thoughts would be much appreciated.

With that, the time has come for me to feed the cats before they stage a bloody coup. Have a super day.