Saturday, June 30, 2012

Where to go?

Vacation time is coming. Quite some time ago, I decided I didn't want to take any vacation that involved staying as a guest in someone's home. It's what I always do and it makes me feel like a loser mooch and I decided that I just don't want to do that anymore.

This has left me with nowhere to go. My budget is only $1,000 and I hate, hate, hate to drive, so given the high cost of airfare, I'm going to be stuck here at home for two weeks. That fills me with sadness and resentment. It will only reinforce how lonely I am and how little worth I have in the world.

Let me be clear: I do not "go camping," so that really limits the definition of cheap vacation. I need a clean, safe room, really good, modern plumbing that doesn't require a hike in the night, and relative relaxation. I also will be alone because Frank refuses to take a vacation. His idea of an awesome vacation is to spend all day, every day working on the house. This is not fulfilling for me on any level, not when my vacations are forced and unpaid, and I have no choice of when to take them. (My workplace shuts down for two weeks every summer to save money).

It's kind of sad if you do the research and see that $1,000--which feels like a lot of money to me--gets you essentially nothing. Maybe a mediocre, budget weekend in a Midwest city. Who the hell wants to take a "vacation" in Chicago or Kansas City in late July?

I feel like I've been emotionally withering for quite some time, and frankly, I'm so thoroughly consumed by boredom on every level, I was probably putting far too much thought into how my vacation was going to revive me or help me feel better.

Who was I kidding? My vacation is going to consist of cleaning the house and wedging my way in between the local inner-city kids cramming themselves into the municipal pool. Even if I had $5,000and somewhere to go, I would still be doing it alone.

My despair right now isn't about money. It's about being far, far, far too alone. Vacations always remind me of how solitary I really am.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Updates from my head

My mom is OK. She was out of town when the terrible storms hit St. Petersburg this week. Her house is OK. I find it odd, though, to say the Hurricane got hit by a tornado.

That reminds me that I love Pass-a-Grille.

I'm in a pensive mood.There's a lot processing within the Brainucopia. More on that later. It's late and I need to go to bed.

Thursday, June 21, 2012


I have skin fungus again on the front of my neck and collar bone and under my eyes. It's gross. Easily curable, but nasty all the same. You can't really see it, thank goodness, but it creeps me out knowing it's there.

This happens when it's hot and I sweat a lot, but only if my immune system is not functioning well. That's what really worries me. Am I on a path to get walloped with something major? Hope not.

Monday, June 18, 2012

release valve

I find that if I use Twitter as a way to blurt out all of the things floating around my brain, I don't need to write very much. The thoughts don't get a chance to grow and develop, so there's less chance for rumination. I also consider Twitter's 140-character limit to be a worthwhile exercise in discipline and focus that can only benefit me.

I Tweet, therefore I don't blog so much. It's like a pressure relief valve.

And people actually follow me on Twitter, which I find as mind boggling as I find it puzzling.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Mood Vampires

I'm pretty sure that some type of vampires broke into my bedroom and sucked all of the serotonin out of my body last night. Whoever it was, I hope they're happy now.

It started with a dream. In my dream, I had a call from Joanna. Her voice, her warm, sweet, soothing voice almost caused a lump of emotion to rise in my throat.

And then, we were together, getting into a car and going to a restaurant. Joanna explained she had been busy, so busy, with the international toxic exposures working group, that it was nice to have some time for something different. She laughed.

I felt awkward, wondering how she could just reappear like this with no explanation. I broached the question, "Why didn't you answer my messages, my calls, or my letters?"

Joanna pressed her fingers to her lips, eyebrows raised, and shook her head with a mischievous smile. The topic, it seemed was off-limits and I wasn't going to get an answer. The dream ended with Joanna driving me back to my hotel, and then saying she needed to get something from the car, but instead of coming back, she drove away.

I woke up consumed by profound sadness. The alarm sounded, and I sat on the edge of the bed, blinking and just looking at my feet dangling over the side of the mattress. I made my way to the bathroom, not bothering to acknowledge Frank sitting at his computer. I took off my glasses and set them on the edge of the sink. I don't know why, but I just stared at them sitting there.

After my shower and breakfast, I told Frank that I felt incredibly sad. He told me to stop drinking so much wine at night. He felt that two glasses was one too many. I thought, "Drinking wine doesn't make me sad. I drink it because I feel sad."

I got in the car to drive to work, but just sat there, shoulders slumped, head down, keys in hand, unable to start the car. I was overwhelmed by the thought of putting in the effort  it would take to drive six miles through the city. I felt like I had lost my best friend. Again. Eventually, I took a breath and backed out of the driveway. A half-mile from home, tears started to well up in my eyes. Within seconds, I was sobbing.

I cried, hard, the whole way into downtown. I pulled into a parking space in the garage, and continued to cry. After taking a few deep breaths, I grabbed some Kleenex and mopped up my face, grateful for my over-sized, very dark sunglasses. The feeling of grief stayed with me all day.

I am mourning this loss as if it were new, and not something that has been evident for two years now. Why? Why did this particular sadness come back? What went wrong in the first place?

Actually, I know the answer to that second question. It was my neurosis, my need to talk, to be heard--my neediness, in general, I suppose. Isn't that always what goes wrong? Nobody wants to call me, spend time with me, talk to me. I talk too much, I don't always get the point, and even when I'm bubbly, I think people must know I'm wracked with anxiety and self-doubt. I am a person that other people like in theory, but not in large or sustained doses. There's a reason I'm the one who always has to do all of the reaching out, calling, contacting... I do get it; I just don't like it.

And so, I mourn Joanna. I mourn my loneliness and the fact that I am, essentially friendless. I have virtual friends--those 89 people on Facebook who wouldn't even blink if I dropped dead tomorrow because, truth be told, my being or not being does not get factored into anyone's day. It doesn't matter if I'm funny, or stupid, or clever, or insightful, or interesting, or sensitive, or a source of factoids, or anything. Would anyone miss me or even notice? No. The answer has always been no. I've worked so hard to be a better person, to do all of those things Dear Abby says you need to do to be popular and to have friends. Abby, it just hasn't worked in my case. I've tried, really, I have. Nobody wants to connect with me. I have social cooties. And now, now I'm sad, and that's as bad as giving off a very unpleasant, toxic odor. Dammit, May, take a pill for that, would ya?

Joanna hung in there for a really, really long time. I miss having that kind of friendship where I never had to be self-conscious or worry that I was a nuisance or just only being tolerated as a polite gesture. I miss her calls and her visits. I'll never know what the breaking point was, what I did that made her call it quits. I only know that I regret whatever it was and I miss her friendship terribly.

Monday, June 11, 2012

I love this

Nothing more to say, except I absolutely love this. I can't wait to see what else PBS Digital is working on. What have you grown in the garden of your mind?

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Neither trash nor treasure, just practical

Last summer, I bought a pair of nightstands at my neighbor's yard sale. When I posted about it on Facebook, a couple of friends got into a discussion about how I was buying junk and this is a hoarding behavior. They wouldn't let it go. I was offended--really offended. Every room of my home has something in it that came from a yard sale or was trash-picked.

This does not make me a hoarder. My house is cozy and cute, and not particularly cluttered. I just hate to see nice things go to a landfill only because no one has the vision to see how a little care and attention could bring something back to life. Frank and I both do a very good job of fixing and rehabbing items that aren't trash at all--just treasures waiting to be revealed.

The day I bought them last summer, I cleaned up the nightstands and gave them a coat of primer before storing them in the garage for later rehabbing. In the meantime, I needed to find new hardware that was suitable for these pieces. I wanted something colorful with a vintage look. Anthropologie had exactly what I wanted, but the drawer pulls were outrageously expensive (hey, it's Anthropologie).

Time passed. The nightstands gathered dust in the garage, and winter set in. Then, Anthropologie had a big sale. The hardware went on sale at 70 percent off. I bought the drawer pulls.

This weekend, the weather was perfect for painting, so Frank pulled out all of the half-full cans of paint we had on hand. My original color choice, a sort of Southwest palette of muted yellow and dusty brick red, didn't work out. The paint had gone bad in the cans, so we rummaged some more and came up with a different color combination that would work.

Here are the before and after pictures. Fuck those people who think that buying old things at a yard sales means you're a hoarder. They lack creativity, and honestly, that's sort of sad.

The nightstands the day I bought them: Solid, well-built, and waiting for rehab.

Here they are after, painted and with new ceramic and brass hardware.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Come on, nature

Last summer, I planted a tiny little banana leaf plant in one of the flower container gardens on my patio. By the end of summer, the plant was very full and about six feet tall by six feet wide. Frank took it to his office, where it spent the winter. We brought it back home a couple of weeks ago, but the journey was hard for the plant. It had grown very lanky from living indoors, and then most of the leaves got bent up and damaged in transit. We had to cut it back, and now it looks sadly pathetic. However, I believe, based on how this plant flourished on the patio last year, that it's going to come back. Here is a picture of it in early June. I'll show it again at the end of summer.

I also have a fiddleleaf ficus that had the opposite problem from the banana plant. The fiddlelaf ficus went bonkers in my house and when it hit the ceiling, just kept growing along the ceiling across the room. I decided to cut it back to about half of its original size. It, too, looks sadly pathetic. Hoping for a banner summer for this plant.

Finally, the other plant. This plant was at work when I first bought it and it was very small, about four years ago. There wasn't enough light, and the plant got very skinny and tall. It was too tall and skinny to support itself, so I staked it. It spent last summer on the patio, where it put out new growth, but only got taller. After a winter in the guest room, it was time for some tough love. Last week, I cut off the entire top three feet of the plant. I'm also hoping that summer brings robust growth to this plant. On the upside, it is currently self-supporting.

Me. Things that grow. Hope for those things that grow. This is my life lately.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Oh, there's enough of me to go around

I've been cheating on my blog. I've been writing elsewhere and not sharing my thoughts here. Now, now, it doesn't mean anything. I have enough words (believe me) to spread around. I just don't have the energy.