Posted by: Owner | July 7, 2012

Wow. Blogging. Yeah.

Not that this is news to any of my longtime friends, but I really suck at consistency. Sorry about that.

Also, I had a Cosmopolitan (the drink, not the self-esteem-destroying rag) earlier, so excuse any possible typos. Or don’t. It’s up to you.

Let’s see, what’s been going on.

Yep, that’s about it.

But seriously, nothing of earth-shattering importance has really happened. I’m still pretty happy, still married, still kind of ditz who flits (hee! a rhyme!) from one activity to the next. I knit a lot more than I used to, and I’ve actually gotten pretty good at it, so that’s been a whole new black hole into which to pour money. I’ve traveled a bit more, although only within the continental U.S., and taken far too few photos to prove it. Basically, I’m a little older than when last you saw me here, and probably not even a little bit wiser, so it’s business as usual here in the Sillycakes household.

What mainly prompts this return to WordPress–and we’ll see how long it lasts–is the fact that I just wrote to a blogger who resides in my general area, asking if she ever wanted to get together for lunch or something. And then I had the sudden, chilling realization that I probably sound like the world’s most inept stalker, because I’m a mostly-silent reader of her words, occasional commenter, and other than the fact that I’m one of her eight billion Facebook friends, as far as she’s concerned, I have no other Internet presence at all. Yeah, that’s inviting.

It’s funny, too, because it used to be that you couldn’t shut me the hell up. I suppose it’s just a sense of shyness combined with the fact that the world is growing smaller and smaller, and our blogs and other postings are so often used against us, but lately I’ve only been producing sporadic and impersonal Facebook posts, the occasional photo–which has become even rarer since I regained some weight–and a comment here and there when I’m not feeling too shy. I’ve become far more of a reader than a writer, and while the world at large may find that reason for a sigh of relief, it’s more than a little disconcerting from this side of the keyboard. So brace yerself, Bridget; I’m back for at least the moment.

…just as soon as I think of something to actually talk about.

Posted by: Owner | June 26, 2010

Dirty little secret

One of the reasons it takes me so damn long to write anything is sheer embarrassment.

I mentioned some time ago that I’m writing a story.  And I’m enjoying it quite a bit, which is fortunate, given that it looks like it’s going to take several years to get the thing transferred from my brain to the page.  I’ll write a few sentences, then minimize the screen and scurry off to do something else, blushing with the shame of indulging myself in anything so silly and pointless.  Who the hell do I think I am, anyway?

That feeling of arrogance is only made worse by the fact that I generally write stories that involve either the paranormal, or as in this case, fantasy and entirely separate worlds.  So there are all sorts of rules and restrictions I have to first gather the audacity to create, then keep to, which is tricky enough.  Then, too, I have to constantly guard against allowing undue influence from the things I myself love to read; homage and inspiration are all very well, but good lord, what if I ripped someone off, even inadvertently?  It’s terrifying.

And then comes the sense that if the average Joe or Jane were to creep up behind me and read over my shoulder…er, in my home…as, y’know, so often happens…

*ahem*

Anyway, I always feel that any stranger who read what I’m trying to create would do nothing but jeer.

That’s silly.  Ghosts, ghoulies, and the like aren’t at the fore of most people’s beliefs, but that doesn’t mean they don’t have their place in fiction.  A lot of us even believe in them, on some level.  And while I’m not likely–or inclined–to change the world with what I write, I’m not all that bad at it, either.  Worse writers than I have been published, and their words much enjoyed.

So what am I so afraid of?  Being thought ridiculous?  Probably, but it’s not like that’s anything new, so not only should I be used to it by now, I really ought to get around to learning not to care.

In truth, though, most of the derision I expect and/or perceive comes only from my own mind.  Even though there’s a part of me that rages against being pigeonholed, and struggles to be free of the constraints of expectation…there’s another part, just as strong, who wants those little boxes.  She swept me/us into one a long time ago: a tidy corner from which I could watch the world, but never be a part of it.  A place where I was kept quiet.  And if it was sometimes stifling to be there, it was also safe, for I didn’t draw anyone’s attention.  And if no one sees you, no one will ever turn and bite.

So for many years, I sang under my breath.  I danced alone, in the dark.  I wrote, then hastily tore up the pages and threw them away.  Because I was no one.  I was unworthy of notice, and the same was true of anything I might create.

I still feel that, and I hate it.  Hate myself for it.  Every time I sit down to write, or even to think about what needs to happen next in my story–goddammit, in my book.  It is a BOOK.

Every time I venture to try, I feel the other side moving desperately to push me back into that little cage labeled Nothing.  The world must not be altered; the child must remember her place.

I wish I could tear out that part of myself; leave her to bleed, to die, to finally shut up and let me live in peace.  It won’t happen; she’s had thirty-seven years to entrench herself.

But perhaps burying her under a mountain of small successes will work just as well. I can’t know unless I try.

So I’m trying.

Posted by: Owner | June 21, 2010

Regrets

I just found out that an old friend died.

A very young old friend.  A friend with whom I really ought to have stayed in touch.  A friend I hurt.

Let’s call her Sabrina.

Sabrina was the big sister of a boy I dated in my senior year of high school, many, many years ago.  She was street-smart and sophisticated, at least to my small-town-girl eyes.  She’d lived Up North on her own for a while before moving back to Bugfuck, you see, and that alone was enough to make her seem exotic and years more mature than I, who’d only even spent a night alone because my parents needed to travel for a family emergency.  Once.

I was nervous when Sabrina moved home, because my boyfriend was so thrilled with the prospect that it clearly meant I’d be receiving less of his attention, which was a valuable commodity in those days.  (Give me a break; I was a socially-inept eighteen-year-old with a crush.)  What if this woman hated me, and chose to poison his mind against me?  I’d seen enough chick-flicks to understand how that worked, y’know.

Turns out I needn’t have held onto that silly worry for even a moment.  Sabrina and I took to one another right away, forging a friendship that was to far outlast my relationship with her brother.  (This was as awkward as might be expected.)  We shopped together, went dancing, gossiped and giggled like sisters.  She told me the details of her relationships, and I did my best to let go of my reserve long enough to share my own.  She was so different from me that she seemed almost magical.

I had a bit of a crush on her.  I admit that.  And while that eventually only served to illustrate that I’m almost entirely straight, I think I’ve always held Sabrina in some separate little corner of my heart because of it.  She was special.

But I left her, just as I left everyone else in town other than my family.  As much as I enjoyed spending time with her, at heart her life wasn’t the kind I wanted, her values not the same ones I was developing, and we just…stopped understanding each other.  The friendship limped along for a while, but eventually came to a halt when she tried to convince me not to enter into a particular relationship.  Turns out she was absolutely right, of course, but I resented what I saw as an intrusion, and…off I went.  Fuck you, drive through.

Not that Sabrina was the only one.  I know this is part of what makes me a horrid person, but I’d begun pulling back from most of my acquaintances even before I moved out of town.  I’d never been all that well-adjusted in the first place, mind you.  But lately I’d begun to feel lost, and weirdly disconnected from them, a sense that only grew stronger with the passing of time.  In some ways I felt that they had left me behind, but in a direction I didn’t want to follow; most of them settled into the slow, predictable rhythm of my hometown, and while I didn’t know what I wanted out of life, I knew it wasn’t that.  Their lives were foreign to me, and as they married and had the requisite babies, it got harder and harder to remember why we’d been friends in the first place.

I fully admit that I was a late bloomer–hell, I’m still not bloomed.  I’m immature, selfish, and I think my brain left high school roughly six weeks ago.  Growing up has some distinctly crappy aspects to it, and I was never really all that interested.

But the fact that most of the fault lay with me didn’t change things:  I no longer “got” my friends, and they certainly didn’t get me.  And more and more, I came to realize that I wanted out of that town, and away from people who’d rarely seen me at other than my worst.

Things happened which I’m not going to discuss here.  Bottom line is, getting out is exactly what I did, and certain friendships fell by the wayside.  Sabrina’s was one.  I don’t think I ever spoke to her again after entering into the relationship she tried to prevent, but whether that was out of wounded pride or just my burning desire to get the hell outta Dodge, I really couldn’t tell you.

I thought of her over the years, and quite often.  She was a big part of my life for a while, after all, and it always bothered me the way I’d just walked away.  I just…never pursued anything.  What would I have said, after all that time?  I knew I’d changed enormously; what if she’d changed just as much, and we’d become even more incompatible?  And did I even want to rekindle an acquaintance with someone whose “friend” was a girl I hated, and who I no longer wanted to be?

No.  Maybe we’d run into each other again someday, but I wouldn’t seek it out.  Better to just leave things as they were, and send her a fond thought now and again.

So I did just that.  I let the days pass, continuing on my merry, self-centered little way.  And a couple of days ago, Father Time decided to give me a good headslap because of it.  I was on the phone with my mother, who mentioned with some hesitation that she’d been looking at the death notices that morning, and “you remember Jason’s sister, Sabrina?”

Yes.  I do.

Posted by: Owner | June 13, 2010

Guh-ross.

That’s my reaction to what I see in the mirror today.  Even with makeup and at least a vague attempt at styling my hair, I look decidedly ill-used.  I’m the image of the morning after, without the pleasure of the night before.

Some of it is allergies, although Steve seems to think we’ve both picked up a bug of some sort, as he feels yucky as well.  Whatever the case, my eyes are reddish and swollen-ish, my face seems puffy, and if I were to be so cruel as to wash off the concealer I troweled on this morning, the world would think I’d been punched in both eyes.  It’s one of the rare days I look at myself and think “ugly” instead of just “yep, that’s a face all right.”

There was no point to that.  Sorry if you were looking for one.

There is a bit of news around here, though.  For one thing, I’ve reached a low number on the scale which hasn’t been seen for many moons, and it was much celebrated–partly with a shopping trip for new clothes.  (Oh, thrift stores and flea markets, your siren songs taunt me so.)

One nice little bonus, too, is that this desire to manage my weight and health has gotten me interested in cooking again.  I made a veggie-packed little Moroccan curry on Friday night, and a quinoa/black bean/corn dish yesterday, and both were utterly fantastic, if I do say so myself.  (Well, Steve agrees, but I think he may just like having me cook.  You never know about him.)  And while I recognize my tendency to throw myself into a new venture with full force…what the hell.  Most of you who read this have my email address, I think, so if you’ve got any good, healthy recipes?  Toss ‘em this way, please.  Thanks muchly.

And that’s about all the crap that’s fit to jabber about, so I’m off.

Way, way off.

Posted by: Owner | June 5, 2010

Can it, woman!

I know, I know.  I go for so damn long without a single post, and now I can’t shut up.

Steve just left to go run his errands, and while it was my choice to stay home, I’m kind of regretting it.  Not having such a grand old time over here in my head, y’see.  I’ve been crying off and on, for no real reason.  Thinking of things I shouldn’t.  And I’m wondering if it’s time to give up and ask the doctor for some meds.  Again.

Unfortunately, that prospect is pretty damn scary.  The last time I was issued a Happy Helmet, it backfired in a rather large way.  Remember those reports about people–usually teens, but we all know I’m immature–committing suicide while on anti-depressants?  Yeah.

Well, obviously I didn’t actually do it, unless someone’s invented an electronic Ouija board and hooked it up to WordPress.  But the thoughts?  Oh yes, they were there in full force.  Lexapro: breakfast of wannabe corpses.

It’s been long enough now that I think part of me’s forgotten exactly how it felt, which is dangerous.  I remember writing in the journal I kept at the time, and saying that yeah, the pills made it so that I didn’t feel sad anymore…but they also made it so that I didn’t feel much of anything, period.  It was like being wrapped in cotton, protected from bumps and bruises, but muffled at the same time.  Given that I’m normally a rather dramatic and emotional person, I’m sure you can imagine it was disconcerting.  I don’t care for being deprived of my occasional happy vivacity, just for the sake of avoiding the blues.

Even so, I could’ve handled that.  I really could.

But then one night, seemingly out of nowhere, I just decided that I wasn’t worth keeping around anymore.  Had all sorts of good reasons to die, and a plan all mapped out in my head.  And if I hadn’t somehow brought myself to go wake Steve instead so he could watch over me, I don’t think I’d be here today.  I’ve always had suicidal thoughts from time to time–I think the first bout happened at age ten or so.  (Big year, that one.)

That night, though, the feelings were like nothing else I’d ever experienced.  I talk about having voices in my head, and while I’m not joking, I do understand that they’re nothing more than different “tracks” of thought, and all me.

This was different.  It was literally like having someone whisper in my ear, and try to control my body.  And it scared the hell out of me.

So yeah.  Once bitten, and all that.  I’ve been trying for a few years now to handle things on my own, and most of the time it works.  I’m very lucky for that.  Today, though…it’s tempting to try again.  Because this sanity stuff?  Gets very heavy sometimes, and it’d be nice to have a little help carrying it.

I’ll let you know.

Posted by: Owner | June 5, 2010

In-ska-dentally, guys…

Reading a thread elsewhere about weight and society’s view of it, I felt the urge to put out a small disclaimer.  So here it is:

My opinions about my own weight/size/body/appearance/whatever have nothing to do with anyone else.  Like most folks, I have a set of standards for myself that I don’t necessarily apply to others–because frankly, other people’s bodies are none of my business.  So please, please, please don’t get offended when I talk about being fat, or wanting to lose weight, or…you get the picture.

This is just a blog, just words on a page, and I’m just a person who’s trying to become what she’d like to be.  K?

Posted by: Owner | June 5, 2010

Yay for choppy entries!

Know what?  This morning, I learned that a man who has arthritis in both legs and is thirteen years my senior still royally kicks my ass on long walks.  This was, as you can imagine, disheartening.  (But I’m proud of ‘im!)

Yes, Steve and I got out in the morning air.  Luckily for me and my befreckled pastiness, the sun wasn’t entirely out–and frankly, the clouds were so gorgeous that I really wished I’d had my camera.  However, I wasn’t there to snap photos; I was there to be a walkin’ MACHINE…although I did stop several times to gaze up at the sky in awe, and not simply as an excuse for catching my breath.

No, really.

But damn…we got three-quarters of the way to the park (where Steve was planning to do a couple of laps around the lake, then walk back, the inhuman bastard), and I just couldn’t do any more.  The Disease Which Shall Remain Nameless has decided lately that it really likes hanging out in my hips, y’see.  And while I really can’t blame it, as they are indeed luscious, it does make exercise…interesting.

[This, in case you’re wondering, is Excuse #382 in my handbook.  I’ll send you a copy, if you like.]

So we walked home, and after a quick shower and much whimpering, I did some Pilates while Steve (the inhuman bastard) finished his walk.  Later today, he’s got some other stuff to do that will leave me alone in the apartment, so I can find some other method of moving my lazy arse, without the automatic self-consciousness that comes from the presence of even my favorite person.  I may pop in a dance DVD and follow along, or maybe I’ll simply turn on some music and do that freestyle thang.  I’ll just have to make sure all the blinds are closed first, and do another sweep for hidden cameras.

You think I’m kidding about that level of paranoia, and I really am.  But it’s a very close thing.

And yet in so many ways, I’m an attention whore.  Go figure.

Posted by: Owner | June 4, 2010

Logorrhea: I has it.

EDIT: I have no idea why this entry turned into a rant about my weight and appearance.  It was intended to talk about my lack of accomplishment, but I guess the fact that I never “accomplished” being what I call beautiful is bothering me a little more than I’d originally thought.  So I’ve gone back to try to clear it up a bit, and translate from Sillycakes into Normal Human.  Most likely, I’ve only muddled things more in the process.

But what the hell.  Onward!

********

Yes, I’m back, because you people are obviously very hard to bore to death.

It’s funny; these little vacations from blogging give me a strange dual view of my life.  See, I feel that a lot’s been happening.  I’ve been on trips, met some new friends, become obsessed interested in some new music.  Seen a few movies, renewed my raging crush on Alan Cumming.  Made some plans, said goodbye to a few people, and even…uh, started a book.

[Yes.  I’ve also cleaned up the last one and am trying to work up the ovaries to DO something with it other than take up space on my various computer drives.]

And yet on the surface, nothing’s changed at all.  I’m still chubby.  I’m still living in the same place I was last time we spoke–although that’s not a bad thing, as I do love my little apartment.  I still adore my husband, still sing at an annoyingly mediocre level, and still can’t dance worth a flip.

I do, however, feel a little different.

It varies from day to day, whether it’s a positive or negative difference.  I sometimes feel quite hopeful about my future.  I think I might someday have the courage and luck to actually get something published.  That I might really learn to dance.  I might see Europe.  I might even try acting, if only a little community theater stuff.

And then there are other days, in which I look in the mirror and see those couple of wrinkles that have cropped up.  They’re small, yes, but insistent little bastards: reminders of time’s passage, and of just how long I’ve fucked around.

Part of the problem with being me is that I want to be simultaneously invisible and the center of attention.  That probably makes no sense, but the feeling’s always been there.  Love me, but don’t look at me too closely.  Want me, but don’t come too near.  Don’t hurt me.

This kind of warped even farther over the years, translating itself into the desire to be adored, but not yet.  Not while I’m still the way I am/was/always have been.  I started on the path of self-improvement a distressing number of years ago, putting off anything that would draw anyone’s eyes to me until I was “done”…and then I never GOT done.

Putting things off just became a habit.

Even with all the changes I’ve made over the years, I’m not traditionally beautiful.  Never have been, but I could have at least done more with myself in times past.  A large part of the problem is, as always, my weight and my own views of it…and here goes the ramble.

See, I found the cycle of emotional overeating early on–say, ten years old or thereabouts.  And that combined with my genetic tendency to puff out all over the place, to ensure that I spent my teens and twenties at least chunky.  And then once I married Steve?  OH, lord.  I made the mistake of eatin’ like a man just because I was with one, and let’s just say my body didn’t really appreciate that too much.

The die was cast then, it seemed.  Since I was fat, and most outfits didn’t look good on me anyway, I didn’t see the need to bother with much in the way of presentation.  As long as I and my clothes were clean, and my hair was brushed, I kind of skimmed a gaze over the mirror and said “good enough”.  After all, I was never going to be what the world called pretty.  By some miracle I’d found a man who thought I was beautiful, but I had no illusions as to what the rest of humanity might think.  And I’d seen often enough the sneers and laughter that other fat women got sometimes when they painted their nails, did their hair and put on makeup; no way was I subjecting myself to that.  I wasn’t a pretty girl, and that was just the way it was.  I told myself it didn’t matter, and sometimes I even believed it.

I don’t know what changed, only that it did.  I read something about the whole glycemic-index thing and for whatever reason, it rang true.  And it worked, too; moving from that to plain ol’ low carbing, I lost about thirty pounds without really working all that hard at it, then another sixty over the next few years, through various healthy and unhealthy means.  [Fifteen of those pounds have, sadly, returned, but I’ll vanquish them yet!]

Somewhere along the way, I started trying again.  At the tender age of thirty-one, I actually started to learn about makeup and how to apply it fairly well.  I got a better haircut.  I actually started paying at least some attention to fashion.  I liked it; it made me feel good.  If not precisely pretty, at least a little sexy.

But then for some inexplicable reason, I ran away from it.  Oh, not completely–I still dress well enough, if with a little less concern for trends than I might have.  I don’t go out without makeup, just because I don’t like to.  And while yes, I’ve regained fifteen pounds, it’s only fifteen, rather than my ballooning back up to my highest, and I haven’t given up hope that I’ll wrest those back off soon.

I’m nowhere near what I was, though.  Turns out, I could be pretty, at least a little.  There was just the briefest window of my being attractive to other than a handful of people, and there are times I hate myself for stepping back from it.

And I wonder if I didn’t just get scared of being looked at, or scared that–now that I’d taken care of most of my self-invented physical obstacles–I’d have to do all those lovely things I’d been putting off.  I’d have to justify all my changes by producing something worthy of notice.

The thing is, garnering notice has rarely been a positive thing for me.  Despite my rather pathetic desire to be loved, I’d been conditioned in various ways to stay silent and not intrude.  Even as a child, there was always the weight thing, plus my extreme shyness, plus a level of intelligence that made me popular only with teachers.  No, I was usually more than happy to keep to the shadows, thank you.

But I’m thirty-seven now.  A prime number, and perhaps the “prime of life” by some standards as well, but it scares me nonetheless.  There’s the growing sense that if I’m ever going to do something with myself, ever going to make a mark that ensures I’ll be remembered by more than a small group of family and friends, I’d better damn well get moving on it.

I look at various young’uns who have already accomplished so much, and while I’m not proud of it, I resent them.  What could I have been, if I’d been encouraged to fly rather than to just know my place?

And what’s stopping me now, other than decades’ worth of ingrained fear?  Nothing.

But no matter how much I ache, no matter how deeply I feel that there is something more to me than what I’ve seen or shown, my dreams are vague and formless, and I don’t know if I have the strength to bring them into any other kind of existence.

So here I am.  Still just me.

Posted by: Owner | March 11, 2010

Nothing, really.

Once upon a time, back when we had a house instead of an apartment, there came a night in which we had a real, honest-to-goodness thunderstorm.  Like the ones down South, with lightning streaking across the sky, thunder shaking the floor, and the rain hurling itself down in great splats onto the back patio.  We sat on the kitchen floor with all the lights off, beside the sliding glass door, and just watched the show.

I just had the most achingly intense longing for that moment.

Posted by: Owner | February 9, 2010

Wow.

Yet another long-abandoned blog.  The sad, sad story of the Internet–and my life, duh.  I start so many damn things and never end up finishing them, it’s an event worthy of great celebration when I actually get something done.

Or at least I think so.  The people around me are still being stubborn about the Dom Perignon for that time I scrubbed the bathtub.  Fuckers.

Anyway, what’s new with you?  Around here it’s pretty much the same; I’m still lazy as hell, full of The Crazy, and revoltingly happy in my marriage to a man who’s far too good for me.  That last bit makes me feel a little self-conscious at times, partly because a few beloved friends are having terrible times in their relationships.  Unfortunately, aside from offering an ear and the fervent desire to kick their SOs in the taint, there’s not a whole lot I can do for them.  I wish I’d paid a little more attention when Grammy was talking about those voodoo dolls, but the giddiness of youth interfered.

I have no idea where that last sentence came from.  Blame the Nyquil hangover.

What else, what else.  My family members continue to drop like flies, and I continue to disapprove.  I live in terror of the day it’s my mom’s turn to get sick.  I know it’s coming, I know it’s part of life, but the eight-year-old who lives in my heart is adamant that Her Mommy needs to be exempt from all this mess.  She also feels that if she’d been a little more adamant that Her Daddy be excused, he’d still be here.

Counseling?  Counseling, you say?  Well, I would, but there are parts of my life that the average bear wouldn’t understand or approve, and I don’t feel like going to the trouble to find one who’s kink-friendly and covered by my insurance.  So you get the outpourings of my brain instead.  And oh, what a visual that was.

Here, you’ve got a spot of it on you…hold still.  Ooh, didn’t realize you were ticklish.  Sorry.

In other news that would be less odd for anyone but me, I’ve also gotten quite crafty lately.  I’m slowly re-learning to crochet, learning to knit, and (my personal favorite) I’ve also been scrapbooking like a mofo.  It’s probably at least partly in response to the rash (ew) of family deaths, but for whatever reason, I’ve felt the need to organize my photos and write down the circumstances surrounding them.  It’s quite therapeutic, which is, y’know, another reason to avoid counseling.  Because I’m doing fine on my own, dammit!

One area in which I’m not really doing fine on my own is weight loss and exercise.  Oh, I renewed my gym membership, and I’ve even gone back a few times.  Plus, I’m back to low-carbing, because it seems to be the best way to control the symptoms of this stupid autoimmune-whateverthefuck I’ve got.  But there for a while?  Oh, baby, you did not want to get in between me and mah Doritos, because I would cut a bitch.  Or more probably, bite one as my constantly-working jaws were unable to stop in time.  But thankfully, the appetite-suppressing properties of the diet have worked their magic once more, so your fingers are probably safe.  Probably.

And that seems to be all the news that’s fit to clutter up your monitors for now.  Thanks for stopping by, and I’ll try to remember to update this thing again before I’m dead.  MWAH!

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