It’s the D word

So, I know I have been away for a bit. I am actually shocked by how long ago my last post was. I really wish I could say I was doing something fun. But in reality I have been trapped in the hellscape of my own mind known as depression.

 

It’s actually super weird to even say that word in this blog because I rarely talk about it. Even in my real life with my actual friends that I love and trust. But here goes; I have been depressed for the past two weeks. And the thing about depression for me is: I don’t even realize it at first. I just feel tired and sad and I lose all my normal excitement over the things I love.

 

And that is a total fucking dick move. Because the things I love, like writing, reading, crafting, and cooking are things that might actually have the power to help me feel at least a little better. But I can’t do them. So I do nothing.

 

And then I feel bad for doing nothing. And that turns into some other whole huge guilt thing like I owe the world my productivity.

 

Usually when I am sad I can still muster up some humor for this blog. Or I have a backlog of stories and can post one and pretend I am fine. I am good at pretending I am fine. But that didn’t happen this time either.

 

This time I did nothing. When I realized what was happening, I actually told someone about it. Like, while it was happening…for the first time in my entire life. That first person I told was super cool and supportive (as always, D). And then I told someone else, my sister J, who was also super cool and supportive.

 

And everybody just let me be sad so it was this whole weird snowball thing where I suddenly now feel like I can talk about it on this blog which is really where I have always wanted to wind up. It’s kind of like having a superpower. But instead of telekinesis I can actually talk about my feelings like a human being.

 

It isn’t a big deal, but at the same time it kind of feels like the hugest deal ever. I know most of you will know exactly what I mean. Which is good because I am not being very articulate right now.

 

Just when I was feeling better emotionally I caught a cold. I have spent the last two days sleeping or watching romantic comedies which are really one of the worst things on Earth. I am not sure why I watch them when I am sick.

 

When I am not sick romantic comedies usually make me feel repulsed and bored and uncomfortable. It is nothing but sexism and the same boring plot in every single fucking one. Throw in some creepy stalking and offensive stereotypes and there you have the romantic comedy. So who knows why I watch them when I don’t feel well, but I do. I am ashamed of my Netflix recently watched queue at the moment.

 

I promise I am not done telling stories and being ‘funny.’ I have so much more to talk about on here. But for now, I am going to end with one quick story:

 

I am a “what if” person. One of my ex’s used to say I would hypothetical him to death. I was even like that growing up.

 

My father used to interrupt my barrage of ‘what ifs’ with the same response every time. He’d say “What if the moon was made of green cheese and mice could fly?”

 

This was his nicest possible way of getting me to shut the hell up. But it really invited more questions for me.

 

I mean, the moon isn’t even green. And cheese isn’t green. And how could the moon be made out of dairy products if there were no cows in space?

 

Also, what kind of flying were the mice doing? If they could fly like a bird then the moon was probably safe because they wouldn’t be able to survive in space. I mean, it’s not like you ever hear of birds in space.

 

If mice had personal spacecraft that they could use to breach our atmosphere then I think we would have bigger problems than them eating the moon. What the hell does the moon do for us anyway? Something to do with the ocean tides?

 

Do mice even like cheese?

 

And that was usually when my father would tell me to shut the hell up. And I would. But seriously, what kind of crazy ass thing is that to say to someone? Did anyone else’s parents say that to them?

 

Walkin’ in Memphis

This is a two part story about the only vacation I have ever taken with my family. This happened when I was 25 or so. I was between heart surgeries and living in the old apartment.

 

My father, sister, J, and brother, T, all took a drive. My father owned part of a mountain in Arkansas. There was a house on it, and we weren’t sure if his ex girlfriend was still in it or not. He also had a full storage unit that needed clearing out.

 

But we decided to have a little fun on the way up and stop in Tennessee to visit Memphis before we went to Arkansas. My father had some money as his mother had fairly recently died. My brother and sister were both in between jobs. And I hadn’t taken a vacation in several years due to my heart surgeries.

 

My father drove the entire way from Florida to Memphis. We left on a Friday after I got home from work. We were all supposed to sleep while he drove and then be refreshed Saturday morning for Memphis. But I have terrible insomnia under ideal situations. And my father’s driving is far from ideal.

 

Unsurprisingly, I could not relax enough to sleep. So I stayed awake and talked to my father. I was convinced that if I just kept vigil then he couldn’t wreck and kill us all. And he didn’t, so I can only assume I was right.

 

We got to Memphis Saturday morning and took showers and immediately went out to explore the city. I hadn’t slept in about 27 hours by that point. We had breakfast at the closest place to our hotel. It was directly across the trolley tracks.

 

The restaurant was called the Blue Plate Cafe. It was adorable inside. We were served with a big basket of all you can eat biscuits to go with our meal. Now, many of you know that I like to cook. And I am a good cook. And I make excellent biscuits. But these biscuits made mine seem like hockey pucks. I took some home and had them cold later in the day and they were still fantastic.

Just looking at them makes my mouth water

 

Then we took the trolley down to Beale St. This was long before I started drinking. And it was still early in the morning. So we explored the shops. Trolley rides were a dollar and some of the cars were so old and cool.

 

I was obsessed with riding them

 

That song was stuck in my head the whole time I was in Memphis.

 

I ate ribs for lunch and dinner every day we were in Memphis. They were delicious every place we went. My father even ate them and he doesn’t eat pork.

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This is one of my favorite pictures of me. No sleep and in a head shop looking at penis candles.

 

We of course drove past Graceland. And saw the Martin Luther King museum that was built at the hotel where he was shot and killed.

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That white dude is my brother.

 

Every night we went down to Beale St and everyone got drunk (except me) and had a great time. As you know, my family gets on VERY well we we are all drinking.

 

But the best thing we saw was the Belz museum. It was our last day in Memphis and I had wanted to go to the Cotton Museum (I love any kind of museum about pretty much anything) but tickets were just too expensive. As we were wandering the city we happened upon the Belz museum.

 

 

Go there!

 

My family is Jewish and the combination of Asian and Judaic art was pretty much irresistible to us. Also, it seemed like a bizarre combination.

Four foot high semi precious stone carved horses.

 

This museum was incredible. If you are in Tennessee and don’t visit then you are only cheating yourself. I literally gasped at some of the pieces on display there.

Carved mammoth tusk

 

Memphis was a friendly and fun city. However, Arkansas was our next stop and we were going to find it very different from Memphis. In my next post.

 

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I love this piece so much

 

Patron Saint of Driving

I was working on a completely unrelated story when I got side tracked talking about how my family drives and I decided to turn it into it’s own post.

 

My family are all the worst drivers I have ever met.

 

My mother has never learned to smoothly operate a vehicle. Her foot is either on the gas or on the brake at all times. I can’t ride more than 100 feet as a passenger in her car without getting sick.

 

And I get carsick a lot. As long as I am in the front, I am generally okay. Except with her. This leads to me doing most of the driving now that I am an adult, but I am okay with that.

 

My mother also has a very low tolerance for things like stress, traffic, and getting lost. Every time she gets lost, she calls me up frantic and pissed. Sometimes she even cries. And then she doesn’t even know where she is so I can help her find her way. No road names. Nothing. Sometimes she will say something helpful like, “I’m passing a Burger King.” Like that narrows it down.

 

My sister, J, is a VERY careless driver. (I love you J, but it’s true). I remember once when we lived together she was driving us somewhere and changed lanes without even checking the other lane. At all. She was just like, “Oh, I need to be over there.” And swerved into that lane like a fucking maniac.

 

One of my other sisters did not learn to drive until she was over 30. And a third sister taught me many creative uses of the word “fuck” when driving with her. She was also one of the most angry, aggressive drivers I have ever met, even to this day.

 

My brother T is probably the best of the bunch. But as he is usually on some kind of drug or alcohol or both. It tends to make me not trust him with my life.

 

But the truly bad driver is my father. He speeds. To excessive, insane speeds. I recall many times when he was in no particular rush and was still going 100+ miles per hour on the highway. Just because. And he tailgates like crazy, blaming it on the fact that he used to drive in Los Angeles.

 

He doesn’t pay attention to the road. He will slam on his brakes and pull over at almost anything. Yard sales, construction sites, empty lots, trash piles. My father loves them all.

 

He also rolls the windows down and blares rock music. Which he then shouts over to talk to you. And if he is talking to you, he is looking at you. He cannot have a conversation with you without making eye contact with you.

 

He writes himself notes while driving. Ideas for necklaces, poetry, reminders of errands or groceries. And if he wants to look at something on the side of the road, say, a pretty girl or a new billboard; he will twist completely around in his seat to make sure he does not miss one second of it as it passes. And he is interested in looking at every one and every thing. He has some kind of driving ADD and everything catches his eye.

 

He also has zero regard for other drivers or little things like courtesy, medians, traffic lights and sidewalks.

 

One time (recently) we were trying to make a U-turn on a very busy road in Orlando. U-turns were illegal at the next two median breaks. So my father, ever the problem solver, cut across the concrete median. And when his wheel turning base on his truck was too wide to make the U-turn into a proper lane, he drove up over the curb and down about 300 feet of the sidewalk of a newly built restaurant to get to the cross street he was heading for. On the wrong side of a busy road. Against traffic. On the fucking sidewalk.

 

And then he seemed confused and hurt when I wanted to drive after that.
I’m not going to lie and say I am some patron saint of driving. But part of my job involves driving a company vehicle. And though I have been in many accidents, none of them have been determined to be my fault thus far.

Grandma D

 

I don’t generally tell these types of stories about my family. There are a lot of them. I don’t really know where they go in my life. It’s really sad, but also kind of funny in a terrible way.

 

I have been thinking about my grandmother a lot lately. I am not really sure why. I did not know her at all. She died when I was 22. You might wonder why I didn’t know her considering I was an adult when she died. And the answer is…

 

I don’t know.

 

This is one of those weird things that my family refuses to talk about. I remember her calling sometimes when I was growing up. She’d call and after I said “hello?”

 

She’d say, “It’s Grandma D. Is this Maurna?”

 

And I’d cautiously say “Yes…” (This was before caller ID, for all you youngsters).

This shit was life changing. Suddenly you could avoid people without missing the calls you wanted to get.

There’d be a long pause where I would hold my breath, waiting for her to ask me something, anything about myself. Instead she’d reply with, “Is your father there?”

 

And I’d either say yes and get him, or say no and tell her he’d call back. She never asked me anything about my life. We never said more than those few phrases to each other.

 

Sometimes it felt like we were reading from some alienating, dysfunctional script. But we weren’t. We were just so unknown to each other, it was an impossible barrier to breach. I guess we were alienated and dysfunctional.

 

When she died, I felt nothing. I still feel nothing about her being dead. She was a voice on the phone and a picture I once saw of her. Nothing more.

 

Until my father went out to go through her things. She lived in the desert in Arizona. In a single wide trailer with no AC. Her truck was 40 years old and also had no AC.

 

She was an interesting lady. She owned a co-op that she had started herself. It began with her pulling clothes from the trash (a habit I seem to have picked up) and cleaning and mending them and giving them away to the poor or needy.

Seriously. My favorite shirts are from the trash.

Soon she was going to the dump and picking up broken appliances and fixing them, cleaning them, and taking them to her co-op. Everything was sold by donation only at her co-op. You could work a few days in the shop or just take what you needed.

 

When she died, she had branched out into food as well. She had volunteers that would dumpster dive at grocery stores and collect prepackaged or unspoiled food items to give away too. I hear she was even working with local farmers to donate surpluses.

 

In some ways I really admire her for doing all these things. It is exactly the kind of thing I could see myself doing. But in another way, that fact scares the fuck out of me. Because she was mentally ill.

 

She went to the dentist one day and got sick. For some reason, she decided that the dentist was trying to poison her. She became increasingly convinced of it. So much so that she stopped eating.

And starved herself.

To death.

I don’t really know why she didn’t just lock it up.

When my father went out to her place, he found that she was a hoarder. Most of my family is, in my opinion. She had stacks of clothes waiting to be taken to the co-op. And appliances. And jewelry. And envelopes full of money.

This is about what I imagine.

Lots of money. She was a multi-millionaire. Living in the desert with no AC. Starving herself to death.

 

She was actually my favorite of all my grandparents. And I guess, in a weird way, we were the closest. We seem to have the most in common.

 

I don’t even know why I wrote this. I guess I thought sharing it might get it out of my head a bit. And it did. I promise to be funny again next time.

My Crafting Adventures: Chest Piece

I’ve never been much for bragging. I feel there is always someone smarter, prettier, funnier, cooler, more interesting, more athletic than myself. Plus, I am pretty modest. And in case you guys haven’t realized, this blog is 95% about what an idiot I am.

 

But there is one claim I will make that can be interpreted as bragging. I am a crafter savant. I may not be good at things like physical touching, or emotions, or socializing, or much of anything. But I am amazing at crafty things. At least I like to think so.

 

Trust me, I am an idiot.

 

A few years ago my sister, J, and I went into a pawn store. I love and hate pawn stores. In antique stores, I can pretend the people are all just dead and their families have sold their stuff. And in thrift stores, I pretend people just get tired of their crap and donate it.

 

 

Every pawn store in Florida.

 

But pawn stores are sad. I can sometimes feel the desperation of the people that had to sell something to pay a bill, or eat. It bothers me. It reminds me storage units, in the same way. Sad people putting everything they own in a metal box with the intention of coming back for it.

 

So depressing.

 

Anyway, we were in this pawn shop and I am kind of friendly with the owners. Friendly in the way I am friendly with most people I talk to more than once. People tend to remember me, even more so if I am out with my family. I hear we are like some cross between hippies and gypsies. I don’t mind.

 

I am not now, nor will I ever be this cool. But my family totally is.

 

The owner was telling us that her husband is Native American and some of the pieces they have on display are heirlooms from his family. Not for sale.

 

If any of you look at my Pinterest, you know, I am a sucker for Native American jewelry. So I was oohing and ahhing over these pieces she was pulling out from behind the counter.

 

*swoon*

 

Then I saw what looked like a manky old leather vest. It was old, and worn, and kind of haggard looking. Which is exactly what I love. So I asked the owner to see it.

 

It was an old bone and leather chest piece in a plastic display case. And I was fascinated. I wanted so badly to touch this thing. It was like an old bird that used to be beautiful but was now collapsed and broken. But I could still see it’s beauty.

 

Honestly, it kind of looked like this, all wound up in the case.

 

So I leaned in and asked if I can touch it. I doubted she’d let me. But I had to ask.

 

The owner looked around a bit. It was just the three of us in this store. Her husband was in the back and likely would have been very angry if he knew. She said that I could.

 

I think there was something in my eyes. She saw my reverence for this thing.

 

She opened the case and I reached in and touched the leather. It was once a rough and poor quality piece of leather. Age and wear had made it soft and smooth. Like heavy cream.

 

The bone was dark with a lovely patina. The chest piece was broken. Like I had thought. I wanted it so much. And so did J. But as I said, it wasn’t for sale.

 

It was similar to this, but crumpled and broken.

 

After we left the shop J and I talked about it. I knew I could make one for her. I only got to see it for a few minutes, but I am good at figuring out how things work. I just needed to get the supplies.

 

It took me a few months, but I soon had all the bone, beads, and leather to make her a chest piece for her birthday.

 

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This is the one I made my sister.


And enough to make myself one for no reason other than I wanted one.

 

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The one I made myself.

Thursday Night, Family Night

In case any of you have been missing me, wondering where I have been or why I haven’t been lurking on your blogs lately: I have been writing  hella science fiction lately and it’s been taking me away from my blogging life. I’ll try to do better in the future.

As you may recall, my father is recovering from open heart surgery. He can’t lift more than 5 lbs. I went over to his place on Sunday to help him clear an area to build a shelf to go through his more than 7,000 vinyl records. And no, 7,000 wasn’t a typo.

 

7000 albums looks kind of like this. Only they are disorganized and stacked precariously and sliding all over at my father’s.

 

He lives in an old creepy farmhouse that has been converted into a new age church. My ex, A, used to say that it was abandoned by the living but haunted by the dead.

My father is a bit of a hoarder, but the stuff he hoards is actually cool. I guess that makes him more of an eccentric collector.

I have included some pictures here for your viewing pleasure. Enjoy.

 

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The front of the building and the porch that is blocked off.

 

After I left on Sunday he told me that he had found a nest of black widows near where we were working. I decided it wasn’t worth mentioning that I had felt something in my pants, biting me, on the drive home.

I went back tonight with my brother,T, to move a few more things about.  I have mentioned my brother several times, but I forgot to direct you here for more about him.

First we had to move all the records we had stacked in one room on Sunday to another bureau. We were moving two bureaus up the stairs. The stairs that had no guard rails. And steps that ranged between three different heights seemingly at random.

 

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Peeling paint, creepy access holes, fancy chandeliers. It’s all here!

 

Then my father needed us to move a sofa bed couch out to the trash for him. It was pouring down rain in the middle of a terrible thunderstorm. I was sweating my ass off and had dropped a rusted nail studded board on myself and stabbed myself in the back with a key stuck in a door.

 

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The almost definitely haunted outbuildings that I almost got murdered at for this picture.

 

My brother went to move the couch from where it was standing on end, and knocked over a stack of boxes 6 feet high. He and I started cracking up laughing. We had narrowly missed a desk covered in crystals and knick knacks.

Once we both had this couch in our arms (and faces) my father tells us that it had “bugs.” I almost dropped the thing, fearing that he meant roaches. But no. Bed bugs? No. Termites? No. Just silverfish, no biggie.

T and I lugged this giant sofa bed couch outside, then set it down on it’s wheel and raced  it, laughing, down the long driveway to the curb. In the pouring rain. We got stuck a few times and nearly fell on the disgusting thing.

 

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My amazing photography skills at work here. But at least you can tell it is stormy as fuck.

 

But it was pretty fun. I could see that catching on. Two man couch races. It was like pushing a bobsled with four shitty grocery cart wheels through soft sand.

By this point, we were exhausted. Soaking wet from the rain and sweat. And I had been accidentally stabbed twice.

And that’s when we found the bottle rockets.

No matter what I find at my father’s place, I am never surprised. I suspect the Bermuda triangle actually has one point in central Florida at my father’s, one point in northern Florida at my mother’s and the third point extends out into the Atlantic. Anything could be there. And anything is there.

 

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This is actually the background on my phone. It was unstaged. Just a normal vignette of a human skull, crystals, incense, razor blades. That’s at everyone’s father’s house, right?

 

My brother, father and I went out onto his side porch and lit bottle rockets, from a planter on the covered porch, into his yard, at the garage apartment on the property. It was undeniably stupid.

 

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The garage apartment where the human skull was famously found.


But nobody got hurt. Except me. On the key and rusty nail.

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The old field really cleans up nice when it isn’t mowed.