Now that everything is broken, who stole my fucking glue?


I know, I know. It’s been forever. Things in my world seem to stand absolutely fucking still or whirl around like a tornado on meth. I have started year 2. I’ve actually made it through a bunch of seconds. Good for me. I still don’t own my house. I’m still stranded in Dipshitville, Indiana. By a dead guy.

So the big things. I am still scurrying around trying to make the shop make money. The next month is full of website revamps, new merchandise, training Wee Geek to be an employee, and madly looking for conventions that get what I do.

Other big things. I fired my piece of shit lawyer who was some evil mix of incompetence, stupidity, and just plain laziness. The new lawyer tried to tell me that it was that he was not intrinsically motivated to complete things that require executive functioning skills. I do believe that’s lawyer speak for fucking lazy. So the new lawyer promises I will own my house in 90 days. I just have to trust him to do some negotiating and pay everything off. The old lawyer would shrug his shoulders and tell me to let the bank foreclose. Fuck that, I need somewhere to live, jackass! I do not know how this will actually pan out because my experience with lawyers is not good. Long time readers know that I can speak fairly expertly on this topic.

Wee Geek is having to make some decidedly huge changes in his life. I am looking forward to this. However, the last month has reared a heads up of ugly truths that we will have to deal with. I realised that life with the Fixitguy has made me somewhat complacently trustful of people which has done nothing but cost me money. So trust issues that I had forgotten have popped up once more. Also, Wee Geek has had to face some of his own demons. A brief stint in hospital has put him on track with some good meds that seem to be helping with the depression and closing off the huge black hole that threatens to eat his soul for a bite size snack. It has also put some intervention in his path. So we have him set up for some counseling that we hope will get him through this hiccup. It has also forced him to think very pointedly about what he wants to be when he grows up besides Mom’s Indentured Servant, which truthfully is his life for a little while, but one that I hope he can drag himself out of sooner rather than later. He had a job shadow through his vocational rehabilitation services that seems to actually be the one. I have always wanted him to do something with his art and this may be his shot. He shadowed a tattoo artist the other day and really felt like this would fit him. I think it will too. Plus it has gotten him drawing again. WIN! Insert happy dance here.

I discovered that every month has indeed got a 24th. I kinna skated by it in December because I went to visit the maternal unit for a week over Christmas and was super busy. Long time readers will be interested to know that I visited my brother over this time who has made a decidedly concerted and concentrated effort to be in my life since the Fixitguy left me alone on this earthly plane. We are more alike than different on some things and worlds apart on others. But I feel like he is accepting of me for the general wacky chick I am and that is a good thing. He needed a little diversity in his life. Lol.

I feel life gliding by. I fill my evenings with crafts and with Wee Geek moving back home somewhat permanently for the time being, the craft supply hoard must get itself under control somehow. What that actually means is that life without the Fixitguy, although occasionally floundery, is starting to merge into some new pattern that perhaps he was training me for over all these years. I realised today that February 5th would have been our 15th wedding anniversary. Sigh.

There feels as if there have been many things that have happened. My UFOconspiracyfriend was hit by a car in downtown Dipshitville. Broke his arm in several places, but he is on the mend after a surgery. He is also bored our of his brain. Poor guy. I have not been a good friend with all of Wee Geek’s stuff, but we will soon be back on track with that as well. I have lots of crochet projects. I have orders for pink kitty cat hats and shark slippers which should keep me busy for a few weeks! So slowly things are happening with the shop.

So dear readers, watch out when crossing the road in Dipshitville, watch for updates to the shop, and cross your fingers for Wee Geek.

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How to Survive Year 1…or the seemingly never ending morass of bullshit you must endure now that your spouse is gone


So, dear reader, we did it! We survived the first year! Congratulations. Pat yourself on the back, because obviously, no one else is around to do that for you! So…..now what?

You thought that things would be a lot different, didn’t you? Ha! Nope. You only survived because you don’t know how to not survive. You put your head down and put one foot in front of the other. Every. Fucking. Day. Because you had to. If you’re like me, you didn’t inherit a metric fuck-ton of money when your spouse died. You inherited an entirely new set of headaches that no amount of fuckitall is going to take away.

I thought that I would have my house paid off and I would be living somewhere else by now. Nope. My lawyer assures me he is working on it, but since he’s never in his office, and certainly doesn’t answer phone messages, I have no idea whether or not this is truthful or not. How hard can this be? The only thing in the estate was the house. But this has brought a completely new set of headaches. For one thing, I now owe more on the house than I did when Andrew died. Totally fair, right? No.

Also I can not change the name on my insurance account until the house is settled. Because God forbid what would happen if the whole thing burned down around my ears? Well, I know the answer to that. The insurance agency would issue a check that I could not cash in Andrew’s name to cover the contents of said house. Which brings us squarely into this week’s drama.

So, apparently the insurance company has been overcharging us for years. Thank you, Farmers. Not applying the correct discounts. So when I added the new car, apparently this brought this little black seed out into the light and they have been fixing it. One small refund check at a time. The bank said to sign his name and then mine and add “representative payee/personal representative”. Which I have dutifully done on every single check I have received. Until this week. Suddenly, the bank has decided that this is not their policy and that I have to get the check reissued. In my name. Sounds simple, right? Nope.  I call Farmers and talk to an agent who gives me a phone number to call. I call the number and get “virtual voting has ended”. Click. I call Farmers back. They give me 2 new numbers to call, one of which calls some black hole in outer space and never connects and the other, interestingly enough to Bank of America. Or at least, a class action lawsuit for them. Because apparently, they’ve  been overcharging people for years. So, I call Farmers back and get a girl who tells me that they just have to change the name on the billing account to me. This change should take 24-48 hours and I will get an email notifying me of this change before Friday. Email never appears. I call Farmers again. Different lady tells me that is not the case at all and that they can only issue the check to Andrew or to Andrew’s estate. Which does me no good. I call the bank and they tell me that they can’t cash the check because Andrew was never on my account. Grrr.

So this morning I went to the downtown branch of the back and cried. Playing the widow card with as much enthusiasm as having a whole hand of Aces at the Poker table. I have all the paperwork. I cry. I talk. I cry. The guy I’m talking to looks at paperwork. Looks at ID. Looks at paperwork. Goes and talks to someone. Comes back. Looks at paperwork. Says “follow me” and leads me to a teller who he tells to deposit this check. Sigh. WTAF. It never should have taken all of this effort a week after Andrew’s one year anniversary to do all of this. It’s insane. They should all be ashamed.

I know you thought I’d be living some kind of charmed carefree life by now. I’m not. Nothing has changed. I’m still barely making ends meets. Still working. Still trying to get Autiezombiegirl off the ground. Still barely surviving. Interestingly enough, I discovered the bottom of the depression barrel this week. Yeah….I’m in the basement of that, right now. But who wouldn’t be? Fuck. I can’t move on. Hell, I can’t even move until all of this crap is settled. So, I just sit. Spinning my wheels.

Bank of America sends me a little Asian guy every other day to hand me a yellow envelope that says “Please call immediately” and take my picture.

These are just a few of the things that I am still dealing with. A. Year. Later. In other news, I have also discovered that my heart is still absolutely broken. My tolerance for frustration is at zero. And I honestly think that I am heading straight to Applebee’s after  work and ordering drinks by color. Because I can. And because that’s how I adult. I feel like I have just put up with WAY too much this week. So, if you happen to be around…..

I’m disappointed. I really thought that things would be different in some small way outside of my husband being dead. It just all feels so….depressing. Sigh. You know me dear reader. I’ll get up and do it all over again tomorrow. But it is still overwhelming. And heartbreaking. And I hope that you don’t have to deal with this kind of bullshit if your spouse dies. Because it sucks. It really does. There are days that I just go home and go to bed because I cannot deal with even one more thing. I don’t know how to end this blog, today. So I will just end it with a period.

Anniversaries from the brink of the edge of nowhere


.facebook_1471892102149Oh dear readers, we are racing at light speed toward the one year mark. It sits on me, the weight as vast as the entire universe. I won’t lie, this year has been jam packed with all of the dips and highs of this insane roller coaster ride. It has been nothing that I either expected or wanted to happen this year. Most of the time I have just floated, keeping my head down on the difficult days and breathing, taking one moment by impossible moment. If someone had told me a year ago that this would be my life, I would not have believed it. How do you even predict this? Or cope with it?

This week feels heartbreaking. Full of moments of afraid to breathe because if I start crying now, I will never stop. Will I?  I have many people that tell me that I will. But I am not so sure. So I thought that I would share some of my favourite pictures with you.

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This is him in his Sears uniform. Way back 16 years ago when we first met. This is how I will always remember him. Those startling blue eyes and those boyish good looks. He never really changed. Of course, now I can let the secret out that I dyed his hair for 16 years. Laugh. He wouldn’t let me stop!

He was goofy beyond belief.

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This was the Rock’n’Roll Hall of Fame trip that I gave him for his 40th birthday. He had a blast. These guitars were all over Cleveland and I think we took pictures of most of them.

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This was after we won our first title of Crab Race champions. 2015.

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He never missed a chance to take pictures of us together. This is our first year together, he was still living in Van Buren and I was spending my time between Muncie and his trailer.

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This was our vacation in Cancun. I wanted to spend all our time on the beach and he actually only got to microplan a couple of days from the whole thing. For those of you who don’t know, he could microplan the fuck out of a vacation. I often came home needing a vacation from our vacation. This one, he only got 2 days. But he was a water baby and he would be lying if he said that he didn’t love the beach time.

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This is the picture we used for the obituary. He is playing my cousin’s 1952 Gibson and he never looked happier or more in awe of anything in his life. He loved playing music and his guitars were his favourite and most prized possessions. I have way too many guitars for a girl that doesn’t play, but he loved them and now so do I. Our lives were full of music. He dragged me to many a festival, concert, bar and outdoor performance. I didn’t like all of them, but I went because I was his built in concert buddy. We had a concert budget and went to anywhere from 50-200 shows a year. We planned vacations around them every now and again. I have gone to some shows this summer. It’s a hell of a lot harder to find someone to go with, but I also go to more things that I like and less things that I don’t, now. LOL.

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This was the last concert that we went to (the last show was the 1964 Beatles tribute). It was the Rolling Stones at Speedway. He was ticking off his bucket list the last ten years and I didn’t even realize it. But here we are at one of those last few shows. This was 10 days before his mom died. About 8 weeks before he did. It seems like now that there isn’t anything music that doesn’t bring him back to me. Because our entire lives were indeed music.

I miss him immensely. Those of you who are FaceBook friends are often entertained by the “Conversations with my husband” series that show his more blonde, silly, and just plain not thinking things out moments.

I will forever curse Timehop and FaceBook for having apps that bring me the joy and the tears of all of these photos that I forgot about or haven’t looked at. I will forever cry when a text message comes up on one of those apps with some inane thing like “what’s for dinner, baby?” or “what do you want to do this weekend?”. Wishing that it was some profound profession of our love. But being with someone for 16 years isn’t about profound professions of love. It’s about profound love that is SO there that you don’t have to say it every day. You just know that it’s there. You trust that it is there and you hold it in your heart above all the other things. Because you know it’s safe and it’s yours.

This year has made me step so far out of my comfort box that I am not even sure where that damn thing is anymore. This year has made me take stock of what is truly important. This year has made me count up all the good things, discard the poison ones, and push other things that are just not worth bothering with away. This is good and bad. Above all, this year has made me appreciate the person that I become with this wonderful guy and I treasure the fact that he weaseled his little blond haired, blue eyed self into my heart. I don’t know how he did it, but he did. I am grateful that he did. Look at the things that I have done in the last 16 years. This barely scratches the surface of all of the amazing trips that we took and all of those things that we experienced because he planned them so amazingly well. It barely touches all of the shows we experienced and the joy those shows brought to either of us. It can never come close to making you experience the love that he so obviously had for me.

I hope that you all enjoyed this trip down memory lane. Here is one last thought. A pendant that a friend made and his ring.

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Closing in on a year and other tales of survival (or who let me adult? WTF?!)


Yesterday was Andrew’s birthday. He would have been 54. I was bombarded all day with memories from various social websites reminding me of this fact and of all the birthdays in years past and how we celebrated. Mostly it was concerts. Because our whole lives were concerts. But mostly I woke up feeling lost because for the first time in 16 years I did not wake up to snuggle his  crazy blonde curls that I affectionately called Rooster head and tell him “You’re 8 years older than me”. July was very special for us. Our first date was July 15th and for years (including that first date) went to Muncie for Shakespeare at Minnetrista and later on BSU’s campus until they did away with it altogether. His birthday came on July 19th and 7 years 7 days and 7 hours later on July 26th came my birthday. It seemed our whole world revolved around 7s. Now I have had to add the anniversary of his mom to July on the 14th. In the past, our little group of 3 couples celebrated four of our six birthdays in this week. Starting with Drew’s birthday and ending with mine. It seems a little weird to start on a different birthday this year.

It also seemed weird to sit quietly at home and go to bed fairly early last night.

We plan to celebrate a little with a lantern release tonight. Just the few of us getting together and remembering a man who made so much impact on all of us and left such a giant gap behind. It’s important to go through these rituals of remembering and feeling all of the feelings that come with it. It makes us…..(swallow) human.

If I had known a year ago that my life was going to be so drastically changed and forever altered, I don’t know if I would have acted/behaved/done anything differently. But I do know that I would have still put my head down and moved forward with everything that is inside of me because I am too stubborn/dumb/pathetic to do anything less than that.

So this year has been filled with all of the firsts. Which suck. Every. One. But still I move forward. This year has also been filled with lots of changes. I changed jobs, hairstyles, focuses, relationships, coworkers and cars. I didn’t get stuck but am often debilitated by the thing that brought all of these changes. I am not happier in these changes, per se, but I am feeling a hell of a lot less stressed about life in general. I have found support in places that I did not know existed. I have learned that we take life way too seriously and that we worry about far too many things that…..Just. Don’t. Matter. And we also let life get on top of us in ways that…..May. Just. Kill. Us.

Think about those things for a moment. Meditate on them. Use them for a mantra. Life is way too short to fuck around with people who make us miserable and far too precious to waste time doing things that don’t make us happy or lead to a way to make us happy.

Afterall, I decided that after 2 years of being stuck in a job that I hated and that had become some sort of demented antagonist in my life, that I was moving on. With or without a replacement job. Luckily a replacement job came along.  I have learned to appreciate little things in life. I consider nothing wasted time anymore. Roger wants to take a car ride?  Let’s go! Chance to take a day off work and take my kid to see our lads <bows head in reverence> Liverpool play on US soil? Fuck yes! Take my friends and kid to concerts? Hell yes! (Side note: you have not lived until you realise that you prolly played WAY too much Violent Femmes while your kid was growing up because you are standing next to him at that concert and you both are screaming the lyrics “why can’t I get just one fuck” at top volume.)

Have a written a word outside of a few blogs since Andrew died? No, I have not. But let me tell you why. I sit in front of the screen writing a blog and I cry my eyes out. I am not ready to write anything else right now. Writing is intensely personal and intensely emotional. I am just not ready to share that much with anyone right now. I haven’t stopped being creative. I have been working on the Autie Zombie Girl shop and things are starting to come together in a way. I have a working website: Weird gifts for Weird people. For now, this is satisfying my creativity. I will go back to writing. But right now, there is so much to do!

I challenged myself this year. It would be very easy for me to go inside, shut the door, lock the latch with that satisfying CLICK and….Never. Come. Out. Again. But because that is the easy answer, I did not do that. Instead I put myself out there. I go to the market every Saturday. Good or bad weather. Good or bad sales. I signed up to do some local shows. That is definitely not in my comfort zone. But without Drew to buffer the world for me, I have had to learn to do it for myself. I do occasionally still hide. I still have Asperger’s for fuck’s sake. But I had to get strong enough to do things on my own. I always have. I have always had this pool of getupandgoness that makes me move forward in a generally lucid manner.

I am now also LITERALLY my husband’s brother’s keeper. Not many of you know that Drew has a brother with an extremely awful mental illness. He is paranoid schizophrenic. When their mom died, Drew and I promised we would look after Mark. When Drew died, I thought that it was my job to fulfill that promise. He was arrested a few months ago in Family Dollar arguing with his voices and destroying merchandise. We got him a placement in first our local mental health agency and then our state mental health hospital. The guardianship hearing was a hoot. Drew’s real father showed up to contest it. He’d succeeded in putting off the hearing for a month. He attempted to make it a three ring circus, but did not succeed. He told the judge that I was crazy and that I was famous on the internet because “her people call her auntie zombie girl”. He also tried to turn being weird into a bad thing. He told the judge that I was proud of being different. So the judge told him that he could see I was different from where he was sitting and he was going to give me guardianship anyways. Bam!

I have been tempted often in the last couple of months to send him a letter and tell him that this is  not how good Christians and Believers behave. That he should be happy that someone has stepped up to take care of Mark. Afterall, he’s just as crazy if not crazier than Mark. He does not see it that way. Thankfully, I have people on my side in that family. Drew’s cousin told the rest of the family that I was obviously the best person for the job. Afterall, his own mother trusted me to take care of him in her absence. I also made sure to dispel the myth that Drew’s mom died atop a giant pile of money that was earmarked for Mark’s care. This is not the case at all. It’s hard to make people who only use money and their own rewards/benefits as a basis for helping others understand that sometimes it’s just the right thing to do.

I continue to clean the house and to put his items away that will eventually go to an auction and be used to pay for his headstone. I continue to find memories of what our life together was and what it meant to him. I believe he was truly happy. Not just with me and our marriage, but with his life. He loved his little part time job and he loved fixing things. He was starting to put together a little network of people that needed things fixed. He enjoyed the freedom of doing what he wanted when he wanted and taking as long as he wanted to so that the job was done right. He was truly in a very good place in life.

So ahead of us are the last few firsts. My first birthday (in 16 years) without him. My first year without him. It’s a struggle that I feel immensely under equipped to take on. But here we are. How would I have done this all without the love and support that I have? I have no idea. Prolly not very well.

I miss his smile. I miss waking up every day and told how pretty I am. I miss his gentle kindness. I miss his confidence. I miss the confidence that he gave me in myself. I miss having a built in concert/movie buddy. I miss everything about him deep into my soul. Life is not as happy without him. Music is not as good without him. My house is so quiet and empty without him. He was my best friend.

The Other Side of the Worst Year EVER….and other tales of survival


I know that I have been terribly negligent of you this year, dear reader. I’m sure that you understand. It hasn’t been an easy year. I wouldn’t even describe this last year as awful, because in reality there have been moments that were much worse than that.  There have been days where I cried with broken-hearted sobs that would rival the depth of the Grand Canyon. My sorrow has been indescribable. I have tried to find the words, but they are lacking.

I am sitting on the eve of the one year anniversary of my beautiful mother-in-law’s death. I don’t know how things would have changed if I had known that moment was only the gateway that would change my life irreparably and forever. On that night when about this time in the evening I sent my husband and my father-in-law to have a lie down because upon my arrival at the in-law’s house, I knew it was the end, I had no crystal ball to tell me that it was only the beginning of the end. Of a lot of things. There was no way to know that on that night, though. Instead I sat gently beside this woman that had given birth to the man I loved with all my heart. I read to her. I read to myself. I whispered with her. I told her it was okay for her to go whenever she felt it was time. I listened as her breathing became shallow and almost non-existent. Many times I held my own breath, waiting to see if she was done. I gave her drops of morphine upon request because there was no other comfort that anyone could offer her. I was sure she’d made whatever amends she felt necessary. I cried for all of the indignities that this wonderful woman had felt that she had put us all through. I didn’t feel that way at all. I felt as if it was the very least I could do for this woman who had given me her eldest son and the chance at a happy life.

In the last year, life has changed so much. I had no way of knowing that this simple natural event would change everyone’s life so fundamentally. None of us did. It seems like an innocent moment. We buried her in a beautiful British ceremony that was exactly what she wanted and what she had planned. So many people came to say goodbye to her. She had touched everyone she ever met with her gentle kindness. Those of us who were lucky enough to be close to her had no idea how truly blessed we were to have her hands on us every day. No one has ever had an unkind word to say about her. This is how one woman made an indelible mark on this sad and sorry world. She truly left it a better place than she found it.

In the last year, little things have popped up in our efforts to put our lives back together. Sometimes it is a photo. Sometimes it is a little thing that was left behind. Untouched in these last 12 months. With my mother-in- law it has been photos and these amazing letters that we keep finding. She wrote these amazing Christmas letters to people over the years. In the words of my father-in-law “Today is the one year anniversary of Caroline Hart Krumel’s passing. In the 54 years that she spent away from England, she must have written hundreds of letters and notes to family and friends. She so enjoyed that. She wrote with a simple, perfect eloquence I admired. There was a quiet optimism you could sense. Her Christmas letter of 2009 was is a wonderful example of her writing. Take a second to read if you will. There was no complaining in her writing. Reading this letter brings Carol back to life, for this day.”

Follows is the letter of that year: “Dear Family and Friends, We wish you peace and prosperity and hope you have had less worries and more happiness this year than you had last year. I feel more like an old person than in previous years. I take naps…in fact I fall asleep everywhere I go. In the car, int the bathtub, you name it. I stare into space more and it takes me until lunch to find my way to work. Roger and I are still making awnings and renting tents (marquees) but right now we wish we were walking on the beaches of North Carolina and Florida. This year of 2009 has been very unusual. Family came to visit. Actually it is the first time in 46 years that family has ever came to visit. My cousin Michael and wife Pauline appeared bearing an artfully restored family heirloom in the form of an antique mirror. Carefully packed in a wooden box and transported from 3,999 miles away…amazing! Roger found a brother he didn’t know existed. Carter McNamara an extraordinary man tall, handsome, and funny and he came to visit with his beautiful wife Teri from Minnesota. This visit was a time of sharing and catching up on the lost years and preparations for a reunion in 2010 of family they have yet to meet in North Dakota. My brother Richard made his way to England to meet his son Alex. A visit that was long overdue, thirty-five years in fact. I have heard that everything went well. For those of you who didn’t hear from me this year, I apologize. I will try and do better next year. No particular tragedies occurred this year, they all occurred the year before. My granddaughters, Cassie and Chelsea are actually making money and supporting themselves much to the delight of their father who thought their university days would never end before he retired. Daughter Judy at age 46 is still looking for a break into the acting world but is undiscovered and disappointed as we speak. When advised by her parents to seek a part in local theatre productions as a beginning, we are told they don’t pay. Meanwhile she is house and pet sitting around the country. My only grandson, Jeremy, who we see very little of when asked why he doesn’t visit, says he has too much homework and could we send him petrol money. A girlfriend, Bree, is prominent in his life. Our house in Warren, Indiana, for sale now for 2 1/2 years finally sold to the neighbors when an aunt and uncle gave them the money. Some things are looking up. Business is down 65% but Roger still goes to work every day. When I arrive at noon, I find him on the phone looking for buyers or on the computer and the work is waiting for me. My son Andrew has been researching his Boller ancestry and finding many skeletons in the closet. As yet, he hasn’t touched on the Harts, Robertsons and Aylings. My son Mark at age 44 has yet to find his way to a job. My daughter-in-law, Katey Jayne has two jobs now. She is persecuted endlessly by her ex-husband who imagines she owes him money. She has spent more time in court this year than church. I am thankful for many things, a warm house, sunny days, shade, great bird watching in the garden and a husband I can laugh with who takes me to all my favourite movies. We hope your lives are as good.”

And that, dear readers, is that beautiful understated eloquence that only the British culture can instill in one. I hope that you enjoyed this. My heart is still broken, but somehow lighter. We are on the edge of the first year. This bizarre and worst year of my life. Those of you who know me, know that is no small feat. I have had a very strange life. Keep posted, dear readers as I work my way through the six weeks. We will see what the end of the time brings.

Tales From the Editing Trenches and other Endeavors


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It’s been awhile since I’ve written, I know dear readers. It’s been a busy summer. I’ll only bore you with a few of the details, I swear. I hope that you walk away with a few of the insights that I did even if you’re bored to tears. I’m laughing to myself right now as I sit in my new auction purchased writer’s chair in my cluttered little office. I laugh because like all things in my life lately, I am examining where to begin. This is not an easy chore.

As some of you know, I started a new job this summer. I have been frightfully busy doing nothing because of impending changes due to the federal sequestration of funding. Then I was frightfully busy waiting to be able to implement the changes which I could not do until the powers that be made a bunch of decisions. In true “powers that be” form it took until the last minute and then they want to start asking why I didn’t make these changes sooner. To which I blow giant raspberries. Typical government crap….hurry up and wait and then change everything to fit today’s needs in yesterday’s timelines. I also am starting to think that this job problem is biting into my social media time….I’m laughing out loud at how acclimated we have all become to the constraints of real life on our virtual lives.

The summer has also been busy with following my heart on many things which is starting to prove to be a very worthwhile endeavor. Even though it is scary and sometimes uncomfortable for this little autistic zombie girl, I am very happy to report that I have just closed my eyes and done lots of deep breathing. Then opened them to the surprise. Wow the surprise is that this method has actually worked!

I’ve also seen lots of movies and in typical summer pursuits at our house gone to lots of concerts! My dislike for old man bands grows while my anticipation for the upcoming Adam Ant show makes me giggle in 80’s girl insanity.

The biggest changes of this summer, outside of the new job issue is my slightly changing view of myself and the world in general around me. Not that the world has suddenly become autistically inclined, but more in the comfortableness of myself and learning to balance all of the new roles within my own little world.

One of the most important changes has been in my own house as I am the main money maker, now. Yes, the Fix-it-guy is still unemployed. I feel his tension in the shift of the money power, and honestly, I really try not to point it out. Occasionally, however, I take just a little delight in poking my finger at it. I actually have a little extra money these days and I treated myself to a brand new netbook. I have waited far too long for Scrivener to pull an iPad app out of thin air. Honestly, Scrivener, you started on Mac, why isn’t this the first thing you worked on? The call of NaNo looms hugely over my head and the pressure to be mobile as the new ML of the Indiana Elsewhere group charges at me with its ugly little stubborn head full force and completely without brakes. I wish technology would keep up with me, honestly. Why is the march of progress so relentlessly slow? It’s like a snail.

Wee Geek continues to struggle with the parameters of his grown up world. This has been the most difficult part of my life lately. I know that he has to struggle and I feel so powerless in pushing him up the hill and over the hump. There was a misguided and misunderstood non-suicide threat which landed him in the nut hut for a couple of days. This did make him understand that he needs to learn how to control his emotions a little more and also to understand that he cannot do this huge job of mopping up the mess his dad made all by himself.  I’m sure that in his dad’s little control freak brain, it made perfect sense to disable rather than to enable this kid. What he really did was create a huge cauldron of crap that is taking a lot of time to unravel. Wee Geek spent so much time stuffing himself down to keep from getting killed in that awful environment that there was little opportunity to actually learn how to cope. Now that his life has settled down and started to find a path, he is unable to control the feelings that are surfacing. The biggest of which is anger at his dad. I feel a great deal of frustration in him sending all of his energy in that direction. That too is a coping mechanism, however, and I have to let him get through it. No matter how inefficient it truly is.

It’s been a struggle for me not to run to bring him home. There is value to all paths we make decisions to follow. Not always wisdom, but value. He refuses to go file for unemployment. He has been warned that I will be somewhat unsympathetic toward money issues if he does not take steps to help himself. We all have to draw lines in the sand. In reality, the Fix-it-guy and I know that the best thing for him would prolly be to come home and let us help him to get on the autism waiver and get involved with Voc Rehab to help him with financial stuff and getting a new job. It would be helpful in getting him back into school, too. He’s very afraid to take that step. It feels like he’s taking a step backward to him. It’s progress in a backdoor way and he is not excited for that in the least.

The biggest event of the summer came in a very strange way, however. And it almost didn’t happen. My publisher Post Mortem Press (go see link here) http://www.postmortem-press.com/ threw a little retreat for its authors. I had planned for Fix-it-guy to come and at the very last minute (and I do mean that in the most literal sense of the word) he decided not to go. So, I drove to Yellow Springs, Ohio all by my lonesome. The motel was fantastic http://www.thespringsmotel.com/ and I recommend it for that truly creepy Bates Motel experience. Not that the motel was bad, it just gave you this very distinct feeling of going back in time. It was your typical one story strip mall kind of motel with gigantic dollops of nostalgia.

It was interesting to meet the other authors and most exciting of all…..extremely motivational! The main activity of the weekend was a little Edited! (rather than Chopped) contest. We had to submit a flash fiction story before we arrived. Don’t worry, I had to look it up, too. I had no idea how to write flash fiction and only barely understood what it actually was. This link helped me to get it: http://www.writing-world.com/fiction/flash.shtml .  So I wrote this strange little story called “Damned If You Do” about a boy zombie killer and his girlfriend. I know, no surprises there. After placing in the top of that round, we were given the lyrics to an old Joy Division song http://www.lyricsfreak.com/j/joy+division/love+will+tear+us+apart_20075884.html “Love Will Tear Us Apart”. Here’s a link to the video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qHYOXyy1ToI  . Didn’t really miss Joy Division, did you? So I wrote another little story of the same title about a man who kills his wife and they in true Norman Bates style, keeps her as if she was sick. The next prompt was a picture prompt. It was a strange little photo with a young girl holding a baby and a storm brewing in the background. That story was born of a strange experience in a haunted school (that will be later) called “Vortex Baby”. It was about  a child of an incestuous rape being born. The final story was based on the prompt “The Caretaker”. This story was rooted a little in the story that appeared in “Fear of the Abyss” http://www.amazon.com/Fear-Abyss-Post-Mortem-Press/dp/0615732518  and a little on the movie “Daybreakers” http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0433362/ which I highly recommend as refreshing look at the vampire mythology.  It was about an alien race who used humans as their Life Force. It smacks greatly of “Solyent Green” http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0070723/?ref_=fn_al_tt_1  again another movie that comes highly recommended from yours truly. This story was the winner.

I know that the strange string of events that led to this was nothing short of silly, but it worked and as a writer of fiction, who am I to argue with the debate of fiction needing to be more real

12957_10201477375592989_746543214_n

than real life. At any rate, my winnings consisted of a little plastic trophy and a  huge cache of Post Mortem Press books. Winning this really did something to me. It validated that I do indeed know what the hell I am doing. It made me realize that this is what I should be doing with my life. It also solidified the need to get all three of these books out of my computer and into a book.

So, never fear, the zombie novel is finally coming.  I was so inspired and energized by spending the weekend with 20 people that I didn’t even know of outside of Facebook and some not really at all, that I now count them all as wonderful influences on my life as a whole.

So here are some links to authors that you should link to.

Nelson Pyles http://nelsonwpyles.com/ who also runs https://www.facebook.com/TheWickedLibrary

J. David Anderson: https://www.facebook.com/authorjdavidanderson

C. Bryan Brown: https://www.facebook.com/cbryanbrown

Jessica McHugh: https://www.facebook.com/author.JessicaMcHugh

Gary Braunbeck: http://garybraunbeck.com/

Tim Waggoner: http://www.timwaggoner.com/

Lucy Snyder: http://www.sff.net/people/lucy-snyder/

Kenneth Cain: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Your-eyes-My-vision-the-Dark-Fiction-of-Kenneth-W-Cain/177796992258142

Brady Allen: https://www.facebook.com/authorbradyallen

Georgina Morales: http://www.diaryofawriterinprogress.blogspot.com/

I think that hits everyone. If I missed someone feel free to let me know.

What I did learn from this fateful weekend is so awesome that I find it hard to find words to talk about it.

I know, you are dying to know about the Haunted School trip. It was at Poasttown school http://poasttownschool.com/Home_Page.php . There is a place in the heart of the school that they call the Vortex. It’s a kind of place that all the roads in the school merge into. It has a very unique energy. As most of you longer time readers know, I have Asperger’s. This means that my brain is never quiet and I never stop ticking. This is usually fairly easy to control with massive doses of Benydryl. As I walked into the vortex, I was taken completely off my feet. My brain was quiet. My body was quiet. I didn’t feel the need to rock or twitch or move or really anything. I know that most neurotypical people won’t get it. They can actually turn off their brains. My brain does not have that switch. It is constantly moving and driving me into distraction and destruction. The feeling of complete and utter calm was so foreign that I almost didn’t know how to react. At first the quiet scared me. It was immediate. Like a switch being turned off in my brain. It was dark and felt like everyone was sleeping. If it had only been quiet and I had not had the stillness in my body, I prolly would have run like hell. Instead, I just stood and enjoyed the curiosity of it.

At any rate, that was the reason behind the “Vortex Baby” story. It also brings me to a screeching halt here in the Land of the Not Quite Right. I have a roaring allergy headache that refuses to go away and I am seriously going to lay down and try to get rid of the damn thing. I am inspired once more, so hopefully more blogs will be leaking out of my head as I continue on this creative binge.

 

 

 

A Mother’s Humour and Other Ways to Delve Into Madness


It’s literally been a very odd week. It started with Mother’s Day. I, of course, wanted Wee Geek to go and pick up my mom and drive to Muncie and meet us at Outback for lunch. Which after all the court broo-haha on Friday prior to that would have been nice. However, my mom was in one of her moods that are so aspy, and yet, so completely odd to me. She decided that she didn’t want to go. I guess it was fine. Wee Geek told me to let it go and I did. So The Fix it Guy and I spent Mother’s Day eating lunch at Outback and then going to an auction which turned out to be completely great. I picked up a ton of nice vintage jewelry that I’m ever so much in love with.

I don’t pretend to understand why my mom has these moments, but when I look at it, I guess that occasionally, I do as well. So I shouldn’t be too hard on her. After all, we all need time to do our own thing and I would want her to accept that about me.

Another odd thing about Mother’s Day was that a dear friend’s mother died that day. I didn’t know this friend’s mother very well, I’ve only met her a few times, but I’m told that the irony in her dying this particular day is simply delicious. I’m glad that my friend is able to deal with the loss of his only surviving parent with this kind of humour. He, does, in general, try to face most trials in his life in this way and I suppose that this is prolly why we are friends. Because we both approach life’s tragedies and trials as if it is in reality some gargantuan joke that we just don’t know the punch line to. And we laugh anyway. If you can’t beat them, by god, join them.

I’ve been very interested in watching the dynamics of this family as they go through this difficult time, because as always, I am a keen observer of humans in general. (I may have to report back to the Big Giant Head at any moment…see http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0115082/?ref_=sr_1 if you have no idea what that refers to.) I hope that my friends don’t mind my observations. My friend is trying very hard to be the zen hippy dippy California guy and stay in the middle because his sister is a wreck and his brother is the guy who always orchestrates the duck line and makes sure that it is doing the right thing. So the only thing left for him to be is the guy in the middle who is even.

This process has been difficult to watch because it brings to mind the idea that our parents are getting older and their health is going to decline and they are going to need help. I am very aware that my mom doesn’t have anyone else to rely on that’s close except for me. This is hard and I often wish she would move closer to us so that I don’t have to worry so damn much.

So going through this week, trying to be considerate of my friend’s feelings, I have just been trying to anticipate what he might need and I’ve been trying to make sure that he knows that he has support or someone who accepts him and loves him for who he is. It is hard to know what to do in these situations, but especially hard when you live on the spectrum because you just never are quite sure what the protocol for social behavior is. Grieving times compound this because people do not react in uniform ways to grief. Very distressing for those of us who need some sort of species conformity in order to form rules for ourselves so that we don’t inadvertently perform some ritual that is going to cause Karma to visit us 4 times daily with extra healthy heapings of bad luck.  So, if all of you neurotypical people could just get together and figure out a uniform way to grieve, that would be very helpful, thank you.

I never know what to say. Thankfully, The Fix it Guy knows that you are supposed to say silly things like “I’m sorry for your loss”. I don’t even know how that is remotely comforting. I much prefer, “I am here for you to use however you need to so that you can get through this truly horrific moment in your life”. I would never even have guessed “I’m sorry for your loss” not even with cue cards.

So, I am still teaching blogging at this conference tomorrow and so have to miss the funeral. I always feel as if funerals should really truly be for people who were close to the dead person or family. I’m just sort of a random passerby who happens to know three of her four kids. I will be thinking of my friends tomorrow as they go down this path of their lives. It is with a truly heavy heart that I think of them.

In other news….I think I’ve figured out what the next phase in my life is. So now I have to hurry up and do all of the stuff that I said I would do while I was not working. Craft room will be completely moved this upcoming week as well as one zombie book edited. In the meantime, please enjoy these photos of my craftiness.

The first three doctors

The first three doctors

The Fourth Doctor

The Fourth Doctor

The Fifth Doctor

The Fifth Doctor

 

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