Holiday Cards

Ah, my favorite holiday is coming! Im celebrating by giving hallmark and the post office all my money. Also by humming 'This Is Halloween' while i address envelopes.

Reasons I might be retarded (restaurant edition)

Incident 1:

I had Tommy's pizza with Matt and Erin last weekend. We all just got water to drink. This is important. THey have a self-serve coke machine. Water is usually a little sub-button under one of the coke products on these machines. And this one had that little sub button but there was a big "X" on it. There was also a sticker proclaiming that this was NOT water.

Well of course it's water. Where else would you get the water? And they obviously have water or they wouldn't have given us cups. Maybe it was just a joke -- some modern art installation commenting on the impurities of city water...

Now raise your hand if that would have occurred to you. Is anyone raising their hands? No, because Karen is stupid sometimes.

So we're literally standing there in public debating on if the sticker is a lie. It has to be a lie. So I pour myself a cup -- looks like water to me! Itake a giant swig -- soda water. Blech. Then Matt points out the water pitcher on the shelf. THANKS MATT.

Incident 2:

Sunday I had Casa Blanca with Anthony and Beth and John. We were sat at one of those super long booths that could jam 8 people easy. Well I wasn't going to scoot that far on my butt so I walked across the bench on my knees. ...And smacked my head on the hanging glass lamp. Hard. In fact, it still hurts.

Moms Visit

Mom is coming to visit tonight. As usual, we'll be having dinner at Ol Heidleburg -- moms favorite. And I'm so excited because Anthony is going to come with us! I already know mom will love him, so thats no issue, but I'm excited she gets to meet him. Excited enough to post on my blog about it for no good reason ;) Yay!

I know it's easy to praise God when things are going well, but...

That doesn't mean you shouldn't. GOD IS AWESOME! Yesterday was such a great day. I made some awesome breakthroughs at work and it's looking like my jobs about to get a lot better and therefore make me a lot happier. And things with Anthony are so great. It's so wonderfully perfect in the most innocent sweet way. I've never felt like this with anyone. He gives me "butterflies" -- I get tingly and goosebumps -- and my stomach does flips of happiness when I know I'm about to see him.

We've been on double dates with both Matt & Erin as well as Beth & John -- and they all LOVE him. And he loves them too! It's all so PERFECT. And I'm so happy that I realize in the moment how wonderful it is -- not a regret looking back that I didn't realize how good I had it. I know right now, this is awesome. I was so happy last night I got teary eyed. In fact, I'm teary eyed now. *sigh* God is so GREAT.

And here's the part of the post where I go totally goober and post song lyrics (from Rascal Flatts, Bless the Broken Road":

"Every long lost dream led me to where you are
Others who broke my heart, they were like northern stars
Pointing me on my way into your loving arms
This much I know is true

That God blessed the broken road
That led me straight to you
Yes He did"

So yeah, I know it might not last. I know the risk. And I know it hasn't been that long... but I know I'm damn well letting go and jumping in.

Chri-mas vacation, chri-mas vacation

Last night I had a wonderful date with Anthony. Had great company and a great time. I'd say more, but I'm way more excited to post about my winter break plans. At my company, we get the week after Christmas off. And guess where I'll be spending it? In Ann Arbor with Anthony and his family and friends :)

He already booked our flights! I'll spend Christmas in Birmingham with my family and then fly up and spend the next week and New Years with Anthony. How awesome is that? I can't believe he already booked our tickets. And, yall, there is very likely to be snow. SNOW. Real snow! Sledding and snowmen and snowball fights kinda snow! I'm so excited!

He has shown me pictures of Ann Arbor and it looks absolutely beautiful. I can't wait to see it in person! And I'm already praying for snow! And the best part? Week long vacation with Anthony!

*swoon*

It' s a bit terrifying to let myself be swept off my feet -- you know with the constant fear of heart break and the ever-looming cloud of self-conciousness and anxiety over my head... and "wise men say only fools rush in..." but damn...

Eating out of my hands

I fed this guy biscuits. I like him.

Paper Clips

I have a bit of a nervous tick / habit / compulsion when it comes to paper clips. I must steal them and reshape them. Is this a quirk or art? And oh my God, am I actually making little hearts!?

Giddy like an idiot

On Depression

I read this article (http://www.cnn.com/2009/LIVING/personal/09/14/tf.tell.them.i.depressed/index.html) today on the authors struggles with depression and talking about it. It starts off from the angle of her saying too much to her boyfriends parents, but quickly goes into the stigma she feels and has felt over depression. I'd like to chime in a bit on this one because it's something I've actually experienced a lot of. There was a time in my life when I was in denial of my own depression, I certainly wouldn't have told any one else about it.

For a long time (18 years?), I just thought that I was the way I was. I was sad because life sucked and nothing was going to change that. There was no happy pill; life just sucked. I certainly didn't need a therapist -- I wasn't "crazy." But we all know I eventually did seek out a therapist. It took a lot of convincing from a friend I trusted. I wanted him to help me, but he couldn't and he wanted me to find someone who really could. I remember being in the garage and making that phone call -- it was terrifying. But I called and found out what my insurance covered, I found out who it covered, and I made an appointment.

I went to great lengths to keep this secret from everyone. (Did you know you can stipulate that they not call or mail you? You can make it 100% secret. I was living with my family when I first went and no one ever found out.) No one knew I was depressed, suicidal -- they weren't going to know about a psychiatrist either. And most of you know the story of that first therapist. After three appointments he wanted to send me to a dermatologist for my (not bad at all) acne and a weight loss doctor because that's where all my problems came from. Then I got mad, left and barely made it to the car before I had a breakdown. I stayed in my bedroom and cried for three days. And I didn't go back.

Now that doctor did have a slight point, what I talked about the most was my weight and it was the most superficial symptom and cause of some of my depression. But it was not the root cause and he was still a stupid jackass to tell a suicidal person they need to lose weight because the world doesn't see "THIS" as attractive. (Yes, he said that while motioning over my body). And because of this idiot, it was years before I sought out a therapist again. I highly regret that -- those are years I lost. But eventually I got so low that I went back to the medical profession for help.

The second time I accepted that I might need medication -- just to get me through the beginning part. I saw a therapist every Monday and a psychiatrist monthly to adjust my medicine. At the time I thought it was the dumbest thing ever. She had me doing "homework" you'd give a kindergartner to learn about feelings and self esteem. Yes, some of it required crayons. But basically that's where I was emotionally, that's where I had to begin. I was a child emotionally who had never learned how to deal with emotions -- only I was an adult -- a very unhappy one.

I took 3 years of therapy before I made any recognizable progress. But I did. I took control of my life and lost weight. I've since switched doctors and therapists many times, but I still am highly medicated. I always will be medicated. And I have faced people who did not understand.

I remember standing in my brothers kitchen when I admitted I had struggled with depression for years. He didn't believe me. I told him that when I drove home for weekends with the family, I had to pull over at a gas station to throw up at least once along the way. He still didn't fully understand or accepted it. My mom was a gradual thing. I did not have a good relationship with my mother back then. We've obviously come much closer to the point where we speak every day -- but it took her years to even come close to grasping that I had a problem.

I remember buying her a book on codependency and begging her to read it to try and understand what was going on in my head. She never did. She, like everyone else, still hasn't figured out exactly what my malfunction is and how deeply it has affected my life. How I could just fail out multiple semesters of college for no reason. How I can still fuck up college so badly (I had an anxiety attack about school, just last night, actually - complete with crying). For a long time I couldn't even talk to her about it because she felt it was her fault. So there's a nice guilt trip. But she tries and she's come to accept it. And we can now talk openly about it and she is supportive.

I no longer make my depression and anxiety issues a secret. I've been blessed with friends who are supportive and have even found fellow therapy goers. Most of the men I've dated have been supportive at first. But every single one has questioned my need for the medication -- especially long term. They have all had one point of questioning the need.

Newsflash: I'm not crazy and trying to kill myself because I'm medicated. I have the ability to be happy because I am medicated. It's like saying you don't need pain pills because you aren't in pain anymore to someone whos hooked up to a morphine pump.

And I don't know exactly why I'm writing this -- but I hope that somewhere out there someone is reading and seeing themselves in this post. I know reading Dooce.com and her struggles has helped me be more accepting of my own. I know that when I find out someone I respect goes to therapy too, it makes me feel understood.

But most importantly, I know that when I lived in a black hole, I could not fathom a way out. What kept me going through crap a lot of days was knowing that if tomorrow was any worse, I could just off myself. Thats how depressed I was. And for that person reading who still doubts, here's something only about 3 people know -- I was a cutter. I've never admitted that publicly. I literally hated myself so much and was in so much agony that the only way to make myself feel better was to physically hurt myself. After all, physical pain is easier to deal with than emotional pain, not that I knew how to handle the latter. But there's hope!

After lots of therapy (I still see my psychiatrist regularly), I've come to where I am. I find true joy in some things. I'm literally HAPPY sometimes. I know, right? But I am. I'm still sad a lot, but there are times when I'm genuinely happy. I can enjoy things. I can relax. I can go months without an anxiety attack. I can forgive. I can let go of hate and resentment (sometimes ;) ). I can have a really shitty day without wishing for death. In fact, I don't want to die. How awesome is that? 10 years ago, or even 6 years ago, I'd never have thought this could be possible.

I have a cute apartment where I live alone with my two cats. I date people -- occasionally even finding someone I'm really into who likes me back. I have a great job which sometimes makes me unhappy, but I wake up and go every day. I have FRIENDS. Holy shit, I have wonderful friends. REAL friends. Friends who give a shit -- friends who notice and care when something is wrong. Friends who fully accept me for who I am. Friends that will move furniture! Hell yeah, how awesome is that? And I don't have to fake.

I'm a brutally honest and real person for a reason. For years I couldn't be honest. For years I faked a smile. I hid myself. When I laugh now I really laugh. When I smile now -- as rare as it might be some days, it's because I'm genuinely happy. People who know and like me -- know and like me for exactly who I am. And there is NOTHING better than that. It's fucking awesome.

So to whoever needs to hear it -- there's hope. No matter how shitty you feel, there is hope. And to the person who needs to hear it -- you CAN be accepted for your true self. Perhaps I'm the one who needs to hear that one most of all. In fact, maybe I'm the one this post is for. But it's true. Even when I forget, it's true.

As Stuart Smalley said: "I'm good enough, I'm smart enough, and doggone it, people like me."

And to my friends who read this blog, thank you for being an enriching and wonderful part of my life. You'll never know the impact you just being there has had. Thank you.

Not Melancholy

This weekend was the BEST weekend I've had in months. I got to watch movies and spend most of it with an awesome guy ;)

AND I got out my fall and Halloween decorations! I love decorations! I didn't get to decorate for Fall last year because of the move. So I'm super psyched about it. I even picked up some new stuff at Old Time Pottery.

And I finally got paid and got some new tires for the Civic. The others had worn down to the point of not being safe or a comfortable drive. So paying for them sucks, a lot -- but its a big relief having new ones. Also, the car drives so much better, it's insane. No shaking and safer!

PUMPKINS!

Walmart had pumpkins, gourds AND adorable button mums in orange baskets. I love fall!

The Sphere

Part 1

"I am getting strange readings from this floating sphere, Captain."

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Part 2

"It appears to have changed colors, captain! Maybe it's trying to communicate. Wait, no, it's killing me, save yourself!" "Spock, Noooooo!"


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Part 3

Captain Kirk comes to Spocks rescue with a giant spork.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Part 4

SPORKED

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The End

High five!

I am the shit.

Excuse this post where I toot my own horn a lot, but I want to remember how this feels.

I just finished the stained glass fire angel.

It. Is. Awesome.

I have never created anything half as awesome as this in my entire life. And I didn't know I had that much talent. I've never felt this talented and like a real, honest-to-God artist. People have always told me I'm artistic and talented. But there's always been someone better or something wrong with it. I've never really believed it. But dang, God has blessed me with some awesome talent, I just had to figure out where to apply it.

I fail at so much and it feels damn good to succeed. I mean, I can't believe I made her. That's how awesome it is. I can't wait to show her off! I really went all out and didn't scrimp on any bit of it. And it's awesome! Did I mention the awesomeness? Ok.

I wanna hug it.

The slow process

Heres a good picture of the angel going together last night. Cant wait to get home and solder it!

I has a head wound.

Today when I left for lunch (lunch date), I maneuvered nicely out of my front door and avoided letting Jack out. Impressive, no? Well, I did smack my head on the door. In particular I smacked my ear on the door. I checked my cartilage piercings and they were ok, they just hurt a lot so I forgot about it.

Tonight I'm getting ready for bed and find blood all over my ear and in my hair. WTF? So I feel around and break the scab and then I get a bloody hand. Well, fuck. I tore my damn ear on the door and didn't even know it. Right where the top of my ear meets my scalp. What a lame head injury. Gotten while trying not to let my cat out. And it's where my glasses go!

So I'm sitting here trying to stop the bleeding again with a wad of toilet paper around my ear. What a stupid injury.

Making progress...

Almost done foiling.

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Angel

This is going to be so awesome.


Too poor to do it cheap.

Ever since I did the storm angel painting, I've wanted to do a fire angel. I haven't had the money to go buy the supplies though. I'm pretty broke. So I can't afford to go out and buy some acrylic paint and a canvas... but... I do have a couple of hundred dollars worth of stained glass supplies in the guest room...

The work, which becomes a new genre itself, will be called "Cowboy Bebop"

I'm watching Cowboy Bebop this weekend. I think I really really like this show. I <3 Spike.

I watched the first 6 episodes with Kyle forever ago. This past weekend I watched the movie with Anthony. I had always wanted to go back and watch the rest of the series, but never did. Watching the movie gave me enough inspiration to go borrow it from Kyle and finish the series. I'm about half through now. And it's even better than Full Metal Alchemist.

Putt putting

I are the red ball.




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