Monday, January 30, 2012

How being a grownup actually worked out for me OR Secret Option 2

OK. So I waxed philosophical on all things grown up and about how important it is to never give up and keep putting one foot in front of the other and all those things I get all preachy about. Then I explored how I was going to go home and cook my own food in my own house with my own ability and OCD could pretty much suck it because I was going to live life even if it was harder than I tried to make it look. I didn’t publish that post right away and thank God I didn’t because let me tell you that the universe had other plans for me that night. Here’s what actually went down:

I got off work at my usual time and the drive home was everything normal. I grabbed my mail and went inside. There were bills with my name on them and offers to give me credit cards (wow those idiots offering me cards have no idea what a bad idea that is) and a friendly condescending little note from my mail man which was actually a friendly condescending little poem reminding me not to put my trash bins in front of the mail box. A freaking poem. With a little clip art of a trash bin. And I didn’t do that. The trash people left it there. So in my heels I pulled the bins to the front and went inside to my dogs.

 This is where I should remind you that there was a hole in my fence that had yet to be patched. Lexi had been through it a couple times but I had it covered with a box until it could get patched. I had been very diligent about standing outside with the dogs so that they would not go through the hole and onto the busy street on the other side. My back yard is not only by a busy street but also by a stop light. But I was feeling particularly grown up and confident and my dogs were trained well enough to do their business and come back. I was only going to go to the bathroom myself and possibly change my clothes. It was going to be 5 minutes. And so I trusted my dogs to be as responsible as I was and I changed out of my skirt and into my yoga pants. I decided to check on the dogs and let them in before my evening of grown-uppery commenced in full.

I opened the door and called “Dogs!” as I often do because who can be bothered with names. This also works with “Childrens!” and running they do come. Only this time, just the one dog came running.  And he was muddy up to his teensy little ankles. So I ventured into my muddy yard and called again. This is when I realized the box was shoved aside and I was short one terrier. So now I’m just totally walking around bare footed in the freezing and thick mud. It is caking on my feet and making some pretty awesome squishing sounds. I hoped she was close so I stuck my head through the fence hole calling her name. Only more like cursing her name. This is happening at 5:30pm when the stoplight was red and all the people in their cars were seeing a disembodied head coming through I fence shouting “Dammit Lexi!!” Lexi, where are you dammit!!” People are so judgy.

And now I have accepted that I am going to have to chase that stupid little hairball down so I tracked mud all inside myself so I could grab my shoes, my keys, and mutter a little bit more about why in God’s name do I have dogs. I wanted to make sure one more time that she hadn’t jumped back into the yard so I tracked around the backyard swamp and fully coated my shoes just so that I could make sure that my carpet would be absolutely effed when I went back inside. She wasn’t out there. Crap. So I darted through my house and got in my car. I drove around to the stop light and turned into the neighborhood entrance at the intersection. I hopped out of my car and started wandering up the street hollering for my stupid ass dog.  It was still muddy and the intersection was still full of cars and I’m looking like a full blown crazy lady at this point. I walked all the way up the street calling her name and when I got to my fence with the hole in it, who the hell popped her little head out? Effing Lexi, that’s who dammit! I was not about to walk back to my car and drive home without her because odds were strong to quite strong that she would jump back through the hole and be gone again when I got there. So cursing as I could, I reached through the hole and yanked that dog, who knew she was in trouble, out of that yard by the scruff of her neck and got her muddy little feet all over me in the process. I got her back to my car and got her home.

But I think what we need to remember here is that I never quite finished changing from work. I had only put on yoga pants. So I was still all business on the top side.  Jewelry, nice shirt, hair and make-up with purple yoga pants and black Ugg knock-offs from payless. So basically all those nice people waiting patiently at the light just saw a crazy half dressed lady with mud up to her ankles steal a dog forcibly through a fence then yell at it, get in a car and drive away. I would have called the police if I had seen me. But so far the po-pos haven’t caught up to me yet.

And now, so glad to be back home and so irritated with that dog and the mud, I decide there is still a chance to salvage my grown-up adultiness.  I kicked off my muddy shoes and started some pasta. While I waited a poured some chilled Chimay into a big open glass and took a sip. All was well. I called Boyfriend and told him the tale of how I saved that dog from the clutches of certain death at the risk of frostbite and perilous danger and getting arrested. Which is when my other dog decided he wasn’t done being outside yet.  So I turned off the burner with an irritated huff (which was entirely necessary because guilt tripping dogs is way more effective than you think) and showed that damn dog outside. Where Lexi wanted to be. But of course she wasn’t going out there. So I stepped onto the porch to keep Lexi inside and Peter outside. But she continued to try and nose her way out. So I shut the door. Which locks automatically behind you. Because Boyfriend and I thought that would be a great safety feature. Which it is. There was no effing way I was getting back in that house. The house which held my phone and my shoes and my Chimay and my dignity.

So I that point I was still dressed all half business half trailer park and I’m barefoot and freezing. I had a few options. Wait an hour for Boyfriend to get home, try to break into my own house, or go next door and ask to use their phone. I decided to wait it out. Yeah that lasted about 4 minutes. My toes were frozen mud blocks. I went around to the front of the house…no wait…I had to freaking ninja kick the shit out of my gate because it was all wedged down into the mud and THEN I went around to the front of the house. I knew it was useless, but I checked all my doors and windows anyway. Lucky for me I’m super security conscious! I had to suck it up and go knock on my neighbor’s door. I’m shivering and muddy and looking all crazy so I don’t blame her and her daughters for answering the door with the phone in hand and barely peeking out the 2 inches they opened it. Again, I would have called the police on me had I seen me. We’ve only met one other time so I was super excited to tell them how much of an idiot I am.

“Um, hi…I’m Angela from next door…I’m super awesome and went ahead and locked myself out so could I just make a quick phone call to have someone come rescue me? OK, great thanks.” They handed me their phone which possibly had 9-1 already dialed into it and I called Dual. But he didn’t answer because who the hell’s number is that? So I called again and I don’t think he knew it was me so I’m all “Um, hi…It’s Angela, you know, your girlfriend…I’m super awesome and locked myself out and I need you to rescue me.” It was going to be a while before he could rescue my dumb self and the nice neighbor people were very opposed to me waiting on my own porch where I might freeze to death so they insisted that I track mud all into their beautiful home. During their dinner. So I got to just sit there like a muddy freezing bump on a log awkwardly pretending not to eavesdrop until rescue came for me. And Boyfriend’s son thought it was hilarious. I love that kid.

Finally back inside, I finally had both my dogs in their appropriate places, I washed all the mud and crap off my feet, finished that spaghetti and downed that Chimay. Then in a very grown-upish manner I just called it quits and went to bed.  And THAT is how you do grown-up at my house.

Being a grown-up. Don't Give Up.

Reason why I love being a grown-up: Today, after work, I am going to go home, get in my bed with my laptop and spaghetti and beer and watch American Horror Story. I'm about half way through the season. So, there I'll be. In my house that is paid for with money that I earn, eating food that I bought (or Boyfriend maybe bought some of it) and doing things that I enjoy without any trouble. Normal people have NO idea how big of a deal this is. It's a big effing deal. Normal people will never understand just exactly how amazing it feels to be able to come home to your OWN place after working and driving and interacting with people and using the phone and eating. I wouldn't wish OCD or mental illness on them, but I am so glad I'm not one of them. Because then I would never be able to for real in real life understand how huge the little things are. I had to work hard for those little things. And I continue to work hard. But it's not always perfect...

Let me go back...

Lately its taking a lot of effort to not show myself as an Obsessive-Compulsive. Especially at work. It started with the light switches. I knew that I could get away with checking the switches a couple times with no one looking and then I would feel better and probably it will go away soon because maybe I'm just having an episode or something. Next came my electric equipment in my lab. It needs to be unplugged at the end of every night. So I would unplug, then go back and check it, then I would go back maybe just one more time and touch the plugs and outlets. It wasn't going away. Then it evolved to checking and rechecking and checking again and saying "off" out loud. So far, no one has caught me. It has inched back the time I leave work by a few minutes. I'm trying to get it under control.

I've also had this totally unwelcome upswing in the level of panic and anxiety I carry around. I've struggled with irrational fear and a crippling feeling of not being safe to leave my house. I'm dwelling on this horrible fear that it isn't safe to love or trust anyone. Everyone is dangerous. It's cost me a few fun nights when i could have gone out with my kids or my friends. It has cost me peaceful moments with Dual. The worst was at a basketball game a couple weeks ago. After all the stress and disease in my brain making me act like a crazy person, I had somehow stopped taking my meds. I knew I needed to, but I had just gotten so muddled and confused and irrational and just wasn't keeping up. So anyhow, basketball game with all it's noise and crowded and bright lights...I lost my shit. It was one of those crying, hysteria attacks. And then X came all up in my face. He wasn't trying to do anything. He just has yet to understand that seeing his face reminds me of all the things that never were. Hearing his voice echoes in me all the terrible things that were said at the end. Being near him awakens pain inside of anger inside of heartbreak inside of betrayal. And that's not really helpful when trying to stay normal in front of a gym full of people. I have enough trouble staying calm without any added drama.

I'm doing better for now. I am strong and I am valuable and I remind myself that my disorders do not define me. It just sucks that the disease I have attacks me at my inmost emotional vulnerabilities. Normal people can't get that. If I had crutches or a cast, it would make sense. But my pain is inside and the behavior it results in is socially unacceptable. The energy it takes to stay ahead of it feels like a million pounds and the results are that nobody notices because the goal is to blend in. Normal people will never get that.

When I say I'm doing better for now, I'm doing better at blocking myself from the mental hijacking. I'm still fighting hard every minute of every day. I'm med compliant again. That helps. But when you see me, what you don't know is that all I want to do is make sure my equipment is turned off even though I did it 4 times. I want to repeat all your words to make them feel right. I want to go back and go through that door again because it seems dangerous not to. I want you to answer my pleas to speak to me because the longer I'm ignored, the more painful it becomes. I want to stay inside and protect myself from the world out there because there is too much. Just too much to keep straight and too much to make feel right and too many people who do too many things to my over stressed brain and it's sometimes too much.

So that's why tonight I'm glad I'm a grown-up. I get to do the things that everyone else just does. I get to do them in my own place that I worked hard for and will work hard for everyday of my life. And I wouldn't change that for anything. I wouldn't trade this fight. Because there is too much to be proud of and too much to enjoy. And OCD, in a backwards way, makes it better. Don't give up.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Warning: Do not tempt stairs

*Disclaimer: I have no proof that anything illegal happened. But also I like this explanation the best.

OK. SO.  I think my mom accidently got me stoned. But only just a little and I’m really sure it was a total accident. Let me go back.

My mom has become all earth muffin and peace and tranquility which totally makes sense because that is kind of how I am too, but I did think it was funny/enlightening when she bought Hanukah themed Christmas gifts and my kids wanted to know when we get to light our 8 candles and do we put them under the tree? So part of her holistic approach to damn near everything (excepting, of course, her boxed wine because everybody needs a grown-up’s juice box) is no chemicals or additives or dyes etc. She got me some great bath soaps and air fresheners and candles of all organic soy and oatmeal which I love. She also got me some sage. In case you aren’t a totally open-minded spiritualist, sage is used to cleanse your home or space of negative energy. I already do that anyway with mental exercises designed to keep the crap out and I was going to do the sage soon I just hadn’t acquired it yet.

A few weeks later I still had not cleansed my home with the sage because it just didn’t feel right yet. I was waiting for the right energy to cleanse with. So after work one night I had around an hour before Boyfriend and I were going to eat with my dad who was in town to sing in a concert. No one was home, my house was clean, I looked nice, and the energy felt right. So I lit my sage and started working my way from corner to corner and all around every door.

In about 2 minutes I realized that this sage was a little different. But cleansing I did continue to do. Then it got weirder and the smokey end got smokier. And I recognized the smell. It was weed. (You know, assuming that I know what weed smells like). And I blessed and I blessed and I smoked up my house til I got that burn in my chest. (You know, assuming that I know what that feels like). Then I’m all “this is not just sage. There is WEED IN HERE!” But now I can’t NOT finish because I started and also because I was getting a little paranoid about the sage getting me into trouble and also because how often does your mom accidently get you weed/sage?!

So THEN I needed to call Boyfriend and tell him that I’m either stoned or over reacting either of which are highly probable. And he comes over and he’s all “It smells like weed!” and I’m like “I know! What do I do?!” but there weren’t many options at that point because I already did the sage blessing. I couldn’t undo it. When my dad and another singer arrived at my house I’m all “Soooo…what do you think it smells like in here? Literally no reason. Just curious.” And they are all “Weed. It smells like weed.” And so now I’m thinking well hell; now I accidently got buzzed on some sage and now I’ve given a contact high to SINGERS. Good job, me. Also my dogs were pretty mellowed out that night.

Fast forward to the next day when we went to the actual concert. I’m not sure that blessing your house with weed disguising itself as sage is an effective blessing. We ran a little late for the concert. But we at least got there in time to slam the top of Boyfriend’s manly truck into the top of the clearance thing in the parking garage. We got into the concert hall just in time to miss the first few notes which meant that we had to stand in the back for about 15 minutes until there was applause so we could move to our seats. I had on cute boots but no particularly towering heel or anything.

Intermission. We were having a good time.  Can you tell?

And then we reached the end. Now I feel as though I must remind you of what took place in this specific recital hall approximately 11 years ago. This was where I was asked to enter into a marriage that was ultimately doomed to suck ass. Which is not ideal.  So I was a little bit unhappily reminiscent already. Most ly just that state of irritation that still follows me day to day that everyone keeps telling me will eventually get better. Neat. Anyhow, as we left the concert hall, it was necessary to walk down about 6 steps. At the top of the steps I decided to curse the room and its bad energy by telling it out loud that it sucked at marriage. Do not eff around with rooms. This was when the room decided to shove me down. The stairs. Head freaking first. But I am a fighter! I grabbed the hand rail and dug my toes into that top step. Boyfriend was already at the bottom of the stairs. So as I flew forward he reached out to grab me with the hand I didn’t have on the hand rail. So picture this…My toes are dug into the top step, my arms are flung out to either side hanging on for dear life, my face is about 6 inches from the bottom step but I NEVER ACTUALLY FEEL DOWN. I’m just suspended in the air like a ninja or a hammock.  And THEN I had to figure out how to dismount my amazing aerial feat, so arms firmly holding Boyfriend and the rail, I slowly walked my legs down to the same step as my face and then ever so gracefully hoisted myself back upright.

I guess the lessons learned here are if you are going to bless your home with sage, make sure that it doesn’t get an extra special blessing if you don’t want to then be thrown downstairs by the universe. At least that’s what I’m taking from this experience. Also, falling down stairs makes you feel like you got beat up by angry hookers looking for their money. (You know, assuming I know what that feels like.)

Monday, January 23, 2012

100 things is way so many things. This is harder than I thought. Onward.

10) Lexi
I need no help with understanding how messed up it is that my kids got one listing and my dogs each get their own individual number. But to be fair, I put my kids first and they kind of come as a set anyways. So...Lexi. Dear sweet little ceramic baby Jesus that came with a nativity set that I threw away when moving and had all kinds of guilt complex about throwing away the baby Jesus...that stupid ass little dog may just be the best and worst idea of all time.

She pees in the floor. She poops in the floor. She barks. She has furry, curly terrier hair that has to be trimmed and washed and brushed all the time. She chews fracking everything and cries and cries to get her way. She is the saddest, most pathetic little blob of canine that you ever did see and I couldn't live without her. Neither could Boyfriend. We love her.

She came to me a couple years ago when she was hell bent on getting hit by a car in front of my old house. The neighbor kids were chasing her and her brother dog all over the damn place insisting that they were going to scare the poor dogs to death if the cars didn't get them first. I took them both in and tried mightily to find their homes. Then I gave up on that idea and tried to find new homes. Boy dog found his new home but there was Lexi. I was still just calling her "dog" at that point. I already had a dog and didn't need to get attached to another one. But the kids were calling her Lexi and soon, without ever meaning to, I had a new dog named Lexi. Fun Fact: 2 months later when Lily wanted to invite her best friend to her birthday party I said "OK, what's her name?" and she says "Lexi". So I said "Wait. Hold up. Like our dog?"  Of course, like our dog. I had inadvertently allowed my kids to name my dog after a girl in her class. So of course I told her mom that at the party. "Hey you know how your kid is named Lexi? So is my dog. Our dog is named after your kid. But it's meant to be a compliment so it's cool."

Lexi is the best cuddle dog ever if you count laying directly on your face as good cuddling. She has a remarkable ability to turn all of her bones to jello once she lays in your lap. You can just move her all around without any resistance. it's kind of awesome. Also, she can jump about four and a half feet straight up into the air from a dead stand still. And sometimes she can do that while you are bent over getting dog food or picking something up and wail you right in the face and bust your lip or crack your nose. Apparently.

11) Peter
Pete is about 40 pounds of solid muscle situated so close to the ground that you have no chance of staying on your feet if he decided he doesn't want you to be on your feet. He is lab shrunk up into a corgi. He is the dumbest looking dog that you ever did see and not the sharpest tool in the shed either. But we love him. he requires a step stool to jump on the bed at night. And God forbid you lay a towel or hat or any other small object on the stool because that will render the stool ineffective. And he will stand by the bed and cry and cry until you move it. His short little legs make him exactly eyeball height when he hind legs it to let you know that he needs help getting onto the bed so that he may circle around approximately 14 times and unmake all sheets in the process. He also has a disturbing oral fixation that causes him to lick literally everything all the time. And he has an intense dislike of panties apparently. My hypothesis for this stems from the fact that he eats the crotch out of my panties at least twice a week. I'm forever buying new panties. Not that I mind. I have a strange obsession with lingerie so it's not that sad when I must buy more. But if I wore granny panties it would sure cost a hell of a lot less each week.  (Yes I realize that by NOT leaving my clothes on the floor this would be a moot point but that just isn't in my nature. Don't judge me.)

As I have mentioned before, Boyfriend has been in the process of renaming Peter. Peter is now Boyfriend's dog and his name is Sausage. Only not just Sausage, but say it like you are on Jersey Shore. Like "SAUCE-edge." And now Boyfriend's son has adopted the name and the dog. I feel like pretty soon Sausage Peter is going to forget me. And holy mother of balls if that dog can't eat anything no matter where you try and hide it or high how you try and put it. For having such tiny legs and wickedly disproportionate body, he is like a cat the way he climbs and gets into things. Except getting into bed. He can't figure that Mensa puzzle out.

12) Beer
I never used to be a beer drinker. I was strictly a wine girl. And even then, just a bit on occasion. Then a branched into some fabulous fruity drinks that require all variety of juice and sugar and make you a fatty fat fat when you drink them all the time. One night, at kickball, beer was the only option. And it was cold. Like freaky butt cold. So I started drinking beer. Because there were literally no other options if you don't count my own urine. At first, I almost would have preferred my own urine, but that's because I was drinking Coors Light. Note to self: Coors Light is like drinking urine. Fortunately I have some decent friends who don't drink piss that allowed me to try some actual beer. I started with Pale Ales and worked my way up.

Now I consider myself something of a beer snob. I'm all about the hops and the tones of the flavor and the color and texture and how drunkity I'll get if I drink enough. Not that the goal is to get drunkity. It's not. Currently I am enjoying the dark lagers and ales. Not much into the stouts. I've discovered some of the Belgian and German beers that make me all happy inside. I'll drink a Mexican beer with Mexican food but none of that "lite" business. I like flavor. I'm also drinking some various wheat beers and always always always will say yes to a Shiner Bock. I'm good with a Stella on draft too. And pretty much any kind of beer that someone buys for me while I'm out is OK. I haven't paid a bar tab since I got divorced. I'm gonna keep running with that for a while. I would love suggestions if you've got them. Hint: Nothing that requires an orange slice.

It's also about time for a real live beer fridge at my house. It seems that my wide variety of tastes has caused there to be very little room left for things like food. Good thing Ramen doesn't need refrigerating.

13) Quiet
Quiet is a funny thing around my place. It used to be more valuable than things that are really valuable. (I'd say gold but that shit is up and down so much I wouldn't bet all my Ramen noodles on it). I have two kids and two dogs. Noise has always been a part of living. I taught piano and voice in my home. I'm a musician. I'm an artist. I'm expressive. I'm outspoken (loud). I'm used to quiet being this rare luxury that left my ears ringing with the sheer weight of the empty space.

Now quiet is too easy to come by. I can have quiet pretty much half of the time. Every other week to be exact. The quiet is hard. It is deafening. I never knew how loud silence could be. It screams at me "What did you do?! What happened in this house?! Why are all the voices gone?! Why are you alone?!" And I don't know. I know that Boyfriend and I keep the house alive with talking and laughing and dogs barking but there is always that quiet that envelops me every other week. It's there in the back when it's not right in my face. It's so quiet that I can't sleep. It's so quiet that I turn on nickelodeon in the bedroom just to block out the quiet. It's so quiet that I talk to my dogs and go out of the house and try to stay away from the mind blowing quiet. There is no quiet like that of having your kids go away because of someone else's choices.

But here it is anyway on my appreciation list. I appreciate it because now the noise isn't noise. It's life. It's the sound of my kids growing up. Growing up is noisy. Getting in trouble, playing games, watching TV, fighting with each other, dressing up the dog, practicing piano, talking on the phone...all those things that they do are so much more important to me now that I have the quiet to compare it to. I can't change it. But I can try and accept it. And I can for sure appreciate it.

Coming soon...more of this. Because there is a lot more.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

More of my appreciation/thankful project

9) My kids
First of all, it gives me the skeeves to start out with that number. Ew. But I am pushing through because ERP and all that. Anyhow, I sound like a complete cheese head being thankful for my kids but if I say I'm not I'm lying and also a terrible person. So...I am thankful for AND appreciative of my kids.

In case you don't know, I've got the two little ladies. Divas. Ball busters. Fireballs. Females. However you want to call it. They were both born in spectacularly awesome ways so check out this post and this one to catch up on that assuming you don't mind hearing lots about my vagina and the various fluids that came whence forth from said vagina. And that is how they came screaming into the world.

I spent the first few years of their lives at home with them. Which looking back on it is the best gift anyone could've ever given me. It was hard and sometimes I wanted to pull my hair out and sometimes I wanted to pull their hair out and sometimes they cut off their own hair and also some of the dogs. But we all survived. Together. So now that I only get to see them every other week I'm hanging on to those early years. Although make no mistake, I NEVER want another baby. I am most appreciative of the fact that they are actually kids now and not little bawling poop bags. It's way cooler like this.

My kids are eerie little blends of me and that one guy that used to live in my house who I don't want to talk about anymore. Grace is my pay back for having a sassy mouth when I was growing up. She is also incredibly intuitive to the point of really creeping a person out when she will just straight up with out warning ask you an incredibly personal question about something that you hadn't even really accepted or dealt with yet. It'll kick you in the brain balls. Also she can kick you in the balls if you posses a pair. She's tough. and very scientific and athletic and determined and inquisitive. Never give her the impression that you think she is too young to understand something. She can probably explain it better than Therapist.

Lily is not just glass half full but glass almost all the way full so let's share it with everyone we know and make them a card to go with it and a song to sing while they enjoy whatever was in the glass because surely it is amazing and wonderful and made of sunshine and unicorns that sparkle and happy wishes. She will draw a picture or make a card for every conceivable occasion for everyone she might meet ever. She has to be bribed/wrestled to the ground if she is going to wear anything other than fancy dresses. Do not interrupt her jewelry and make-up process and if you value your life do NOT try to wake her up before she is ready. Never has there ever been a child who loves her sleeping more than she and you are likely to lose a finger or draw back a bloody stump when waking her.

It's not entirely fair to try and sum up my kids into a handful of paragraphs. I'll just say that my time is now more precious than ever...and if you are one of the lucky ones who get to have my children when I don' know my number...shoot me a text or something about them every now and then and don't ever take that time for granted.

Friday, January 20, 2012

I'm moving! But technically not actually going anywhere I hope.

I'm gonna do it. For real. Probably this weekend. I'm scared to death but I'm just going to have to sack up and do it. I'm going to change my URL.

I've read everything there is to read and explored every option there is to explore. So what SHOULD happen is that once my URL is changed, this site will automatically redirect to the new site where everything should be exactly the same. Followers and all. Let's cross fingers, OK?

In the mean time, I'm here at this old URL full of all kinds of baggage. So after the switch the baggage will be only accessible in my archives and not right in my face everytime I log on. I'm moving on and moving up. Different and better for me. So please be patient. I'll try to make this as easy as possible. And then when it's all said and done, we will all wonder who was that person in that old URL? I like this new, independent one better. Angela Murphree. So Now You Know.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

The first of the things that I promised for my project. Yes, I am actually following through. And there are dragons.

This is the start of my project. Remember? The one where I am going to be thankful/grateful/appreciative/begrudgingly indebted to 100 things? It’s kind of a blogger thing that I kinda copied from other blogs. So if you want to join in, knock yourself out. Do it in the comments or on your own blog. Be thankful for 1 thing or 1000. Either way. The good news is that I already made my list of 100!! So that’s half the battle. I won’t give them to you all at once. It might take me a week. It might take me a year. You never really know. But keep up and stay thankful even when life hands you shitcakes. Especially when life hands you those.  I’m going to do them in the order they came to me. It only seems fair.
1)      Dragons
That’s why this first one is so weird. I sat down to make a list of 100 things I was thankful for. I cleansed my energy and focused my mind and started writing. The very first thing that came out was “dragons”.  And I didn’t even notice until I was done with the list because I tried to do it without stopping. I tried to let it flow out organically. So when I looked back and saw “dragons” my only thought was “the fuck, me?!” But this came from me raw and unfiltered so I’m running with it.

I do appreciate dragons. I think it’s the mystique and the fantasy and the power and the fire. I think there is something uniquely feminine and overtly sexual about the storybook dragons. The dragons in my mind aren’t malevolent so much as protective and fiercely defensive of their reality. A dragon is what it is and only that. And that is enough. It is unapologetic for its fire and determination.  It takes flight without asking for permission or requiring the acquiescence of any other creature.

She is beautiful, my mind’s dragon. She is not like any beast or reptile or human or animal you have ever seen. She is shockingly unique and frighteningly stunning. Repulsion or obsession, either way you can’t ever forget her. She owns her power and her responsibility. She takes authority over her fire and powerful body. She is simultaneously infuriating and calming. She is terrifying and exhilarating. She is real and she is symbolic. And that is why number 1 on my list is dragons. Join me another time as I make scrambled eggs and field mice sound terribly exotic.

2)     Dogs
It came out fairly generic in my list. Later on I get more specific. But it came out at the top. Dogs.  I love dogs. I love my dogs. I love other peoples’ dogs. I love the way dogs smell and feel and how they are warm and cuddle. I love them.

I am going to asterisk this entry and say that I do not love or appreciate the following:
Mean dogs
Biting dogs
Dogs that look at me funny
Dogs that smell like ass
Dogs with bug eyes.
Bald dogs
Teeny little shaky dogs
Chewed up shoes
Dogs who have superior attitudes. I don’t have time for snobby know-it-all-dogs.

3)     Books
I could make an entirely separate list of 100 favorite books. Maybe someday when my life is in order I will. Don’t hold your breath. I might have books later on in my list. Anyhow, I’m not really into this e-book revolution. That seems counter intuitive since I write a blog which is transmitted electronically, but my sincere hope is that someday my words will be in a book. A real book made of paper and bound with a cover. And possibly not even on the clearance table. And maybe people will even read it and not use it as a coaster.

I love how books look and smell and I love seeing the hundreds of books on my shelf in all different shapes and colors. They are new and old. Some are pristine and some are falling apart. Many have notes in the margins or highlight marks or memories of the pages being folded to mark places. They have names written in the penmanship of a third grader saying “From the Library of Angela Murphree”. There are classics and neo-classics, fact and fiction. And also there are all four Twilight books. Sorry about that. I would like to make it up to my bookshelf with my vast collection of Stephen King and Christopher Moore. I like to look back on my books on my bookshelves and walk back through the places and times where I was with those books. Even the ones designated as “something hard to draw on when playing Pictionary or doing homework.”

Maybe someday you’ll catch me reading a book on a screen. But you can bet on the real pages being on my shelves.

4 ) Hot Showers
I don’t know if I can adequately sum up how I do love a hot shower. Not a warm shower or warmer shower. Hot. I like my shower hot. And I like to take my time.
I like to come out of the shower with about the top two layers of skin boiled to numb. I like to be bright red. I love the feeling of everything washed away. I’m not into all that loofa scrubby puffy crap. I don’t have some long cleansing ritual with all kinds of girly smelling shit and pastel colors. I have shampoo, conditioner, soap, and a razor. And I like to just be in the shower burning hot, letting the noise of the water quiet my racing mind enough to actually think individual thoughts and not masses of ideas all at once. I like the peace.

5) Black
I’m not entirely sure what I mean by this. This is what happens when you make a list while trying to be all zen and at one with lists or whatever. So let me try to break it down. I think I mean the color black. Or also possibly the Pearl Jam song which was the very definition of my angst in about 10th grade. Eddie Vedder just gets me, you know?

I painted a wall in my bedroom black. Not during my 10th grade angst due to the oppressive nature of the heartless and callous parents I was slave to. I painted my bedroom in my new home which I bought myself for me. And it is the most soothing room in my entire house. It is home. It is mine. It is cozy and unassuming. By unassuming I mean an ungodly mess all of the time. By cozy I mean there are clothes all over the floor and way too many pillows and dogs and people in my bed all the time. It’s black. But it’s mine.

6) Purple
The other walls in my bedroom/sanctuary are purple. Dark, rich purple. It completes the cozy and unassuming look. BUT…also purple are my purse, my kids’ rooms, most of my clothes, my converse kicks, some Mary Jane pumps, my wallet, my yoga pants, my yoga mat, my business cards, my jewelry, my glasses, my socks, my bra, my panties, my ear buds, my bedding, my pillows, and so on and so on and so on. I have a little bit of an obsession. Who would’ve guessed? Me, an obsession. Weird, right?!

7) Piano
A long time ago in a universe very similar to this one, I played the piano. I didn’t just play it. I lived it. It defined me. I am/was a classically trained pianist. This took me all the way to college where I spent 5 semesters busting my ass as a piano major and gradually coming to loathe everything about being on the bench. So I did what any logical person would do…I got a voice degree and got a job as a pianist. It sucks way less when they pay you and they don’t grade you at the end.

I’ve spent the time since then playing at weddings, funerals, parties, banquets, conferences, retreats, and the one “celebration of life” party. I have experienced all kinds of drunken groomsmen, sobbing families, and unsolicited karaoke requests. I have taught students from 4 years old to so old that I’m not entirely sure they are still counting. I’ve sustained numerous injuries to my thumbs, shoulders and back because I am a hardcore bitch about my piano skillz.
Sometimes I still get paid to play. Most times it’s just for me anymore. But even if no one wants to listen, I’ll still be there, on the bench, for better or for worse.

8) BoyfriendI love that I subconsciously made Boyfriend number 8. Because everyone knows that 8 is the perfect number. Especially to me as an Obsessive-Compulsive.
I used to have Husband. That didn’t really work out so well what with Husband having Girlfriend and me still being Wife. But anyhow, yadda yadda got a divorce and thank you God for Boyfriend. I won’t go over it all again. That’s why I have archives. But to re-cap, Boyfriend is Dual. And I am in love with him because I choose to be. He takes care of me and hasn’t flinched not even once at my crazy. And I did not hold any back from him. He found me at a time in my life when crazy couldn’t even begin to describe me. And I tested his limits. And he found me in there. I pushed and pushed and pushed to try his patience and endurance. And he found me in there. I was completely raw and uninhibited and had no inner monologue. And he found the real me in there. In all that mess. And I think I found him too.

We've walked remarkably similar lives, Boyfriend and I. And also we are from worlds so different that I literally need him to explain to me the things that he references from childhood because they are words and events that I don't understand. We are opposite. But it works. And when it stops working, IF it stops working, we won't lie or hide or make excuses. We've already tried that before with other people and it sucks. We do everything illogically, because the logical "suppose to" order of things hasn't really worked for us in the past. So Boyfriend is number 8 on my list. Not quite as highly esteemed as dragons apparently, but important enough to be number 8.

More to come...

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Surveys. Or really just tell me what to do.

Pressing issue number 1:
Last year I was a speaker at the International Obsessive Compulsive Disorder Foundation's annual conference. It was amazing and liberating and healing and really fun. I already plan to attend the conference again this year fo shizzle, but my dilemma is: Should I submit a proposal to speak this year? I just don't know. What if I DON'T get picked this year and feel like an ass hat? What if I do and the stress for the entire last year catches up to me and it's not that great? What if I panic at the last minute and can't fly? What if I run out of money and can't go? Tell me what to do here.

Pressing Issue number 2:
My blog is a big part of me and part of my life. It is linked all over the place thanks to other bloggers and blog rolls. I have no intention to stop writing no matter what happens in my life. Y'all are like my diary. My secret secret diary that people all over the world read. BUT the URL is kind of balls right now. Go ahead and look. It gives me cold chills every time I have to type it in to repost or log-in. I want to change my URL but I'm afraid I will lose my readers and get lost. Should I change my URL? And if so, how do I go about it? How do I let everyone know where I am? How do I start over?! What happens to my archives??! Someone please help me!

Pressing Issue number 3: I am going to be starting an IOCDF chapter in Oklahoma. Will you be involved? Sharing the word, coming to promo events, supporting the fundraising efforts to obtain our non-profit status, keeping me on task etc? This place has way too many of us nuts to not have an oak tree we can all fall under.


I'm going to attempt a project. I suck at projects. Don't hold your breath.

But first before the project...things that have been happening:

I had this raging beast of strep throat last week. I tried to keep pretending that it wasn't strep throat. I was just tired or stressed or had allergies. That inability to swallow was really a good thing because then I wasn't really eating as much, right? And it hurt and hurt and finally I decided to bite the bullet and look at my tonsils in a mirror. A magnifying mirror. Which is the dumbest thing ever. Because my tonsils could have been in wikipedia as "gross and over exaggerated example of frick nasty infected tonsils. Notice all the white pus and enormity of the entire area. This is possibly grosser than herpes." Blah. It was awful. So I stayed in bed and I'm still suffering through the antibiotics which are awesome and horrible at the same time. Antibiotics are like stomping on your foot so your headache wont be so bad. They make me all kinds of socially inappropriate in the gastrointestinal region ifyouknowwhatimean. I'm socially inappropriate other ways normally so it didn't do much for that either. Anyhow, I'm working on regaining human status. I even washed my hair and everything.

Yesterday at my awesome work, which really is awesome, I don't say that facetiously, I had the BEST complaint. For real. This is a hall-of-famer. I will protect the identity of the complainer but I can say female, older, maybe an accent that inferred that English was not the first language...

I never really had a chance to say much. So I'll just run you down the lecture I got. Honestly, she came in, dropped some knowledge on me and took off. I wish she'd had a microphone to throw down.
I want you to know something. You charge too too much price. I buy sunglasses here for 100 dollar. Then I go to mall and see exact same sunglass for 45 dollar! you are unfair! You charge too much. I do not understand why I must pay 100 dollar here for sunglasses when I go to mall and lady at mall say I can have the same sunglasses for 35 dollar! It is not right. Some people have a lot of money and don't worry about being overcharged. I do not worry how much it cost. I just buy what I want and do not worry about cost. but not all people are lucky to not have to worry about price. You overcharge and you have way too much money. It is not fair how you price. I go to mall and can buy exact sunglasses for 25 dollar! AND HERE IS THE BEST PART: You know, that you and your money cannot go to heaven. When you die and go to heaven you no take any of your money that you overcharge with you. It mean nothing there. In heaven God judge you on if you were fair to other people. You are unfair. God will judge you on how you take money and have unfair price. He will judge you for treating people this way. You needed to know that. AND SHE WAS OUT.

OK, for real?! If that's all God takes issue with me on, then I am good. Pretty sure I have a whole mess of people that have already told Him all about me and brought me up on all kinds of charges for Him to judge. There are probably entire prayer circles devoted to saving me from myself and saving the world from my outlandish influence and poor choices. I hope these groups at least wear cute shoes. I would like to think I have at least bestowed something worthwhile on humanity. I guess I'll just have to trust God when I actually converse with Him myself. Seriously though, I know I'm getting stronger because that might have made a more fragile me cry. But I laughed my damn ass off for like a solid hour. And then sat at my desk and counted my millions with one of those adding machines with the pull handle while admiring my jewels and furs and leather shoes made from the hides of baby seals and poor people.

Also, I almost got my mastiff again. He was beautiful and perfect and 120 pounds. Boyfriend is all "it's expensive and the turds are enormous and you don't have enough money for Therapist why get a big-ass dog and blah blah blah." I hate it when he is all reasonable and then follows it up with "but I will support your decision." ARGGGG! Also, Boyfriend has adopted my Peter as his own. (If you are new, I have 2 dogs, Peter and Lexi. Peter is my black lab shrunk down into the body of a corgi. He is all the color and temperament and bark of a lab but with little squashy legs. And he is powerfully thick. He is a dense ball of strong angled just under your center of gravity so as to wipe your feet right out from underneath you when he runs full tilt around the corner. And if that doesn't get you, the enormous tail is like being flogged on your shins. Lexi is Yorkie/Schnauzer and thinks she might be an actual person. She lays in the bed under the covers with her head on the pillow when we sleep. her favorite things to do are constantly have at least 80% of her body touching you at all times except when she does her other favorite thing which is poop on the floor.) So anyhow, Boyfriend says the Pete is HIS dog and Lexi is MY dog. He and Pete seem to have a very special cuddling relationship at night. It's mildly disturbing. Also he has changed Pete's name to Sausage. And it is actually starting to catch on. Whatever. I'll have my man dog someday. And Boyfriend has to clean up Sausage vomit now.

OK...project...K so a lot of other bloggers have been doing a 100 Things to be Thankful For challenge. I guess technically it was a Thanksgiving thing, but A) I don't like holidays B) I do things on my own time. So I'm willing to try this. But you must try with me! I'll do it in different posts. Leave some of the things on your list in the comments or start your own list on your blog. I might suck at it but remember how it's a new year and I'm gonna be all up with people? YAY! I LOVE THINGS AND PEOPLE! For real. I'm looking for all the good right now while the bad still taunts me from the sideline and wants to come back out onto the court.

So that's that. I'd love to hear from you. My comments are always open.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

I seriously didn't see this coming. He's a charmer that one.

I would like to take this opportunity here at So Now You Know to introduce you to someone. His name is Dual. And in case you haven't been paying attention closely enough or don't stalk my facebook or you are new...He is Boyfriend now. Yes, I, after not having a boyfriend since 1994 if you don't count that one that I don't talk about anymore, have Boyfriend! He is so cool. So, now you know. (See what I did there?)

I met Dual when he grabbed my arm out from behind me as I sat at a bar this summer. I didn't even see him sitting there when he took my arm, looked at my wrist, and carefully crafted his pickup line..."Did you do that to yourself?!" Which is when I then in a cold panic decided, OK, I've tried this a couple times trying to pretend like I'm totally normal like everyone else, but I'm just not. I'm not like everyone else and I don't like pretending. So let's see how he likes this..."Yes. I did. I did that to myself. Because I am 30 and in the middle of a crappy divorce and I have two kids and Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder that I manage with daily medication and sheer will and I'm also every kind of odd and a lot of work. You wanna do this?" And he just says "Yeah!"

And so it went, or really so it goes. It continues to go. Who would've thought that anyone would have the energy for my mouth and my shoes and my clumsy and my crazy. But he does. At least for now. And I love him. It's cool. He's cool when I say that because we talked about it. It's even facebook official. So I'm just going with it day by day and letting myself take chances and see where life goes. because that's what I do. And for now Boyfriend is living life with me. So you'll hear about him. He's also super handsome and makes me laugh.

He is very gentlemanly. Like opens doors and pulls out chairs and does nice things. Sometimes it startles me. Sometimes I'm all "Whoa what the hell are you doing what's this what's going on here don't sneak up on me back off you are freaking me out what is happening here are you trying to rob me?!" But no...he for real is just helping and not even a little trying to take my purse. Right?!

My dogs seem to think he is pretty cool because anytime I move at all they are both all up in my spot cuddling and playing like they are asleep so they don't have to move. And then I try and drag them out of the chair/couch/bed or whatever and they play like they are still asleep and turn into dead weight. Then once I reclaim my spot, they pounce back up virtually ignoring and crushing me with 60 pounds of combined dog all at once. Also, Boyfriend talked me out of getting a Mastiff. FOR NOW. I will have my man-sized dog someday...

Boyfriend is a super cool. Like I said, one day at a time down the road we go, but make him welcome here. Yall are the best.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Conversations with Jesus

Me: Hey, Jesus? Are you even there anymore? Because sometimes it feels like you have totally left me hanging here.

Jesus: Really? You're going to tell me about being left hanging?

Me: OK. Bad analogy. But hey, there you are! Where you been at? Cause for REAL Jesus, I have been through some shit lately.

Jesus: I know.

Me: Then what is the deal with that?!

Jesus: The what?

Me: Don't play all innocent "I've never sinned blah blah blah I have no idea what you are talking about" You know exactly what I've been through. Don't act like you don't. you know exactly what I have been through? You never exactly got married and divorced...allegedly. And nobody kicked you out of your own church. Kind of. Crap. Maybe they sort of did, but still about the divorce thing. You don't know. And you've never been a single mom.

Jesus: OK. So why do you think I can't understand that?

Me: My kids are gone half the time. It's not my choice. And I was betrayed dammit!

Jesus: Oh, right! I have NO idea what betrayal and loss feel like. Not even a little.

Me: Crap.

Jesus: So how are you dealing with this?

Me: Well, apparently not like you because I already got un-welcomed at two different churches now. And I fail at relationships. I'm not all Jesus-y enough. We can't all be Tim Tebow, OK!

Jesus: Yeah...that guy sure is something isn't he? I been trying to get him on the line now for a while. I need his autograph! Or just like a handshake or something...I bet he's super strong...

Me: Jesus! back to me. Sorry I mentioned Tebow. But for real, here's the deal...I want to be like you. I feel like we get along pretty well. I feel like out of all the people who have left me, you are the only one who hasn't and I don't think you will. But according to SOME people, I'm not good enough for you. And the places that I go to hang out with you and other people at the same time, they're all "Nope, not here. Not enough like Jesus." which is totally weird to me because I feel like I am doing my best to love and forgive and all that other stuff that is really hard and I don't want to. Why are people douches to me?!

Jesus: You can be a douche.

Me: Really, dude? Did you just call me a douche?

Jesus: and you can be kinda mean.

Me: Got it.

Jesus: and douchy sometimes. And you got a mouth on you woman.


Jesus: Not that they should. But then again you shouldn't always either.

Me: Right. I hear that. But also I thought I've heard you telling me things so many times before and that ended up turning to crap.

Jesus: Like, what? I mean I know, but I want you to tell me to see if you know.

Me: I KNOW you called me to different churches. I felt it. I heard it. All the things that needed to happen lined up just right. Then I got kicked in the girl nads. Twice. And then I KNOW that I was supposed to be married and I KNOW that we were supposed to teach newlyweds. But then that failed. And I do everything I can to manage my diseases because I KNOW you gave them to me for a reason but they are hard and why does everything that you set out for me and confirm for me that I am supposed to do turn out like crap?! Was I wrong every time I listened to you and totally misunderstood every time? Am I ruining everything that you planned for me?!

Jesus: I never said I DIDN'T call you to all those things. I never said you messed anything up. I never told you that you DIDN'T follow what I called you to do. At that time...

Me: I might be understanding what you are saying. I mean I think I totally just got nut busted with some clarity from you. But why don't you go ahead and spell this out for me...

Jesus: I called you to the first church on purpose. You were married and divorced on purpose. If you never did it, how would you be getting through it alone this time around. You needed to know what it was like to be hurt in that particular situation. Then you knew you could handle it alone. Well, with me, but you know what I mean by "alone".

Me: Well, I didn't know that I could handle it...I just did. Because I knew you wanted me to...And because I HAD been there before.

Jesus: Right?! And then about the would you have been strong enough to live with mental illness on your own if you hadn't been set up for that period of time to really focus and work on overcoming the disease. I'm not stupid. I know what you need. Because I can also see where you are headed in the future. And you needed some training. And you still will. So I'm gonna put you in tough spots to get you ready. And you will come out on the other side with a choice...keep trusting me to know what I'm doing, or get all bitter and hag like. And douchy.

Me: Damn. I hate so much when you have to spell it out for me. Why didn't I see it like that before?

Jesus: You weren't ready yet. And you didn't ever just ask me. I heard plenty about how pissed and hurt you were, and I was there offering you my comfort. But you never really asked

Me: Thanks, Jesus. I love our talks. I promise they won't be as one-sided as they have been for the last few months. And one more thing.......when you were born were you really 8 pounds and 6 ounces? Because that would rule.

Jesus: Really?