Tuesday, May 10, 2011

How is it that we never run out of love? Sometimes I think my heart will burst with happiness and that I could never love my dear family and friends more than I already do. But then somehow my heart makes room for more people to love, makes room for love to grow deeper. Allows me to open up one stitch at a time.
I even do this when people abuse me. Somehow I find myself trying to see the world through others' eyes, to discover what makes them act the way they do. I want to love a person even if they're hurting me, even though they're not making sense. People who hurt others are almost always just scared little children inside. They are acting out of fear. They are afraid of abandonment and of abuse to themselves. They believe that they can somehow control their fear without dealing with it directly, or even acknowledging it. And thus they are caught in a cycle where they can never escape what haunts them. So ultimately, I feel bad for these people, even when they hurt me.
There is so much to be happy about. So many people to love. So much to enjoy and relish while we still have time. My heart grows larger every second.

Monday, May 9, 2011

It's amazing how life only gets more complicated.

Future-tripping is a term I made up that means to trip ballz while thinking about a future of unknowns. It's a technical term really.

Friday, April 22, 2011

The Elephant Vanishes

I've been reading this awesome book of short stories called The Elephant Vanishes. I think short stories might be my favorite thing to read. Short stories can't do all the things novels can do (because they're short) but their lightness makes them wonderfully easy to pick up and digest at a moments notice. They're also easy to read three times in a row really quickly. The first time I read "A Perfect Day for Bananafish" by JD Salinger I did that. I read it, and then I immediately went back to the beginning and read it again. And there was another one I remember doing this with... maybe it was by Flannery O'Conner, it was about a family in a car, then they're on the side of the road and some criminals are going to kill them. "A Good Man Is Hard to Find" - that's it. Bananafish might be my all time favorite though. It's just so... good. It's not that long, but the universe created in just that one short story fills my mind and keeps expanding.
The first creative writing course I took was at TCC a few years ago. Our prof, Lu Vickers, had just finalized her novel, Breathing Underwater. She was a great teacher. I talked with her after class about reading "A Perfect Day for Bananafish" and how much I loved it. She offered to assign it to our reading and let me lead the discussion that day in class. I was thrilled! It was exactly what I (thought I) wanted to do for a living - teach! But leading a class of students just there for an easy A through one of my favorite short stories was less fun than I thought it would be. I realize now, it's just much more fun to talk about such things with people who also enjoy them.
Why is it that so many fail to appreciate a sad story? They think if it is sad, it can't be good, because who would want to read about sadness? I'll tell you who: people who have been through it and come out the other side. After that, there is always a taste of nostalgia in tragedy.

Anyway, we've been so slow at work that I have been able to read a lot lately (I got Moby Dick AND The Brothers Karamazov on my Kindle for FREE yesterday!). Maybe while Aaron is out of town this weekend I'll dive into some novels.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Today is my darling best friend Liz's birthday! I miss her so much! She moved back to her home state of Michigan last fall and since then, Tallahassee has felt a little empty. It's just easier to be some place when people you love fill that place. Communicating via telepathy will just have to suffice.
Sometimes, I say words like suffice (or exacerbate) and I wonder if I made them up. They just sound funny in my head and it seems impossible that I could just read a word a few times and know it through context. It's amazing how human language works.
Or maybe I mean how human knowledge works. I read an article about how we convince ourselves we are being logical when we decide what we believe, but really we can never fully take our prior beliefs out of the equation. It turns out, the strong convictions you already have shape the way you interpret evidence when it is presented. So if someone wholeheartedly believes that the earth was created 6000 years ago by God, when you present them with evidence for the theory of evolution they are going to evaluate said evidence through creationism colored glasses. I guess this is sort of obvious, but it's always neat when science proves common sense. And I do love epistemology.
In other news, I wish I could just quit my job, become a suicide girl, sell shit on etsy, and silently make my living off the internet... It's just too much to ask of me to have to talk to people all the time... one of my supervisors told me today that in the last 20 days I've taken over1500 calls. Last month, when I was the only operator, I took about 3500 calls in 30 days... that's over 100 calls a day. I apologize to people for things that I have nothing to do with. I let people yell at me and then say "give me just one moment" before transfering them... then I cross my fingers and hope the person I've just sent them to isn't out at lunch or in the bathroom. A woman called yesterday and started yelling at me because her 18 year old son had an ingrown toenail and needed to be seen immediately! Who are these people and how are they even competent enough to look up our number in the phone book?!
I promise I don't really hate people... when I complain about my job I know that's what people must think, but I don't. I love a lot of people actually. Which is what really truely makes me want to quit my job: I want to work with people I love. Or at the very least, with just myself. I don't think it'd be too bad to have to be with just myself every day.

Monday, March 21, 2011

I really wish I could bring my dog with me to work. Not only would he have a calming affect on me, but I'm pretty sure his pugly face would warm a few cold hearts around my office. I seriously love my dog. Also, I wish I could bring my sewing machine, various crafting supplies, my uke and personal computer. Oh the work I could get done if I could craft at my office job... really that should read, oh the crafting I could get done if I didn't have to work, haha.
I'm thinking about moving to a new place a lot lately. And I'm getting excited. I'm beyond ready for something new. I really want to go out on a limb and try making Etsy my full time job... It sounds crazy, but I really think I could do it... I realize I should have started saving months ago and to do it would most likely mean relying on Aaron more than I already do, but I just can't shake the idea. Now that it's in my head that I could work from home I think about it every hour I sit here at my desk at DOH. I could be waking up at home, answering emails, sewing, posting, getting up to go to the bathroom without having to email anyone about watching the phones for me...
I just need a plan.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Mothering my Mom

This past weekend was a much needed respite from the craziness that ensued after my Mom was in the hospital. A week ago, my Mom went to the hospital because of a bad reaction to her RA (rheumatoid arthritis) medication (methotrexate). Of course any time she has to go into the hospital this interferes with all her other meds... that means she didn't have her lithium... and a Bipolar person without their lithium just becomes a fucking crazy person. She wasn't straight up hallucinating like last fall when she was in the hospital, but she was definitely manic. What some people don't realize about manic episodes is that sometimes the person just gets intensely happy. In the hospital, she was so excited! She just kept talking about plans and getting healthy and how I was going to have two little girls (she tells me that she dreams of my two daughters and asks me what I'm going to name them...). The doc at the hospital told us before we took her home that she needed 24-hour supervision until she saw her psychiatrist. This was on a Wednesday night. So the next day, I left work early and went with her and Juliet to two doctors appointments.
First was her psychiatrist, Dr. Monasifi. We were worked in on short notice so I can understand why we would have to see a nurse practitioner instead of her normal doctor. What I don't understand is how this NP, who claims she sees my mom when her doc can't, didn't even know my mom's name. She kept calling her Mary, which is my mother's legal first name, but no one, I mean no one calls her that. When my sister said to the NP (Evelyn) "Her name is Elizabeth," we were met with a rude stare and a sigh. While I'm sure Evelyn is super duper busy, is it so much to ask someone who works in a psychiatric office to take a minute and learn the name of the patient they are about to perscribe mood altering substances too?! Especially since my mom's lithium levels were toxic when she was admitted into the hospital. Needless to say, Evelyn was less than helpful and told us my mom would continue to need 24 hour supervision. We asked her how long mom might need to be supervised. "Well I can't read the future..." We asked her how long until mom would adjust to the new med she gave us to try out. "I just don't know, I can't read the future..." We asked her if there were any services that might be able to help us. "There are no services that are going to provide what you need..." The appointment felt like a big waste of time. At one point I was telling Evelyn what the doctor at the hospital had told me about mom's meds and she said to me, "well he's not a psychiatrist..." Uhm, in case you hadn't noticed, you're a damn nurse practitioner!
The second appointment totally made up for the first. At her RA doc office, it seemed like every single person we saw knew my mom and asked how she was and made small talk. My mom is on a first name basis with her Rheumatologist, Cheryl. Cheryl was patient, sweet and more than happy to answer all of our questions. She told Julie and I she had heard all about us. She offered to contact the hospital and get details on my mom's reaction to the methotrexate she prescribed. Cheryl, if you're out there reading this: you and your staff really gave us renewed hope that we can make this work. I can't even describe my happiness at seeing mom treated like a regular person. I felt like we dealt with everything that's wrong with mental health care at the first appointment, but the second one showed me that it doesn't have to be that way.
So for now, mom has leveled out some. We're keeping a close eye on her, but we just can't supervise her 24 hours a day. Frequent visits will have to do. Her mood is good, she's eating, that's all we can ask for.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011


I'm really struggling to have a glass-half-full kinda day. In my worst moments of weakness, I become terribly pessimistic. Nothing matters. Everything is fucked. There is no silver lining.

Since I was having an awesome day earlier, I'm going to will myself to remember that feeling. To let it fall over me. Just because there is one little part of me that resists this happy change doesn't mean that I can't be happy right now. Ok maybe I can't be *happy* right this second, but that doesn't mean I have to reach into the depths of depression.

I'm going to enjoy every quiet second at work. I'm going to reflect on things I could do better. I'm going to say I love you. I'm going to drink a home-made peppermint mocha latte.

The Perks!

One of my absolute favorite books in high school was The Perks of Being a Wallflower. Along with all my other emo friends, I would tote this book around with me and I read it so many times that the pages are literally falling out. I'll admit I'm a book snob, and that makes me a little weary about one of my favs becoming a movie... But with Hermione Granger cast as Sam my outlook is much more optimistic! Can't wait to see it!

Monday, March 7, 2011

Monday, Monday

Well, this weekend was mildly productive. I ordered two new pairs of glasses (much needed after my last pair literally fell apart in my hands) and they are awesome. My favorite of the two is a pair of think, square, tortoise shell frames. They make me look pretty nerdy, but I wouldn't have it any other way.
I also spent way more money than I should have at Michael's, buying crafting supplies galore. At least some of what I got was on sale. I got a pack of 50 blank cards and envelopes on sale for only $5.99! I'm tempted to go buy more just because they're so cheap! But then I start thinking about whole-sale pricing and wondering if I'd just be better off buying all my craft supplies in bulk online. Gosh, trying to run an Etsy store is a lot harder than I thought it would be! Me and my best friend's store (http://www.etsy.com/people/PrettyNeurotics) makes me proud though. We have make 4 sales since we opened back in July! This doesn't sound like a lot, but there are so many people who talk about having no sales for months and months on the etsy forums, so I'm thankful to those 4 customers!
I always feel like there is so much improvement to be made to our little shop. We could always have more inventory and this I think is the most important to any new shop on Etsy. We could more clearly define our ideal customer and our brand. We need to come up with some sort of spreadsheet that will allow me to track our spending and sales because I know we are no where near making any kind of profit... I read the Etsy "Quit your day job" blog religiously now because I just can't imagine a better job than making crafts and selling them online. I know it will be more work than I can even imagine, but think of the benefits! No boss, no 9-5, no dress code, no phone constantly ringing in my ear, living off of my creativity... ah! I could explode from pleasure just thinking about it!!! Making special little somethings for individual people instead of working for a gigantic state agency for "the people"...
My current job stresses me out to the max. It just makes me think about what I could see myself doing as a career... and it does not include sitting in a cubicle for hours on end. Who the hell *was* meant to have such a job?
Also, learning to play the ukulele has been put on the back burner. I pick it up whenever I have a spare minute, but at this rate I won't be able to play until I'm 90. I must make note to find a way to stuff more hours into the day...

Thursday, February 24, 2011

I taste a liquor never brewed...

an excerpt:

Inebriate of air am I,
And debauchee of dew,
Reeling, through endless summer days,
From inns of molten blue.

-Emily Dickinson

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Florida Department of What the F*** Do You Want?!

I like to think that I can keep my cool in stressful situations, but I will admit that once my buttons have been pushed a time too many, I just can't hold it in. Case in point: I am the only full time zero operator for the Florida Dept. of Health. When you call the DOH for a question about your paramedic license, I'm the first person you talk to. When you call us to complain about the mold in your apartment, I'm the one who answers "How may I direct your call?" When you call to tell someone about the botched plastic surgery your wife got, or how they're going to take out half of your small intestine if you don't get your meds and you'll have to wear diapers for the rest of your life (and you're only 26! Wahhh!), I'm the miserable soul who then transfers you to the office that ACTUALLY deals with whatever the hell your problem is. I'm required to know *just enough* about all of these unrelated health issues to get you to the right person. That means I don't have your special file in front of me, I don't know the Medicaid office's P.O. box and I sure as hell am not required to google it for you. Seriously, someone actually said to me (after trying to transfer them to the office in question for about 5 minutes...) "You don't have a book or something with addresses in it... you could AT LEAST google it for me..." No sir, I don't have a special book where the answers to everyone's questions magically appear; and if you think I'm going to google an address for your lazy ass after you were that rude to me, you've got another thing comin' to ya.
And for those who call and ask for "Sarah or Sally... something with an S, she sits next to Bob the guy who handles, uh... ya know, Sally, imblex testing, implex..." (it's NCLEX - National Council Licensure EXamination testing and I still would need to know what type of license it's for) I could never know enough to get that guy to the right person.
I wonder, are there just more stupid people in this world than I assume? And are all of them given DOH's main line and told, "Here, this is your own personal complaint hotline! Call it any time to blather on about nothing in particular!"? Is it so hard to understand that when you call a state agency, the first person you talk to is not going to be *the* person you need to talk to?
All I ask for is a little patience and sympathy. I try my hardest to help people who are confused, to transfer people swiftly to the department they need to talk to and to find alternatives when the person they need mysteriously isn't taking any calls and doesn't have their voicemail set up. In Tallahassee alone we have about 10 different office buildings; I don't even know how many we have total in Florida. My directory has thousands of names and each person is responsible for updating their own contact info.
In the end, sometimes the only solution is to laugh. Like last week when an elderly chap called and asked to speak to Gloria. I asked if he had her last name or what department she was in. "No! Gloria! She works in your office! Gloria!" he yelled at me. I told him we have many different offices and that if he told me what it was in regards to maybe I could get him to that office. "Her name is Gloria! I want to speak to her! Gloria!!" We went back and forth for a few minutes during which he insisted that I just yell out her name because she is in my office (and then he yelled "Gloria!" at me again I assume as demonstration). I was tempted to just scream "Gloria!" and then tell him oops sorry she must not be here today, but I didn't, and eventually he told me he'd call me back and hung up on me.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

I like coffee, I like tea...

Friendly Starbucks baristas make my mornings. Seriously, theirs is a craft that non-caffeine-addicts just don't understand. And this morning they tell me that there is a new size, the trenta?! At about 300 ml more than the already large venti, I don't think my stomach could even handle it. But I know one day I'll enter Starbucks tired, perhaps pms-ing, in great need of a pick me up and I just won't be able to say no...

Monday, February 21, 2011


Today I sit at my desk totally at a loss as to what to do with my life. Post-graduation the only concrete option seems to be to go back to school, but that's not happening so soon after regaining intellectual freedom. To be able to read any book I want is just to delicious to give up. I can savor authors for hours upon hours now, reread passages until they echo between my ears and never give a though to writing a, dare I say the word... paper. It must be good to take a break from producing work to let ideas saturate the mind. I just want to devour book after book. If only I could get paid to read.

I'm reminded of this passage from one of my favs:
"I saw my life branching out before me like the green fig tree in the story. From the tip of every branch, like a fat purple fig, a wonderful future beckoned and winked. One fig was a husband and a happy home and children, and another fig was a famous poet and another fig was a brilliant professor, and another fig was Ee Gee, the amazing editor, and another fig was Europe and Africa and South America, and another fig was Constantin and Socrates and Attila and a pack of other lovers with queer names and offbeat professions, and another fig was an Olympic lady crew champion, and beyond and above these figs were many more figs I couldn't quite make out. I saw myself sitting in the crotch of this fig tree, starving to death, just because I couldn't make up my mind which of the figs I would choose. I wanted each and every one of them, but choosing one meant losing all the rest, and, as I sat there, unable to decide, the figs began to wrinkle and go black, and, one by one, they plopped to the ground at my feet." ~Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar, Chapter 7

I can see so many lives I want to live, so many adventures to have. How do we ever decide what to become? Nietzsche is said to have liked the motto "Become what you are." I take this to mean that you should follow your intuition. My intuitions take me in twenty different directions every day. Become what you are. Become a cupcake maker, become a ukulele player, become a philosophy professor. Become what you are...