Category Archives: IRL

Get Out of my Head

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“We have met the enemy, and he is us…”  Those words came from Walt Kelly in a satirical comic piece meant to highlight how humanity as a whole, needs to look to themselves for cleaning up the environmental disasters we unleashed on ourselves.  Other than coming off as real bad grammar to me, the saying also holds true for internal conflict.

As a kid, I was perpetually bored in school.  Nothing my teachers said, would hold my attention.  Due to my never ending disinterest with the world, I tended to do poorly when the dreaded report cards came.  I hated the tediousness of homework while the tests and quizzes did nothing more than regurgitate more of the same.  It wasn’t until Mrs. Ingrid’s 3rd grade class that someone looked at my low grades from a different angle.  I went through a series of tests meant to challenge my mind which, to be perfectly honest, was probably the most fun I remember having in school.  The most prominent memory I have is having to instruct another person to use a View-Finder, while my back was turned to them, forcing me to perfectly describe how to operate the damned thing.  It’s not as easy as it sounds and certainly not for a 9 year old boy.  Long story short?  I excelled at each test, much to the surprise of my step-father… that asshole.

But I digress…

Turns out I wasn’t dumb or slow; the complete opposite, really.  I had an IQ of 126.  The only reason I remember the number is because the moment Mrs. Ingrid said that, I immediately told her: “2!“.  Took her a while to realize, I inexplicably felt compelled to divide 12 by 6.  To this day, I still don’t know why I did that.

Growing up, all my teachers have always told me that I have an advantage with this sponge of a brain resting in my head; I sure as hell do NOT agree.  I’m locked inside, trying to express the thoughts and images whirling about, through art, music, dance, writing, singing, cooking, blah, blah, blah-freaking-blah.

Flash forward to my adult life where I’ve basically squandered the intelligence I was born with, and now it’s turned inward.  My mind is always racing, always hypothesizing and worst of all, always self-analyzing.  Some days, I can’t imagine a more torturous existence.  I’m always second guessing myself and my reactions to things around me in the pursuit of normalcy.

I find irony in the fact that I’m always wishing I was something special, something unique, and yet here I am, striving to be ordinary JUST to fit in.  It’s my fervent belief that everybody has their own demons and inner-struggles that they must contend with, but when I speak to people, I see how they perceive the world and I would say nearly everybody I run into, worries about the same things.  It’s rare that I meet someone who sees beyond the valid concerns of everyday life, and plays in MY sandbox…

… it gets very lonely here, sometimes…


Loki

I’m a coward… officially… I had to “turn off” Facebook for the last 2 weeks.  It was just too difficult seeing memories from the previous year being brought to my attention again.  Dec 4, 2014 had me enduring something I’ve never experienced before, the loss of someone I loved, my kitty, Loki.  He was my first real pet and unlike most cats, he was the most affectionate little bundle of joy.

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Loki was born April 1, 2014 and was a rescue.  No one wanted him because he was a black cat and I bet his birth date didn’t help matters any.  Maybe that was why he was especially affectionate?  Because he had to try harder?  I probably loved him more for that very reason.  I know what it’s like to feel the need to “be better” and “push harder” than most, just to get even a sliver of the attention that more attractive people would get with very minimal effort.  He was a kindred spirit for me.

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Only a few days before my birthday, I was at work when my husband called me saying I needed to come home immediately.  I’ll never forget the way his voice shook.  I knew something terrible had happened.  We came to find out that Loki had Feline Infectious Peritonitis or FIP, which is a fatal disease.  So fatal in fact, that he was given less than a month to live but we would see his condition deteriorate rapidly.  He wouldn’t die peacefully.  Loki would suffer…. unless we did something about it.

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I stayed home the next day just to watch over him and witness his symptoms escalate faster than we’d expected.  We wouldn’t have a month with Loki.  We’d have a day.  My husband and I brought him back to the vet the very next morning and when she saw Loki, she realized what we were asking and that was to please end our son’s suffering.

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It’s still difficult even thinking about it and this is the first time I’ve allowed myself to see pictures of Loki.  I avoided Facebook because I wanted to face it all on my time and my terms.  Can’t be sure it even helped because I’m biting back tears and struggling to finish writing  this.

In fact, I’m done.

I miss you, Loki.  I’m sorry.  I’m so very sorry.

 


Live and Let Live

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In my personal life, I usually shy away from discussing politics or religion out of respect for everyone’s personal choices, but in the wake of the whole Kim Davis fiasco, I feel this is a step in the right direction.

A new White House petition wants to take a greater step toward separation of church and state by requiring elected officials to be sworn into office on the Constitution and not the Bible. They need 100,000 signatures by Oct 3rd.  It’s a very simply process and they only need your e-mail to verify your signature before it gets added to the petition.  You’ll get an e-mail like this:

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Never again should any one person’s religious beliefs impede another’s, and that does cut both ways.  You can believe what you want and worship who you will; but the very second you don’t afford me the same courtesy I’ve given you, is the moment you lose the very salvation you think you’re extending.

Live and let live.


Recycle, Reduce, Re-Use… OR ELSE!

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Have you ever seen the movie Labyrinth?  The one with David Bowie?  As if there were any other worth mentioning.  Well, I’m totally trapped in it except this version is made up entirely of moving boxes, doesn’t have cool Muppets and I don’t see Jareth singing “Magic Dance” whimsically whilst wearing nearly-inappropriate leggings with package well in view.  I feel cheated and a little bit hurt.

One of the great perks with the relocation assistance my hubby’s new job gave us, is that they completely boxed up all our stuff and transported north to our new place.  We couldn’t even help with the boxing up of items because of insurance and liability reasons.  I literally just sat in my old place and instructed them as they packaged up everything from my sofa bed to a fondue fork…. yes, I have a fondue set…. don’t judge me.

The annoying thing about it though is that they don’t UN-pack your stuff.  They just drop it off and leave you in a maze of boxes.  So.  Many.  BOXES!  It’s been about 8 days now and I’m still trying to sort through everything.  The other challenge before me is that recycling is SUPER important around Seattle and potentially the Pacific Northwest in general, so people have this sort of fanatical dedication to making sure everyone does it and does it right!  I’ve been chastised repeatedly by people who can’t mind their own damn business as I try to discard my boxes (which I’ve cut up and try to minimize) into the recycling bin.  Despite my recycling efforts, if you don’t do it precisely and correctly, some people around here have no problem telling you.  We’re talking like Recycling Nazis here.

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Nevertheless, I’m happy that I’m slowly dwindling down the boxy landscape that exists in my apartment.  I have about 7 boxes left and I could probably just mow them down, but I think this is a good time to take a break.  Maybe go see more sights of my new city.  I should probably visit the local library and check out books on local recycling efforts.  If nothing else, I can armor myself against new fanatics I run into.


Forget Me Not

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Have you ever woken up and not recognized your life?  I have.  Just this morning in fact.  It was one of the strangest sensations I’ve ever experienced.  It wasn’t like amnesia; at least not in the way I understand the term.  I had full knowledge of who I am and the bits and pieces of my life that made me, well, me, but I couldn’t associate with any of my surroundings.  The scariest part of the whole thing was turning to my right and seeing my loving husband and not really knowing him.  My analytical mind had established that this guy must be my boyfriend or partner, given the way he was turned to me with his back against the open door; almost like he was protecting me from anything that could enter our sanctuary of a home.  The problem was, his face was unfamiliar to me.  I literally laid there for what seemed to be an eternity in silent panic, trying to piece together the facets of my being.  The moment my cat jumped on top of the bed for “pets” (which is how we ask Domino if he wants to be petted), I had this surge of understanding that gave me psychological whiplash.  I was whole again.

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Of course, I ran to my computer and started Googling the hell out of what I had just experienced, but couldn’t find anything; at least nothing specific to what I just encountered.  There were articles on Alzheimer’s, amnesia (which apparently includes 2 kinds, retrograde and anterograde) and just anything that had to do with forgetting.  My search was in vain.

Then, I remembered something I learned years ago regarding changes in life.  It was something to the effect of the three biggest life changes you can make in your life: ending a relationship, changing jobs and moving.  They say you’re only supposed to do one of these things per year as the stress they cause to your mind, can be monumental and have unknown effects on your psyche.  Well, I kinda did all 3 at once recently.  I moved, I quit my job and (although it’s not my marriage that changed) in a sense my relationship with all my friends and family back in Los Angeles had ended as I knew it.  Most of them were now only Facebook friends that would give social media updates on their lives.  It would be like watching a sitcom now versus actively participating in their adventures.

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So that’s the non-professional diagnosis I’ve given myself; the stress of doing all 3 at the same time had me unhinged.  I’ve done it once long before but certainly not to the scale I just endured. Perhaps the reason I had that momentary disassociation with my life is because (to put it frankly) this ISN’T my life.  Outside of my husband and cat, I know nothing and nobody, for miles around.  Add in the Seattle Freeze I’ve encountered and you have a recipe for disaster.  I’m sure in time, this too shall pass.  I just hope I recognize and like the guy I am when I come out the other side.


Lazy = Energy Saving Mode

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Today, I am being Super Lazy.  If you’re not familiar with the expression, it means I’m wearing a cape whilst indulging my inescapable need to do as little as humanly possible.  I am literally the epitome of the basement dwelling, gamer stereotype; not unlike Southpark’s infamous World of Warcraft fat ass, above.

I’m giving myself a little bit of a break though.  We DID just move up north and spent 10 days without any of our furniture or (most importantly) my computer.  As a self-proclaimed gaymer-geek, I needed at least my computer so I could game, surf the web, etc.  It may sound like nothing to spend over a week without any of your normal indulgences but trust me when I say, it’s truly a bit of an endurance test.  That being said, rather than fight my body’s natural urge to vegetate today, I’m embracing the lethargy and going all in!  If I don’t come back tomorrow, send help!


Seattle Freeze

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For better or for worse, Seattle is now the place I call home.  So far, I love the city I live in and its surrounding areas.  There’s a great deal to do, so much culture to absorb and (despite the misgivings of my former LA neighbors), I really like the weather.  It’s not raining yet and there’s just enough of a chill in the air to warrant cuddly blankets while eating New England clam chowder in a bread bowl.  There is however, one particular “meteorological” phenomena that I was NOT prepared for: The Seattle Freeze.  To paraphrase from Wikipedia:

The Seattle Freeze refers to a belief that it is especially difficult to make new friends (particularly for immigrants from other cities) in the city of Seattle, Washington. Newcomers to the area have described Seattleites as being standoffish, cold, distant, and not trusting.

The first time one of my friends had mentioned The Seattle Freeze to me, I thought they were referring to how cold it would get around here.  I brushed it off immediately, as I was looking forward to different seasons and the cold air.  I just am SO not a fan of unnecessarily hot climates like I’m used to experiencing in Los Angeles.  There would be days you could find me taking multiple ice-cold showers just to keep from sweating like a prostitute in church.  I mean it was bad.  This guy knows what’s up:

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Coming from Los Angeles, my personality can be very “in-your-face“.  It’s big and loud and doesn’t mind climbing right up inside your personal bubble and asking if it can crash on your metaphysical couch for a few days.  Fact is, most people in LA are kinda like that.  It’s not seen as a bad thing though.  SoCal in general is just one big melting pot of people and everyone likes knowing everyone else, even if for the sole purpose of adding new Facebook and Instagram friends to your social media feeds.  I was kinda thinking that having such a friendly and bubbly disposition would work to my advantage in meeting new people despite this cautionary tale I was sent to armor myself against the culture shock I would experience.  I probably should’ve paid attention.  Without going into too many details, let’s just say I’ve come across more than a handful of individuals I would normally classify as: snooty

… I actually had more colorful adjectives to describe these people, but in the interest of maintaining my self-inflicted PG-13 rating for my blog, I’ll stick with snooty….

Regardless of the setbacks in meeting people I’ve come across, I refuse to be deterred.  This is my home now and that means Seattleites are just going to get used to me.  In fact, given the growth the Emerald City has been experiencing with big companies like Microsoft, Amazon, etc bringing in major players from all across the globe to work in their office, people are just gonna have to find a way to get along.

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Home Sweet Home

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Well I’ve FINALLY gotten 90% moved-in to my new home in Bellevue, WA; which is just 15 minutes east of Seattle.  We had toyed around with the idea of living right in Seattle, specifically the Capitol Hill District.  Apparently this is the gay area of Seattle and also comes with the added bonus of being super close to my hubby’s job, so he could walk to work.  In the end we decided not be THAT close to such a heavily trafficked area.  We’ve also come to find out that Bellevue is known to be an affluent area, from both locals and just general consensus with people we’ve met.  Who knew?  I feel so fancy.

Anyway, I finally got my computer unpacked and am ready to blog again!  I could probably catch up on stories I’ve missed, but let’s just pretend I fell asleep for 10 days and my Prince Charming totally forgot to make out with me and only NOW woke me from my restful slumber.  Sidebar, can I please have Prince Eric as my guy?  Why?  Because reasons.

Prince Eric

Art by David Kawena


Follow the Yellow Brick Road

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So here I am, waiting patiently in my apartment with iPhone in hand and blogging from it.  Why?  Well, my husband and I are moving to the Seattle area (Bellevue, to be exact).  I’m effectively cut off from my computer for the next couple of days as the movers pack and box everything up before shipping it north.  And when I say everything?  I mean EVERYTHING!

Its kinda unnerving to watch these strangers go thru every nook and cranny of our lives, cover them in bubble-wrap and haul it away.  It’s like the large-scale equivalent of swiping thru a gay guy’s iPhone pics.  Just don’t do it.  You can’t un-see shit and I won’t be held responsible for your inevitable therapy sessions.

At any rate, this means I’m computer-blind for a while.  I’m gonna have to function like in olden times before the Internet was invented.  I feel like I should be wearing garb crafted from the skins of animals I’ve hunted for sustenance.  If I’m required to start a fire to cook said animal carcass, I think I’m in trouble!


Off to the DOTA 2 International

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Aaaaaaaaaaaaand I’m off on vacation until Monday.  The hubby and I are flying up to Seattle for the finals of the DOTA 2 International Championship.  And HOW do I have tickets for this so late in the game?  My brother-in-law is one of the genius programmers at Valve who actually created the darn thing.  So yeah; perks FTW!  I’ll be in that mosh pit of gamers cheering on the combatants.

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Blogging will resume when I return Monday.  Until then, check out my Instagram or Facebook page for random updates and memes.