Nutshelling 2014

My life has been in a regular state of flux for the last two months… Well, the year, really.

I began 2014 unemployed and lost. I formed relationships (both friendships and romantic entanglements) and after a series of unfortunate events some of them ended. I lost a very dear woman in my life very close to my birthday and it’s going to hurt forever. Luckily, we get to laugh about the stupid things we all did.

I found out that I’m going to be an Auntie in 2015.

I got a job with a good company and can see myself here until I retire.

And a few weeks ago, I called out someone I cared about for using me for financial/product gain. Their reply was to shut me out completely.

My words were “I enjoy the pleasure of your company. However, I know you’ll stop contacting me when you have your own [item], because your request was for [item] – not for my company. Send a text when you’d actually like to hang out.” The end result was a moratorium of communication with someone I deemed to be my closest friend on this coast. This person saw all of the wrinkles, the scars, the wounds that would not heal. They allowed me the ability of complete disclosure. Sharing the worst and best of myself, I found my affection had grown to a level that I wasn’t accustomed to or prepared for. To have them just cease all forms of communication was jarring.

Unfriending me on Facebook, removing me from their PSN friends… It hurt.

A deep dedication to my own pride prevented me from eating crow until recently I saw that person on a rare visit to a mutual friends house. While I was never acknowledged by name or even nod, the fact that I felt included in the conversation instigated a text.

I wished them and theirs a happy holiday. Their reply was “who is this?” meaning that they A: Actively deleted me from their phone or B: maybe lost my number?

So, I gave them the benefit of the doubt and asked if they had gotten a new phone. With that affirmation I confirmed who I was and asked if our friendship was “officially” over.

They said that it was for them. Apparently, my words actually encouraged them to take a look at how they were living their life a few months ago and they realized that they weren’t making time for me because of who I was, but because of what I could provide to them.

While that would have hurt me two months ago, I found myself relatively unfazed by that. I was muddled as to my feelings over this person’s apparent dismissal of our friendship, which had meant a lot to me when it was happening. I had suffered countless slings, arrows and INTENTIONAL barbs from people that I respected because I felt that the friendship was worth having – and they had absolutely no insight as to that which had progressed in the friendship.

Yes, this person had baggage, but so did I, and for a moment we carried the same luggage (to completely butcher a phrase). To have that discarded so carelessly hurt a few months ago. To be fully transparent… it stings still, but I find that now it is much more manageable than when I was consumed with the idea that WE were fighting the fight.

So, a few weeks ago, I was told by this person to give up the fight. To realize that, regardless of how many facets that exist in this gorgeous gem that is my friend, the adjacent sides had different perspectives… And THAT actually granted me a moment of catharsis.

While I cried a bit over losing something I valued, it made me feel better… Lighter, even. It’s a shallow wound now, whereas two months ago I would’ve required triage.

I do not blame this person for the end result. With them, it was tumultuous drama. The moments of great felt like it would be worthwhile to continue a friendship, but I’m no longer sacrificing my potential happiness for anything unworthy. It now feels as if it is more a measure of growing up to let go.

So yes, this year has been an enormous learning experience.

In Regards to My Recent Sadness… (A Thank You)

I have been incredibly relaxed about posting to my blog for quite some time. The truth is, things have really been rough. I was laid off at Christmas, had to admit defeat and ask for financial help, have not been able to do much as I am broke, and have had some falling out with people that I believed were friends.

 

To be honest, it has felt like one cosmic c**t punt after the next.

 

However, through all of it, my heart is still happy with my choice to move to Oregon.

 

Yesterday, I found out that someone back east that I knew had killed themselves on Monday. They didn’t leave a note. They didn’t seem like they were having a rough time. They dispatched themselves in a place of sadness and reverence. While I choose not to go into detail about the situation, it hurt more than I expected. Please understand I am not looking for sympathy.

 

If you offer it, thank you. It is appreciated, but mostly I am angry and confused about the entire situation. I am lucky that I have friends that I can go to for a hug. When I completely lose it and bawl to the point of not being able to breathe, they are there to hold my hand, hand me tea, let me vent, and then let me sit quietly with them for an hour after I said I didn’t want to talk.

 

Last night, I got home and was haunted by sadness for the family left behind. My chosen family. May is a hard month for us all, because we lost someone we loved very much on 5/16/09. To lose someone in that circle of friends/family so close to the anniversary that hurts a lot for me. It feels deliberate.

 

To get my mind off of it, I posted to my personal facebook page “I could use a little happiness. Please tell me something about your life that you are happy about. It would help me greatly.” To my surprise, there were 79 comments. Some mentioning that they were happy I was in their life (appreciated, but I wasn’t fishing, really). Some posted pictures of a slow loris. Some mentioned that they had friends visiting and some have had some amazing things happen in their lives, and it really helped.

 

It helped so much.

 

To all who posted to my facebook thread, Thank you. If ever you are feeling low or sad, remember that there is so much happiness in the world and there is always the opportunity for future happiness.

 

Do not give up. Do not give up. Do not give up.

 

Yes… My life isn’t perfect. But it’s mine and I am not about to give it up without a fight.

WoS016: Podfest 2012 Recap

As if I couldn’t be later than I already am, this podcast bursts forth like an alien straight out of the sternum.

 

After trying to figure out when episodes happened, I tried to find the things I neglected to post. I think this was one of them.

 

I talk about Podfest 2012… that happened about 6 months ago… so I’m completely on top of things…

 

 

Play

A Note to the Poo-pooers And Haters of Social Media

This is the first big storm on the East Coast that I haven’t been there for.

We’re it not for Facebook and Twitter, I would be an even bigger ball of nerves than I am. Many of my friends were lucky. Some now have beach front property.

I would be left to my own asshole brain thinking the worst were it not for consistent updates from those I love.

Stay safe, East Coast.

Well this was written awhile ago an apparently saved on my phone…
Whatever.
FREE CONTENT!

My New Years Recap

One of my more recent mottos (as of the last three-ish years) has been “do something that scares you”.

Honestly? It’s been rather liberating. By embracing this motto, I have stepped out of my comfort level. I have traveled to Florida to spend a weekend with girls I met on the internet. I have gone to conventions, flown to events that I wouldn’t have thought to go to… Hell, I even moved across the country and that was terrifying.

So… For New Years, I really didn’t want to feel like I was a bother to my fresh set of incredibly lovely friends. Instead, I put up a post on Facebook polling my friends to see what I should do – Comedy or Steampunk Circus?

While I was mostly inspired to go to the concert because some people I knew would be there, I also wanted to go because I had seen pictures and video of Abney Park and it just looked like something I would love. I’m a little bit Tim Burton, a little Amanda Palmer, a whole lotta Tank Girl, and definitely love the aesthetic of the Steampunk genre.

While I don’t devote a lot of my time to researching it, I find it visually stunning. Brass and bustle skirts and goggles and top hats and modified vintage just calls to me. Pretty much, if it used to shine and has a little luster left, I’m going to love it (I kept a silver spoon that was my grandmothers even after it went through the garbage disposal. I love it.). There is something so absolutely whimsical in thinking about what has been and what could’ve been. Imaginations run rampant in the steampunk community. Old computer fans are modified and installed into tophats, gas masks and fallout helmets are worn not only with pride, but with panache.

So what does one wear to a Steampunk concert? This was honestly on my mind the two weeks leading up to the concert. Originally I had planned on sewing an outfit for the fun, but I have a tendency of being a bit scatterbrained and neglected to do so. Luckily, I am easily influenced and had bought a bridesmaid dress at Goodwill MONTHS ago. It was a bit large, so I put a corset on over it and cinched the front of the floor length gown into a bustle. I also had some deconstructed/post-apocalyptic looking fabric that I pulled on underneath for some layered effect.

The night before the concert I realized that my neck was going to be bare and it didn’t seem to work. Originally I planned on using body glue to affix a cameo directly unto my skin, but I remembered that I had purchased these metal gears for scrapbooking (I know, right?) and I had a bunch of empty earring hooks. It actually came out quite well.

So the outfit came together and I managed to arrange to go to an afterparty with some of the people that would be at the concert. I ended up taking the MAX. So… If there is a “PeopleOfPortland” website, I might actually be on it. I was putting on black and white striped knee high socks to the delight of many an onlooker. To be honest? I loved the way the outfit looks and I will probably wear it again.

I got into the city early and because it was so cold I stopped at a nearby bar for a drink (and to change my shoes). Afterwards, I walked over to the Star Theater.

THE CONCERT!

The Star Theater said that the doors would be open at 8pm, so when I arrived at 7:30, the line was already long. I stepped up behind a couple wearing Victorian costumes and steampunked goggles and started feeling giddy. That, or it was the adrenaline rush of being in the cold and wearing four inch heels. I’m going to go with the costumed couple.

My friends arrived and we all started chatting and sharing stories and the doors finally opened at 8:30. We were welcomed by a juggling man on stilts. He had us laughing as we waited to allow the throngs ahead of us through.

Let it be said that the Star is my kind of venue. Beautiful amber light radiated from the sconces. Deep crimson curtains hung all over the place. The walls were lined with vintage posters, ads, pinup girls(!!!). Upstairs, there was a tarot reader and someone selling steam gear, along with a modest bar and deep seating. The main stage seemed to be its own entity and the adorning curtains only drew my attention more. My only regret from the evening is not touching them. They looked like they felt amazing.

After grabbing a drink, I ambled over to the staging area. The Wanderlust Circus had an acrobatic couple performing on the dance floor. As we waited for the show to begin, I realized that I didn’t have to worry about not knowing many people.

I have BAD WOLF tattooed on my shoulder, and Whovians tend to find other Whovians. I was stopped no less than six times by people admiring my tattoos. It was great because I got to have conversations with a bunch of new people.

Eventually I made my way back to the front of the stage and watched in awe as the members of the Wanderlust Circus performed for the crowd. The man on stilts that had us laughing outside had changed and did an entire lasso routine (sans stilts). People contorted, balanced on moving BMXs, and I found myself completely mesmerized by a woman doing aerial acrobatics on two lengths of suspended fabric.

After they ended, Abney Park took the stage. I had stepped away for a bit and when I returned the fog machine had to have been turned to eleven. The band members up front were much easier to see than those in the back, but there was this incredible energy pulsating through the speakers.

I’m not going to lie. I had a few drinks, but I can’t even listen to their albums without dancing. It was strange to me that people were swaying and not dancing as much as me, but I didn’t care. I was living in the moment and the moment was glorious. At one point I was dancing with my eyes shut and felt really warm. I opened them and the spotlight was shining down on me. I didn’t care. I just kept going.

Several guys pulled me into dances and I couldn’t stop laughing. They were all very talented at spinning me around, but I was getting dizzy so I politely ended it. That, and I’m just not used to dancing in five inch heels.

Abney Park paused to ring in the New Year and I got kisses from friends. I love kisses. They’re so delicious. They played a little bit longer and when the show ended I was exhausted but happy.

I went outside and ran into Captain Robert and I asked him for a kiss and he told me that would be inappropriate (as he is married), but he would give me an inappropriately long hug. I agreed to make it creepy as possible and the band members that were outside all came over. They were all incredibly lovely and signed my friend’s CD and then we were spirited off to an afterparty.

Abney Park is coming back in July. If you are in Portland and want to have a night of fun, you should go. You’ll see me there. Say hi.

Compassion Paralysis

It was momentary, but the feeling jolted through my body like lightning. I went to work and one of my co-workers was selling bracelets at her cubicle. One of her friends passed away and she was trying to get money together to go to Wisconsin for the funeral.

She is typically a bubbly and giggly woman. She had even come in early and decorated her cube for the holidays because she loves them so much. She consistently greets you as you walk by and smiles. She did all of that today…

… until about 3pm.

I thought I had heard her sneeze, but then realized that it hadn’t ended. She was sobbing uncontrollably and I could definitely tell it wasn’t manufactured. She continued for about thirty seconds before someone asked if she was okay and she quickly excused herself and ran to the bathroom.

Being one of the last people brought into the office, I didn’t know whether or not I should have approached her. Instead, I felt like I was encroaching on an incredibly private moment (even though I didn’t move).

A part of me feels incredibly guilty for letting my discomfort at the situation hinder my ability to offer compassion to another human being.

Have you ever had a moment where you felt this way?

Seth and I Email About Game of Thrones

Seth: Balon thinks he’s soooo cool for a guy who’s 2 letters away from Balloon.
Ali: add an accent and he is a French balloon.
Seth: Stop making better jokes than me.
Ali: No. I’m not going to cripple my one liners because you are feeling inadequate. Put on your big boy pants!
Seth: “They won’t let me work without pants anymore.”
Ali: That’s why you’ll never work in daycare again. That and the constant napping.