Wednesday, January 27, 2016
Hey you guys! You may or may not have noticed that I took my Facebook page down for a bit. People have been asking, so I need to let you know. I’m okay. I’ll probably bring it back up soon. I just lost my taste for it. Yanno? I felt like staying on top of it was sucking me dry. You guys need a lot of attention, and I don’t always have it in me to give it to you. You’re like houseplants or something. I forget to water you and you wither and I feel guilty. So instead I put you out on the patio and hope it rains and doesn’t get too cold. And OMG some of you (trolls I know, but still) with the negativity, misunderstanding on purpose, people who seem to feel the First Amendment applies to whatever the fuck axe they have to grind on someone else’s stage. But it’s all good. A little break never hurt anyone.
What can I tell you except I’m battling the same things you guys are, watching in horror as American political-socioeconomic system (for lack of a better term) twists and writhes like an effigy in the wind. I really shouldn’t read the news and I DEFINITELY need to stop getting in comment wars on Facebook pages, that shit is for the birds. Roche Pharmaceuticals stock goes up five points any day I scroll through my Facebook feed, see a controversial story and wonder what gems await me in the comments section. What is the opposite of adrenaline because I need some of that after a good verbal jousting match with fellow members of the Screedwriters Guild. That’s not a typo, that’s me being clever.
What I’ve been thinking about lately, because I know you’re just aching to know (dripping sarcasm): I’m doing the math on whether it’s worse to die alone and be sad and scared about that or to die alone and give zero fucks about it, unless you count panic attacks (which are sneaking up on me with increasing and alarming frequency) in the fucks-given tally. This is your life and it’s ending one minute at a time. Thanks, Tyler Durden, Thanks, Chuck Palahniuk. One inexorable minute, the length of the pool, underwater with lungs bursting. Swimming metaphors. Kill me now.
I’m crying a lot lately. Mostly it’s just something that strikes me in the moment, I hear a song maybe, or someone says something either amazing or terrible. It just washes over me, this need to cry. Last weekend on our hike PreMed said this about her dad, “Pretending no one could see him behind the door of the liquor cabinet doing shots while the rest of the watched TV in the next room is NOT NORMAL, Momma. You did the right thing.” I cried when she said that because I felt so validated (i was right i was right i was right) and at the same time, miserable (i was wrong i was wrong i was wrong) that I had let it go on as long as it did before finally gathering up my “courage to change the things I can.” How long it took me to get The Gamer out of that toxic, toxic environment, to set up a nice, quiet place for him to feel calm and safe, to be himself and not tensed up all the time as you ACOA know all too well, a groovy crib to have friends over without worrying about what they'd be walking into, a little taste of Normal-As-I-Have-Come-To-Understand-It.
So anyway. I cry a lot. Out of nowhere. Whatever. I’m still a BAMF.
Back to the forever alone thing -- I’m mostly okay with it. I was talking with my online friend the other day. (I have very few IRL friends. We'll wait while you unhinge your shocked jaw.) The conversation went a little something like this:
Me: I really don’t need anyone in my life right now or maybe ever. I mean, who else thinks popcorn and Coke Zero for dinner while binge-watching The Good Wife is a perfect way to spend an evening?
Him: Good point. You should put that in your online dating profile.
Me: Yeah, about that. I really only made that to gather material for the blog.
Him: Which you still haven’t written.
Me: Good point.
And I really do prefer it, this being alone, although I guess it would be nice to have someone in my life to make plans with that I would then dread, and resent the person for taking up so much space in my head when let’s face it, all I really want to do is lie around in sweats, drinking coffee and messing with people on the internet. I really don’t feel lonely until I think about what my life must look like to other people. I feel their scorn masquerading as unnecessary (and unsolicited) pity for me because I prefer the richness of my solitude to wearing a bra and waiting for a bartender to notice me so he can get started patronizing me for my drink choice while making agonizing small talk WITH THEM.
Is that so wrong? <hint: nope>
I'm going to post this now because I'm out of ideas (LIE - I'm really just lazy and I want to be done) and because I wanted to let you guys know I'm okay. I know you worry, but you can knock that off now -- all is well as far as I can tell but take that with a grain of salt. What does that even mean, "take it with a grain of salt?" Where did that come from? Too bad we don't have a big book or something we could look stuff up in. Someone should get on that.
Posted by Mina Klonopina at 9:44 PM
Monday, November 16, 2015
I’m putting up Christmas stuff before Thanksgiving this year, and IDGAF if you don’t like it. Well, IDGAF is a little strong. If I truly didn’t GAF, I wouldn’t be writing about why I’m doing it.
I used to be like you, scoffing and sneering and decrying a culture that wants to usher in Christmas front and center by the first of November. And I still do mourn the commercialism that drives the early start to the “Holiday Season.” I loathe Christmas music, except for the sacred stuff that’s no longer sacred to me, but simply beautiful. When Gregorians chant in time to my windshield wipers on my rainy evening commute (please god all I want for Christmas is eight inches . . . of rain before the first of the year). When Rickie Lee Jones (and I) belt out “O Holy Night” while I slave over my famous (microwave) fudge. When Kate and Anna McGarrigle murmur “Il Est Ne” a deux as I hit “buy with one-click” and scroll through what “other people shopped for.” When the Christmas carols roll out, I am transported to the few good memories of my childhood, when my family ruled the roost in the Episcopalian church choir loft.
But in general, like you (I’m guessing here), I find a lot of the Christmas trappings trite and tiresome (always avoid alliteration). I do judge the people down the street who already have that quilted replica of Santa wrapped around a tree in their front yard, the result of a single-sleigh mishap, pranked by his reindeer. There are lots of things to make fun of, this time of year, lots of things that make us cringe -- hypocrisy, materialism, and plain and simple poor taste. And I dislike them all the more for the effect that has on the good stuff -- it’s good stuff, man, and I want to get to it. But the way we have fucked up Christmas these days make me want to bury my holiday lights in a bushel basket full of manger straw.
This holiday season is different. I’m in a new space, a good space, there’s no chaos, there’s no destruction, it’s not out of control. I feel like it’s safe here. I feel like my Christmas decorating could survive, even thrive. I could put up a few plain white lights, tasteful, you know? With a bunch of candles that smell like cinnamon and spruce. I’m not going to cut down a tree, even though my friend the environmental expert, who has been to a week-long seminar in Florida with got-damn Al Gore, told me “It’s okay because Christmas trees are planted to be sustainable, so get out your axe and do your thing.” No. I’m getting a little artificial tree and it’s not going to be tacky, even though when I mentioned it, I got an eyeroll from The Gamer. Right. The arbiter of good taste. Bitch, please.
I’m gonna make cookies. I’m gonna lay in pounds of butter and bags of flour and sugar and good chocolate and nuts and just bake the fuck out of dozens and dozens of cookies. And wrap empty Pringles cans with Christmas paper and lay those cookies in there with cupcake liners and take them around to all my friends. Well, maybe not that last part. That presumes that I have friends, or that I’m even willing to leave the house. But I *am* making massive amount of cookies, and anything is possible.
I might even write a Christmas letter. Yes, the dreaded Christmas letter. In the past I shunned the Christmas letter, mostly because I was so jealous of the ones I got that I ripped them up without even reading them. I couldn’t even begin to write one because of all the horrible things that were happening that I was pretending weren’t happening, and how hollow I felt inside when I thought about the lies I would write instead of the agony that was really going on.
This year is different. I have some okay things to say this year, even though it’s awkward to talk about where I am now and how I got here. I’m happy in a safe space. I’m taking care of myself and my son. I’m listening when I tell myself nice things, and telling that voice to fuck off when it turns mean and angry. I’m working on a book and might get it published. I’m planning to semi-retire and move to Mexico. GOOD SHIT IS HAPPENING YOU GUYS. Don’t pay any attention to those other assholes trying to wreck everything. Nothing to see there.
Which brings me to the final reason I’m getting ready for Christmas before Thanksgiving this year. I was thinking about this despite the Paris attacks, and the Lebanon attacks, and the Kenyan attacks and the daily violence against people of color in our own country that goes unremarked despite the brutal and pervasive injustice. In that context, it’s even more important to me. I’m a person who shields her soft and tender heart with sharp and scornful self-deprecation and impatient intolerance for ignorance (alliteration alert again). Right now, for the first time in a long long time, I don’t hate people. I mean, of course I hate certain people, like ISIS and racist homophobic idiots and other wastes of oxygen, but the point is, I don’t hate the usual people in my everyday life. I feel kindly toward other motorists, (well, except that broad in the Lexus SUV who WILL NOT YIELD when I’m trying to move over even with my turn signal on bitch I’m going to miss my exit). I’ve been holding the elevator door for people in my building instead of surreptitiously punching the close button over and over. I feel like overall life is worth living, and people are worth the effort. I know, right? It’s like my whole life has been a lie.
I told my son that I was putting the Christmas decorations up this week and he looked at me as though I had sprouted two heads. “But, Mom,” he started to protest. I waved him away with that hand thing that Drake does, you know the one. “Do not get in between me and this feeling.” I said. “I don’t hate people right now and I want to make that not-hating-people feeling last as long as possible. So Christmas starts right now and it doesn’t end until I say it does.”
So yeah, I will be that asshole with the lights up this week. I will be the one writing that ridiculous Christmas letter. MAYBE. I’m still not 100 percent on that. Maybe I’ll just send everyone the link to my blog. (Can you imagine -- haha Merry Christmas jk). I will be the one making a list and checking it twice. And handing out five dollar bills when I leave the store even though I usually don’t carry cash. I will be the Grinch whose small heart grew three sizes in one day. Who let her guard down in the triumph of hope over experience.
You know those people who should be shot? You know the ones who roll up on, like, November 2, simpering, “Are you ready for Christmas yet?” The same ones tell you when it’s Friday every week and ask you if it’s hot/cold/rainy enough for you. Yeah, you know them. And this year, I am looking forward to them. Bring it on, good people. Come at me, bro. Am I ready for Christmas? Hellz yah, I’m ready. You bet your sweet sugarplum I am.
You know those people who should be shot? You know the ones who roll up on, like, November 2, simpering, “Are you ready for Christmas yet?” The same ones tell you when it’s Friday every week and ask you if it’s hot/cold/rainy enough for you. Yeah, you know them. And this year, I am looking forward to them. Bring it on, good people. Come at me, bro. Am I ready for Christmas? Hellz yah, I’m ready. You bet your sweet sugarplum I am.
Posted by Mina Klonopina at 9:05 PM
Wednesday, June 24, 2015
I shared this quote on my personal Facebook page today. I almost shared it to the big page, but let's face it, "after thought" should have been one word and I'm pretty anal-retentive particular about stuff like that. It's important that stuff I post to the page not have typos and grammar mistakes and shenanigans like that all over the place. Anyway, I collect those inspirational af quotations. I click "like" over and over and comment things like “word to all of this” or “THIS FOREVER” or sometimes something like “Ain’t that a bitch?”
This particular quote is about not holding back, not caring what other people think, not limiting yourself or depriving yourself or censoring yourself, because ultimately, you’re going to be dead so who gives a fuck unless you enjoyed yourself? Yanno? And it always resonates with me, I always do that mental fist-pump, you know, f’yeah man, true story, I gotta remember that. And why don’t I? And why am I the kind of person that needs to be reminded, why aren’t I think kind of person that is ALREADY DOING THIS? Why am I not living my life like this already?
Because, basically, I suck. So much for inspiration.
My friend liked the photo, and posted a comment that made me smile. “Burn the good candles.” She is so right. Right now I am looking at a beautiful arrangement of candles and I don’t even have a way to light them. I’m going to have to twist up a paper towel and light that from the gas stove and then light each one of the candles with that like a fucking acolyte. Go ahead and google “acolyte” but I’ll save you the time and tell you it means the assistant candle-lighter at an Episcopalian worship service. Like so:
But I’m going to do it. Yasss, queen.
Because this whole thing reminds me of the last time I read something inspirational af like this. And I asked myself, “What are you waiting for with this 2003 Regusci Cab that is staring at you like, ‘Drink me ffs it’s too damn hot in your house and I would be great in another five years if cellared properly which is like the opposite of what you did so let’s go before it’s too late.’” And then I said to myself, “He’s right, you know,” which is a very odd thing to say when the antecedent of the pronoun is a bottle of wine.
The point is, what are we waiting for? When am I going to cook the meal or have the people over or stage the event that merits the serving of this fantastic bottle of wine? (Hint: Not bloody likely any time soon). And that shouldn’t matter anyway because who is going to appreciate this wine more than me? (Hint: no one). None of my friends know wine well enough to appreciate it except Bossman and I spend enough time with him each week already so, no.
So I pull the 2003 Regusci Cab from its place on the shelf and dust it off. Yes, I know I just moved six months ago, but dust is dust and it won’t be denied. I get the corkscrew (now people are going to yell at me about how I should be using some other contraption besides a corkscrew but honestly, just save it because I am in no mood to be lectured) and open it up. But the sad thing is that I waited too long to drink this wine and I didn’t store it properly because there was too much variation in temperature and moving it around a fair bit what with hiding it from my ex in several different places over the last couple of years. ANYWAY. The cork dried out and broke off in the middle of the bottle so I had to strain the wine through cheesecloth only I didn’t have cheesecloth so I tried a paper towel but that was an epic fail so I just poured it into a glass and tried to filter out the pieces of cork with my teeth but that didn’t really work either.
So the point of the story is drink your damn wine before nonsense like that happens. Because I’m dying a little inside to think of how I wrecked that wine by saving it for something special. #irony
HEY I’M SPECIAL, yanno? Just because I am. Special enough to drink the wine and light the candles and celebrate EVERY DAY.
(Also privately, I’m high-fiving myself with incredible relief that that scenario didn’t happen with Bossman standing there watching me fuck up one of his favorite wines. The end.)
Posted by Mina Klonopina at 9:59 PM
Monday, June 22, 2015
Wrapping up the #500WordsADay experiment via @KaleandCigarettes with one last post. Looking back over the last 30 days, I see that I’ve written more posts in the last two months than the last two years combined. I asked at one point whether it was better to write every day to see what came of it, or to write only when inspiration struck. The consensus was, “write every day,” because you lot are a bunch of suck-ups, basically.
But let’s do a little recap, shall we? Some observations. How meta. (I got to say that AGAIN and I’m thrilled). Anyway. Some overarching themes emerged. There were quite a few where I was casting about wildly in search of a topic. Where it was time to put 500 words on the screen and basically I just let whatever came into my head out through my fingers and called it good. Well, no. I called it shitty and then I called it done.
|Winning at wallowing.|
There was perhaps too much wallowing. Although I tend to rock the wallow overall, if you don’t mind my saying. The third person narrative turned out well. A bunch of you really liked that. Hell, I really liked it too. Award Night, Kitchen Work, Round We Spin. Yeah, those were good. I went back and I read those a lot. (Spoiler: I. Cried. Every. Time.) Reading back over those make me want to pull my shit together and shop it, maybe see if there is someone who would be interested in it. I have no idea how to do that. Shoot me a message if you have some guidance for me on that. (email@example.com and I'm pretty sure I'm going to regret doing that so don't spam me, bro)
There were a couple of funny ones that turned out well, I thought. The OkCupid one, the Senior Discount. The Sign Says Yield, the hiking ones, both of them. Twitter. So, yeah, that book is gonna be bouncing around a fair bit. (SURPRISE)
Maybe make it two books. One that’s composed of all the cutesy ramblings, and one that’s a “thinly disguised roman à clef” as someone put it, where I write about all my problems in the third person to make them seem more literary and less pathetic. But we’re getting ahead of ourselves, aren’t we? Haven’t even figured out the first step and already I’m one volume shy of a trilogy. Besides, I’m still waiting for everyone to die so they don’t find out what I wrote about them. Or what I wrote about myself. Will the real Klonnie please . . . oh for fuck’s sake. Enough.
One result of this experiment has is that I have resolved to write every day, even if I don’t post the fruits of the exercise. If I treat writing like a job, I might take it more seriously. I might really try to do something with it. It may end up being nonsense, but maybe it’s like that room full of monkeys, banging away on typewriters. Eventually one of them’s gonna type out some Shakespeare. And win a goddamn Primate Pulitzer or something. It could happen.
It means a lot to me that you guys read this nonsense and get something out of it. I appreciate all the feedback, I love hearing from you. Thank you reading, and writing, and getting it. Seriously. You have no idea.
Posted by Mina Klonopina at 8:25 PM
Sunday, June 21, 2015
I just spent a half hour looking around on my Facebook page for something I wrote about Mason jars that I was going to use to get started on 500 Words, Day 29. I failed to post on the appointed day, but a deal is a deal so I’m just going to finish up a few days behind schedule. If I’ve learned anything about myself on this month’s voyage, it’s that when I say I’m going to do something, I take it very seriously.
So now I’m working with that sick feeling you get sometimes when you have to reconstruct some work you did that was pretty decent at the time, but now what was brilliant about it is escaping you so you have to write about the process of writing the story instead of the story itself. How meta! (I love that phrase that I learned this month, so thank you to The Frozen Yogi, Ph.D.)
The background: We were going through glasses faster than the dishwasher could keep up, because in addition to moving in my daughter’s lowlife drug-dealing boyfriend, my ex had also moved his nephew in from Alabama. “Just a few weeks while he figures a living situation out,” was how it was explained to me, but by the time I myself had moved out six months later, he was still living there, rent-free, despite having located a job where he made more money that I did. (That sentence is needs some real structural help but let’s leave it for now because I spent a lot of time looking for the Facebook post instead of writing the piece I was going to use it for, and now there’s very little time left to write, let alone edit.)
That’s how I knew that I had posted the vignette sometime between August 2012, when Nephew moved in and February 2013, when I moved out and stopped caring whether there were enough glasses to drink out of between dishwasher cycles. I had gone to Goodwill because I had wanted to buy a bunch of glasses that I wouldn’t care about if they broke because cheap. But of course I found really awesome glasses that I really cared about when they broke because conflicted.
While I was there, perusing the shelves of glassware, I saw a young woman, maybe 22 or so, who appeared to be looking frantically for something in particular. She hurriedly pushed aside the glasses until she came across a Mason jar, setting each one she found carefully in the handbasket she had lined with a silk blouse that I recognized from the women’s clothing racks.
She turned to me. “If you see any more glasses like this, can you grab them for me? You know, if you don’t want them. I know they’re hard to come by.”
“Actually,” I offered helpfully, “They sell them by the dozen at OSH and a couple other places around here. Are you doing a canning project today? What are you going to put up?”
Blank look. I couldn’t tell if she was stymied by the question or the discovery that her search was unnecessary. “Canning project? What do you mean?”
“I mean, you know, are you making jam or spaghetti sauce or pickles or what?”
“Well, I’m having a barbecue. I’m making mojitos and the guys are bringing beer.” She furrowed her brow quizzically. “Do you mean people use these glasses to make jam and pickles? How funny.”
I am not even kidding right now. That really happened. And when I wrote about it the first time, I told it a lot better than this, which is why I’m mad at Facebook right now. And mad at myself for not preserving greatness. Haha.
Posted by Mina Klonopina at 1:26 PM
Saturday, June 20, 2015
She hadn’t known her son had plans with his dad today. Around ten a.m. there had been a noise at the window. She had glimpsed a male figure walking by the half-opened blinds in the living room. She had assumed that it was her neighbor, walking his dog. And in fact, her neighbor had walked past the window at that moment, which confused her when she realized that there was a second person there, and that it was her ex.
A dozen thoughts flew threw her mind at once. The first one, and this screamed inside her head GO AWAY (what are you) GO AWAY (doing here) GO AWAY. It was primal, not cerebral, a feeling-thought-no-feeling coursing through her reptile brain. The veep veep veep of the violins in the Psycho shower scene. The adrenaline shot through her, and her first instinct was to duck and hide. Don’t see me. Don’t be here, but if you have to be here, then let’s pretend I’m not.
The screaming fit she threw in her head was followed quickly by self-doubt. “Dammit I don’t want to be that person, that woman who is so crazy that she won’t let their father of her children into the house he pays for,” she thought. She didn’t want that to be his narrative. She didn’t want to give him any material for the stories he tells about how he is the wronged party in all of this, how she and her craziness drove him away even before she left on a whim.
He had skulked around outside the door. He might have texted her son, but he was curiously tech-challenged for an engineer. She concluded he must have rapped on her son’s window, peering in like some kind of fatherly Peeping Tom. Her son came out, saying over his shoulder, “Just gotta put my shoes on.” He didn’t look at her.
She sat at the kitchen table, composing her face into a neutral mask that would not betray her. She would not ask what they were going to do. She would not ask why she had not been consulted, or even notified about this impromptu outing. She didn’t follow her usual pre-departure, didn’t ask the usual questions, did you eat, do you need money, when will you be back. She sat, impassive, resolute. She sent a silent message to her ex with her mind: You have no effect on me, even though you want to. You’re trying to manipulate me, but I am immune.
She wants to throw open the door and hurl invectives at him, where is the paperwork the lawyers need, why don’t you return their calls, how long are you going to stall on the settlement, why are you such an asshole, costing me so much money, forcing me to go to court to compel you to do the right thing. But to do that would be to acknowledge that what he does affects her in any way.
Why do you hate me so much, he had asked her one night, his voice thick with bourbon, his stance in the doorway unsteady. I don’t hate you, I nothing you, she said.
As her son muttered something in parting and closed the door behind him, the tears that lived permanently at the outskirts of her eyes welled up again. She sat at the kitchen table, lost in thought. She wondered if it would be easier to recover from death of a spouse than from the end of a marriage that trails off weakly with no real resolution, just denial and blame and awkward avoidance. Her chair scraped the floor as she got up wearily and began to inventory the fridge and cupboards to make a list of groceries they would need for the coming week.
Posted by Mina Klonopina at 9:31 PM
Monday, June 15, 2015
Tonight I’m going to write about the words I said today. Out loud. To other people. There weren’t many. I love days like the one I had today. Let’s see, I got up and behold there was coffee and the Lord said indeed the coffeemaker has been blessed with a timer that there shall be coffee with no effort whatsoever upon arising. And verily, there was no other individual in my home except myself. As much as I love weekend mornings with my son, and cooking all the pancakes and french toast with lots of real maple syrup because I’m on Atkins and I can’t eat that shit but I love watching him because I’m a masochistic voyeuse. No, The Gamer went to stay at his dad’s this weekend, and you know what? Thank SBJ because it was getting hella awkward, dancing around that elephant in the room. He should spend some time there, with his dad, they both need it. And let’s face it, I need it too. Maybe someday I’ll have a dude in my life and he’ll stay over on nights like that, but for right now, I don’t and that’s JUST FINE with me because space and distance and privacy. I have never been really alone in my whole life unless you count my childhood and let’s face it, kids shouldn’t have that kind of alone time growing up. I mean hours on end, not ignored exactly, but “left to my own devices.” Deconstructing that phrase would be a fun rhetorical exercise, don’t you think? What does that even mean? For me it meant reading and writing and pretending I was a back-up singer for James Taylor and Elton John. And knitting while I listened to Top 40 on AM radio. The sailor said, Brandy, you’re a fine girl. Double yoo eff I ell.
But I digress. (Surprise!) After I had my coffee, and cleaned the stove (this was the weekend for that because I didn’t cook breakfast as I mentioned), did a load of laundry and cleaned the bathroom, it was time for The Hike. Which really was a hike this time, not like the other time, which that one is more of a walk. But this one is a little too real of a hike, actually, with a lot of what I call gratuitous descent which is a pleasant surprise but also kind of a drag since you worked so hard at climbing, and you would have to do that again very shortly. So big whoop it was six miles and I got a lot of cool shots like this one with MY PHONE if you can believe that shit.
Guess what? Got to be two o’clock in the afternoon and still no words spoken. The last thing I had said was the night before and it was “Are you fucking me?” when the cashier said “That’s 9.95” for my small popcorn and bottle of Coke Zero. Well, no, that was the penultimate thing I said, which means “next to the last” and is basically my favorite word ever. The ultimate thing I said was, “Thank you, and sorry for the swear,” but guess what, I wasn’t sorry. Anyway, that was the night before around 8:00 p.m., and then I said “shit I should have gotten here earlier” when I saw that I would have to sit way in front, but I didn’t say that to anyone but myself so that hardly counts because I talk to myself all the live-long day. I saw “I’ll See You in My Dreams” and I can never remember the title for some reason, so I have to keep googling “Blythe Danner luminous” because that was how the reviewer described her. Another great word, luminous, and accurate as applied to Blythe Danner in this film. And it had Sam Elliot, so it was a slam-dunk in my book or basket as the case may be. It had this young man whom I recognized at the outskirts of Memorytown, but I couldn’t quite place him, just out of reach he was in my mind. Maybe from Wes Anderson films? I couldn’t get it, and it was alternately fun and annoying to try to think of his name, or at least where I knew him from. So roll credits on this sweet little film, and get the actor's name, Martin Starr, and I google him on my phone (because when the lights come up, I figure that pesky phone restriction has been lifted as well) and come to find out it’s Bill Haverchuck from Freaks and Geeks, looking nothing like his character there, but I guess enough like him that I would recognize him in this movie. So that brings me to another one of the few things I said out loud: “I knew it! I knew I knew him from somewhere.” And once again, I hadn’t really said that to anyone, although the couple trying to sidle past me to the aisle were a little startled by my enthusiasm. “Bill Haverchuck, Sam’s friend on Freaks and Geeks, that was the pool boy.” I did say that directly to them, but they were having none of it. So I instantly regretted it, realizing as I did that the bit about the popcorn was not in fact the penultimate thing I said, and I kind of wasted thirteen pretty gratuitous words on people who didn’t care enough to deserve them, but the sentence was said, and I couldn’t take it back.
So back to the hike, where I still haven’t spoken a word to another person. But hiking, see, you have greeters and non-greeters when hiking and it can be super awkward if you’re a greeter encountering non-greeters. Me, I’m a greeter, which I bet doesn’t fit with what you know of me, but hiking is as close to team sports as I get. I feel a camaraderie with people who will drive a long time to walk in nature, and if that doesn’t merit the monosyllabic version of “namaste” then I don’t know what. So I had several times where I said “hi” to people I encountered and some mofos said “hi” back and a couple mofos did not and life is like that sometimes. You can meet with rejection on a beautiful hike and not feel some kind of way about it.
So after the hike I didn’t say another word to anyone until I got to the gym, where I said “hi” to the guy at the front desk. I didn’t need say "hi" because you just scan your card yourself so I don’t even know what that dude is doing there except to give you the side eye if you take two towels instead of one. But I like two towels because I like to wrap my hair up in one of them and dry off with the other. This time I didn’t take any towels, so I feel like I should be able to put one in the bank, but I seriously doubt anyone really cares that much. I was just going to do my weights for a few minutes on my way home from the hike. I worked on my arms and my gut. You may recall the moment of truth in the hotel bathroom with all the mirrors and fluorescent lights from a couple of weekends ago. My legs are still pretty good plus I had just hiked for three hours so I gave them the day off.
I went home to take a shower which felt so damn good that I probably stayed in there a bit longer than I should have because Drought Guilt. Then it was time for Movie Night again because I really liked going by myself the night before. I could make this a thing, this movie-going. This time I saw “Spy” with Melissa McCarthy, whom I adore. But that brings me to the last thing I said. It wasn’t to the popcorn person because this time I made my popcorn at home and poured my Coke Zero from my can into the bottle from last night. Because JFC I can’t afford to make Movie Night a habit unless I bring my own snacks.
But they must have renovated the movie theatre since the last time I was there because I am not fucking kidding when I tell you they have, like, LA-Z-BOY recliners up in that bitch now. And assigned seating so that when you buy that ticket you know you are not going to have to maneuver your way over people to find a seat that turns out was actually a seat for a jacket. Come on, people, that’s just weak. Anyway, I climbed into my assigned LA-Z-BOY and after the hike and the weights and everything, it felt incredible. I got out my popcorn and Coke Zero even though the lights were still up, because seriously what are they going to do, make you throw it out?
It was simply an amazing day, capped by the last thing I said out loud to another person, was when I turned to the couple next to me, patted the arm of my leather chaise lounge, and said, "Are these new?” and they concurred that it must be so, because they hadn't seen them before. I was pretty relieved that it was not just me. Fucking awesome weekend, even if I did have to work yesterday. I didn’t HAVE to work, but I like to come in sometimes because I get tons done when I don’t have to talk to people. And I have written 1,600 words to describe the 41 I said in over 24 hours, when I was only supposed to write 500. There’s a word for that and that word is “ironic.”
Posted by Mina Klonopina at 12:39 AM
Saturday, June 13, 2015
I feel like all I am doing with this experiment is writing about all the sadness and pain of the last several years. That and depression and feeling so horrible. It seems that way because I keep going back through stuff I started writing the past, searching for something to dust off and make into 500 words. It’s always so much easier to edit than to create (especially if it’s someone else’s work lol). Yanno? I pick up one of these drafts, do a word count, write an intro, boom, 500 words. Done.
I do feel this way a lot, it’s true. But I think some good writing comes out of it. So bear with me. Maybe I’ll be funny again soon. Hey, you know what, that Twitter thing was pretty good, the senior discount (still smarting over that one), the OkCupid nonsense, jazz like that. It’s not all doom and gloom around here. I mean, you know, right?
From February 2015 -- After I found the place; packed up all my shit; dealt with the closing; dodged the passive-aggressive arrows being shot in my direction; got my place set up; moved in; moved The Gamer in. All of that almost on auto-pilot what’s next let’s do it don’t think just keep moving -- I think I was probably hypomanic, and I think that was a good thing. GET SHIT DONE. You know? Crisis mode. Except you can’t be in crisis mode all the time. You have to ease up at some point. I think that might be where all the sadness is coming from these days. Summer doldrums. Time to reflect. Can be a double-edged sword, you know?
My back is aching in a new place. Between my shoulder blades, just below my neck. It feels like hardened concrete. Like it was fluid and overnight, it turned to stone. It also feels warm and sore, like sunburn, although it’s February -- I haven’t been out in the sun. Am I sitting funny at work? It's not like I pulled something. I recognize that feeling. This is as though I have sent some emotional pain to that place and now it's just radiating outward. My hip joints ache, and if I sit too long, I'm stiff when I start to move around again. I wince and limp out of bed in the morning. My carpal tunnel is back -- my wrists alternate aching and numbness. I got the wrist splints out again but I forget and fall asleep before I put them on and the pain wakes me up in the middle of the night. Like there’s a string inside my arm that has been cut too short.
My body is trying to tell me something.
I find myself swaying when I'm standing still, like I used to do when the babies were little, to soothe them. If we had to wait in line at the supermarket, for example. Just now, I reached back to touch my back between my shoulders, under my neck, where it's so tender and sore. I started swaying and gently massaging my own back where I could reach, and out of nowhere, the tears came. I carry all that fear and stress and anger and sadness around on my back like a big stick with a bucket tied on each end. And I just stood and swayed and rubbed my own back and cried, silently, just taking deep breaths and letting them out, shuddering quietly.
I am a mess. And I’m going to soothe myself and help myself heal and put this mess back together.
See? Done. 500 words can kiss my ass. Let’s go to the movies. Thanks!
Posted by Mina Klonopina at 6:46 PM
Friday, June 12, 2015
Things to do today that maybe could double as blog posts:
Pay PreMed’s tuition for Summer Sessions 1 and 2. This is a blog and a half right here. PreMed and her tuition and the goals those classes will advance -- the convoluted nature of having two daughters so close in age yet so far apart in temperament, worldview, and life goals, it’s as though they were raised by different people. And in a way, they were. Troubled gravitated toward her dad, fun-loving and indulgent; PreMed was pulled in another direction, maybe not towards me exactly, but towards choices that I could support. The way it has ended up, Dad gives Troubled $1,000 per month for living expenses. He wanted me to split that with him, but I refused to even partially subsidize an indolent life of part time work, no school and nothing to show for it. Instead, I chose to give PreMed $1,000 per month for her living expenses and get loans for tuition and put the rest on credit cards with zero interest on balance transfers and keep transferring the balance to a new card to keep that tuition flowing. A double-major in Biology and International Relations. On her way to a Master’s in Public Health. That kid is going to save the world someday and I will be able to say I helped make it happen. Next.
Call one of my two IRL friends
Call the other one too
I was this close to actually doing this today, but the thought of talking to anyone about what’s happening with me these days make my throat close which makes it hard to swallow, and I can’t really talk when I’m crying anyway. Which is why I prefer to write. Next.
Curl up under bed and practice fetal position--I’m pretty much a champion at this already. I’m not going to practice so that I can give you guys a chance to catch up, skill-level-wise. You’re welcome. Next.
Exercise--yes. I will. I have to get past the 2nd quarter estimate deadline on Monday but then I promise, back to the pool. I can cry underwater and no one knows. Well, they probably do actually but fuck em. Next.
Laundry -- my favorite of the household chores and I am not being sarcastic. Even though I don’t have laundry in my place anymore. The laundry room at my little string of garden apartments is not far, maybe fifty yards down the row. The periodic breaks to move the clothes from the washer to the dryer punctuate the day very nicely. Thirty minutes is an episode of Girls or a half an episode of West Wing or time to get a meatloaf and roast potatoes in the oven for Sunday dinner.
Sit quietly and look back at the past month or so and realize that all signs point to depression.
Not like oh I had a bad day 26 days in a row or even because there’s sad stuff happening. But overall there’s good stuff happening, and the fact that I get teary way more often than usual even for me is telling me that this time it’s my whack neurochemistry. You can offer me all kinds of advice and ta very much because I know it comes from a good place, but I’ve been rocking this gig for longer than some of you have been alive. So believe me when I say I got this. Sometimes you have to feel it, let it wash over you, accept that it’s happening, don’t beat yourself up, but pay attention. Work with it and maybe go see your shrink or therapist and say, it’s really bad right now and I just want you to know. Maybe we should adjust the meds but I dislike doing that because when I start to feel better I never know if it’s the meds or me pulling myself up on my own which let’s face it would be the better answer in that particular scenario.
Posted by Mina Klonopina at 11:17 PM
Thursday, June 11, 2015
So I’m taking another stab at The Twitter. (Follow me! @KlonnieChron! Well, no, there’s no exclamation point, it’s just @KlonnieChron with no punctuation or anything. A Twitter handle, that’s what it’s called right? Username? I don’t even know.) Anyway, Twitter is even more like high school than Facebook, if that’s possible. Facebook is the cafeteria, but Twitter is the hallway, where people sidle insidiously up and down the halls, muttering to those who pass. Some random sumpin sumpin, some little quip, something pithy and relatable. But make it quick. You only get 140 characters. You either repeat what you heard verbatim and get a pat on the head, or embellish it, or mock it, or simply outright steal it for your own. I don’t know what happens then. Probably you get chased into the bathroom and they blow smoke in your face or something. #jerks
I don’t understand how to control my Twitter feed. I don’t know how I ended up following 600 people. I must have gone on a Following Rampage in some kind of fugue state at some point. Like in Monopoly when I was a kid. Land on it, buy it. What is this, Baltic Avenue? I’ll buy it. Same thing with Twitter. Neil Patrick Harris? Fuck and yes. Boom, following. What do you mean, it’s not really Neil Patrick Harris? That’s his photo. RIGHT THERE. #what
But even weirder is 900 people follow me. How did THAT happen? It’s like finding mysterious bruises after Girls’ Night Out. Hmmm. Here’s a clue -- for a while I had my Facebook page set up to Tweet whatever I posted on the page. If the post was longer than 140 characters (um, hello, do you, like, know me at all?), there would be a link to the page to continue. I wasn’t even paying attention to Twitter but I figured if I’m going to be shouting nonsense to strangers, I should make sure to shout it on every possible stage. #narcissist
Here’s another thing about Twitter. It’s like double dutch jump rope where you have to wait and watch for the perfect time to jump in but don’t wait too long or you’ll lose the moment, you know? If you miss your window, you’ll end up feeling the way you do when people are shout-talking to one another to be heard over really loud music that ends abruptly and so they’re just shouting into silence which is AWK-ward. A friend told me. And that really IS like high school and the rest of life, because with the spoken word and to some extent the written word, timing is basically everything. #trustmeiknowthings
So the bitch of it is, there’s no “edit” in Twitter. It’s “tweet or delete,” my friends, and if that isn’t some buzzkilling anxiety provocation right there, then I don’t know what. I already tweeted something kind of brill, but there’s a typo in it and I can’t decide whether to delete and start over or let it stand. It’s probably going to keep me up very late tonight agonizing over it. #surprise People have “favorited” this tweet already, so how are they going to feel if I delete it? I guess I don’t like that “favorite-ing” nonsense, anyway. I mean, I like it but it’s not my favorite, yanno? #hyperbole
Posted by Mina Klonopina at 11:01 PM