Jesus Christ, it's that time again, isn't it? Even Mary looks pissed off about it. Kidding. I happen to be pretty excited about the holidays coming up, mostly because I really need to step away and relax, but also because I have some projects I'm eager to spend time on. Oh, AND, thanks to my dear friend, I'm going on a little trip to Vancouver to check out the Christmas Market and see a Canucks game! I haven't been to a Canucks game in ages, and haven't been to Vancouver since the King Diamond concert in 2019. I love Vancouver and always enjoy my time there, and unlike many who hate taking the boat off the island, I happen to love the ferry! Even the little announcements over the PA make me happy. I just remembered the nausea-inducing boat ride back from King Diamond. That was something. I get seasick sometimes, but have never felt that sick on a BC Ferry until then. Didn't spew, though.
Earlier today, in an effort to ease my mind about some uncertainties, I decided to turn to another kind of fairy--my oracle cards. I don't spend time with them as often as I'd like to, but today was a day for slowing down as I threw my neck out while sneezing and couldn't go to work. I'd make a joke about aging, but I swear I did the same thing in my twenties. I think it has more to do with tension or stress in the body, paired with a lack of mindfulness. I was trying to be quiet. It was 6:30 in the morning and I didn't want to wake the house up, so I kinda tried to hold in the sneeze. Don't do that. That's my advice for the day. Actually, my real advice is to not fight against your body. My neck was like, NOPE, and I was like OK, I won't. So I didn't, and here I am. I need to stop rambling, though, to keep this short and prevent further strain.
Anyway, this is the card I pulled, and it's exactly the message I needed. It might be the message we all need. Not sure about you guys, but I've been struggling a lot lately, trying to walk that level path that everyone seems to be confidently strutting down and I continue to roll my ankles at every turn. I honestly believe that that's why I've got so much tension in my body and why I spend most of my days either bawling or choking back tears. This ain't it, sonny boy. And that's ok.
I used to think there was something wrong with me, and depending on your definition of wrong, maybe there is, but sometimes wrong just feel so right. I think that going against what feels right in favour of what seems acceptable is at the root of my suffering. There are other things at play, for sure, things I need to work on, and I'm working on it. But I don't think I'll make significant progress if I continue to steer myself away from that path less trodden. I love that word.
Right now, I'm not even sure I see a path, but I'm pretty sure I can hoe.
So as I sit here gearing up to watch Monday Night Football (dear God, the Steelers are playing. My neck is fucked), I find myself asking what I have to lose. A football game? Likely. But what do I have to lose in life by taking a risk? Everything? Nothing? I dunno. Probably something in between? I do know that not finding out is going to kill me, though. It's already killing me. So what now? Critics have been getting on Kenny Pickett's case about not throwing deep enough, and I totally get it. But I also get why he doesn't. Fear. You risk throwing it away or missing and looking like an idiot, or worse, getting picked off. And that's something I consider every day. What if it doesn't work out? What if it's a disaster? But I'm already feeling pretty disastrous doing things I don't love, so why not risk disaster doing something I do love, right?
But here's the thing...when you throw a Hail Mary, you must have a receiver. You can't do it all alone. This is me asking for help. Haha. I'm not great at this, but if anyone is able to offer assistance, either financially or with opportunities/collaborations, hit me up! I'm looking to step away from what is not serving me and walk towards what I enjoy. I'm working on a plan and seeking out resources and I'm getting ready to take a leap. It's not going to be easy, but not much ever is, so any help would be appreciated so very much. Sometimes even a kind word or intention is enough, and if that's all you've got to offer, I sincerely appreciate it, and thank you.
Now it's time for a motivating song, and time for a heating pad.
Thanks for stopping by! Oh, and feel free to email me at Heykennarae@gmail.com (also my PayPal) to get in touch.
I'm back! And so is football! And I don't want to talk about it.
Kidding. I actually do, because I relate to what my team is going through right now and I think this might be a fun way to approach this whole collapse/rebuild scenario that's playing out.
So I just finished watching the Steelers beat the Bucs, and I'm at a loss, because I fully anticipated that I'd be writing this after losing. But here we are. Before the game, the Steelers had a 1-4 record and were pretty much the worst team in the league. I don't think I've ever seen the team like this, and I know a lot of people are loving it. Haters. But I get it. You love to see the good teams get bad. That's the nature of the beast. But, honestly, I'm not that mad about where we're at right now (aside from Kenny Pickett being out with a concussion). The Steelers are in the middle of a rebuild and they're trying to find their footing. And so am I.
A couple months ago, I left my job of nine years to pursue something different. A new start. I'd been trying to step outside of my comfort zone more and more, trying all sorts of new things to shake things up. But in doing so, I ended up pretty shaken up. I'm starting to realize why it's called stepping out of your comfort zone. But it wasn't just a feeling of discomfort I was experiencing, it was a full-on rejection of some of these new experiences. I felt it in my body. I had panic attacks every day for nearly a month, and it was bad. I thought about sharing something at the time, to see if anyone could offer any helpful suggestions, but I was paralyzed. Absolutely stricken with fear and grief. Sick to my stomach every day, crying all night, not sleeping, depressed as all hell. It was no fun. And I hadn't felt that level of anxiety and depression at the same time in ages.
Luckily, I did have the presence of mind to reach out to my therapist, which was helpful, and I decided to put the focus on what's happening internally rather than frantically attempting to change my external world. Essentially, trying to rebuild my sense of self. But it's been hard. Running away is a coping mechanism I've used for far too long, and I wanted to show myself that I could take care during difficult times without making rash decisions. Having said that, I'm also making a promise to myself to not stay in situations that aren't serving me for longer than I need to. Because that's the thing about trying new things...you're not necessarily going to like everything you try. In fact, you probably won't like everything. And it's not a reflection of your shortcomings or a lack of drive or intelligence, sometimes something just isn't a good fit or doesn't jive with you, and that's totally fine. It took me a while to finally accept that, but I'm so glad that I did, because things were getting pretty scary.
How fitting, because it's the spooky season! It sure hasn't felt like it around here, though. Even though the leaves have been changing colour and scattering around, we've still got summer temperatures. It's pretty weird. I honestly can't think of another time where we haven't put the heat on by mid-October. It's kind of pissing me off, actually. But I'm trying not to get too cranky about it. Halloween is two weeks away, and I want to enjoy the season as much as I can. I've been watching tons of horror and Halloween movies, specials and documentaries, visited a corn maze, picked out pumpkins, put up decorations. The usual. Even though I haven't really been feeling the spirit of the season, I'm determined to keep trying. I think I'm pretty good at trying. Here's a list of what I've watched so far, during the month of October, and a couple things I watched in the last few days of September.
1. Donnie Darko (2001)
God, I can't believe how old this one is now. I remember being obsessed when it first came out. Such a comfort film for me, and a great movie for the spooky season.
2. Woodlands Dark and Days Bewitched: A History of Folk Horror (2022)
This is a cool documentary on the genre. I made a list of films to track down while watching, because there are many that I haven't seen. I love witchy, folksy, cultic things, and if you do too, I recommend checking this out. It's a little long but the time flies by.
3. Kill List (2011)
People have been recommending this one for years, and I finally decided to watch it. I really enjoyed it. It's pretty brutal, but in a good way.
4. Terrified (2017)
I put this one on my list after watching some episodes of The 101 Scariest Horror Movie Moments of All Time ( I guess that belongs on this list too, but whatever). The funny thing is, the moment that's supposed to be super scary actually made me laugh. The movie was ok, but I doubt I'll watch it again.
5. The House of the Devil (2009)
I can't say enough good things about this film. I love it so much and think it's a perfect pick for the season. I'm starting to watch it every year now. That's when you know it's love.
6. The Blackcoat's Daughter (2015)
I've seen this movie three times now, and I like it more each time. Nothing beats that feeling of the first watch, of course, but it's a great one to revisit. The dark, chilling atmosphere would make for an excellent winter watch, actually, but it's good for the spooky season, too.
7. Annihilation (2018)
This was a first time watch for me and I thought it was pretty good overall. Some unforgettable scary scenes.
8. Rocktober Blood (1984)
YOU'VE GOT RAINBOW EYEEEEEEEES! That song will be stuck in your head for days and you'll love it. Well, I love it, anyway. A great one to throw on during a Halloween party or gathering. Super fun watch and excellent soundtrack.
9. Intruder (1989)
I had never seen this before and I've been missing out. It's directed by Scott Spiegel and features both Raimi brothers. The grocery store is the perfect backdrop for this story, which is actually pretty scary despite the cheesy stuff, but the fear factor comes from the abusive ex boyfriend character. Those early scenes are pretty uncomfortable, and I must say that I'm not a fan of the way he ends up being the hero in the end. Not for me. But, overall, it's a fun movie with great kills.
10. Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers (1988)
I don't revisit this one that much, but I was in the mood. It's got lots of great '80s nostalgia that I love seeing, and little Danielle Harris is so cute.
11. Halloween Kills (2021)
I saw this baby in the theatre and wasn't that impressed. I liked it more the second time around, but it's not a favourite. It does have great kills, though. I look forward to checking out Halloween Ends.
12. Candyman (2021)
Another first time watch. I enjoyed this sequel/reimagining of the brilliant Clive Barker original. I'm such a fan of Bernard Rose's 1992 adaptation so I was a little afraid that I wouldn't like this one, but I did! I love surprises like that. Speaking of Bernard Rose...I tried watching Frankenstein (2015) last night and oh my god was it brutal. It wasn't bad, but it was gory and depressing as all hell and I finally turned it off after 37 minutes of pure suffering. I can appreciate what he was trying to do, and I thought it was quite well done, but I just wasn't able to put myself through that and likely never will be. Live and learn, I suppose. If anyone has made it though to the end, let me know what you think.
13. Children of the Corn (1984)
After playing around in the corn maze, it felt right to throw on this classic. I love the story and the movie is so well done. For some reason, the poster used to scare the shit out of me when I was a kid.
14. Trick Or Treats (1982)
This was a wild and wacky one that I hadn't seen before. The kid who's supposed to be annoying is actually super entertaining and funny. It wasn't anything to write home about, but it was fun.
15. Beetlejuice (1988)
Such a classic that I don't watch often at all. I've seen it so many times, though. A great option for the spooky season, particularly if you need a kid friendly movie.
16. Puppet Master (1989)
On the other hand, please don't show this one to kids. I watched this as a kid and there's no way in hell I should have. It's not only extremely horny with tons of nudity, but it's pretty rapey and uncomfortable. Mom and Dad, I think we need to talk.
17. The Witches (1990)
Here's another great one that's kid-friendly. Based on Roald Dahl's incredible story, this adaptation is a fun watch and perfect for the spooky season. Bonus if you love rodents like I do. Lots of cute furry friends.
18. The Exorcist lll (1990)
I knew I wanted to revisit this gem during the spooky season, but I figured I'd watch it today after an episode of The Jeffrey Dahmer Tapes inspired me to. Dahmer was distracted by watching this movie, allowing one of his victims to escape. Cool story, and cool movie. Brad Dourif, George C. Scott and Jason Miller are all amazing. Side note: not sure if I've mentioned this before, but I only recently found out that George C. Scott is Campbell Scott's dad and Jason Miller is Jason Patrick's dad. It kind of blew my mind. Anyway, this movie also has one of the scariest scenes I've ever seen in any movie. If you've seen it, you know the one, and I fully expect it to be on the final episode of The 101 Scariest Moments in Horror series. If not, the show is bunk. That's all I'm saying.
And that's all I've got left to say, folks. I'm exhausted and have a case of the Sunday scaries with the work week approaching. I just want life to be more fun. I don't think it's too much to ask, so I'm going to make an effort to bring more fun into my life. This season is always good for that, because I look forward to watching something scary or Halloweeny each night. It's a good time. Aside from continuing with my seasonal stuff, I think I'm going to read more and write more and make some future plans. Creative plans. Big plans. Things to look forward to. And, hey, the Steelers won today. Things can turn around, right?
Until next time, boils and ghouls!
So I finally watched The Iceman (2012), and I have some thoughts.
It's no accident that I waited so long to check this one out, which may surprise you since I'm such a true crime maven. The reason I've been avoiding this movie is because my first introduction to Richard Kuklinski (The Iceman) fucked me up.
Many years ago, while flipping channels, something piqued my curiosity. A documentary about who was described as possibly the most coldhearted killer to ever exist. So, naturally, I popped some popcorn, grabbed a blanket and settled in for what ended up being a pretty disturbing ride that didn't end when the film did.
As I've said before, I'm no stranger to disturbing content and had at that point watched many true crime documentaries and things of that nature, but some things came up during this particular show that proved to be harder to shake than most things I'd come across at the time.
It was an interview-style documentary where Kuklinski divulged many details of his crimes and discussed his upbringing and early experiences with cruelty. The latter being the part that messed me up the most. Yes, it involved animals. No, I wasn't surprised that it would, and no, I am not going to discuss the details. You can look it up if you want, though I don't recommend it. The acts themselves were horrific, but I think it was the callous nature in which he described them that bothered me the most. I remember thinking that I hated this man so much and didn't like existing in a world with people like him.
What he said haunted me for weeks. I couldn't stop thinking about it. Back then I was much more dysregulated than I am now and found it difficult to ground myself or even know how to manage my emotions or self-soothe, so looking back it kind of makes sense why this particular documentary rattled me so much. I'm not saying that it shouldn't have messed me up a bit, but I was quite consumed by it and didn't allow myself to watch anything scary for a long time afterwards.
Now cut to last night.
This goes without saying, but I'm going to say it. Michael Shannon is incredibly hot and WAY too hot in this movie. His dashing good looks and impeccable fashion sense was very distracting and I just felt enamored by his screen presence. Of course hot people can be horrible, but let's not get it twisted. The Iceman was not hot.
Having said that, I really enjoyed this movie. It's incredibly entertaining and well-acted with an all star cast and a captivating atmosphere. It's hard not to love this film, but I didn't love how I found myself rooting for Kuklinski. Not because of Michael Shannon's good looks, though I'll admit that didn't help, but because he portrayed a man with feeling. Someone who seemed to care deeply for his family. In a way, despite the savagery, he seemed like a good man. And this film didn't even dive into his background of abuse, which could potentially sway the viewer into having empathy for this psychopath. So what happened? I wonder why I didn't feel rattled or disturbed by the story this time around. I wonder why this film took such a different angle. I wonder if others feel the same way I do about this one. I mean, I don't care that much, but I'm a little curious. Am I just desensitized or did this film actually manage to lighten things up a bit? Did the filmmakers really believe that Richard Kuklinski cared about his family? It's possible. It's possible that they believed it, but it's also possible that it's true. At least that's what this film has me pondering.
I guess job well done, The Iceman! You got me thinking.
Now I think I'll leave you with a tune (not Vanilla Ice) from the movie that actually makes me think of Boogie Nights. I kind of wish they picked another song because I hate when movies repeat songs that are associated with other films, but it's a good song so it's all good.
Thanks for stopping by for a quick read, and if you haven't watched The Iceman, I recommend you check it out. Super entertaining. Skip the documentary and watch Michael Shannon instead.
I'm sure I've used that title before, but I don't really care.
It's been a while, hey? A few months, actually. I don't think I've ever gone that long without posting on here. Again, I don't really care. I'm trying not to worry about too much these days, and I'm also working on giving less of my energy to things I don't want to do. I guess I just haven't felt like sharing on here, and I'm glad that I honoured that.
In other news, I spilled Beans' ashes last night and felt weird about it. I was wearing my urn necklace, and was in the middle of cleaning and organizing some shit, and it just dropped off of my neck, opened up and spilled on the carpet. I yelled, "OH NO...BEANS!" I felt really bad about it. But it actually doesn't matter. First of all, I have more ashes, and second...oh well.
I am about to vacuum, though, and that part feels extra weird. Just about to vacuum up my cat. No biggie. But last night I started wigging out about it a bit. I was holding fragments of ash and rubbing them between my fingers and considering that one day I'll be reduced to ash. I was also very high.
While cleaning and organizing, I came across some relics. Mostly photos and sports memorabilia.
Omg, look how cute I was! I look so different now. But it's cool. I'm in my forties. Nobody panic.
I think I was about 20 or so in the top two pics, and maybe 7 or so in the one below. Getting my makeup done for The Nutcracker Ballet. Those were the days. I wish someone would do my makeup now. Like, every day. I get kind of sad looking at that pic of me and my niece because I have no idea where she is or how she's doing now. Hopefully somewhere nice, doing something she loves, that's not illegal. That dude is my old neighbour who I used to make out with. I was maybe 16 and he was...I shudder to think. Twenties for sure. Ewwwww. I find it interesting that I kept this photo for so long. I must have really had a thing for him. In fact, I just remembered that he was in a band and I had his cd. I might still have it somewhere. God, I probably do. What a weenie.
I also found an old writing assignment from university. It's actually really good and I'm not surprised I got an A+ on it. I'd like to experiment with writing fiction more. That's all I used to write, and now I almost never do. Funny how things change.
Speaking of, it's officially summer here now and we're already in the middle of a heatwave. Maybe I'll turn to ash sooner than I thought. I'm really not good at handling heat. I felt a panic attack coming on yesterday while perusing the market. It was like 30 degrees, though. I held it together but, man, am I excited for Fall. Even reading on the front steps felt like a task today. Between the heat and the jumping spider that kept leaping onto my book, I didn't last long. But, you know what? I am going to soak up some sunshine and enjoy this season. On another day, when the temps aren't so high.
Aside from focusing on my online vintage shop, which I'll be posting about more soon, and trying to avoid combustion from the heat, I've been listening to a lot of true crime podcasts. I've been noticing something. So many murders and true crime events happen on or around my birthday. Not kidding, you guys, it's a lot. It's really weird. Just the other day, I was falling asleep listening to a crime show (I don't recommend falling asleep listening to true crime, but what can I say) and they said, "...her body was found on June 13th." Mmmhmm. Of course it was. Also, Candy Montgomery killed Betty Gore on June 13th...the Oklahoma Girl Scout Murders (Tent 8)...Ted Bundy is recaptured after his first prison escape...the list goes on. None of this matters, of course, it's just interesting to me.
And now I'll leave you with a couple more things that are interesting to me. Some gems I came across while going through one of my old trunks. I stole that Super Bowl XLIII poster from a local pub while drunk with some friends. I miss that group so much. We all took creative writing together and used to frequent the pubs for some drinks and some laughs. So many good times, and such an odd mix of people from all walks of life. I think I'm going to try and arrange a group hangout again soon. It's been years. I know some people moved away, but we'll see what we can do. Anyway, I remember that night because it was the week before the Super Bowl and almost nobody wanted us to win. I figured I deserved the poster more than anyone, so I nabbed it from the hallway outside the bathrooms. Glad I did because it brings back good memories.
I also came across this towel from the Cup Finals in '94. I can say now that it does bring back good memories, despite the crushing loss. I also found one from the 2011 Cup Finals in that trunk, but I'm not over that one yet so I don't feel like sharing. Ah, memories.
Now I will leave you with a song from one of my faves, with a fitting title, as the Stanley Cup may just be awarded tonight! I kind of hope it goes seven games, though. I always want that when it's not my team in the playoffs (which is often the case). Makes things more exciting. For those of you who have a horse in this Cup race, I wish you the best of luck! As for me, I will pack away these memories and hope for more to celebrate next season.
Thanks for stopping by!
Thanks, Sephora, that's fine by me.
I recently came to the realization that, for the past few year or so, I've been buying mostly useless things to fill a void in my life. Typing that out feels good, honestly, and I suppose that honesty is where change begins. I know why it happened, but I just wasn't ready to wrap my mind around it until it became impossible to ignore. Some major losses had me feeling pretty empty so I found some problematic ways to fill up. Shopping is just the tip of the iceberg, but I'm not going to deep dive into things because I'm focusing on keeping afloat.
I don't want everything I discuss here to be so heavy. Yes, I have depression, and it can feel pretty awful but I'm still a goofy weirdo with passions on passions and I feel like that probably doesn't come across as often as it should. On that note, let me tell you about my new addiction...carrots. It's weird, I know, but I eat raw carrots every single day now and find myself craving them often. I remember hearing a story about Susan Dey struggling with an eating disorder while she worked on The Partridge Family; she ate only carrots for an extended period of time and her skin turned orange. I'm sure it's not true, but I remember thinking about it a lot when I was a kid. In my mind, she transformed like Violet Beauregarde. I'm keeping a close eye on my skin, just in case.
The Partridge Family was one of my favourite shows. I've probably mentioned this before, but I thought shows from days gone by were current, including The Partridge Family, Batman and The Brady Bunch. I thought the characters just had better style. Susan Dey's style was actually an early influence on my fashion choices. She was so beautiful and cool.
I have always loved vintage clothing and collectables, particularly anything from the '70s. It's my dream era. It's also partly why I strongly believe that season 2 is the best season of Fargo. Sometimes I'll throw on a random episode from that season just to ogle the clothing...and Bokeem Woodbine with that afro.
Lately I've been wearing my vintage pieces more, because I feel more like myself when I do. The tackier the better, too. I love weird patterns and bright colours and things that are ugly. Ugly is beautiful. I should get that printed on a t-shirt.
I've been buying and selling vintage since I was a teenager, and it's something I feel quite passionate about. Vintage is sustainable and I feel good about that, plus wearing vintage makes you stand out like the unique person you are. I especially love having someone try on something they ordinarily would never gravitate towards and watching their face light up with excitement when they see how cool they look. I just had a flashback to vintage shopping with my friend, Rose, and having her looking Marcia Brady-esque in a cute pair of jeans with a fitted vintage top that she likely would never have picked out for herself. It makes my heart happy. Sometimes I think that I should be a personal vintage shopper. I really should! I'd be so good at it. I just know it. Alright, who wants to hire me? But, seriously.
I'm currently working on launching a vintage shop online--exploring platforms, digging out some of my favourite gems, taking pictures, doing research. That's another thing I love-- learning about different eras and items and piecing together a backstory in preparation for the item's next venture. I really am in my element when I'm immersed in this stuff, I tell ya. Researching, writing, being creative, getting stupid and having fun. That's it. That's the life.
Now I will leave you with, not one song, but two! Two songs that I find myself listening to a lot lately. Songs I've loved since I was a wild child, when I was into having fun, experimenting and not being afraid to look stupid. I'm glad to have reconnected with that kiddo, because she's pretty great. I hope these songs inspire you to dance and feel your oats, because that's the energy we need in this world. And good lord do the girls from Shonen Knife have kickass style. I love them so much.
Cheers, friends! I hope to catch up with you guys soon, and hope to entice you to fill your baskets with some vintage gems that you will love and get tons of use out of. Maybe even something you never thought you could pull off before. Believe me, you totally can.
Jessie Buckley in Charlie Kaufman's I'm Thinking of Ending Things
I highly recommend checking it out if you haven't already. It's brilliant, and currently on Netflix. I still need to pick up Iain Reid's novel of the same name. It's on my "must read" list that's growing exponentially. So many books, so little time, as the story goes. And here's where my story goes south.
I wasn't going to share this, because it felt almost irresponsible. Like, maybe putting that kind of energy out into the world isn't helpful, especially in light of how heavy things are right now. That's partly why I've been steering clear of social media, for the most part. I see a lot of unhelpful, unhealthy shit being shared around and I have no intention of being a part of that. But then I thought, if sharing reaches someone who's feeling just as desperate and alone in the darkness then maybe they won't feel as much so? Whatever the case, here I am writing anyway, from a place with better lighting. And I hope that it helps.
So I was thinking of ending things. I'd been thinking about it for some time, more seriously for a matter of months. Three months to be exact. I would wade out into the ocean in my favourite vintage suede jacket and a pair of rainboots. I would face one of my biggest fears head-on, but with no intention of overcoming it. I would just be carried away. I would disappear. That's what I envisioned and it felt right. But it was wrong. First of all, how dare I ruin my beautiful vintage jacket?! And second, how could I give up on myself? I deserved better. But I kept seeing the signs.
They were all around me, but I wasn't really seeing them. I was seeing what my unbalanced mind was telling me to see--that things were coming to an end--that there was no way out. I didn't see the blue skies on the horizon, didn't feel the green grass cushioning my feet, I didn't bask in the warmth of the sun's rays. I was cold and numb. But I was trying not to be.
I would do yoga, meditate, watch birds or walk in nature, and would even find myself at the water's edge, knowing that I wasn't going in. I would just sit and be still. And I could do that for a while. Convince myself that I was ok. That everything was going to be alright.
Then I began seeing posters around the neighbourhood. A missing man. He was believed to have gone for a walk, maybe near the water. He never returned. I wondered if he was thinking the same things I'd been thinking. Sadly, we may never know.
Then something wonderful happened. The Bengals lost in the Super Bowl. I should have been over the moon with joy, and I was glad, but wasn't really happy. The Halftime Show even featured some of my favourites: Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg, Mary J. Blige and Kendrick Lamar. Kendrick even performed the song that's kept me going through all of this. The song I've been performing in my head and singing in an effort to lift my spirits and inspire me to push on. It was a sign! But the very next night, everything came crashing down. I couldn't hold it in any longer. I broke. I cried so hard that my whole body was trembling. I had been trying so hard to hold it together and carry on with life while appearing like everything was peachy fucking keen and I just crashed. I couldn't take the pressure of having to be "on" any longer. I had actually hit rock bottom, and I'm so grateful that I did.
In the moment I wasn't, of course. I felt like I was dying. Actually, I felt like I had died. I wasn't even in my body. I was on the outside looking in and I hated everything that I saw. I said the most awful things to myself and I believed it was all true. That I was worthless and my life was never going to improve, so what was the point? Nothing mattered. I just wanted to disappear. I cried and shook for what seemed like forever until I couldn't anymore. I was exhausted. And I was exactly where I needed to be.
I had a very honest talk with James and it became clear that my situation was going to change--that it had to--and it was going to be difficult. Sometimes things have to get harder before they get better. At least that's what I'm trying to tell myself.
The next day I reached out to my therapist, and we met that week to develop a safety plan. It's a strategy for when you're feeling overwhelmed and can't see a way out. So now I have another weapon in my arsenal. That doesn't mean that I'll always be ready for the fight, but it does mean that I have something to reference when I'm not. It's a document I typed, and I'm going to print out a few copies to stash around my room. Can't hurt, right? While chatting with my therapist, it became clear as to why this depression had hit me so hard this time around. I've been exploring past trauma and, I've talked about this before, but sometimes while excavating you unearth things that you're not really sure what to do with. Those things can just stick around, and you start wearing them like a bad outfit that doesn't fit you well at all or reflect who you really are. But in time, I guess you figure out how to make alterations. I'm not sure how effective this fashion analogy is, but I've been watching tons of Drag Race, so what can I say? I guess what I mean is that you can learn to work with what you've got, without pretending to be something you're not. That rhymed and I hate it, but I'm going to leave it because I'm corny like that.
On a rainy walk today, I came across something that helped shift my perspective. I was watching some birds digging for worms. One bird, a robin, was watching me. I said hi and she began hopping away. That's when I noticed that one of her legs was broken. I felt sad and thought I should try to help. I moved towards her, but she hopped away, then started flying. That's when I realized that she didn't need me. She was fine on her own. Even amidst the struggle, she was able to get by. It all made sense to me in that moment. Nature is cool like that.
I dedicate this post to that little robin, and to all of you birds out there struggling. Maybe there are some worms out there for us after all. Keep digging.
On that note, I will leave you with my jam. The song that's been getting me through. Kendrick is such an inspiration to me. I've only recently come to love his music, and I believe that it found me at the right time. I hope you find it as inspiring as I do, and I hope it makes you dance. Dancing helps to move stagnant energy, and it's something I haven't done for a while. Ah, another realization. Alright, this cornball is gonna peace out for now. Until next time...
Take good care,
I'm planning on taking a trip to Canton, Ohio, in five years. I've always wanted to go, and five years from now seems like just the right time.
Canton, Ohio, is the home of the Pro Football Hall of Fame and in five years Big Ben will be retired long enough to get in on a first ballot. That's right, my quarterback is retiring, and I'm feeling all kinds of things about it.
Watching his last game at Heinz Field Monday night was an emotional journey. He played very well, as did the whole team, and it was nice to get the win. But it was tough to watch. The last game at Heinz for Big Ben. It's also the last time any Steelers will play at Heinz Field because Heinz will no longer be a sponsor. That's big. This kind of thing happens in pro sports so it's not shocking, but it will be so weird having the stadium change names. So many changes.
Here I sit in my Roethlisberger jersey which I've had since his first season with the Steelers, 18 years ago. Eighteen years and it's never been washed. That may sound gross to some, but it's not to me. I wore this jersey when we won Super Bowl 40, when we won Super Bowl 43, when we lost Super Bowl 45, and many games before, in between and since. And I'll probably wear it more. Actually, it looks like I may be wearing it for an upcoming playoff game if all goes well and the Chargers or the Raiders win tonight. They can't tie, that's it. A playoff run? I like the sound of that. Who kn0ws what can happen. It's the NFL. Anything's possible. I mean, the Jaguars (the team with the worst record in the league) beat the Colts (a pretty solid team) today to give us a chance to grab a wildcard spot. This shit gets crazy! I love this game. And I love the fans.
My neighbours are currently flying their 12 flag, cheering on the Seahawks in their final game of the season. I'm watching the game as well, and let me just say that it's a shame this team is not going to the playoffs because they're sure playing like they are. It's nice to see the fans on both sides gets excited for this game which doesn't mean a lot for either team, especially not for Seattle. But winning means something. It makes you feel good. Ya hear that, Raiders and Chargers?! WINNING FEELS GOOD! So please, one of you go out and get that win so we can make a trip to Kansas City next weekend. Win or lose, it'd be nice to be there.
On the topic of winning, it felt good to beat the Ravens in that last game. In Baltimore. The fans were great, as always. The team played a tribute to Big Ben, showing all of the times they've sacked him. It was incredible and brought a tear to my eye. I wouldn't expect anything less from the Ravens. They're great rivals. The best. I'm so happy that Ben got that win in Baltimore. What a crazy game. What a crazy career. Eighteen years with the same team. Eighteen years without a losing season. Year after year, record after record. It's been a wild ride and I'm gonna miss him.
Now I will leave you with a smile and a song, as you know I often do. "Renegade," of course. I'm gonna play this one loud for my Steelers, my Yinzers in the Burgh, Steelers fans everywhere, and for my quarterback.
From the bottom of my heart, thank you, Ben.
See you in Canton!
Your biggest fan,
Earlier today I picked up my new favourite glasses from the optometrist and I'm feeling good. I love my eye doctor and everyone who works at the office. They're so cool, and I always leave feeling happy and more confident than when I went in. This time, I discovered that these ladies are even cooler than I thought. As I was getting ready to leave, they started playing Biggie's "One More Chance/Stay With Me." I'm sure it was censored to some degree, but still. I hadn't heard that song in ages.
Afterwards, I decided to take my ass on a nature walk and plugged Biggie into the headphones, starting with that song. God, it's so good. That man was a pure genius. The opening lyrics always make me smile.
"First thing's first: I, Poppa, freaks all the honeys/Dummies, Playboy bunnies, those wanting money/Those the one's I like 'cause they don't get Nathan/But penetration, unless it smells like sanitation/Gar-bage, I turn like doorknobs/Heartthrob, never, black and ugly as ever."
That song gives me such good vibes, which made me wonder why I don't listen to it more often. I think it's partly because I tend to listen to Ready to Die (one of my favourite albums of all time) or Life After Death when I'm on my Biggie kicks, and the song isn't on either of those albums.
Sitting atop my perch, enjoying the view, I played the song on repeat. I like to do that sometimes. I'll play a song over and over if it makes me feel good or I'll revisit my favourite shows and movies. I'm currently plowing through a Fargo (the series) re-watch and loving the hell out of it. I'm even making connections I didn't make the first time. That's the best feeling for me--uncovering something new from a land once traveled. It's like when you catch a scent of something from the past, and while it takes you back, the actual feeling is something different. It's brand new.
That's kind of how I felt about that song. It's not like I discovered lyrics I was previously unaware of, but it was a feeling that I hadn't had before. It meant more. It got me thinking about giving other things another chance; things that used to make me feel good that I've strayed from. I do that sometimes. I'm sure I've written about it before, but it feels like an act of self-sabotage. Why deprive yourself of things that make you feel good? I suppose it's best not to question it too much, but rather take note of what those things are. Literally. Sometimes I forget, so I'm making a list. At the top: Biggie. Next up...sports. Yes, I know, I just wrote about taking a break from my flailing teams because I didn't think I could handle those crazy emotions, but I'm learning that I can. I can handle tough things. Also, I've decided to start wearing my Big Ben jersey again for each of the remaining Steelers games. I can't allow the craziness to let me forget how important this season is and how much I love Steelers football, even when they're down and out--even when I'm down and out. So I'll be repping the number 7 hard again. I've got to. It's who I am, and I can't lose sight of that. Here We Go!
As always, I will leave you with a smile and a song.
And If you don't know, now you know.
I had a dream the other night that I was watching the NFL playoffs and the Steelers were playing (that's the first cruel joke). They were playing the Rams for some reason, and there were a bunch of other games on, too. I ended up being on the field chatting with some players and Deebo (James Harrison) was there. So was Big Ben, and we were discussing plays. I checked the score, and it was 60-30 for the Rams. As I type this, the Steelers are losing to the Bengals 41-3. Maybe that dream predicted the final score of this game. Naw, there's no way we're scoring 30 points. I'm not watching because thankfully the game isn't televised, but I'm feeling it. This has been a season. For all of my teams. Remember a couple months ago when I said I had a good feeling about the Canucks? I just laughed out loud. This is the way things go sometimes. And, once again, I'm seeing sports as a barometer for my own life.
Things aren't really jiving and haven't been for some time, so I'm making an effort to switch things up by redirecting my focus back onto myself. That means stepping away more, spending more time alone (I'm almost always alone, but somehow it feels like it's not enough) and brainstorming about what my next step is. This also means not torturing myself by turning on games when I don't think I can handle the emotions that accompany them. Even the highs (when they actually occur) can be overwhelming and I'm just not feeling balanced enough to accept that ride, especially when the prospect of a crash seems all too real. Being depleted of energy is huge. It can lead to depression and illness and really fuck you up. This time of year can be very draining so I'm taking a page from my own book by slowing down, winding down and calming down.
One thing that I like to incorporate into my routine that helps is...you guessed it...music. And I'm not just listening to stuff that pumps me up, though of course I'm bumping some Rush here and there, but I'm listening to the stuff that allows me to sink into my emotions a bit. Lots of Mazzy Star, Dinosaur Jr. and Bjork are currently in rotation, along with one of my all time favourites and OG crushes, Hayden. I thought of this song while doing yoga this morning. During a moment of surrender in a child's pose, in tears, I heard a small child's hysterical laughter coming from downstairs. It made me smile, then made me laugh, too. It reminded me that, yes, things feel pretty bad right now, but laughter and music are always available, even in the darkest of times.
Now I will leave you with this picture of me with Hayden, who is likely annoyed that this fan asked for a picture. Actually, I'm pretty sure I felt uncomfortable asking so my friend asked for me. Even better. This was taken after seeing his show with the incredible Julie Doiron. Excellent show. I love how Hayden raised the age of the girl from 16 to 23 when he performed "Bad As They Seem." A good call.
Well, that's it for now, folks. I'm going to tap out and tune in to some ritual practices, have a bath and meditate, and watch this video, because I know it will make me smile. Hopefully it does the same for you.
Cheers! I just remembered the cheers I used to do when I was younger and drank a lot. Some of you will remember these. Cheers to beers and tears and cheers to booze and boobs. I dunno, you guys. Take what you need and leave the rest. And above all, take good care.
Ah, the "old" filters. Jesus Christ, that's actually pretty scary. And I've seen a lot of horror movies. That reminds me, I kind of want to check out that Shyamalan movie OLD, mostly because there's a character named Mid-Sized Sedan, but I'm afraid that the rapid aging will send me into a panic.
It seems like I've aged a lot over the past few years. Like it all happened at once. Maybe it didn't, though. Maybe I just started noticing. But there's a difference between noticing and caring, and I'm doing my best to not care. Because why bother worrying about something you can't control, right? And yet, if I'm being honest, it still scares me a little.
The alternative to aging is death, but then aging reminds us of death, doesn't it? Maybe that's the scary part. For some, perhaps, but I think it goes beyond that, especially for women.
The fact is that we love old men and we don't love old women. I mean, how many times have we heard people gush about how they would bone the hell out of Sean Connery when he was like 85? When was the last time you heard someone say the same about Julie Newmar?
It's almost like women aren't allowed to get old. Like we're not worth talking about once we hit a certain age. I'm not sure what that age is exactly, but I'm quite sure the number's not that high. I think the idea of a woman getting old isn't appealing because her value is based on appearance. That's so sad because women are amazing. Also, I would still bone the hell out of Julie Newmar. Wanted to get that on record.
Speaking of boning, the other day I watched The Witches of Eastwick, one of the horniest movies ever, and found myself very attracted to Jack Nicholson as Daryl Van Horne. I've been attracted to him in other roles, but never in this one...until now. I related to Cher's character, Alex, when she goes off about how repulsive he is, yet she finds herself drawn to him. This time, when he said "Use me, Alex. I can take it" it wasn't just funny, it was sexy. Between that and all the cock talk, I was super turned on by Daryl, even with the stupid ponytail. Even when he says things like "I always like a little pussy after lunch." Maybe it's the older man thing, but he was only about 50 in that role (not that much older than me). I'm catching up. That's got to be it.
It makes sense. I think you reach a certain age where you don't typically find yourself as attracted to younger people. Well, I'm sure I don't speak for everyone, but that's how I feel. I can certainly appreciate that smooth twenty-something skin, especially when it's wearing a football uniform, but I pretty much think of them as kids, because looking back I know that's what I was at that age. Nothing wrong with it. I love people in their twenties, I just don't want to bone them anymore.
Alright, let's drop the bone for a while because that's not why I'm writing this. I've just been thinking about how growing old seems to have negative connotations, when it's really not negative at all. We buy creams and serums that "diminish the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles" as though those things need to be banished. The funny thing is that none of that stuff magically makes you look younger. And that's fine. We have this obsession with looking young as though that's the standard. But we all get to be young. We've all experienced that, and some of you are still in it. And I'm not about to say something like, "enjoy it while you can," because I think you can enjoy every stage of life. Getting old doesn't have to be so serious. Sure, your body and mind begin to deteriorate and whatnot, but I'm not about to fall into the trap of allowing my stock to plummet with my tits.
I just thought of the lyrics to Outkast's "Growing Old."
Fat titties turn to teardrops as fat ass turns to flab
Sores that was open wounds eventually turn to scab
Trees bright and green turn yellow brown
Autumn called 'em, see all them leaves must fall down
Love that song.
Rather than ending with that one, which has a kind of sad energy, I'm going to share the title track, "ATLiens." The tone is exactly what I want to end on.
Now throw your hands in the ai-yer
And wave 'em like you just don't cay-er
And if you like fish and grits and all that pimp shit
Everybody let me hear you say O-Yea-yer.
That's the motto I choose to live by.
I'm finally doing it--pulling my insides out and splattering them around for all to see. Here we go!