Tuesday, January 29, 2013

100 Things That Make Me Happy! ....Plus.

1.  My kid, of course.  He's hilarious and sweet...and he's the perfect kid for me :)

From here on, the order is random.

2.  Coffee...preferably a good latte.
3.  An extra 5 or 10 minutes in a warm bed on a cold morning.
4.  Fresh strawberries.
5.  Fun socks.
6.  Coloring...with or without the kid.
7.  My Vibram FiveFinger shoes.
8.  Fresh-from-the-dryer blankets.
9.  Hoodies.
10.  Pasta...multi-colored pasta.
11.  Potatoes.
12.  My Kindle.
13.  The entire contents of my Kindle, and every book that I will ever add in the future.
14.  Book hangover.
15.  A shared moment of understanding.
16.  Seeing someone I haven't seen in a while.
17.  Freshly-bathed kid scent.
18.  Zombie slippers.
19.  Smoothies.
20.  Warm sunny days in the middle of winter.
21.  Monsoons.
22.  Fourth of July...for the fireworks!
23.  Halloween.
24.  Parades.
25.  Vivid dreams... the kind that stick with me all day.
26.  A text from the right person at the right time.
27.  Hand-written notes.
28.  Butterflies...preferably the kind in my stomach, though I'm not opposed to the flying kind.
29.  Atheist groups.
30.  Snowy mountains in the distance.
31.  The sounds newborns make.
32.  Cute baby animals.
33.  Fresh baked bread.
34.  Homemade pizza/soups/anything.
35.  Cupcakes.
36.  Cookies.
37.  Unexpected allies.
38.  Smart people.
39.  Good conversation.
40.  Learning something.
41.  Colorful things.
42.  Happy people.
43.  Natural building.
44.  Architecture/design.
45.  Goodreads.
46.  Taking walks.
47.  Nature.
48.  Sudafed...related: breathing.
49.  Laughter...anyone's will do.
50.  People watching.
51.  When my son comes home.
52.  Lots of blankets and pillows.
53.  Air conditioning/heat.
54.  Calm.
55.  Summer evenings.
56.  Summer smells (bbqs, pool toys and chlorine, freshly mowed lawns, jasmine and honeysuckle)
57.  Spring...everything about it.
58.  Crisp mornings.
59.  Sunsets and sunrises.
60.  Cheeseburgers.
61.  Any time the kid learns something.
62.  Long showers.
63.  Internet access.
64.  The way coffee shops smell (actually coffee shops, not Starbucks - no lack of love, it's just different)
65.  YA shows  (PLL, TVD).
66.  YA books.
67.  Romantic tension...in real life and fiction.
68.  Talking to people about good books.
69.  Inspiration.
70.  Writing until my hands cramp, without stopping to edit.
71.  Editing.
72.  Dark Chocolate.
73.  That moment when ALL the laundry is done, right before it's not done anymore.
74.  Trees.
75.  Iced tea.
76.  Nag Champa incense.
77.  Finishing things.
78.  Pictures.
79.  When the only light in a room comes from an xmas tree.
80.  When the only light in a room comes from a candle.
81.  Hearing the right song at the right time.
82.  Scent memories.
83.  Anticipation.
84.  Tattoos.
85.  Serotonin/dopamine/oxytocin/acetylcholine
86.  My back yard.
87.  Kid art.
88.  The smell of crayons.
89.  Secrets...confessions...sharing.
90.  Seeing certain people smile...particularly if the smiles are for me.
91.  Lotion.
92.  Nail polish.
93.  Popcorn.
94.  Salsa.
95.  Daydreaming
96.  Being told that something I've done is good.
97.  People doing nice things for others.
98.  Anyone who goes out of his/her way for me...even for something little.
99.  Silence with someone...that isn't awkward.
100.  Looks that say more than words.

Bonus!  Cuties...the little oranges.  And pineapples.  And disinfecting wipes.  And green.  And ideas that keep me up.

Plus...some things that piss me off... (this is a very mild list...)
1.  Not knowing I have a cut until I use hand sanitizer.
2.  Stupid people.
3.  Most people being anywhere near me...my personal space bubble is HUGE.
4.  Anyone who thinks that cologne/perfume can be used in place of bathing and deodorant.
5.  Getting home from the store and realizing I forgot the one thing I went there to get...
6.  Strawberry seeds.
7.  The ability of a child to completely destroy a room in under a minute...and the fact that it takes longer than that to clean it up.
8.  The dishes don't wash themselves.
9.  Dinner doesn't cook itself.
10.  The laundry doesn't put itself away.
11.  The toys don't pick themselves up.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Search History

This is so true that I've actually said it...on numerous occasions.  The problem is mostly a writing problem, but it's compounded by living with an inquisitive almost-4-year-old.  He wants to know if cockroaches poop and I need to know how long it takes to bleed to death from a properly-slit wrist, and factors that could increase effectiveness of this particular suicide method.  I bet I also looked up some cookie or cupcake recipe that day.  I may also have looked into the history of manslaughter laws...and vehicular homicide vs. manslaughter...

Then there are the days when I decide to go through popular (and not so popular) conspiracy theories for story ideas.  The craziest stuff makes for good fiction....the fact that some people believe it makes it better.  Viewing every possible website about chem trails is normal, right?

What's a good synonym for agony?  And what kind of pliers should be used when removing fingernails?

Being a hypochondriac adds another interesting layer to this.  Do I have brain cancer?  What are the chances of having a stroke while driving?  Would those chances be higher or lower if there was heavy traffic? Is this mole cancerous?  Is it possible to be allergic to everything?

What's another word for worry?  Why do people commit suicide?

"Mom, what's that thing hanging in your throat?"  Uvula research.

And yes, I did pin 342 recipes.

And then read book reviews on Goodreads for 3 hours... (nevermind the simultaneous searching for .epub or .mobi files).  I need another word for obsession.

Baby name sites.

Is it possible to be scared to death?

There was that day when I went through hundreds of mugshot pictures, trying to figure out if it was possible to tell the severity of the crime by the look of the criminal.  It's possible.  For the record, don't trust people who smile...there's usually a trail of bodies behind it.

Why do people care about...anything?

Body language.  It's important to know what people are really thinking...but this is also excellent for creating believable characters.  Lying is down and to the left, right?  How would an evil person sit?  How would a shy person walk into a room?  All the different reasons a person might avoid eye contact....

How often are missing persons found?  How often are they alive??  How many serial killers are active at any given time?  Read serial killer life stories.

How and where do people usually die?

From what height would a person have to fall to die?  What kinds of injuries could be expected at 10ft? 15? 25?

Many stops a Facebook... but then, that's totally normal.

Check horoscope.  Create natal charts for serial killers, celebrities, characters in books...

Trash truck videos.  HOURS of trash truck videos....followed by hours of kids making erasers that look like fast food or Asian cartoon characters.

Atheist groups.  Science blogs.  Reddit.  May as well lock me up now.  It's probably good that I don't know how to hack anything...

Who hates Apollo?

Phonics... lots of phonics.  A is for Apple.  B is for Boy.  V is for Vacuum.  M is for monotony.

How long does it take to die when shot?  Ideally, I'd find a chart similar to a meat cut chart, and the different locations of the shot would be labeled with approximate time to die... click for additional factors that may increase or decrease time.  Because there is no such chart, a lot of research must be done.

Failed search for song using only 3 words.  Successful search using "that song at the end of ______" or "that song when ______ did ______".....then listening to that song 20 times.

Cute pictures of baby animals.  Research on the stages of grief.  S.A.D...A.D.D... O.C.D....Natalie Dee...a, b, c, d, e, f, g....back to the phonics pages.

Okay, maybe it wouldn't be THAT bad...but I'm sure my sanity would be called into question.  Whatever the case, keep this in mind for me:

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Aversion Therapy

Some people wear rubber bands around their wrists and snap themselves when they have an inappropriate thought or do some undesirable behavior.  I'm not much for rubber band therapy... but am no stranger to the overall concept of aversion therapy.  Do or think bad...punishment follows.  My punishments are typically logical thoughts following the illogical/bad thoughts.  I very rarely do anything bad these days.  For the most part, logic wins and I don't have useless thoughts for long.  Sometimes it's extremely simple... so simple that the second part of the thought can cancel the first.  For example: he's really hot...except for that neck tattoo.  

Apparently there's a down side to prolonged use of aversion therapy, though...  Once you've gone through the logical thoughts...a few dozen times...to no avail, they cease to mean anything at all.  I can tell myself an honest, logical truth...and immediately dismiss it for the more favorable/interesting bad thought.  Eventually I'll skip the logical part altogether...because maybe he looks good in turtlenecks, and that IS a book he's holding...  If I'm reminded of it somehow (this is Arizona and no one wears a turtleneck when it's 110 out), I push it out of my mind immediately (everywhere is air conditioned..and he can read).  This is a conditioning thing.  Clearly I'm able to ignore myself...go against my best interests...to satisfy my hedonistic fleeting desires...anything with a neck tattoo would be fleeting.  Clearly my punishments aren't good enough...or I'm just not able to trick myself.  I'm guessing the latter.  Either way, this is a side-effect that I sort of anticipate.  If I want something bad enough, no amount of reasoning will change my mind.  The want becomes a need...and then there's no turning back.

There is a side-effect that I didn't expect, though.  I had no idea there'd be a subconscious...leaking...of desire.  I can do avoidance - physically and emotionally.  I can remind myself time and time again that thinking/doing/seeing/etc. will lead to suffering on some profound level.  That's good enough for me because I don't like suffering, especially not over and over again for the same reason... so keeps the avoidance going strong.  Sadly, I have no control over my subconscious.  Now I have dreams about the things I avoid.  The dreams are vivid and emotionally charged, and they're impossible to forget.  I'll spend an entire day in a dream haze...and there's not a damn thing I can do about it.

And the absolute worst thing about all of it is that my dreams are almost always a million times better than the reality of any situation.  They're better than the best possible outcomes.  It's not a reiteration of the logical side of things... it's what would never happen, even in the best of circumstances, if the illogical thoughts/actions were the right choices - they're dreams in more than one sense.  There was a time recently when I dreamed of cheeseburgers most nights.  It was the result of not being able to eat greasy foods without pain (gallbladders are not fun when they misbehave).  I thought about foods that I wanted, but never gave in because the pain wasn't worth it.  I was so consumed with what I couldn't have that it seeped into my subconscious and flooded my dreams.  I still can't really have the foods I want, but my mind has given me a cheeseburger break.  Guess it has bigger issues to sort out... and leave me reeling from all day.

Not that I'm complaining...not really...I love the dreams.  It's like living an alternate life.  If only there weren't that little bit of disappointment that comes with waking up...

Tuesday, January 8, 2013


I hate it when I have a huge list of things I want to do, but I'm scatterbrained...and sort of going from one thing to another without finishing anything (story of my life, right?).  Today, I need to do the following:

- Go to the store.
- Clean floors (living room, kitchen, bathroom).
- Pay bills.
- Check school site...because I don't know when the semester starts.  I've already gotten all that I need about one character from the textbook, so I'm feeling less interested in taking mythology...but still more interested in mythology than I've ever been.  Guess that's a good sign...
- Get at least one pile of yard trash into the trash can.
- Laundry.
- Make a meatloaf.
- Read....a lot.
- Finish the bio I've been working on for this blog.  In case you haven't noticed, the blog looks different, and I added a short character study style bio last week.  The bio I'm working on is a HUGE thing, complete with pictures from birth until now.
- Take more Motrin and work out...at least a little.
- Repaint toenails.

There are probably a few things I'm forgetting.  And naturally I'm being distracted by Rachael Ray (who had PLL cast members today).  When this is over, there's a PLL marathon...and a new episode tonight.

Oliver goes back to school tomorrow, so it might be better to leave some of this until then. At least I've written it down...which is actually more than I figured I'd get done :)  Maybe I'll just add it to the other to-do list that I keep in my phone.  Maybe I'll just turn the computer off.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

A First Sunday

This is the first Sunday that Oliver has spent at his dad's in a while.  It's been odd.  I had a moderate freak out moment in Walmart when I realized my cart contained no kid.  I remembered quick enough that there was no screaming or running around frantically...

Then, for whatever reason (I'm pleading blonde moment) I spent a few hours fairly certain that it was Friday.  I only just realized, for the second time, that it is Sunday.

Anyway... the new year has treated me well so far.  I'm making progress on all of my resolutions :)  Oliver sorted the laundry...and I'm learning that letting go is active rather than passive.  I've been reasonably friendly and open with the people I know...only snapped at one person (who deserved it) and I've had no occasion to bite my tongue...or later regret having done so.  I've only finished reading one book, but have every intention of finishing another today.  I've spent less time on Facebook and, as a result, more time outside.  My hands kind of ache today from excessive yard work yesterday.  I'm sort of fine with that.  Oliver will happily stay outside for as long as I let him...and yard work keeps me occupied while he plays in the dirt.  He actually helped rake yesterday :)  I've dealt with insurance and will be dealing with a doctor in the near future... and as much as I dread it, I'm looking forward to getting it over with.

The I button on my laptop is uneven... kind of sticking.  This is the price I pay for letting Oliver use the laptop.  He really likes his tablet, though...I put a bunch of matching games on it and he is awesome at them :)

The only one of my resolutions that I've made no progress at so far is finishing something.  I can't even find some of my note cards :\  I don't think that finishing happens overnight, though.  I need to learn to focus on one thing at a time.  I had this awesome new idea running around in my head all of last week...I even started outlining.  That idea had cut off the story I was working on previously.  Today one of my textbooks arrived and I got sidetracked by the story that goes with this book.  I'm taking a mythology class to get to know these characters better...and to figure out who'd hate them enough to want them to suffer.  Dieties are fickle and petty, it seems...so probably any of them for any reason. I'm being vague... and I shouldn't be... but it's tough to explain without telling the whole story right now...and it's impossible to do even that, since I don't know the whole story yet :)

Anyway... the projects I'm currently working on, in the order that I started working on them (* means working title): Dead Girl*, Whisper, Apollo and Aysel*.  Whisper is taking up the most of my attention right now, because no one is formally named...and because, of all the plots, it's the least complex and therefore the easiest to write.  Thing is, I can't write until everyone is named.

I've also been giving a lot of thought to the project I started a while back...it continues to give me trouble.  I'm beyond frustrated with it.  And I'm also doubting the name of my main guy.  It suits him, but only one side of him...and I think the name might belong somewhere else, in some other story.  I chose the name, but then changed the direction of the story...slightly...and now the name feels too...earthy.

I spend a lot of time on names.  The wrong name can ruin a story... I'll actually stop reading something if the names piss me off (seriously, don't give all your characters random one-syllable names like Lox and Pim and Gat...I don't care what the setting is, that shit is annoying).

My bread is done...

See, I wasn't even able to focus on one thing for this entry... :)  There's a good chance that I'm hopeless...at least in this respect.