I wrote a thing for a local online magazine!

As promised, here's the feature I wrote for Smile Politely! At the moment, it's landed front-and-center on the main page, which is unexpected. I can definitely live with that!

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! We’re now well into Halloween season, or, to the darkly inclined like myself, regular-home-d├ęcor shopping season. As a fairly recent Chambana transplant by way of Indianapolis, I was curious to find what morbid delights await in C-U. See More

Forcing oneself to root and create

“I lean to you, numb as a fossil. Tell me I'm here.”
 ― Sylvia Plath
 I've long had a soft spot for deeply depressed, super prolific creators. Almost an envy - except for that thing where their lives often meet an early end - often self-inflicted, but often melancholy just helps make physical ailments screw you over worse.

HOW do they leave such a huge body of work before they go, though? Poe, Plath, Van Gogh, Dickinson... I even start to look at the list and I think... Damn. I'm even bad at being mentally ill, apparently.

My amount of spoons I wake up with is notoriously on the low side. Lately, it seems like some unseen gremlin has been stealing half of them every night.

I was overjoyed when I first moved to Champaign and took this job, because I wasn't used to having a job that left me anything at the end of a day. Actually not loathing most of your waking hours helps with that - who knew? Now that I wasn't constantly fighting with myself to not scream at someo…

Crud, Worm, and other appealing updates

Ugh! Why is it so much easier to get the Crud at Gen Con than any other convention I've been to!

I'm finally mostly recovered. Poor David's been having a hard time with upper-respiratory symptoms and some bad nightmares.

At work, I've done some little witchy stuff cleansing and warding and such, with noted positive effects on myself, my own work, and staff morale. I'm thinking I want to get into that at home, too. David has his own monthly ritual, but I want to step it up. I feel like I could do more to protect my home and family. I also want to talk to him about seeing a therapist - maybe looking into some EMDR treatments, since it did so much for me.

In health news, I'm thrilled to report that my weight is firmly into the upper 140s! Less than 15 pounds to a healthy BMI! I've also noticed great improvements in my cardiovascular and muscular endurance, and flexibility.

After joking around with an old high-school friend, I've decided I want to add succ…

The mess is part of the process.

If you want to know a weird learning curve, try being in love with someone who's a lot more fastidious than you.

I'm not even getting into how physically-messy things got, pre-David, mid-depression. Here's your gentle reminder of the day that an embarassing space is often a mental-health symptom. (If you recognize yourself in this problem, you do deserve better. You deserve help! You deserve a healthier mind, and a living space that doesn't stress you out. Also, unfuckyourhabitat is a godsend.)

David, meanwhile, is a type-A neat freak. At my best mental health, I have still been mellow about cleaning as I go, or even about cleaning up immediately after done cooking/crafting/etc. This does not fly at all with him, I've learned. I'm still learning this fascinating new lifestyle choice of not just waiting to tidy up 'til the end of your activity. So when we cook things together, I somewhat catch on, but mostly he's dashing around rinsing off the measuring…

Gen Con nightlife: All the goth clubbing your little black heart can stand.

Gen Con is nigh! David and I leave Thursday for the 4-day extravaganza of geekdom.

Amusingly, a former roommate tried to get a rise out of me once by saying that goths are "just nerds who wear more makeup." Well, duh? We're all sun-averse humanoids who know how to get our party on, and that is all ye mortals need know.

Naturally, the biggest gamer-geek convention in Indianapolis is a haven for the undead, and those who just wish they were. In a city where there's a sizable, but splintered, goth community, it's usually hard enough to keep one or two goth club nights a month going on - and we have to invade a "normie" bar to do it.

But. BUT!

This coming weekend, there are no fewer than FOUR darkly delightful places to drink and be spooky. Truth be told, there's nothing in the world like the Gen Con experience. Many a tome has been written on the greatness that is Gen Con. On top of everything else, though, the nightlife alone is worth the pilgrimage. …

Truth is the female body is always heavy, regardless of its size.

(Content note: Talk about weight gain, weight loss, and sexual harassment.)

Something happened yesterday that hasn't in years.

I was cat-called as I walked from the parking lot into the CVS to pick up my prescription.

It was frustratingly common in my teens. In my 20s, it was ubiquitous. I literally could not even walk from my front door to my car without some douchebag loudly commenting on my tits or my butt, or some other means of asserting that my body was there primarily as an object for his amusement.

The one good thing about severe clinical depression hitting hard in my late 20s, pulling me into its depths, and packing 60 pounds onto my 5'1 frame, is that I hit this amazing Limbo that I didn't know existed - a land where you're too fat to be visible to serial harassers, and too thin to be visible to fat-shamers. It's entirely likely that my white privilege had something to do with this. Black ladies of similar height and build to me still complain of this deh…

Friday Lights: Affirmations that helped me get from rock bottom into life

All has not been well at Casa Granola. It's been a little bit of one thing after another. Some minor health troubles and a little mental-health backslide for me, and a tragic death in the family for David. He's currently in the Chicago area, with his family, to inter his 38 year old brother's cremains in the family plot. The funeral was a week ago.

It was, of course, a shock when he died so suddenly, at such a young age. David's grief manifested into physical pain and awful dreams. Last week was hectic and tiring enough to keep me from the gym for the whole week, and I ate a lot of feelings. I know that a profound loss never becomes OK. It becomes more possible to bear over time, and that is generally the best we can hope for. I don't have any platitudes, just love and sorrow for the family.

While we come to the other side of the past couple of weeks, and bring ourselves back to some sense of normalcy, I've gotten back to some basics. We took most of last week…