I Never Make These – So I Had Them Generated

In 2007, missfunkshun resolves to…

Eat more doggies.
Tell my family about cigarettes.
Find a better stereolab.
Lose ten kitties by March.
Drink four glasses of mzmartipants every day.
Volunteer to spend time with artschoolgirl77s.

Get your own New Year’s Resolutions:

Losing Sunday

It was twelve – noon, not midnight – when I passed out today. I hadn't been drinking, wasn't at a party, and certainly wasn't celebrating New Year's Eve. I was suffering with my (so far) four-day-long migraine and it finally came to a head this morning around ten.

I was only awake for four hours today before I had to lie back down. It sucks. I feel like I've lost a lot of time this past week. Charlie had to cancel some plans that I was looking forward to, and I think my guilt made things worse. I had a couple of dry-heaving sessions after he came up to tell me he'd called Melody, but no actual vomiting. I've been close to just collapsing a couple of times this week and he kept telling me to take things easy. I feel guilty if I go to bed too early, take a nap, don't do the dishes, ignore the laundry, keep postponing plans. I couldn't exactly get out of work and really needed to cover a few shifts. If nothing else, for some cash.

I finally got out of bed, feeling a bit like I'd had the shit kicked out of me, and started looking up home remedies. Several Web sites suggested you keep a diary of your headaches so you can at least determine what triggers them. If nothing else, you can have an explanation of what happens for your doctor.

I used to think I was “lucky” not be a barfing migraine person, but now I get that, as well. I have the usual symptoms you hear about plus: pounding in my head so hard that it rattles my teeth. Cold chills followed by hot flashes. Dizziness, nausea, dry-heaves. My eyes feel dry and bruised and sort of like a tiny person is inside my head trying to push my eyeballs out. You just have to shut down. And then afterwards I have an unusual amount of energy. I feel sort of hyper and sick at the same time. I also get a difficult-to-explain sort of foreshadowing of them. I can tell a few hours, if not a day, in advance, but I can't quit put my finger on what that sense is.

Something else I read online said that it's recommended you try to let it “run its course,” which I didn't do. I kept having caffeine, or taking 800mg of Ibuprofen, or an Excedrin or two. If I'd only exercise more or cut salt out of my diet somewhat (I'm a salt-o-holic – screw chocolate and sweets), or not gone out to the mall of all places yesterday with Charlie's family. If I had just found someone to come in for me for an hour or two yesterday. Instead I was just running, running, running from five in the morning until seven at night.

I will go to the doctor about it, because I need to go in for my annual, anyway, get my prescription refilled, and may as well try to get some sort of treatment for the migraines. I guess I'm just a little gun-shy with doctors after all my blood-drawing, hormone-testing, tooth-drilling, and root-canaling from the past year. I'm tired of being poked, prodded, asked questions, and freaked out by what things “might be” by my GP. She just doesn't give a lot of information.

It's time to take action, people. No more of this crap. And don't get me started on the information I looked up just now and how I am trying to convince myself I don't have meningitis or a brain tumor.

A Plethora of Posted Pictures and Presents

Santa visited in abundance this year. As much as I struggle with spending money on things we really don't need, occasionally something comes along that makes Charlie so happy that I'm incredibly grateful to be able to give it to him. I also tend to go a bit overboard for the holidays when it comes to him. This year, one of my Christmas gifts to him was something that could eventually pay for itself. I got him a Bostitch nail gun set, complete with air compressor and hose. And some books or something.

Liz has talked about having Charlie put up some trim and crown in her house before she sells it and he always said he could do it but he just doesn't have the right tools. Well, now he's got all sorts of crap.

Here's one of my favorite gifts from this year:

Is it weird that I sleep with it every night and have decided it's a “he”?

Another favorite is a photo collage Cavan made for me. The funny thing is, the photo of Alvy on the top left is the same one he's taking in a photo I took of him. Did I just create a rip in the space-time continuum?
I realized when he called last night that I actually missed him. Watching “The Price is Right” alone on weekday mornings when I get home from work isn't all that fun.

Here's Alvy with one of his toys. I discovered too late that it sings ridiculous Christmas carols when the dogs bite it. I ripped it open and promptly replaced the singing box with a rogue squeaker found on the floor a few weeks ago.

This is one I bought for myself from the Herron print show. My friend from work, Audrey, is the artist, and the proceeds go to a good cause (her), plus I love her work.

Last, but definitely not least, are the following two purchases Charlie and I pooled resources on from holiday gift cards and whatnot. And, yes, that is a DVD/DVD-R/DVD-RW+/VHS combo into which you can also automatically plug your digital camera or SD card. And an HDMI-compatible flat-panel LCD TV. We got the HDMI cable for it this morning and the resolution is incredible. Not that I care, you know, 'cause I don't care about that materialistic crap. (Wheeeee!)

The End of the Beginning

Here's a photo of the “Officially Finished” phoenix tattoo on Charlie's back. He had the blue added a few weeks ago. Now he has the one on his arm to get touched up and actually colored in. It's the art deco-style nude on his shoulder that I drew originally holding up a globe but now doesn't seem quite right, so her arms – on his arm – are empty. The tattoo artist who gave that one to him took some photos and said he'd try and come up with some ideas as far as shading and what she'd be holding up.

I've been curious about what Charlie's planning on next – and where – but he hasn't said much. He's a lot better than I am about actually finishing the stuff he gets started.

I have several things I want right now, but neither the money nor the body space to get any done. One is a very long Hebrew translation of a phrase from the Torah (I know, I know, but I'm not Jewish, so it's okay), and the other is one I told you about a couple of months ago but need to have a lot bigger than I'd like it to show detail. I'm still struggling with the idea of Where to Start Next. My back is covered and, other than putting in waves or pagodas or other scenic background stuff, there isn't space for much more without being really busy and complicated. Sleeves are still beyond my imagination. I don't know what I'd have covering one of my arms, or if that's something I'm ready to commit to.

Christmas Traditions, Broken

For the first time since I moved to Indiana years and years ago, I did not go to my mother's parents' house in northern Indiana. We chose to take the day off. Part of me feels terrible because I'll be “in trouble” for not showing up. At the get-together last night my mom asked if I was going. I asked if it was really an option. She said “I guess it is.” So I told her that I didn't think I wanted to go.
For the past fourteen years I've driven myself to my grandmother's Christmas Eve from wherever I lived at the time, then to my mom's folks' on Christmas Day.
I thought “Man, I'm going to be thirty two years old and I've never created my own holiday traditions.” For the past seven years Charlie and I have never really done anything we wanted to do and I think it's time we did.

I do enjoy spending time with my dad's family but the trip the next day can be exhausting. Cavan is out of town so we have no one to let out the dogs. The rain is turning to snow so we could have gotten stuck in traffic or nasty weather. We didn't feel well. I woke up with a headache, Charlie's got a cold.

So many excuses. What I really feel bad about is that I picked a bad year to just sort of give up the Christmas day activities. With my aunt getting divorced and my other aunt's family falling apart (one son in jail, one diagnosed with schizophrenia – the same one with two children who are suffering with a meth addict for a mom who has three different baby-daddies) . . . I suppose I feel guilty. I didn't give anyone notice. Should I have gone this year and told them Charlie and I were going to mix things up next year? Not that it matters at this point.

Charlie just told me “No year is a good year to stop 'doing Christmas' with people.” And I realize this is true. But why did I do it now? Maybe because of all that stuff that's going on. My parents are talking about trying to advocate for these children of my cousin, legally, and were asking advice of me and an aunt on my dad's side who is a social worker last night. Like, who do they call, what's the deal with Child Protective Services, etc…

So we got up relatively early and fought our feelings of obligation all morning. Around 10:30, when we would have been leaving, the rain was still going and I said “Well, we can't exactly tie them up in my grandparents' yard.” And that was that.

We made breakfast together, then found a coffee shop that was actually open today. We stopped at a Walgreens and got some emergency dog food. One thing I've always wanted to do on Christmas is just get Indian food. So we did that and invited Scott who'd spent all day nursing a sick kitty at home. We hung out for about an hour, parted ways, returned home. We played a game of Trivial Pursuit (I won), cleaned the house up a bit, did some laundry. I'm pooped now, but I'm glad I didn't sit in a car for four hours just to spend two hours at someone's house. That sounds terrible, I know.

Next year I hope to do something similar, perhaps go to the movies and get Chinese, only without the guilt. More than anything, I'd like to get up early and make dinner again for the meals on wheels program I used to volunteer with at my old Unitarian church.

I Thought I Was So Much More Nerdy!

Taken from Becca.

I am nerdier than 51% of all people. Are you nerdier? Click here to find out!

I thought I would have been more of a nerd. Then, being the geek I am, I looked up the defintitions of words such as geek, nerd, dweeb, dork. Definitions, especially when it comes to more modern terms, can vary, of course.
I discovered that I am a “geek” because of the fact that I have slightly higher social skills than nerds and am not as computer-oriented. Also, I consider myself an expert in some subjects that more “popular” people would fine boring or, you guessed it, “geeky.”

I always thought they went in scales like that, too:
“Geeks” tend to be the most tolerable of the group as this is a term referring to someone with a particular bent in one industry or niche (such as literature, Sci-Fi, Star Trek, science, math, etc…).
“Nerd” can be a complimentary term when it comes from certain people but generally related to those with a proficiency with computers and a lower level of social skill.
A “dweeb” can be a nerd or geek in some instances (but not necessarily) with absolutely no social skills.
Lastly, a “dork” is just a reference to someone's behavior or lack of tact when it comes to social situations. Napoleon Dynamite could be either a dork or a dweeb.

Let's Get Some Shoes!

I know I've talked about this before, but it's on my mind a lot lately. I seem to go through phases where I fight these Typical Girl Urges.

I used to pride myself on my thriftiness. I'm not the kind of person who would be mortified if someone I knew saw me going in to a Value Village or Goodwill. In fact, I encourage people to recycle and shop second-hand, and I even think Goodwill is getting a little big for their britches.
I'm pretty hard on my clothes so I don't mind paying a lot less for something I'm going to get tired of or wear out in six months.

I'm still relatively thrifty, mostly because I don't give in to 99% of my desires. I've noticed a trend lately that I'm developing a rather expensive taste in shoes. And clothes. And handbags.
At first it was the clearance Nine West purse I got for eleven bucks. Then I found a brand of jeans at Macy's that fit well but cost at least three times what I would normally pay for a pair of pants. I now have three different pair of them. You need dark, medium, and light denim, right? Plus, a boot cut, a wide leg, and a relatively straight, somewhat skinny jean. Right? Oh, and they make them in “short” sizes so I don't have to cut or hem them, myself. This is important, right? Right?

Now I find myself passing by the shoe section at different stores or browsing a Web site and wistfully imagining myself mincing around in a saucy pair of Betsey Johnsons or Jimmy Choos. I found a seller on eBay that deals exclusively in designer shoes and sells them for what I discovered I thought were “reasonable prices.”
Coming from a girl who would never spend more than twenty or thirty bucks on a pair of shoes in the past, I found it surprising when it fully registered that I was thinking “Only seventy bucks for a two hundred dollar pair of sassy Marc Jacobs platforms? What a deal!”
Then I came back to earth. Where in the hell am I going to wear a two hundred dollar pair of shoes? Why do I think this is something I need? One particular pair I've been psychologically fondling lately would set me back a car payment.

But, oooooh . . . to splurge and get something really Carrie Bradshaw? Thanks for making me think about this, Katie!

What Is Love?

It would be completely unrealistic of any of us to assume that there's at least one person out there who would be perfect for each of us, but to also say that we have absolutely no requirements of our significant others. “I just want someone who's funny.” “I really only want to be with someone who wants children.” I think everyone has some sort of preference, whether it's a matter of looks, a certain style, enjoying the same sorts of music and movies, or just treating others well.
Some people are very specific about body type, hair color, abundance or lack of tattoos and body piercings, even the way a person smiles. It's about an image that the person represents to others and you. Some are fixated on religion (or, again, lack thereof), political and social issues, or a mutual hatred for other kinds of people.

I've always thought the most specific and sad relationships revolve around what one person wants and how the other can fulfill those needs. But in a sense, this is really what we're all doing when we're playing the dating game: what do I want and how can this person satisfy what I want? Some are just more obvious about it than others.

I read once that women tend to measure deeds psychologically in terms of amount – big or small, it's the sheer volume of what a person does that matters. On the other hand, men tend to measure things in terms of how much energy it took.

There's a general disconnect between men and women and the way they perceive things. I think that's why a lot of gay and lesbian relationships can work better. Both parties are aware, intrinsically, of what the other person wants, although just because someone is the same sex as you doesn't necessarily mean you have that much in common.

I'm not trying to say that lesbians and gay men have it easier than people in hetero relationsips. I just think that it's sometimes impossible for opposite genders to communicate on the same level. Our brains just work differently. Sometimes I wonder, if Charlie and I ever split up, will I end up with another woman? I used to think dating guys was a lot easier than dating women. Girls seemed to have so many requirements and issues to deal with. Guys were simple and easy to deal with.
Now I think this had more to do with age than anything. A 17 year-old girl could be a lot more complicated than a 17 year-old boy.

Most of my life I was never in actual relationships because I didn't want to commit myself to anyone else. I didn't want to deal with the requisite conversations about “where things were going” because, 99 times out of 100, I didn't feel the same way about the other person. Some people just didn't want to be alone and their requirements were few – but why would I want to be with someone just to fill up a space in their life? Others wanted to be with me but only if I changed A, B, or C about myself.
I once went out with a girl who told me my body would be perfect if my breasts were two cup sizes larger. I've never had a guy say anything like that to me.
I have, however, had men tell me that I wasn't thin enough or I was too butch or that they don't like short hair on girls.

None of those things really affected me. There wasn't much about myself I was ever willing to change just to spend time with someone else. I didn't care what size bra I wore and certainly wasn't going to run to the nearest plastic surgery center just because one girl wasn't satisfied with the shape of my body. I wasn't going to go on a diet and start exercising just because one guy preferred thin women. I'll never be as skinny as what some people prefer. My bones will always sit the same way they are right now, so even if I starved myself, I'd still have hips and wide shoulders.

After dating my share of both I became relatively apathetic about relationships. I wasn't very kind to other people who were interested in me and I had no problem never returning someone's call because of some stupid requirement I'd made up. He wore socks with sandals. She used to date one of my friends. He doesn't like any of the music I do. She smacks her lips when she eats. I found any number of reasons to exclude people from my life.

Now that I'm older and have been in the same relationship for almost seven years, I've learned a lot about communicating and what people (read: I) really want. My requirements have become much more specific and relaxed at the same time. I need someone who will act as a social buffer, who will stand between me and the things that make me uncomfortable — while they also push me to do those things on my own. I need someone who will make doctors' appointments for me because I will never do it. I need someone who is positive and upbeat, otherwise we'd just sit around and mope all the time. I used to prefer tall, lean men, but I don't care if he's put on a few pounds. Even though I hate beards, I don't really care that he's refusing to shave until he loses 15 more pounds. I don't care if he listens to country music because he'll listen to anything I like, too. I don't care that he's a huge football fan because he'll turn on the stereo and watch the game while I read or do homework. I'm not banished from the room while he screams at the television.

These are all things that came as a surprise to me as my requirements used to include “No sports nuts” and “No country music fans.” But, ultimately, it's about what you share together that matters and how you can support one another. Love isn't about what someone can do for you, it's about what you can do for that person. I know this. I know this. Putting it into measureable deeds is a completely different thing. It's a really hard thing to learn.

Some people will perpetually measure their significant others' deeds in terms of how others perceive those acts. Was the gift expensive enough, meaningful enough? Can I make other people feel bad about themselves when they look at us from the outside? It doesn't really matter because, at the end of the day, it's just the two of you. If you haven't built a foundation, everything else isn't supported and can fall apart at any moment.