Standing in the kitchen at 1 a.m. like a confused velociraptor looking for food

I wish I would post more often. But then life happens. Why? Did I get a new squeeze? No. Did I get a new job? No. Do I have classes? Actually, no. Did someone die? Actually, yes.

Somehow between trying to get an ounce of sense out of my library books and procrastinating on contacting my supervisor, I’ve managed to paint the walls, write a guide, writing job applications, going to lectures about writing applications and assembling a modern CV, check out the Overwatch Beta, nurse Boyfriend through his nose drop high (I am being entirely serious), and… other things. Like becoming uncharacteristically depressed because I’m 106% sure my mother started drinking again which unearthed a whole host of repressed anxiety about our relationship. So I turned my phone on silent for a few days to get some thesis work done without thinking about the implications that I still feel like my mother’s keeper.

And then her mother died. This week is not looking good.

So my other grandmother died just two months shy of her 95th birthday, which seems to become a trend in this family because other grandma did the same. And they all die suddenly, is this supposed to give me hope or not? Like, the one time I turn off my phone someone dies, is this a sort of super power and if yes, does it only work with immediate family members or…? Because I have a list, so, y’know. But now mom and aunt are depressed because while their mom mistreated them their entire lives her absence still somehow hits them like an eighteen-wheeler. Probably because of all the missed opportunities to actually have a functioning healthy relationship with her. So basically, fantasy.

When all I wanted to do was level my next Diablo III season char. Guess what I’m not going to get around to for a while.

Also, everyone’s going crazy over the presidential elections. Two candidates and they’re both at roughly the same percentage. Best joke I heard all week: 100% of Austrians agree that 50% of Austrians are idiots. What am I doing about it? Well, I voted. What else can I do, sacrifice something to Satan? Or Cthulhu? Who’s more into politics d’you reckon?

Blagh. I’m getting a whiff of the human existential angst that makes you say “Everything was better in the good old days!” Yeah, damn right everything was better twenty years ago when I was a small kid and didn’t have to worry about politics and voting and which old white man gets to lord it over me.

So what am I doing? I’m in the kitchen where 50% of politicians would have me, and I’m eating everything in sight. Because if we go down, we’re going down with a stomach full of dessert. Kinda like my grandmother.

Rant Day! A short and sweet list on mid-December complaints!

Item 1: Last year I was full of good cheer and Christmas spirit. This year… nah. I don’t know what happened? Why am I not being all merry and annoying?

Item 2: My back’s been hurting for a week now and it’s not getting better. What’s happening in there? Not fair, I’ve been working out, I should not have back pain.

Item 3: Managed to pull a muscle in my arm this week. On the train. Because those hold-onto-sling-thingies they have in trains basically just exist for you to swing around better in case of a sudden stop. No really, they stop you from face-planting into the window by an inch but that’s the end of their usefulness, you have to do the rest yourself. Balance your body plus fifteen pounds of winter clothing. In a stuffed train. While holding a cake with the other hand. Somehow not that easy.

Item 4: I know it’s the holidays again, Boyfriend, but stop getting on my nerves about the marriage thing. I will not plan a huge event for your millions of relatives when I only have five, out of which three are able to actually show up. And don’t come at me with your newly-found practicality. “Oh, you’ll get a widow’s pension when I die!” Okay. That’s nice. But actually I wanted a reason to live with you forever, not a reason to kill you and make it look like an accident.

Item 5: Christmas presents. What do you do when your mom deserves an island and you can afford a candle?

Random praise: Thank you, Rap Critic on YouTube, for sharing my sentiments on Hotline Bling and expressing them way more eloquently than I could manage.

Rant Day! Things That Pissed Me Off So Far This December!

Item 1: Professors who lack time management skills. Look here, mate, I have a busy life, so if you could stop talking for fucking ever and let people get on with their presentations, that would be great. We’re behind schedule like whoa. I want to know if I have my own presentation before or after the holiday break. I have to plan this shit, you know! Christmas season is stressful enough already!

Item 2: Dear internet, please shut the fuck up with Hotline Bling, that song’s creepy as hell. Also, Drake? You okay there? Dude, you weren’t always a creepy obsessed ex – or were you? Oh, so you left the city and your fuck buddy now has lost all interest in you? And yes, that was a fuck buddy relationship – you weren’t living together and she just called you up when she wanted sex. You were her booty call! Minor relationship! Get over it! And now she’s going to parties and has new friends, like how dare she! Wait a minute, didn’t you say you left the city? So how the hell do you know all that? Are you stalking her? Also, can we please retire this whole men-telling-women-what-they-are-and-where-they-belong-bullshit? We can make up our own minds, thank you very much. And if your booty call doesn’t want your dick anymore, that doesn’t mean she’s no longer a ‘good girl’. What even is that? And why should she follow your bullshit biased double standards for ‘being a good girl’? Why should anyone? Build a bridge and get over yourself, dude.

Item 3: To anyone wondering why I almost never wear earrings, it’s because my ears hate them. They will literally spit them out. As happened today when I lost the left one of my brand new pair of earrings. That no other store has, for some reason. Just fell out of the hole in my ear without so much as a by-your-leave. Dammit!

Item 4: Almost completely lost my appetite, somehow not losing weight, though. Not fair!

Item 5: Dear party of Slavic hobbits, this is a public subway train. First of all, why is none of you over five feet tall? Seriously. Something in the water where you’re from? Second of all, no amount of shoving or cuddling up against me will make me move. Mostly because moving has become impossible since roughly a hundred people have boarded the car simultaneously. Go find your wizard, he’ll explain this to you. What do you expect me to do, glue myself to the ceiling?

Item 6: I love my new winter jacket but it makes me look like an ogre. I’m at least one and a half times as broad as usual. But it has pockets!

Item 7: I’ve already had it with this month, seriously, I just want to sleep at this point. If I was to make a country of my own, it’s name shall be Hiber Nation. (Get it?)

Blergh. I don’t want to do anything anymore. I can haz vacation, pls?

Why Gallows Humour Will Keep Me Alive Until 98

The other day I saw a tramway decorated with Christmas lights, a Christmas wreath and a big bow in front. Just driving around, content as you please, with some people on board who seemed to be having themselves a glorious time. And the first thing that popped into my mind was, I want that for my funeral. Party train! All the way to the cemetery! Put a table cloth on my coffin and use it as a buffet table! Beat that for a wake!

My former therapist would remind me that planning elaborate funerals for myself is neither normal nor conducive to my mental health. I have another theory about my funeral obsession: If I plan it in a way that makes me sorry I’m going to miss it – you know, by being all dead and stuff – this will convince my jerkbrain to stay alive through sheer stubborn bloodymindedness. I see my therapist wagging his finger at me as the train goes past, but what does he know?

Anyway, it’s almost midnight, I went to bed two hours ago in a heroic attempt to get a decent night’s sleep because I have an important presentation tomorrow, and here I am, wide-eyed as a marigold. Oh, who cares about presentations? Who cares if I look like an extra from The Walking Dead and sound like one, too? It’s my own stupid fault anyway because I made the mistake of reading. Reading before going to bed! That thing people do to fall asleep! But somehow reading doesn’t make me sleepy, reading recharges me. Even if it’s reading for class. Boring reading. Oh, when will I learn?

It’s all because I went to bed at 10 pm. I’m my own Dorothy Parker now. If only I’d learned from her example, I’d have known that nothing good ever comes from that. Then I wouldn’t be in this mess right now, typing away at almost midnight. Reason, prudence, common sense that tell you to get a solid eight – what have they done for me lately?

Well, it’s not just the reading. The stress might have something to do with it. Presentations are stressful. And everything else in life, too. But the night before the performance, that’s so me! And yes, a presentation is a performance. If you can perform gender, you can perform being a normal human. And there’s the wagging forefinger again. Yes, yes, it doesn’t do to sort people into ‘normal’ and myself into ‘not normal’. No matter how true it is in practice. But what does the old quack know, anyway? If this whole therapy thing had been any good I wouldn’t be in this mess right now  at 11:40 pm when all the decent people are just heading out the door.

If I fall asleep right now I still get seven hours. That’s a big If. Almost as big as the joke I’ve got planned for my cremation. It all depends on whether or not I can convince someone to hide five pounds of popcorn kernels in my coffin.

Again with the funerals. Yes, yes, I shouldn’t. But what can I do? It’s what I think about when I’m stressed. I’m not suicidal; I think. To use the words of an ex-friend, if I was really suicidal I’d be dead. Either way, no one inherits anything unless I get a train to chug-a chug-a me over to my semi-eternal resting place. And whoever does the best locomotion at the reception gets the good silverware. If I have any good silverware, that is.

Dorothy Parker would just get up and read her head off. Then again, I’m pretty sure she also drank herself to death. Maybe I should do that. But booze is costly, like… really now. I got my dad some fine whisky for Christmas because the man’s a connoisseur, or whatever that godawful French word is for people who like expensive stuff once in a while. Spell-check will tell me. Ah, there it is. And I spent an ungodly amount of money on just two bottles. I mean, I suppose if you die penniless that’s just excellent financial planning, but still. What if I’d need an emergency bottle of whatever I’m drinking myself to the pearly gates with? And you can’t drink yourself to hell on cheap booze. That’s just not classy. Who ever heard of someone dying from Heineken, or Bud Light, or Eristoff Ice? No, no, no, it has to be the fancy stuff. Otherwise it’s just sad. Death shouldn’t make you sad, that’s what taxes are for.

Maybe I should try for those seven hours. Or a bit less than seven now. Maybe my upstairs neighbour should get their bladder checked, because they always get up to pee at the exact same time each night. Thin goddamn walls. I wonder if they can hear me type. Are they thinking about their funerals, too? They should, because I’m calling dibs on the train.

I suppose I’ll just leave ol’ Dorothy here for other sleepless minds to read (or people in the southern hemisphere who are wondering why I’m talking about midnight at, like, noon.): “I might repeat to myself, slowly and soothingly, a list of quotations beautiful from minds profound; if I can remember any of the damn things.”

You tell ’em, Dot. Now, post this or sleep on it? Reason, prudence and common sense are sitting in the corner, drinking fizzy water and shaking their maiden-auntly heads. Eh… I’ll just smash my face into the touch screen and see what happens. And then I’ll try to get some 6 and a half hours. Maybe.

What Day Is It? Monday? Better Do A Freewrite, Then.

You might have noticed that I’ve been curiously absent for a bit.

Well, a bit. A week. Well, a week is a bit.

Rest assured it wasn’t on purpose. Well… maybe a bit. Well, actually not. You ever get so tired you go to bed at 9 pm? That thing you haven’t done since you were eight years old? Yup.

So this job training thing went well, actually. I learnt stuff. I love learning stuff! Give me more stuff I can learn! So now I’m just waiting for them to send me a piece of paper that says, yes, you can edit other people’s shit now. I mean, I’ve edited other people’s shit before but I never had a piece of paper that actually said I could. So if anyone needs an editor, I’m looking for paper-approved work experience. And money. Bummer, right?

My life would probably be easier if I had a useful talent, like cooking, or fixing stuff, or a knack for people. As it is, my biggest talent is finding mistakes other people made. Which also explains the history of my love life, ba-dum-TSS!

My other talent is making horrible jokes.

This Pringles can keeps falling out of my hand as I type this, which is probably the universe’s way of trying to keep me from consuming even more calories. I generally eat too many carbs and too much unhealthy shit, why, because I’m stressed, I’m tired, food makes me happy, and because I bloody well can. Still don’t understand how we as a species can go about planning life-long Mars missions, yet somehow we don’t have some sort of pill that makes your body reject calories. What’s the deal, science? At least make salad taste like cake.

Ugh, salad. I still can’t eat salad. I don’t know how other people do it. It’s water held together by chlorophyll. And it’s bitter tasting. How? How you do eet?! Isn’t the bitterness a sign that you should not eat it? And how many vitamins can possibly be swimming around in all that water anyway?

I’m kinda through believing all that shit about being healthy anyway, mainly because it never seems to work for me. There was a time (barely a year ago, actually) when I worked out five times a week and through a feat of barely imaginable, not to mention barely manageable, strength of will cut down on carbs and didn’t eat chocolate or sugar besides what you might find in fruit. Did I have more energy? Nah, I was just tired all the time. Did I feel better? Nope, just miserable. Was my skin better? Hell no. Good on you if you can make that shit work, I can’t. And anyway, no one in my family ever worked out regularly or ate five servings of vegetables every day, and so far no one died under the age of 90, with the exception of skinny-as-a-twig grandpa who loved hiking and who had a fatal heart attack at age 80. So, in short, I think I’ll live.

Really, the only reason I even kinda sorta watch my weight is because I don’t want to go clothes shopping again. Shopping is stressful. I love having new things, but I don’t love the process of acquiring new things.

You know what else sucks about clothes? Pitiable lack of pockets. Every item of clothing should come with at least one big pocket. This is the 21st century, goddamn, I need to put my phone somewhere! Until humans develop technology holding pouches on our bodies, you’ll just have to give us pockets!

That’d be great, though, pouches…

Ugh, better get back to work. So much stuff to write, still.

Rant Day! Things That Had Me Like, “Arrrrgh!”, Nov 9 – 22

Item 1: Unable to sleep all night because Boyfriend has morphed into his alter ego El Snoro Malo the Mighty Snorer Before the Lord, debating with myself at 7 am whether to go to class, finally getting my ass out of bed and getting said ass ready to leave, and finding out that class was cancelled. Like… who’s the cosmic joker who was put in charge of my life? I want a name. I want a number. I want someone I can sue.

Item 2: So if I just ignored all my responsibilities and curled up somewhere for like a month or two, would that be a problem, d’you think?

Item 3: Doing advanced training. Is stressful. Not because of the content but because it’s a weird social situation. Who’s going to be there? How do I act? What do I wear? Business casual or more casual? What if I find no one to talk to? What if everyone hates me? Is this even worth my money? maybe I should just stay home. Which personality should I project? Perky and fun? Intelligent but a bit withdrawn? Slightly sarcastic? Very sarcastic? Slightly ditzy student with perky C cups? Hah, I wish…

And to the “Just be yourself” crowd, my self is having a panic attack, and therefore no help at all. Me “being myself” will probably end with another “Oh my god, why did I tell that spinach joke?” situation.

Item 4: The Negative Nancys that I call my loved ones. When I tell you I’m doing advanced training so I’ll have better job prospects, and when I tell you I’m taking more classes this semester so I can finish my degree sooner, and when I tell you I really have a lot of work to do and a stressful week, please refrain from using the following sentences: “What good is that going to do?”, “That will never work.”, “What, we can’t binge watch Doctor Who because you have some papers to write?”, “What, you’re going to do uni work on the weekend, too?”, “You’re wasting your money/time.”, “How can you be so stressed when you just have to read some stuff?”, “How hard can it be to type stuff?”

You. Are. Not. Helping. This is why I don’t tell you bitches anything.

Item 5: Never underestimate how mental work can exhaust you. And how hungry you get doing any sort of cerebral activity. Says I as the proud owner of aisle four.

Item 6: I still need a new bag. But I want a decent bag with lots of compartments and pockets on the inside, and affordable, thank you very much. And the only one I could find that fits my unreasonably high standards was in an American online store and shipping costs as much as the thing itself. And then there’s tax. And customs. And why the hell can’t I find a decent bag that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg and half a liver?!

Item 7: I’d love to complain more but I’ve got some research to do, bye.

Tired, Tired, Tired, Tired, Tired, BTW I’m Doing a Freewrite, Tired

You don’t need to be Bruce Springsteen to be nothing but tired (whaddup, ancient song reference!). When I think about all the uni work I have to do I freeze. I mean, the inevitable deadline stress will, in all likeliness, kick my brain into gear just in time, because I work better under stress even if I feel like dying. Works every time. It’s kind of worrisome.

Then there’s the topic of supervisor and how everyone freezes in terror likewise when confronted with a topic that isn’t Shakespeare, isn’t British culture, and isn’t applied linguistics. Sorry, people who are much farther ahead in academia than me, I ain’t doing boring topics. Had enough of those as a lowly undergrad. And as a lowly grad, too, to be honest. But we’re not going into that.

I don’t understand how a single person can feel so stressed out when there’s objectively speaking not so much to do. I mean, there’s uni work, and then there’s chores, with a minuscule sprinkling of actual work in between. So… how is that stressing me out? I mean, I’m definitely not getting enough sleep. That’s one thing. And I dunno, I mean, academic writing on literature is at least a half-creative task (mostly because bullshit takes time to come up with) and you can’t rush creative shit. Half creative because you have to stick to a certain register, jargon, and layout, but you also can’t write the same style sentence fifteen times in a row. And you can’t start sentences with ‘and’, not even if it would make everything easier. You can’t just line up quotes, which is basically all you do anyway, but still you can’t. You can’t just not quote, because this isn’t the 1700s anymore, you can’t just have original thought if not at least two other people had the same thought within the last 15 years (otherwise the source is too old, which by implication means your thought is too old). You can’t just say there’s this thing, and this thing, and this thing and because of all the things there is that thing. You suddenly find yourself writing items such as ‘therefore’ and ‘furthermore’ and ‘moreover’ and ‘theretofore’ (I’m not even kidding, and I swear that’s not even a real word.) It’s all patently unnecessary, says I, long-term lover of terribly long words as long as I have spell-check, and we’re bullshitting each other in amicable agreement.

That’s a lot of hating on academic writing. I usually like that shit. But there’s such a thing as too much of a good thing (again with the things, there’s too many things). Why couldn’t I have been a milkmaid? Oh right, because I’m allergic to cows and milk and hay and nature in general. Also, that’s not a proper job title anymore. I wonder if they call it lactic specialist now. If they can call a janitor ‘surface technician’ it’s not that big of a step.

No, really. ‘Oberflächentechniker’. It’s a thing. It’s the thing about German, you can make anything sound super serious. In English you have to work a little for it, throw in some Latin. Like I once advised my mom to call herself not a housewife but a self-taught, self-employed domestic management specialist.

Academic writing is a lot like this. Take a concept, throw some fancy sounding words at it. That’s all there is to it, really. It’s surprisingly difficult. I better get back to doing the thing, then.

It’s like the things never end.

Rant Day! Things That Pissed Me Off, Oct 5-10

Item 1: Mayoral elections are coming up and its a mess. Basically, the government is putting a gun to our heads saying “Socialist or right-wing!” and I’m just over here like, “Pull the trigger.” One candidate has proven to be incompetent. The other one is known for shouting a lot but not getting anything useful done. All other parties are so minuscule right now they’ll never even get close to the town hall, so what’s the point? And if I see one more balding fat man slinging mud at another balding fat man I swear I’m going to go postal. Go home! Both of you! No one wants you here! Maybe I should run next time. I’ll establish the first Assassin’s Party. It’s a foolproof scheme. People will vote for me or else I’ll just have them meet with an accident! Then when I’m mayor, everyone will just do as I say unless they want to wake up with a knife in their back! Oh, we’re very conservative, we’re using the world’s oldest method of persuasion: shameless blackmail and old-fashioned violence. We’ll also dress in impeccable black suits. We’re not simple brutes, you know. Just gentlefolk who wish to extract the razorblades from the cotton candy of life. Mostly by stabbing the razorblades.

Item 2: They told us we’d get new windows in October. It is October. Well? I’m waiting. Hop to it. Look, I don’t want much in life, alright? But a couple windows where you don’t have to mop the floor every time it rains outside would be nice. Did you notice it’s been raining rather heavily lately? Well, did you? Because I did.

Item 3: My uterus is eating itself alive again and I’m in a lot of pain.

Item 4: Somehow my city managed to have a giant water main burst that brought all traffic to a standstill and made everyone late not once but twice this week. How old are those damn pipes? It’s not like it was freezing, so… how?

Item 5: I’ve had to take eye drops for over a month now and I still keep missing my eyes. How hard is it to drop the stuff into the eyeball and not literally everywhere else, up to and including nostrils? Extremely hard, apparently. My excuse is that I can’t see what I’m aiming at, which is completely true.

Item 6: People who design game characters who are meant to fight in 12 cm heels should be forced to wear heels for a week. Try doing anything routine and everyday in heels, let alone fight. Try walking for a start. I know there are some drag queens out there who can pack a punch in glittering stilettos but I guarantee you your character is not one of them and neither are you. Also, who keeps proclaiming from up high that torso protection is obsolete for females? Do female game characters have some sort of magical uterus shield that can ward off swords and arrows and whatever magic will get thrown at you? Because if they do I want that. Or do they just not have any vital organs in their mid-sections that need protection? Is that why they’re all so skinny? Do they just cram all their organs into their boobs? That would explain so much! (This complaint brought to you by Diablo III’s Demon Hunter and Barbarian designs.)

Arrgh. I think I’m finished. Anything you’d like to add?

Mirror Mirror On the Wall, True Hope Lies Beyond the Coast

Think of your blog as a mirror: what does it reveal? Consider your blog name, theme choice, design, bio, posts… what does every element tell you about yourself?

That I’m a student without colour sense who complains too much. Also that my long-term memory is full of useless shit like ancient song lyrics because literally the only thing I could think of reading this prompt was this, which takes me way back, like waaaaay back, like… all the way to like eight grade:

Boom!

Exit stage left feeling mild awkwardness. Like in eight grade.