Barely wonked

I went and got fitted for my fancy new shoe orthotics on Monday. These orthotics, which based on the cost and amount of time it will take for them to appear in my life (3.5 weeks) are being hand-woven from silken unicorn manes, are going to transform my feet into something magical.

Before we got down to brass tacks, the orthotics lady (I don’t know her official title: foot goddess?) asked for a brief description.

I may have described my feet as deformed and “seriously wonky.” When I removed my shoes and socks, she said, “your feet are barely wonked.” And that when I knew I loved her. (I have had a string of amazing luck with the professionals in my life lately. Not a lemon yet this summer.)

I beamed! My feet were barely wonked! And Foot Goddess would know! She probably looks at feet all day. (Gah, that would be a horrible job.)

And then she took a closer look. “Wait a minute,” she said. “What’s wrong with your little toes?”

Alarmed, I looked at my feet. They’d been fine that morning. Wait a minute, they still are fine. Aren’t they?

“Ummmm…nothing,” was my exceedingly clever reply.

“They’re really short. Practically non-existent. How do you walk without falling over?”

I knew the answer to this one. “Oh, that! I don’t much. I fall over quite frequently! I’m known for it in fact.” I managed to shut up before I told her about my online name and how I came by it. (Hint: I’m not the gazelle on crack because of my unmistakable grace.)


“I’m not surprised,” she said. “May I see you walk?”

So I walked about. Up and down the hall. “Are you walking normally?” she asked. At this point, I thought about throwing in something a little silly, but I did not. Not everyone uses humor when they’re uncomfortable.

“Yes,” I answered. I was considering demoting her from Goddess of Feet to simply Tsar of Feet.

“You have basically no stability due to the fact that your little toes are virtually non-functional.”

I suggested prosthetic toes, but that idea was quickly dismissed.

(Aren’t you glad you know that’s an actual thing?)

In the end, we decided that since there was nothing to do about my feet (and she never did rescind her diagnosis of ‘barely wonked’ so I’m sticking with that), we might as well just put them in the weird foam box to get fitted for the orthotics.

And so, I did.

That’s a rather anti-climatic ending, isn’t it? I feel like I should end with a joke.

What do you call a dinosaur with stinky feet?

My feet look slightly better than that. Win!

Who Needs Sleep?

I do! I do! For once, this won’t be about my periodic insomnia. I’ve actually been doing pretty well lately – logging 6-7 hours most nights. I feel good about that.

This, instead, is a story that will make you laugh, make you cry, and make you wish you had mad skillz like mine. (You can tell I’m serious, because I spelled ‘skills’ with a ‘z.’)


Alvie Bean’s bedroom is on the southwestish corner of our house. It does not cool down quickly in that room. Also, that kid runs hot anyway. Other hot things? Your mom*. And this summer in Portland.  So, we bought a window AC unit for Bean this summer. It’s lovely.

Our bedroom is on the east side of the house. In the evening, we just put a large box fan in the window and by bedtime, our bedroom is a cool paradise.

Last night, I went to bed (as I do) and found that the fan had not been properly placed in our window. Our room was hot. I tried to go to sleep anyway, but I was all sweaty and gross.

I had a bright idea! I would go sleep in Bean’s room. He has a full-sized bed and he is only 28 months old. There is plenty of room in that bed for a toddler and his short mama, right?

Following is a professionally illustrated series on how that went.

Time: 10:50 pm.

When I went into Bean's room, this was the situation. Plenty of room for me.

When I went into Bean’s room, this was the situation. Plenty of room for me.


Here I am, all comfy in the bed. I'm not sure why I'm bald. Lack of drawing skills, possibly.

Here I am, all comfy in the bed. I’m not sure why I’m bald. Lack of drawing skills, possibly.


Within two minutes, Bean had migrated downwards and put his stinky feet on me.

Within two minutes, Bean had migrated downwards and put his stinky feet on me.


I moved up. Much more comfy now, anyway. I can stretch out. Room for all!

I moved up. Much more comfy now, anyway. I can stretch out. Room for all!


Turns out that I'm a pillow. Also, Alvie's head weights eleventy million pounds. He actually gave me two black eyes Monday night with an unfortunately placed head-butt.

Turns out that I’m a pillow. Also, Alvie’s head weights eleventy million pounds. He actually gave me two black eyes Monday night with an unfortunately placed head-butt.


I'll just scootch over here. Now the sweaty, heavy head isn't touching me.

I’ll just scootch over here. Now the sweaty, heavy head isn’t touching me.


Ha, ha! You thought stinky feet on your legs was nasty. I've got something even better! Smell these suckers! (Or is it, "smell these, sucker"?)

Ha, ha! You thought stinky feet on your legs was nasty. I’ve got something even better! Smell these suckers! (Or is it, “smell these, sucker”?)

I gave up and went back to my slightly-less-stifling room.

Time: 11:25 pm.

This morning when I went in to wake up Mr. Bean for school, this is how I found him.

Well-played, Bean. You win this round.

Well-played, Bean. You win this round.


*apologies for the ineptitude of my ‘your mom’ joke. My strengths are in the visual arts. Obviously.

Nose Meet Grindstone

Ha! Just kidding. I mean, I work hard when I’m at work, but today I am only working a half day. I like to eeeeease back into things. Also, I have to go get fitted for my custom old-lady orthotics. (No offense to all the non-ladies and non-olds who also wear orthotics.)

I would like to report on how I did with my vacation goals.

  1. A decent number of workouts – WOW. fail.Embarrassingly so. I worked out only on weekends. I am hanging my head in shame right now.
  2. A cleaning out of the closet. Everything that does not fit and/or has not been worn in the past year must go! Also, most high heels must go. *sob* – Again with the failing.  Oops!
  3. The results of said cleaning out must go out of the house. – Failing at #2 meant an automatic fail at #3.
  4. I will replace that damn kitchen light fixture that has been broken for eleventy years so that I can see when I do dishes after sunset. – I took the light fixture down, studied it in great detail, put it back up, and then forgot about it. Holy failing, Batman! (Hee – I typed Bathman, which I have decided is a much better superhero.)
  5. I will read some books – FINALLY! A SUCCESS! I read some books. I have book reviews coming up.
  6. I will only do the bare minimum amount of work/email checking that is necessary to meet some external deadlines. – I went to work for a half day on Wednesday. I could have done less, but I did need to go.
  7. I will have a good time – SUCCESS! I had a pretty good time. I went to OMSI with the sister, got lost, had lunch with the architect, happy hour with some friends, had a GREAT Thursday, and spent Friday with Bean. Fun times.
  8. I will make significant headway on the editing of the mss – success. Not an all caps success, but success all the same. I spent ALL DAY Thursday editing. And I was alternately happy with and despairing of the words. Poor Cat had to bear the brunt of my self-doubt and whining.

I probably should have also tried to take my new, excessively long pants to get hemmed, but instead they’re just folded neatly on a shelf in my closet and have become a cat bed. (As opposed to a Cat bed, which would just be weird.)

And now, my first day in the office is coming to a close as it’s time to head out for my old lady orthotics.

Later ‘gators!

Procrastination Station

I am singing that to the tune of “Conjunction Junction.” Alas, I haven’t come up with more lyrics yet. I could, though. It would be the perfect thing to do instead of doing the things I am supposed to be doing!

Monday was a wash because my sister was here. We went to OMSI to see the dinosaurs, went out to eat, then ummm….did important home things (?) before going to pick up the Bean to take him to the park. (He pronounces park with way more syllables than I do. It’s kinda like po-wa-ark. It’s hilarious.) At the park, we went on the see-saw, and the slides, and splashed in the water. It was 100 degrees on Monday (AKA gross) so that was lovely.

Yesterday I took the little sister back to the airport and then attempted to go to work. I got lost. Seriously. I went east instead of west on the freeway (84) and didn’t realize that I was going in the wrong direction for at least 5 miles. So I gave up, ate a burrito, and went home. Where I proceeded to attempt to do one of the things on my to-do list (change the pendant light). I figured out how to remove the light from the track and am ready for replacement light purchasing!

Then, I watched a couple of episodes of Supernatural (not on the to-do list) and read a book (totally on the to-do list).

Today, today! I am actually at work right now. I am done working, though. Soon I will leave to go meet the architect for lunch. And then I will edit, edit, edit! And then have happy hour.

Tomorrow is the big day. The day of Getting Shit Done ™. I will empty my closets and load everything in the car. I will go to the gym. I will edit some more! It will be crazily productive. I promise.

If I come back and post my complete procrastination station lyrics, though, send help!

I spwash in wah-tuh


Kick my brains ’round the floor

I started this post last week, and then, well, events happened on August 11 that made me do a couple of revisions – made me be a lot more open and raw. Because dammit, this is not something that should be pushed under a rug, or hinted at, or talked about euphemistically. Mental illness should not be stigmatized anymore than any other disease.

Oh Captain, My Captain…


I generally consider myself a fairly sane human being. I function decently well in society, as long as you take that to mean that I am able to hold down a job, have social engagements (sometimes, if I can’t avoid them) and have a few IRL friends that I see on a semi-regular basis.

I’ve had struggles off and on for years. The dragons I dance with aren’t as big and dark as others’, but they are still real. My main struggle is not depression – or not only depression. I have been variously diagnosed as bipolar or having depression or with generalized anxiety disorder. I think the one that gets me the most is the anxiety.

I do fine for months and years at a time, and then something happens. Something breaks. Things don’t fire right anymore. I read today that depression is like having malware installed in your brain, and that description (for the computer savvy among us) was as accurate as anything I’ve ever come up with.

Until you are looking at your thought processes in hindsight, it’s easy to miss where the misfirings are happening. It’s easy to get stuck in a feedback loop of “what ifs.” It’s easy to believe the alternate programs that the malware is running are real, and that the hundreds of fluttery wings in your chest cavity are a natural state of being.

It’s also easy to type everything like you’re referring to a plural anonymous you. It’s harder to take ownership.

A revision. Until I look at my thought processes in hindsight, it’s easy for ME to not realize where and when the misfirings are happening. It’s easy for ME to get stuck in a feedback loop of what-ifs that just cycle through and heighten the anxiety. It’s easy for ME to start to believe that this feeling of a herd of moths fluttering violently in my chest cavity is my natural state of being.

Yes, that is a swarm of moths.

It’s hard for ME to remember that this is temporary, and that there are things that can make it better. It’s hard for ME to remember that self-medication is not preferable to psychiatrist-supervised medication. It’s hard for ME to believe that the voices (not actual voices, I am not schizophrenic, thanks be to the Flying Spaghetti Monster) in my head are not telling the truth.

I am lucky, relatively speaking. My suffering is relatively mild in the scheme of things. When things got very, very bad post-partum, I already had a support system in place. I have a supportive husband. I can generally recognize when things are getting out of hand.

It has been a long time since life has seemed too hard. I feel fairly confident at this time that I have the tools I need to continue muddling through. But I’ve seen the darkness. I’ve felt its suffocating draw. There are days I can still feel it tugging in the corner of my mind. There are days that it is work to get up, to do what needs doing, to be who I need to be for my husband and my son.  But I can almost always turn down the volume on the static and keep on keeping on.

And sometimes when our fights begin,
I think I’ll let the Dragons win …
And then I think perhaps I won’t,
Because they’re Dragons, and I don’t.

A.A. Milne


Need help? In the U.S., call 1-800-273-8255
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline