Archive of ‘unquiet things’ category

Currently {NYC Edition With An L.A. cameo}

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What a weird, wild, wondrous whirlwind these past few months have been!

I reluctantly visited my least favorite city on earth, and three weeks later, I found a new city to (quite unexpectedly) love; I have communed with quarrelsome goats and curious chickens, I have stood in the shadow of a 305 ft copper lady, I finally met, for the first time, friends I’ve known for over a decade and some I’ve made more recently, and I made new acquaintances of several people who know me or recognize me from my writing (this is a weird one but I secretly love it!) And lastly, I’m sorry to sound a bit schmaltzy, but I also discovered–a little late in the game, but better late than never–how vital and valuable and just…really lovely…that spending time with family can be. Even if it’s your found family. Even if I was resisting it with every particle of my being!

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In April I tagged along with my partner’s family on a trip to NYC. I know it’s probably impolite to say so and may hurt some feelings, but I truly loathe New York City. It’s just too much, and all of the too much, all at once. However, I was with my love, and his family–so it’s not like I was there hacking it by myself, all alone. His mother had just celebrated a bit of a milestone birthday and wanted to celebrate with her family, doing fun touristy things, in a city that she’d never really gotten to spend much time in.

Being a bit of an ingrate and a brat, I suppose, I was not necessarily looking forward to this trip. Spending time with other people’s families is always a dicey venture. Everyone’s got their own routines, their own agendas, their own way of doing things. Three opinionated brothers are going to snip and pick and bicker a lot. Grumpy dads with bad knees and bad hearing are going to (understandably) be uncomfortable and unhappy and probably pretty vocal about it. Me, I was resentful and sullen and anxious about the distinct possibilities of family squabbles but hopefully no one could tell; I would just be the same, old “why is she so quiet?” Sarah that they had grown to tolerate, if not necessarily love, over the past seven years.

(As you can see, above, I was dressed as a veritable ray of sunshine. I packed approximately seven variations of this outfit! To be fair, this is how I dress no matter where I’m traveling, or with whom. Cloak: Phantom Lovely; Leggings: Blackmilk; Tunic: Aakasha; Necklace: bloodmilk)

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Hungry and exhausted, I was brought to tears the very first day in the city, after having just arrived and meeting the family in a small sandwich shop next to our Midtown hotel. The first comment directed my way was a concerned, “oh dear, you look so tired”, and come on–who wants to hear something like that? I bit my tongue but I was tempted to say “nah, I’m just ugly.” Then the quarrels began. Where to sit, what to order, who is going to pay for what, was this really the best place to eat?

GAHHHH. I thought I was going to lose my damn mind. Fussing, cussing, contentious people have always upset me, ever since I was very young. I just feel like…people shouldn’t disagree and argue in front of other people, and definitely not in public. I realize I just might be a little bit sensitive to that, though, and I recognize for lots of folks, this is a very normal way to communicate, and they don’t think twice about it. Especially in close families! I know myself well enough, though, to identify what my triggers are, and what is going to upset me, so I stepped away from the group, took a deep breath, and counted to ten. Visited my safe place (Thanks, therapy! More on this later.) Ordered a falafel salad. Rejoined the fray after I felt the tears retreat.

I must note that this was the best salad I’d ever eaten in my entire life! And though the spot where we dined was probably a chain, and really nothing special considering all the options that the city has to offer–it really was some of my favorite food from the whole trip. Maybe because it delivered a delicious respite and nourishment when I sorely needed it.

I’m happy to say that after our initially rocky arrival, most everything settled down–including me–and it was actually a lovely time. I did so many things that I probably never would have chosen to do, if asked; taking a ferry to the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island, visiting the Empire State Building observatory (look at my crazy hair, it wants to fly off my head straight into space!) — these things have never been at the top of my list of priorities. Or…even on my list at all. Part of me might have said that these pilgrimages were very much wasted on me. Midway in the doing of them, I became aware of feeling… not exactly jazzed learning more about our nation’s history… but rather I came away with a sentiment that I have not experienced much in the course of my lifetime, and as it’s not part of my lived experience, I’m not sure that I have the proper words available in my lexicon to describe it.

My own family is so very small. Two sisters whom I adore. A cousin whom I don’t know very well. A father with whom I don’t communicate. That’s it, really. Everyone else is dead, or else I don’t know them at all and they either don’t know me or have forgotten I exist. In my time as an adult, my family has certainly never traveled together; at most, we’ve had one annual holiday dinner for the last few decades. And even now, that yearly Thanksgiving dinner is becoming a thing of the past as we opt to travel elsewhere, to create our own traditions.

To spend time with this family then, who has accepted me (as far as I can tell, and even though often they tell me I need to wear more bright colors) as one of their own, to do with them the things that “normal families” do; whether it be traveling, dining together, sitting around the table for coffee and conversation–I have never had that, even when my family was alive and whole. That just wasn’t our thing, and though I’m not always sure that I want that level of closeness and communication, it has become something I appreciate more than I ever would have thought possible. It took this trip away with them to the city I most dislike in the world to realize that.

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I did, however, do other things in NYC than learn maudlin, melancholic life lessons! We got tickets to The Cher Show, a production recounting the evolution of an iconic star, “packed with so much Cher that it takes three women to play her, ” and, I might add, very accurately reviewed as “…an explosion of fabulous excess that survives against all odds under the weight of all its sequins.”

I’ve never really thought of myself as a Cher fan, though I’m not not a Cher fan, I guess? I mean, I know all the words to her songs, but is that because I enjoy and connect with them on some level or is it because they’ve gotten so much radio play that  it’s all a bit unconscious and subliminal at this point? Well, I’ve always appreciated her over-the-top sense of style, at any rate, and the show certainly played up that aspect in the form of the glittering excess of several dozen amazing costume changes!

I didn’t expect to have the opportunity to actually do anything I wanted to do during this visit, but much to my delight, the group consensus was that we might like to stop by the Gugenheim for the Hilma af Klint exhibit. It’s a cliché, I know, to talk about an artist being ahead of their time, but I think even Hilma herself knew that her paintings–imaginative, abstract articulations of her views on mysticism and spirituality–were the sort of experimental, boundary-defying works that the world in that moment would neither appreciate nor understand. Hilma af Klint stipulated that her art not be shown for twenty years following her death; her work was all but unseen until 1986, and only over the subsequent three decades have her paintings and works on paper begun to receive serious attention. I’m so pleased that I was in the right place at the right time, while this exhibit was available to the public, and that I had the good fortune to have seen it for myself.

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Not even a month later I flew out to L.A. (AND I upgraded to first class seats to mitigate the stress of the whole “peeing in airplanes” situation!) The above photo was taken at the excellent and hitherto-unknown-to-me Clifton’s during a lovely meet and greet hosted by the sweet ladies from The Creeping Museum. Lovely though it may have been, I disappeared back to my hotel room shortly after this photo was taken. I was overcome with …is party anxiety a thing? I am quite certain it is. When I encounter a room where people have already arrived and started to congregate, I can’t think straight. My heart races, I get flushed and sweaty and I want to make a break for it. I have a hard time jumping into conversations; I feel pressured to chat, and even if I can think of a conversation topic suitable for the group, I overthink what to say, and I either end up saying nothing or something …really … weird.

On top of a rude, brutal surprise period and being extra-crampy and headache-y, having spent the last ten hours on my feet in another, slightly different but equally high-stress situation, and not having eaten since about 8am that morning, well…I panicked and split. And I feel awful, because everyone there was so nice, and probably just as awkward and strange as me, but I had reached my limits. I vanished as soon as it seemed appropriate and hurried back to my room for a bit of a weep. I was really beating myself up about it at the time, too, like “why can’t you be more like so-n-so? She’s clever, she’s charming, she always tells a good story that holds listeners rapt, she’s probably nervous too, but she keeps her shit together!” But I also know that I tried… maybeit wasn’t a perfect attempt, but it was an attempt, you know?

Ah, well. I know myself fairly well. I know I am best equipped for circumstances where I’m communicating and interacting one on one; add a few other folks in the mix and I think that’s nearly too much stimulation for me. Make it a roomful of people, and, 99% of the time, I will probably straight up shut down. I’ll keep trying, though! And hopefully people will continue to understand. Your weird friend Sarah is weird, guys. Sorry about it.

But of course Los Angeles was more than uncomfortable social situations; that was truly only one minuscule part of my visit!  There were wonderful friends met and made; friendly farm animals and feral cats; art and artists and books and cocktails and both the most liberating breakfast sandwich I have ever devoured as well as the most elusive sushi burrito that I never actually ate at all. And much, much more! All of that though, is a tale for another time and place …like over at Haute Macabre sometime in the near future, hint hint! Once I’ve had a chance to parse and process and parcel it out, there will be loads more details to share in a ginormous collaborative post with a few of my HM coven-cronies and travel-mates.

I will instead leave you with this image of some the beautiful things I brought back with me. As we all know, the best part of any travel is returning home to spread your newly gotten treasures over your bed and bask in the glory of acquisition and collection!

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Weekly Fragrance Picks January-April

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At the beginning of the year, I shared that I would choose a spot in my home that I see every day, and use it to set out a few choice fripperies and fragrances selected for the week, so that I’d wear more often the lovely things that I own, wit the hopes that they wouldn’t languish, unworn, in a dark cabinet for all eternity.

I will admit, I haven’t exactly been consistent with it; sometimes the same scents remain artistically placed, a fragrant mise-en-scèn, eye-level, atop my chest of drawers for weeks on end without me switching it out (either because I’m lazy or uninspired or else they’re so good that I can’t bear to wear anything else!) But I really have been trying!

If you ever peek at what’s going on with me over on instagram, you probably will have seen my weekly choices posted at various intervals–or maybe not, what with that crazy algorithm and all–but I thought it might be good to do a quarterly check in here on the blog, and show you what I’ve been wearing and enjoying since January.

January 11

January 11: Week two consisted of switching between Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab’s Antique Lace (light, lemony tea cakes and a lace shawl into whose delicate stitches have been knit sugary breakfast cereal crumbs) and an enormous decant of what I believe is Amouage Opus VI (a huge, handsome, peppery-boozy amber); the scents couldn’t be more different but I love them both! Also my dazzlingly fierce rose gold dagger earbobs from Arcana Obscura and a small bracelet from some relatives in Tijuana. I think someone’s kid made it in school.

January 21January 21: I’m a little late with sharing last week’s frippery and fragrance choices, but here we go! Two scents and a sekrit snek mirror by Flannery Grace.

Monarch by Solstice Scents is a sharp, green incense that is balanced out by rich, warm woods, and is for me, personally, is the olfactory equivalent of the golden glow that spreads through your chest after a few sips of whiskey on a winter evening.

Ambre Narguilé by Hermès gets a lot of apple pie references from perfume reviewers, but I don’t quite sense that myself. Pie filling, perhaps. Sans flaky crust. Dried fruits–raisins and plums, stewed in honey and rum and spices, and left on the stove very nearly too long. It’s been cooked down to a syrupy essence of its former self, and if you hadn’t pulled it from the flame, the caramelized sugars might have started to smoke and burn. I don’t know if I smell the tobacco that people mention, either, but then again, many people think tobacco smells like raisins, so…
This is as sweet as it gets for me. It calls to mind a cozying up by firelight with a charmingly old timey book, while wearing an oversized sweater with thick cables and toggle buttons.

February 11

March 12: The last few weeks’ frips & fragrance picks were so nice that I haven’t the heart to change them out yet!

Scent no.1 is Laveau from Seance Perfumes: a soft, simple, gently musky fragrance with notes of sandalwood and bourbon, and which also smells fantastic in candle form on an early spring night, with the breeze (or maybe ghosts) softly ruffling the curtains.

Scent no.2 is Fate for Woman by Amouage, which is described as “a chypre oriental with a rich floral heart intensified by a dark and destructive accord resonating with the tumultuous unknown.” Fate opens up with cool, nose-tickling pencil shavings and spicy, peppery florals follow soon thereafter, just the barest wisps of jasmine and rose. A bronzed and leathery labdanum slinks in and gives way to billowing quantities of powdery vanilla. What remains is the intensely scented blend of talcum powder cut with that opening note of pencil shavings, which seemed to play into every phase and facet of Fate, despite the fact that cedar isn’t even listed in the notes. The tumultuous unknown, it would seem, is a powdery abyss, teeming with the souls of number 2 pencils.

Frips are comprised of the lunar landscape ring from Chase & Scout Jewelry, which is pretty much a permanent fixture on my finger, as well as a simple obsidian pendant from Laurel Whitting that I received as a gift with purchase and which I have found myself wearing almost every day since receiving it.

March 1

March 1: This week’s study in frips and fragrances had me so pleased to rediscover some beloved favorites from past years! Ornaments: my jaunty eyeball necklace from Flora and Fauuna and my glimmering, good luck cicada from Flannery Grace.

Aromatics include Ambre Noir from Sonoma Scent Studio, and which is dense and intense and the darkest amber you could ever hope to meet. Somber and smoldering, with notes of labdanum, rose, incense, moss, leather, and woods, it is a blackened forest fireside frolic when the veil between worlds is thinnest. See also: the final moments in the film The VVitch. I got this in 2009 or so, and I just read that Sonoma Scent studio is closed as of last year. That’s a bummer, I think so many of you would have loved this fragrance.

Holy Terror from Arcana Wildcraft is one of my top ten forever scents. A blend of frankincense, deep myrrh, and beeswax candles, it smells of gentle resins, lofty sandalwood, and less of the fearsome spirits known to haunt certain long-deserted abbeys, than it is curling up and reading about them in a horrid novel by the warm glow of candlelight.

Absinth by Nasomatto is bitter mosses, green woodsmoke, and sinister woods. It’s a bit of a nose-jarring scent at first sniff, as if the punky-poet green fairy quit bohemian Paris to live amongst the ancient dryads and they didn’t get on well but eventually formed an uneasy friendship. It’s a softly surreal, slightly subversive scent that is definitely worth seeking out.

Incidentally, I just finished In the House in the Dark of the Woods by Laird Hunt and Nasomatto’s Absinth is most certainly the fragrance with which I would scent this witchy forest fever-dream of a tale.

March 12

March 12: I am currently switching out last weeks frips and fragrances, and I barely just remembered to take a photo to memorialize them!

Annick Goutal’s Mandragore reminds me of a scene in the 1980’s vampire film The Lost Boys, when the main characters’ grandpa says “….well that’s about as close to town as I like to get.” My perfume shelf is filled mostly with deep, dark, resinous fragrances, and Mandragore, with its bright lemony/peppery opening that quickly fades to a soft, minty bergamot, is as close to a “summer scent” as I like to get. It’s a lovely, (softly) zingy scent that calls to mind some sort of mildly alcoholic herbal shandy one might drink to refresh one’s self at the close of a balmy June afternoon. Unfortunately, much like the buzz from this weak cocktail, the scent lasts but a moment and is gone.

Velvet Tuberose, is a discontinued Bath & Body Works scent which I originally purchased because my Best Good Friend wore it, and it smelled amazing on her. With an opening somehow both airy and earthy, it’s a creamy white floral that dries down to a lush cozy/woody/musky scent, and of course, it never smelled quite as good on me as it did her, and I still associate it with her even though she probably hasn’t worn it in years. I have linked here to a bottle on amazon for $145 if, you know, you absolutely gotta have it.

This lovely butterfly wing pendant was a treasure I picked up at Paxton Gate PDX, though I have long forgotten who the designer is. The ring is of course from Blood Milk; it’s the moonstone version from the Belonging To The Darkness part II collection.

March 18

March 18: Clearing out last week’s frips and fragrances to make room for this week’s picks…

L’Eau by Diptyque is a scent is perhaps discontinued, and one that I am perpetually on the fence about. I think I am probably one of those people that office workers and elevator takers complain about…I like bombastic scents with big personalities, you know, mind-blowing, room-clearing stuff. And L’Eau, well. Hm. It’s initially a massive puff of clove but it’s also an airy clove, a clove phantom. A clove ghost that drowned in a scant puddle of citrus-herbal toilet water. It’s a bit too subtle for me to think of reaching for it, often.

Mississippi Medicine by DS & Durga opens with an astringent, peppery cypress, and gives way to a pine-crackling, smoky fire, sweet birch, muddy grass and scorched leaves… and dries down to a sweetly herbaceous, woody, incense; strange smoke-scented hair upon waking, and the vague dream of descending into the dark, dancing and divining with ancestors, and having been part of rituals older than you can imagine.

The sweet eyeball ear-bobs are an eerie amber favorite from Loved To Death.

April 10

April 10: It’s been maybe two or three weeks since I have switched out my revolving corner of #weeklyscents–I’ve just been enjoying these two lovelies so very much!

Coriandre by Jean Coutrier is a gentle chypre that’s somehow both soft and slightly crisp, and reminds me of a hazy 70’s Polaroid. A warm, grassy summer day recalled through the yellowed veil of memory. It’s dry and woody and musky and I think it smells a bit like a lovely little secret that you might never be ready to share.

Labdanum de Saville by L’Occitane is a lovely resinous amber that is probably categorized as an “oriental” and some might refer to as “sensual”, but I won’t because that word grosses me out. It’s fairly linear, and just the right balance of sweet and dry, with some benzoin and citrusy notes. It’s one of those scents that doesn’t stand out as terribly unique or complex, but it’s also not super boring. It’s a good one to reach for on the days when you want to smell vaguely interesting but you don’t actually care enough to go all-out. I am afraid this one also may be discontinued. I am sorry!

Fripperies include a large moth ring from Blood Milk and a pointy-fingered hand pendant from Burial Ground.

….Which brings us up to current times! I was traveling all last week and only brought one scent with me (quel horreur!) Tom Ford Oud Wood is fine and well and is pretty great, actually; a very handsome fragrance, all cool, slightly bitter, peppery woods. A coniferous-rosewood-sandalwood combo; a tiny, weird, creepy statue of a scent. The kind that might show up in an MR James tale and that moves in the corners of your vision when the eye is focused elsewhere, inches eerily closer to your bed when you’re at the knife’s edge of wakefulness and dream. I truly love it but after wearing it for a week straight while I was in New York,I am quite sick and tired of it, so I must tuck it away for a while.

Other than all that stink-related stuff, did you see I’ve finally got a subscribe button, visibly displayed in the upper right hand portion of the blog? So that you can be notified of new posts? Yeah, I sure do! It only took me four years!

How To Wear ‘Feeling Some Kind Of Way’

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I don’t think I really need to explain this one, do I…? There have been feelings lately, and I am muddling through. This is a look that matches my mood. I’ve got a lot on my plate right now, and some of it should actually be exciting, but I am terrified; between this and the thing I wrote about last week, and some other work-related things, I really don’t know whether I am coming or going right now. I’m simultaneously ecstatic and and electrified with possibility. but also frustrated and angry and utterly paralyzed.

Pairing together clothes and jewelry that I’m only pretending to have seems a silly thing to do with my time, but it’s doing something, and having done one thing, it may easier to do the next, and then another. Progress will be made, I know it will, because it always is.  I just have to start somewhere.

This is a look for that foggy somewhere place of vague starts and stops; where the ideas are buzzing and whirling around your head like hungry flies; you just need to reach out and snatch one of them out of the air with the tips of your fingers. It doesn’t matter which one you grab. This is where you start.

Yohji Yamamoto Asymmetric Layered Dress // Else Boomerang II Underwire Longline Bra & thong // Nutsa Modebadze NM0062 boot // Alexander Wang Roxy hobo bag // Hvnter Gvtherer Whipsnake Accessory // Hagerskans Jewelry moth ring // KimyaJoyas herkimer diamond ring // Arcana Obscura sword necklace // Stacy Hopkins Design Odontolabis Femoralis ring // Lauren Wolf Sea Urchin bangle // Valley Eyewear Gravestone sunglasses // Chantecaille Celestial Nail Sheer // Punker mascara // Moth & Rabbit Perfumes, Enter The Void

 

You Don’t Always Get The Gold Star

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I don’t know exactly what I want to write about this. I’m tempted to be vague, but I’d rather go into as many details as I can muster, because while I had wanted to write about this once it was over, looking back and being able to say, “Finally!” and “whew, thank goodness!” and details would have been okay at that point…including them now, when I am feeling less than ecstatic about it all feels a little gratuitous and petty and “oh woe is me.”

Also, I am not certain this is a thing anyone really wants to read. You’ve probably got some version of this in your life already. Or if you don’t now, or haven’t experienced it yet–just wait it out a bit. It’s coming. What follows is a timeline of resentments and stress that have been building up over the past 8 years, and last night I had a monumental eruption. But it was a silent, violent, ugly-crying kind of breakdown, the kind which you’d never even know is happening if you were in a different room of the house. There’s probably a German word for this silent maelstrom, this noiseless onslaught of hysterical paroxysms whistling and hitching with impotent rage and helplessness.

I’m just writing it out because it might make me feel a little better. All these years I have telling myself “it hasn’t been so bad”. But I think maybe it has. I think maybe it’s been really bad. And I didn’t want to admit it, I thought I was handling everything, and muddling through the best I could. But I am guessing that it’s going to look and feel pretty bad once I type it all out and read back over it. I don’t want to feel guilty, or ashamed, or “lesser” for admitting that it’s been pretty bad… and yet I do feel that way…and so I’ve admitted nothing all this time.

You’ll probably want to come back another day, once I get this out of my system.

I moved back to Florida from NJ in October of 2011 after finally getting out of a long-term, and long-terrible relationship. At this time, I had moved in with my sister and her husband, who lived an hour or so away from my grandparents. I almost immediately began driving to visit them every Sunday; I’d bring them lunch and afterward, do their grocery shopping for them, as my grandmother was nearly immobile and this task was becoming too much for my grandfather. They were in their 90s and had been pretty independent up until then. And as I had just started dating someone who lived nearby, this was a nice arrangement; I’d spend Saturday with him, Sunday with the grandparents, and then head back home to Orlando. This was a practice I would keep up for the next year or so.

In late 2012, my mother, who also lived a little over an hour away from me now, collapsed in the street one night after exiting a cab home from working her night-shift job. A jogger found her some hours later and she was rushed to the hospital. The diagnosis was late stage lung cancer that had spread to her brain. They operated immediately, removed the cancer from her head, and she shortly thereafter started chemotherapy treatments for the rest of it. I will never forget visiting her in the hospital pre-surgery and seeing how crazed and confused and volatile and violent she was acting. It was terrifying. Post-surgery, she was just… confused. She sat up in bed and tried to eat some soup, and then held up the utensil she had been trying to spoon the soup out of the bowl with–a small, disposable comb. “I guess you can’t eat soup with a comb,” she laughed.

What my sister and I had to do next was not so funny. My mother had been living in a tiny house that she had filled with a hoard of cats and dogs and made no provisions for them when she was not around. We knew that she could no longer stay there–she was probably going to be transferred to a rehab facility–and we also knew we could not count on her for any sort of assistance in getting the place cleaned up. She was renting, and unfortunately, this house was beyond trashed. Animal filth all over the place, the smell permeated the very walls. And the walls, aside from stinking, of course, were all torn up. As were both the bathroom and bedroom doors. To bulldoze this house, I think, would have been an affront to the bulldozer.

We did the best we could to haul out all the trash and broken furniture, to clean up all the grime and foulness and filth, to re-home all of those pitiful animals, of which there were between twenty and thirty, most of them very sick by this point. It was disgusting and utterly heartbreaking work. I recall more than once my sister and I crumbling into each other’s arms and sobbing hopelessly.

My mother was transferred to a nursing home and then, once discharged, found another place to rent. From the same landlord who had rented the last house to her! What! To this day I do not understand this situation at all, but apparently these people loved my mother, despite the fact that she utterly trashed their property. She was very charming, and I think many people fell under her spell. I saw glimpses of this myself from time to time, but to me, and in my memory, that is not who she was. She was mostly just… troubled and troublesome. I was surprised to learn that she had the foresight to have gotten cancer insurance and other coverages, and so she didn’t have to worry about working while she recovered in her new home, a peculiar little cottage near the beach, with crooked floors and cramped rooms which she somehow filled with new things and, unbelievably–new animals. This vexed me to no end, but there was no point in saying anything because my mother would do whatever she wanted to do.

Meanwhile, my grandparents were having more and more issues. I learned that my grandfather’s sight was leaving him; he had taken to bringing my grandmother along on his appointments so that she could tell him what color the traffic lights were! When she confessed this to me I was horrified. But he was a very proud, independent man, and he was clinging to what small freedoms he could. This was the time for me to start doing more, though, so I moved in with the man I had been dating for over a year now, and as luck would have it, he lived less than 10 minutes down the road from them. Now I was able to stop by a few times during the week and bring meals, or take the odd lunch hour here and there to bring them to appointments. It was a good thing for everyone. I was flush with the glow of a new relationship and was thrilled to be spending more time with my beau, and I felt a little bit more secure about my grandparents, as they were only a short trip away.

I did not, however, tell my mother that I was living closer to her. I was afraid that she would manipulate me and take advantage of me, and my grandparents, fearing the same thing, begged me not to tell her, either. So I did not. If I agreed to take her to her treatments (which I did, frequently) or spend the weekend with her (which my sister and I did, several times), I just let her believe that I was coming in from Orlando to do so. The knowledge that I was much in much closer proximity to her now was not something I wanted her privy to, and my entire family agreed on this point.

2013 was a-whirl with all of these things, appointments and treatments and errands and grocery shopping, and really, none of it mine. I let so many personal things–health-wise, growth-wise, normal-stuff-you-gotta-do-wise, etc.–slide during these few years because I had no time or energy to even think about it for myself. And even though the year was drawing to a close and many people might be reflecting on these things, they were not at the forefront of my mind. It was a few weeks before Christmas, a Sunday night, and my mother called to tell me that her cancer was gone–everything was OK, that she planned on coming for Christmas dinner at my grandparents, and she’d like us to have prime rib. I may have been rolling my eyes at this point, because one: we never really did a whole year of seasonal family dinners, it was usually just Thanksgiving, and so for my mother to assume we were doing Christmas dinner was sort of weird, and two: most of the time she didn’t even show up at the one Thanksgiving dinner we had each year! But whatever. My mother was well, she wanted a dinner, and it was to be prime rib. I would make it happen.

The next day my sister phoned to tell me that my mother was dead.

Apparently she had passed away sometime during the night; there was coffee in the coffee maker, so I guess she had filled it with water and grounds the night before, and set the timer for the next morning, fully expecting to be having a cup with Sweet-n-low and Coffee-Mate. But it was so strange. She’d just told me the night before that she had a clean bill of health–was that even true? I don’t know why I question this, but I don’t remember what the autopsy said, or if there even was one, and well, my mom was weird. Who knows why she ever said the things she said or did the things she did. It didn’t matter, I suppose. Dead is dead.

She of course left no last wishes, no will, no funeral arrangements. Between the three of us, my sisters and I came up with the cremation costs and we got it taken care of, along with re-homing all of the new pets. Fortunately for us, the landlord took care of getting rid of most of the furniture and such. I am not sure why…maybe they felt sorry for us, maybe they could use those things for their various properties, maybe they just really loved my mother? Maybe all three. I didn’t question it; I was just so glad not to have to go through all of that all over again.

As we went into 2014 I was able to focus more on my grandparents, who weren’t getting any younger. More appointments, always with the grocery shopping. That July they lost power; just their house, no one else on the block was affected. My grandfather couldn’t figure out what was going on and seemed to be freaking out about it (he was a pretty stoic guy, so for him to seem distressed was alarming for me) so I rushed over, spent the majority of the afternoon on the phone with the electric company who said that they couldn’t get someone out until the next day. I spent the remainder of the afternoon there, clearing out their freezer and refrigerator and putting everything into coolers so their food wouldn’t go bad; I spent the night there, so that there would be no dark-house night time weirdness. Eventually the power company did some work and the issue was resolved, but somehow this spelled the beginning of a very long and drawn out end for my grandparents.

Emergency phone calls became more and more frequent; my grandmother was prone to spills, but now my grandfather was having them too. In January of 2015 he discovered an infection and was hospitalized for a week; I spent that whole week and then the next at their house while he was gone, and once he was back. Shortly thereafter there was an incident with some stolen mail; at that point he and I went to the bank together and put my name on their accounts so that I could write out checks and pay bills for them and they didn’t have to worry about money being stolen from their mail box, or forgetting to pay a bill all together. I think this was incredibly demoralizing for him, and he never quite seemed to bounce back. In April he had a small stroke and fell again; he was rushed to the hospital, and I hurried over to their house, around 9pm or so, so that my grandmother wouldn’t be alone. All that night I dreamed I heard him opening up the garage door that led into the kitchen, and announcing that he was home, but those were only dreams. And the truth was that my grandfather would never come home again.

After a few weeks in the hospital, he was transferred to a nursing home, where he would stay for another two weeks. We had gotten notice that they were releasing him on an afternoon in late May; hospice had just come out to the house and set up a hospital bed and oxygen tank. As the techs were leaving, we received a call from the nursing home. My grandfather had just died.

Breaking this news to my grandmother was gut-wrenching. They had been together for over seventy years and she was devastated, but as it turns out, she would go on to live another two years before she would join him. Things were getting  more difficult to handle now: with him now gone, she would need full time care. She was still able to get around with her walker–just barely–but it had been years since she had driven anyway or done any cooking or cleaning. So at this point, aside from my grandfather’s final arrangements (they had pre-paid cremation plans, so at least that was somewhat taken care of) now we had to figure out the dilemma about what to do with my grandmother. For the first month or so, I was living there full-time. This, however, was unsustainable. Though I work from home, I have a very intensive full-time job. Granted, there are days when it is slow, and if I am being honest I might even sneak in an episode of whatever show I’m currently into, or some knitting. Most days though, I am on the phone from before 8am to after 6pm; I am handling operational and admin duties, I act as a personal assistant to my boss, and I am doing the support work for three other people.  I am constantly at my desk, and it’s difficult to walk away from anything, at any time.

We tried hiring the services of a well-known home care company, and that didn’t work out so well. I should have known better. I actually worked for this same place while I was in college, in both an admin and a care-giving role, and so I knew more or less what to expect. For the most part the people that these places hire are not the most caring, conscientious, or reliable employees. They would leave my grandmother alone, forget to feed her, sometimes leave the house entirely. We had to constantly switch out people because they were consistently so awful. And the bills were adding up. One month of full-time care alone was nearly 15K, and after several months of this, I was seeing a rapid decline in terms of their finances. This money had to be able to last as long as she was going to last, and at this rate, we’d be out of options within less than two years–and my grandmother was pretty tenacious thing, so we had to plan for much longer than that.

She was on a wait-list for a local assisted living facility, but she really did not want to go, and it broke my heart to force her to do something she didn’t want to do. ALFs are expensive, too, but not as bad as home care, and we were hoping the level of care would be much greater. In November, after six months of spotty care, we had a bit of a break, and a minor miracle, really. Our sister’s best friend had some medical background, and was between jobs and schooling at that point in time. We hired her at much more reasonable rate (but one I still hope was very fair) to move in and care for my grandmother. This was a solution that worked for everyone. Our friend had a steady income while she studied and did things for licensure, my grandmother got to stay in her home, they both got along fabulously and my sisters and I knew she was being taken care of by someone we could trust. I still had to do grocery shopping and keep the house full of the things it needed, I still dropped in almost every afternoon for a visit, but finally I could breathe.

Though her health worsened, she remained lucid and feisty, with a tremendous appetite for gossip and junk food (Cheetos and Twinkies were often purchased grocery list items.) In January of 2017, sadly, she begin to rapidly decline. Our live-in friend called me in tears on New Years Day to tell me that our grandmother no longer recognized her. She was confined to a hospital bed that hospice had provided and was now getting facility-level care from our friend, who fed and clothed and changed and bathed her. I know this is terribly sad, terribly taxing work on both a physical and emotional level–I got a small taste of it on the days when I would fill in when our friend took a much-needed afternoon or weekend off. It takes an angelic kind of person to do this sort of work, and I am still amazed and grateful that we were able to have that for my grandmother.

My grandmother died on February 15, 2017. The day after Valentines Day. I was working from her house that morning, because our caregiver had a doctor’s appointment, and, of course, my grandmother couldn’t be left alone for even short periods of time. I peeked in at my grandmother, who was snoring softly, and sat down at the dining room table to begin sending out a flurry of emails. Ten minutes later, our friend walked out from my grandmother’s room and quietly said, “I had a feeling it was going to happen today...” I looked up from my screen, I didn’t think I heard her correctly. But I had. Part of me didn’t believe it,. “Are you sure??” I might have asked, running into the room to check for myself, as if my friend wouldn’t know the difference.

And that was the end! I grieved in a normal, timely way for my mother, my grandfather, my grandmother and my now tiny family absent of all beloved elders, and life moved on!
Just kidding!
That was in no way the end.

Once we carried out and collected her wishes for cremation, I contacted her lawyer, who, wow, wonderful, had decided that this was the time to retire and he was passing his 20 year client along to someone else entirely. Ok, fine. I met the new law firm, got the process started, and it was decided that I was to be the personal representative for the estate, as I was the only one local, the only one who had access to bank accounts and personal information, and who intimately knew what had been going on with my grandparents those last few years. It really couldn’t have been anyone else. But I wish it had been. Out of everything else I’ve talked about, dealing with the estate-related things is one of the worst things I have ever had to do.

Two years later we are still dealing with this estate business. Maybe these things always move slowly. Everyone I have spoken with says that it took them two or three years to get things resolved and closed. But I’m just tired. It’s like…my grandmother never died. In life, she hung on so long and although she passed two years ago it is as if she’s still here, fading interminably but hanging on, always in the background of everything I do every day, never moving on to the next world.

I want to move on. I want to properly grieve for my Mawga, whom I loved dearly, fiercely, as much at 42 years of age I did at 4. I don’t think of her or worry and fret and stress out about matters involving her any less now than I did two years ago when she was still with us.. Because I can’t. Because a huge chunk of her existence is still here. And I know the other people affected by this don’t mean me any hurt or harm, but every time I am questioned as to why things are moving so slowly, or what’s wrong with our lawyers, or why is this still dragging on, it crushes me more and more. I feel like I am failing everyone, I am failing my grandmother, and I just am stuck in this limbo of never fully being able to end this and move on, because it’s always one more thing.

So now here it is today. I had a terrible night last night. After a bit of correspondence regarding all of this, in which several instances of things I had said at various points in this process were cut and pasted and repeated back at me, I experienced what I can only think of as some sort of ….disassociation. At one point during the exchange, I froze; I went deaf, my vision blurred, I grew clammy, and suddenly I was somewhere else and it was a decade ago. That horrible man was waking me up at 3am, having dredged up obscure passages from the thousands of emails we had written to each other, for the purpose of throwing something in my face and screaming at me about it until the sun came up. No amount of concessions or apologies ever placated him. This was a common occurrence, and my life was fraught and fragile because of it.

Back in the present, when I realized what was happening, I was advised, in a separate conversation, to step away before I lost all objectivity. Before I did that, I agreed to what was being requested of me, and received a “thank you” for my consent.

Never in my life has “thank you”, or consent, felt so much like a violation. A rape.

I realize this is a revolting and offensive comparison to make, but also think I am in a position to make it.

It is now 1:30pm in the afternoon.This morning I have done what was asked of me.

And ever since I hung up that phone, I have been shaking. And angry. Livid.

[A WHOLE BUNCH OF REDACTED STUFF]*

I realize there are a lot of things, SO MANY THINGS, fueling my rage right now .

[MORE REDACTED STUFF]**

…well, I am not sure that’s my problem anymore. And I have to be OK with that.

Earlier this week I heard someone say something along the lines of, “Not everyone is going to give you a gold star. And you have to be OK with that.” But that’s hard for me. I want everyone to be happy with the work I have done, or just, well, pleased with me, in general. My sister reminds me that as adult children of alcoholics, this is a common issue, and I know it’s one I have struggled with my entire life.  But I can’t make everyone happy. Not everyone is going to feel I have done a good job, nor are they going to give me their approval or a gold star.  I can’t continue to let that sear my soul, and scar my vision, the way it’s done for as long as can remember, the way it informs every decision I make.

I think along the way here I have racked up a lot of stars. I don’t know if they’re all gold, but I at least get some stars for participation, I reckon. For showing up, doing the hard work, for seeing things through. I’ve done OK, I guess. We’re nearly at the end of it though, and I don’t need all the stars. I’ve done what I could, I have done my best. I just need to keep moving forward, and eventually this will pass… and maybe not everyone will be happy, but I am hopeful that I, at least, will have moved on to a better place. Not the same place as my grandmother, of course. Not yet.

Whatever “better” is, I’d like to find it. I just need to get myself there. And I think I definitely get a gold star for that.

* and ** were typed out to get it off my chest initially, and then deleted. Which I realize makes that section a little difficult to parse, but that’s ok. I wrote all of this out because I was having a “fight or flight” reaction today; my adrenaline was up, but I was frozen. My brain was fogged. I had to do something to break the paralysis, and writing helped a little. After reading over it, however, I decided it was best that some things not remain in print.

image credit: dancingmandy96 on redbubble 

Unpopular opinions

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Instead of…the annoying banality of “Living my #bestlife”

Let’s try the more widely experienced, though the less commonly used and perhaps less hashtag friendly (but certainly less smug):

Living my #stressedlife
Living my #depressedlife
Living my #immunosuppressedlife
Living my #obsessedlife
Living my #possessedlife
Living my #housearrestlife

image credit: me

How Bad Crab Leads To A Giveaway

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[GIVEAWAY CLOSED! A WINNER IS CHOSEN! CONGRATS SUSAN, CHECK YR EMAIL!]

After a ruthless bout of Swedish Death Cleaning, this morning while I had time on my hands after rescheduling my counseling appointment due to some bad crab last night (why have you betrayed me, crab legs? I love you so!) I have whittled my unruly collection of fragrance samples down to about twenty five.

What to do with the other hundreds? Would you like them? There are lots and lots of of lovely niche and indie scents in here, manufacturers samples, and samples from places like Lucky Scent, and Twisted Lily, and decants from Surrender To Chance and The Perfumed Court, and probably only a tiny amount of boring Sephora perfume sprayers, which I feel I need to point out, because who really wants those? Fuck off, Marc Jacobs Daisy! Well, there are a few of those, too. There are also some vials and tiny bottles that were given to me by this friend or that, who gave me samples from their own collection, or perhaps passed something on that didn’t work for them. Maybe they will work for you? There are so many fragrances here to sniff and sample and fall in love with, or pass on!

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If you’d like this GLAD bag full o’ samples*, and whatever else I’ve got lying around that I might throw in a box for you, leave a comment below and tell me something interesting. Could be something you learned, could be a piece of news, it could be something about yourself–whatever! I’m spending a lot of time on the toilet today and need some interesting links to click! I will choose a winner on Monday morning!

It probably doesn’t need to be said, but these are vials and sprayers and bottles that I have sampled, myself; some are completely full, some might be halfway full, some might only have a drop or two left. If you’re weirded out by free stuff that someone else has used, well, now you are forewarned!

*Friends outside the U.S. I love you dearly, but I really don’t want to pay for that kind of shipping or deal with the hassle, so this little giveaway is for in-country only.

Links Of The Dead {February 2019}

How Sweet To Rest by Ally Burke

How Sweet To Rest by Ally Burke

A gathering of death related links that I have encountered in the past month or so. From somber to hilarious, from informative to creepy, here’s a snippet of things that have been reported on or journaled about in or related to the Death Industry recently.

This time last year: Links of the Dead {February 2018} | {February 2017} | {February 2016}

💀A Whale’s Afterlife
💀How To Widow
💀Valentine’s Day When You’re Grieving
💀What Medical School Doesn’t Teach About Death
💀Letters To The Dead: Shadow Writing For Grief And Release
💀See a Rare Visualization of Grief in the Art of Jennifer Rodgers
💀Play This At My Funeral: Interview With Jezebel Jones Of Bye Bye Banshee
💀Once forgotten, this historic African American cemetery now houses a poignant memorial.
💀Academy Award-nominated film ‘End Game’ examines end-of-life care
💀A reminder that our definition of death is man-made.
💀Why you never really die: A microbiologist explains all the ways the body lives on

You Do Not Have To Be Good

You Do Not Have To Be Good from ghoulnextdoor on 8tracks Radio.

Feel Nothing by Health | Glass Candy by Naked City | Bury A Friend by Billie Eilish | Alone Together by Ritual Howls | Concerning The White Horse by Jozef Van Wissem & Jim Jarmusch | Gorgon Madonna by Yugen Blakrok | We Appreciate Power by Grimes | Buried In The Sand by HÆlos | Hope Is A Dangerous Thing For A Woman Like Me To Have But I Have It by Lana Del Rey | Be Still, My Tongue by Snorri Hallgrímsson | Burning Sea (feat. Tomasz Mreńca) by Daniel Spaleniak | Adorations by Burial Hex

Dr. Klemperer’s Cheese Sandwich

cheese sammie 2

Last week I resigned myself to paying $5.99 for the privilege of watching 2018’s Suspiria film on Amazon. When I first heard about the remake, what feels like ages ago now, I struggled with the idea of it. The original holds a special, lurid, hyper-saturated place in my heart, and though I’d only seen it once and didn’t recall many of the details, I held its memory close, a hazy, disturbing delight.

The more I began to hear about this new version, though–the swoony addition of Tilda Swinton to the cast, the eerie soundtrack by Thom Yorke, the sharp focus on the art and ritual of the dancing, itself–the more intrigued I grew. I’ve a funny relationship with reboots of beloved stories, anyway; part of me always wants more of a thing I adore, but the other part of me is skeptical that you can really bring anything new or more perfect to the table, where these beloved celluloid favorites are concerned. I was conflicted, as I am sure many folks, were, but I’d heard enough hints and whispers and seen enough teasers to allow myself to become convinced.

Well. I won’t spoil anything for you, but I did not love this new Suspiria. It’s as if they took the parts and pieces from the old Suspiria that the film didn’t really focus on or spend much time examining or exploring: the dancing, for instance; the era, the current events at the time, a good look at the witches and their intentions, maybe even the city of West Berlin itself. And they somehow took all of these elements, which could rightfully be very fascinating – – I understand why someone would want to take them and play them up or play them against each other – – but they somehow made them all very seem very dull.

So much was I not enjoying all of these, in fact, that it took me about three hours to slog through the first bland fifty minutes, and three days later when I tried to pick up where I left off, I became aware of Amazon’s rental policy wherein once a movie is rented, it is only available for three days. So I was cut off before I even had a chance to finish it! But…that’s OK. I had seen enough.

I will say, though, the one character I was rooting for was Dr. Klemperer’s omnipresent cheese sandwich, which stole the scene in at least two instances, and for all I know, could have saved the entire film (had I been able to finish watching it.) Thanks for that, Amazon. Anyway, little cheese sammie–as far as I am concerned, you were the star of the show!

For as perfect as the original film was, it surely did not boast a cheese sandwich!

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A Funny Question; An Honest Response

Johan Deckmann, 2018

Johan Deckmann, 2018

A few months ago a friend asked me if I make money with my blog, and if so, how. They followed it up with the statement that they “can’t imagine” that I don’t.

That’s hilarious! Because I surely do not!

I have been writing online and off, for most of my life. I have never been paid to write anything. I might be given a gift or a freebie for something I have written, after the fact. I might be supplied with products that I did not have to pay for, in order to write reviews about them.  These things happen occasionally, and I’m generally not one to turn down free stuff! I also feel compelled to mention that almost 100% of the time, these are places I have already purchased items –perfumes, tee shirts, candles, soaps, whatever–from, previously. I would certainly never write about stuff that I would not actually use my own money to buy. But back to the “getting paid” part– I cannot think of one single time when one single person* has paid me one single, solitary penny for something I have written or to write something for them.

…and if I am being honest, I wouldn’t want them to.

I am coming from a place where I feel like when I start accepting money for something I enjoy doing, that’s going to create expectations and obligations and it’s going to cast a grim pall over the very thing I enjoy. And I very loosely use the word “enjoy” here. I do not really take pleasure in writing. It’s uncomfortable and sometimes downright agonizing for a number of reasons. One, I’d really prefer to be doing anything but writing. Sure, I’d rather do the fun things I love, like knit, or read, or watch a movie– but sometimes I am avoiding the writing process so intensely that I will manufacture chores and tasks and errands which don’t even need doing, let alone doing now, instead of writing whatever it is that I am supposed to be writing, Also, it’s a mortifying, humiliating process. There’s nothing like seeing the nebulous thoughts and ideas and emotions that have been percolating murkily in your brain, exposed to the light and pinned down to the page or the screen in front of you…and then realizing that those unwieldy, imprecise words don’t match up with anything you thought you were thinking, and don’t even begin to convey any of the rich nuances of your, you know, really important opinions. And then of course you compare yourself to others, and you say cruel things to yourself, and it’s just this entire process of dashed expectations and self-loathing, and it’s all rather fraught, and dammit, you knew you should have been scrubbing that toilet, why did you even sit down to write in the first place? So I guess, if I were being honest, I would probably rather be doing anything but writing.

Which is funny…because I simply cannot remember a time when I wasn’t writing. As a child I often wrote stories about a girl my age named Jenny. She didn’t have adventures, she didn’t get into scrapes. She woke up for school in the morning, she played with her dolls (these stories had …just bizarrely elaborate lists detailing Jenny’s Barbie doll collection), she planned parties; Jenny was incredibly dopey and boring, but hey, those were the things that interested me at the time. As I grew older, I would write many unfinished horror stories in the style of Stephen King, and in my late teens and early twenties, I fancied myself a bit of a poet. In between those years there were always journals and diaries and letters and notes passed back and forth in high school, and let me tell you, my notes were epic. God help the poor boy who had to respond to one of those.

Though I haven’t been blogging at Unquiet Things for a long time, I have been weblogging for a long time. Maybe not as long as some, granted. It took me a long time to be OK with, and not freaked out by, computers and the internet. It wasn’t until a job I had while I was in college that I began to get comfortable with typing my thoughts as opposed to scribbling, which was pretty great timing, because this was in the latter half of 1999 and Livejournal had been founded earlier that year. Also in attempting to pinpoint a date just now, I am looking back and realizing that I graduated high school in 1994, and four years later, in 1999, I was still in community college. Full disclosure: it would be another three years before I actually graduated with my two-year degree. Yep.

Livejournal took my obsession with journaling to a new and interesting level. I never diaried my thoughts hoping to keep them private–I actively wanted people to read them. Sadly, no one actually wanted to, or cared about my not-so-carefully concealed notebooks. And why should they? It was, at its basic level, just highly legible but profoundly mundane personal drivel and daily gripes that were interesting only to me. But now, people all over the world were going to read my dumb thoughts and opinions–and they did! And they commented on them! It was everything I ever wanted.

My interest in fiddling with the LJ code to customize and tart up the look of my page led to me learning some html–nothing fancy, just enough recognize the basics and be able to tweak things if needed, which was especially useful when website design software like Dreamweaver became available to me. So now I could build my own website and blog! And I did! I even called myself myself an amateur web designer and I built a website for that purpose, too (and believe it or not, I made some money doing it, but that is a super weird story for another time.)

My blog has gone through many iterations over the years, beginning as a small purple thing on geocities, which few but a certain gormless ex-boyfriend may remember, as I had built a little [name redacted] insult generator on one of the pages as a spiteful side activity. And over the years it’s had many names…I was akissofshadows (Anita Blake shoutout!) on LJ, along with myblogskip, and then several other Lovecraftian or MRJamesian names that I’d cycle through in order to escape detection by another ex, this one must nastier and more awful than the previous, and who monitored my online activities like a hawk, because was a a snoopy asshole. And no, that’s not even fair to the snoopies out there, it was more than that; he had no sense of boundaries or privacy and thought he was entitled to every piece of me. Nosiness is one thing. His abusive behavior was something else.Yeah, I’m still mad about that. Never not gonna hate that guy.

Anyway! I digress! The point is, I have had a lot of journals and blogs over the years. But I never started writing with the idea that I think a lot of bloggers have now , a sort of “I’m going to make a living off of this! Where my sponsors at??” type of mentality. Hey, if that describes you, great. Good luck to you, and I wish you much success. But that was never me. I don’t write for money, I don’t have sponsors, I don’t have ads on my sites, I don’t even have a “donate” button, for pete’s sake. Never have, never will.

I have never struggled with my site’s image or branding. I know many bloggers who have started their site focusing on one type of thing, and perhaps they’ve built their whole personal brand or whatever around it. But then they become burnt out, or their interests change, and then they experience a great deal of angst and teeth-gnashing when it comes to blogging about something different or shifting their focus, and subsequently feeling the need to change the whole look and feel of their blog/website and online presence. I have never experienced this. I write about the things that I think are weird, or sad, or funny, or beautiful. That’s basically all it is, and it encompasses a broad spectrum of things–I will never be at a loss of food for thought and the resultant blog fodder. And even if, let’s say, I made a big change, like a super major change, say, oh, I don’t know–maybe I wanted to start writing about Christian parenting and scrapbooking. So what? What’s to agonize over? This is my space on the internet, no one is paying me or expecting things from me, so I can write about whatever shit that takes my fancy!

And that’s another thing. Sometimes I will see bloggers post things like “what do you guys want to see more of on the blog this year?” Fuck that shit. I don’t really care what anyone wants to see. They’ll see what I write about, that’s what they’ll see. And I know that sounds a little harsh, and I don’t mean to sound unkind or like I don’t appreciate all of the folks who have tuned in over the years (I love all 5 of you!) but I think that if you have followed my writing for any amount of time, whether we are real life friends, or if you know me from LJ or tumblr or polyvore or from my time writing at Coilhouse or more currently at Haute Macabre–I think you understand where I am coming from, and have a basic idea of what I’m about. And you probably don’t care! So if I don’t care and the people who count don’t care, then I’m not particularly worried. Everyone else can either get with the program or peep on over at another blog! The internet is pretty great like that.

So, no. I don’t make any money here. I don’t actually make any money writing anywhere else, either, and I never have. Ever.  And that’s OK! I have a full time job. I don’t love it, I don’t even particularly like it, but I’ve never been under any illusions about the the need to like what I do for a living. That’s crazy talk. Work is dumb, don’t fool yourself into thinking otherwise. I work to make the money to be able to do the things I really want to do. Which brings me back to a point I was initially making, which was this: I do not necessarily want to get paid to write. I reserve the right to change my mind about this one day, but when someone says they want to pay you to do something**, they will of course have certain expectations of you and your work product. And then you feel obligated to meet those expectations. Do I want to feel obligated to work on something I am doing in my spare time, in my not-work time, in my obligation-less time? Fuck no. FUCK NO.

So this is my ridiculously lengthy answer to what might appear at the outset to be a very simple question. Anonymous friend who initially asked this question, I hope that you do not take this response as a personal attack or perhaps me passive-aggressively fuming about an innocent question that you had asked two months ago. It’s not like that at all! And, I promise, you’re not the only one who has asked this***. You were just the one who inspired me to type out this massive dump of rambling thoughts about it. I bet you’re sorry you asked, though!

*I do use Amazon associate links from time to time in my blog posts; every once in a while Amazon will send me a $5 gift card. Does that count? I don’t really think it counts.)

**Although if someone wants to pay me for something I have already written, that’s cool.

*** Who does she think she is, even writing this response, you might be wondering. No one even cares, no one thinks you SHOULD be paid to write anything! You may be right to think so. You probably are. I’m the little person, a nobody. Just one among millions of mediocre bloggers. I am not pretending otherwise. But more than one person has asked me this question, I swear. Maybe even three or four! But probably less than ten.

 

 

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