I was reminded of how, at one point in my life, I worked for my (ex)stepfather. He ran a small business, strictly mail-order, selling rare & antique occult books; it was my job to process orders, pack and ship the books, handle the customer service items, and update the website (which I built!), along with the eBay auctions he ran. I also unpacked the shipments and stored/restored some of the books, though the latter not so often and I didn’t work there long enough to become proficient at it. Can you imagine spending your days patching up delicate grimoires or fragile first editions written hundreds of years ago? I could, at length and in detail, and was completely enamored with the idea. This was the sort of daydream I entertained as I went about my day. More often than that, though, I wondered, as I wrapped and secured each parcel -where was this book going? What sort of person was this? What were they using it for? I loved to imagine the little thrill they got as they carefully unpacked and opened their new book, and all of the possibilities it held for them. My favorite time of the day back then was the trip to the post office after all of the orders had been handled, passing each parcel over to the postal worker, seeing each stamped, some certified, some registered, and tossed in a bin, ready to head off to its new owner. I have not since had a job that made me so happy or that was so fulfilling.
There’s something about receiving a package or letter or a handwritten post card in the mail, isn’t there? I know my heart skips a beat or two on my casual stroll to the mail box every day, just wondering what might have been placed there by the mailman. More often than not it’s bills or coupons or something for the previous tenant, but every once in a while, when the time is right and the stars align, something unexpected and exciting appears from overseas or across the country or maybe even the city right next door. You just never know!
Of course nine times out of ten we know that’s not really “magic”, now is it? There is something in the mailbox because someone is responding to a letter you sent them, or perhaps they swapped with you a hand drawn illustration for a hand-knit pair of mitts. (Or, maybe you just …bought something.)
You can’t really just wait for these things to happen. Or, well, you can, but I can assure you, that is a very disappointing business. Far better to reach out to some friends, set something in motion, to MAKE SOMETHING HAPPEN. A pen pal swap, a letter lottery, a handcrafted doodad exchange, a book trade. Or maybe something “just because”. Something do you not expect to be reciprocated, something you made or wrote just for someone because you think they are special and you want them to know that you were thinking of them. Sending a piece of yourself out there to someone, a thing with no expectations or attachments.
Ah, now. That’s the real magic, I think.
At the risk of sounding cheesy,- I truly believe one of the most lovely feelings in the world is sending a little surprise out there to someone and imagining the look of wonder on their face as they are opening it. I believe it is a nice habit to cultivate, this unexpected sharing with a far-away friend, and perhaps something you can even build a bit of a weekly or monthly ritual around. Brew a pot of tea, light some candles or incense (or forego all of that and just spritz yourself from head to toe with your favorite scent) put on a bit of music, and spend some time penning a note to friend. Wrap up a small gift that you’ve been meaning to send – don’t wait, do it now. If you wait until you are in the mood, you will never do it. I can’t tell you what will work best for you, but as for me, I like to send a small note to a new friend, along with perfume samples,old recipes, song lists (along with a cd or a thumb drive of favorites) or hand knit items. If I could draw I would probably include a doodle or two, but I cannot and I am terribly self-conscious about my lack of talent in that department, so you are not likely to see that from me!
I have received some wonderful packages in the past few years from friends all over the world, in all sorts of places. I have included photos of some of these treasures here. Unfortunately, I never take any pictures of the things that I mail out. I will have to work on that. And it’s weird, writing that – “friends all over the place”. I don’t think of myself as someone who makes friends easily, who has a lot of friends. And yet, I somehow, I have? How did this happen? I don’t know, but I don’t want to take it for granted, and so I try to appreciate my friends in small ways, whenever I can. Mailbox magics!
Let me get this off my chest right at the beginning. I have 0% will power. If I want to have popcorn for dinner, I can’t fob myself off with a more nutritious option and tell myself to wait it out and eat a bowl of popcorn during the weekend. That won’t work for me. Chances are I will eat the salad and the small portion of whatever healthful protein du jour AND I will just end up eating the popcorn later that night anyhow. I have learned it is just easier to give in to my baser cravings and get it out of my system.
Also: I am slow. I am maybe one of the slowest moving people in the world. Slow to reach a decision, slow to act on that decision, interminably slow to carry out that decision. I remember as a child, my mother on more than one occasion, shouting at me to hurry up and “get in the car/get to the dinner table/ get out of bed, Sarah GOD SARAH YOU’RE SLOWER THAN MOLASSES”. It’s true. And I have not gotten any faster 30 years later.
I can also tell you that rewarding myself for goals met is not something that works for me. That bottle of perfume? I want it now. It won’t wait til I’ve lost 5 or 10 pounds. Chances are I have already ordered it and it is setting on my shelf and I am wearing even while I am typing this out. I’ve probably already ordered another bottle of something else.
Excuses and personality defects aside, with regard to my weight loss for weirdos progress, I will report that I have lost 12 pounds. Now, you might be thinking “huh…12 pounds in 5 months doesn’t really sound like fantastic progress” and you’d probably be right. But to be perfectly honest, I am not really going at this in a hardcore type of fashion and I’ve got no deadline and I’ve no desire to buy new, smaller clothing every month, so why not take it slow?I am not about to give up my Monday night popcorn-for-dinner and my glasses of wine during the week. I’m not in it to torture myself, I mean really.
But as to the changes I am making and the aspects of deblobbening that I am getting right:
I purchased a fitbit. Yeah, they are gimmicky. No they are not absolutely necessary. But I hate to exercise, and ANYTHING that gets me to move around a little bit more is worth it to me. I work a desk job from home, so in addition to all the activity I am not getting from a more physical job, it’s not like I even have to walk to and fro in a building to interact with co-workers or walk to my car to drive to lunch or anything like that. I am in my chair in front of a computer in more or less the same position for 10+ hours. The fitbit would have you believe that your daily goal is 10K steps a day and I was rather horrified to find out that with no modifications to my daily schedule, I was lucky if I hit 2K. Now – armed with the fear of a wee gadget sticking its tongue out at me – I find myself infinitely more motivated to find small, strange ways to exercise during the day. My work day has basically turned into a 10 hour long extended peepee dance. But I am surpassing the 10K step goal and I figure hey – whatever kind of movement it is, no matter how ridiculous it looks, it’s got to be better than none at all, right?
Walking (or any sort of exercise, I suppose)with a friend. I have made a commitment to meet a friend twice a week for walking and catching up. On Wednesday evenings we meet at the local library and walk around the pond, about 2 miles or so. On Saturday mornings we meet for a 6AM beach walk which amounts to about 4.5 miles. Sometimes we do a healthy meal after, sometimes not, but the food isn’t really the point – it’s that we are getting out of the house, we are getting some exercise, and having a friendly human encounter. I suspect that last part might be especially important for me, since other than my live-in paramour, this might be the only person I see all week long.
Finding some exceptional exercise music. I’ll admit, so far it’s just one album, but it works perfectly for me. Daft Punk Alive 2007. In the meantime, you have got to fill me in on what you are listening to now whilst running or walking or crossfitting or milking cows or hoisting cadavers into the crematory or whatever you do. I need variety.
Having some meals planned. I am lucky enough to live with someone who will, for the most part, eat – and like – any homecooked meal that I put in front of him… so when cooking for myself, I automatically know that the other person I am living with will eat it as well, with no complaint. This makes meal planning for me so much easier than other folks might have it. Some recipes I have found myself preparing quite often and for which I can personally vouch for their tastiness: black bean soup, chana masala, tofu stir fry with peanut sauce and “zoodles” & sauce. For breakfasts it’s been steel cut oats with a dollop of skyr and fruit or toast and peanut butter if I am feeling lazy. Lunches have been tuna salad or avocado-egg salad or canned soups, and a quick cucumber tomato salad. Simple stuff. It is during the weekends that I encounter trouble, as we are usually visiting friends or family and that usually means dinners out and cocktails and I don’t always make the smartest choices. Especially after the cocktails.
I am not one for before and after pictures and anyhow, I really don’t look any different. So you’re not going to see that sort of thing here. I have, however, managed to wriggle my rump into my first ever pair of skinny jeans. Oh, how I railed against skinny jeans! For years I wouldn’t even acknowledge their existence. They were the devil’s denim, I thought, and would never darken the door of my wardrobe. I’m afraid I was wrong. And I am wearing them today. And they are amazing. You can only see my face in this picture, but I promise you, I am wearing them.
Also, amongst other things that wouldn’t serve as a proper weight loss reward because instant gratification is not soon enough for me, I am wearing this oversized cross tee shirt from Aakasha (recommendation courtesy Tenebrous Kate!) and it is pretty great. One of my current favorite pieces.
I hope to report back in the next four months with similar results, but in the meantime, I would love to hear what’s been working for you, health and fitness-wise? Where do you run into problems? How do you reward yourself? And etcetera. I am nosy and want to know all of your secrets!
BONUS: The ultimate after death workout experience!
Zombies, keep your bodies fit! Never stop training!
SUPER EXTRA BONUS: A lovely lady friend recommended the 7 minute workout to me, stating that it is quite remarkable, it has incredible effects and it is perfect for weirdos!
Weirdos? That’s US! Let’s do it!
“In 12 exercises deploying only body weight, a chair and a wall, it fulfills the latest mandates for high-intensity effort, which essentially combines a long run and a visit to the weight room into about seven minutes of steady discomfort — all of it based on science.”
P.S. She also said it is quite unpleasant, but let’s do it anyway!
I am finally getting around to reading this stack of books, ostensibly about a healthy looking lass with barely concealed bosoms, named Angelique. I picked them up at the start of the summer, rescued, on a whim, from a dusty, sagging particle board shelf in the shadowed corner of a cramped used book store. I thought they would be light, campy summer reading.
They – the covers, at least -also reminded me a bit of how my mother once read the riot act to a nosy, churchy neighbor who had a problem with me, as a 10 year old, reading Clan of the Cave Bear (which I was thoroughly obsessed with at the time). I don’t remember it was a great book, and true, I was only reading it for the sexy bits, but thank you mom, for never censoring my reading.
Looking at the covers, you’d think this was a series of bodice-rippers, wouldn’t you? Yet, from even a cursory glance on Good Reads I can see that this is a much beloved heroine – witty, charming, beautiful, utterly captivating – and that many readers have been swept away by her adventures, and even more, the writing is supposedly superb and the historical details are amazingly accurate. This is a collection of stories that people return to and re-read time and time again.
It is now October and I’ve barely read a single chapter. I paid the princely sum of $15 for all eight of these paperbacks and I really need to start getting my money’s worth from them.
Or at least read the sexy bits.
To be honest, I have not reached a point where I have forgotten that my mother has died. I will hear some people say that they wanted to share something with their deceased parent – maybe a bit of good news, maybe something not so great – and they were dialing the phone before they realized “oh yeah, mom’s dead, I can’t call her”.
I’ve come to realize that I have been preparing (mentally, anyhow) to be motherless for years. Since high school, at least. My mother always seemed on a path to self destruction, in danger of oblivion at any given moment, and so long ago I’d stopped even being sad about it. It was an inevitable thing, and probably sooner rather than later. So I’m really not continually surprised at her absence, and when I do find myself wishing to talk with her about something it’s more akin to an itch that I’d like to scratch rather than a wound I’d forgotten was there.
I just finished reading Beyond The Pale Motel, by Francesa Lia Block. I recall discovering this author on a Barnes and Noble shelf when I was in my early twenties and floundering quite a bit. I was struggling with dull classes and a dead end job and a dead beat boyfriend and I just didn’t know what I was supposed to be doing with myself. I didn’t know what I was supposed to want for myself. My greatest love at that time, I think, was poetry – magic words stitched together to wrap me in a blanket of beauty that I desperately needed as a loser band girlfriend in a shitty go-nowhere beach town. She wrote stories the likes of which I’d never read before and barely dared to dream about; she felt like a fairy god mother with her tales of love and magic and beauty and wishes and soul-mates in the midst of harsh, contemporary landscapes and young adult struggles. Her fairy tales of a girls living in a “jasmine-scented, jacaranda-purple, neon sparked” Shangri-La seemed to be both memoires of lost souls finding themselves and how-to manuals for the small town mouseykins yearning to make those discoveries as well.
I purchased, with my small paycheck at that time, every title on that shelf. And I as I am now somewhat taken aback to remember, I shared them all with my mother. I drove to her house within the next day to dump them all on her bed and tell her that whatever she was reading, she should put it aside and inhale the books I was giving her as quickly as possible. I knew, at that time, that the stories and characters and magical writing were elements that my mother would have loved; I know now that I was sharing these stories of beauty and tragedy and redemption with one of the most lost souls I was ever to love.
As I read Beyond The Pale Motel this weekend, I sadly realized I no longer have the passion or the patience for Ms. Block’s writing. The book was dark, certainly darker than those strange and sparkling coming of age tales I remembered from almost twenty years ago, and there was no happy ending to be found. Never the less, I finished it in one sitting. I was both angry and sad about the ending of the book and the lack of magic contained therein; sad and wistful, I think because I had changed over time. Maybe, I don’t really need those sorts of stories any more. I have made so many of my own magics and created so many stories for myself since I first discovered her writing; perhaps words I once found so bewitching and transcendent no longer resonated with me.
Upon closing the book once finished, my first instinct was to call my mother. I have still not forgotten that I cannot do this. What is unexpected though, is the hot rush of tears that filled my eyes and the painful twist of my heart when think of how I can’t ever share these insights and discoveries with her anymore, ever again. As someone who thought they were prepared for this eventuality, who had numbed herself to this outcome… this sudden heartbreak, this piercing grief –that’s the part I never saw coming.
From the terrifying, vertiginous heights of a 60 meter waterf
all, to the giddy delight of having scaled it afterward, to the dazed distraction of being in the midst of incomprehensible multinational conversations, and the woozy, weak-in-the-knees sensation of toppling into bed once the day is done…if asked to sum my time in Iceland up in one word, my reply would be: “dizzying”.
A week later after arriving home and having settled back in, the dizziness is just now subsiding and yet I am still feeling rather unsteady and out-of-place. A new friend summed it up rather eloquently, I think: “Repatriation can be a lot more shocking than expatriation, because we expect to feel comfortable, we expect things to be familiar, but everything is different. Not because everything has changed, but because *we* changed. Our frame of reference for the familiar has changed. “
All of this sounds like a complaint, doesn’t it? I don’t mean it to be. I’ve never fancied myself much of a traveler and I am finding that it rather takes some getting used to. I think when one travels one must learn to let go of schedules and learn to embrace the unexpected and these are usually both difficult lessons for me. This journey proved to be no different in that regard and yet I think, at some point I , just…let go. Gave up. Due to the fact I did not speak the language (I know maybe four words of Icelandic) I didn’t know what was going on around me 99% of the time anyway, so why not just let someone else make the plans and I’d just end up where ever I ended up. And it would be fine. “þetta reddast”, I heard repeated several times during the trip. “It will be ok. It will work itself out.” Þetta reddast.
Though I was in Reykjavík primarily for the wedding of my gentleman’s brother – which was a splendid affair at Hallgrímskirkja, the largest church in Iceland – we did have time, in between visits with family (and there was a lot of family), to explore our own agenda. Which were chiefly pastries, penis museums, haunted houses, and more waterfalls.
Because my guy and his family are originally from Iceland, there were many aunties and cousins still living there who had not seen them in a long time and who wanted to spend time catching up. There were long coffee hours with trays of hangikjöt (smoked lamb) or salmon sandwiches and delicate pancakes either rolled thin and sprinkled with sugar or stuffed fat and full of cream and jam. There was an evening of at least 40 relatives packed into an apartment for bowls of traditional kjötsúpa – a humble but fragrant and nourishing meat soup, usually made with lamb and earthy winter vegetables. I’ll scarcely mention the grilled minke whale, for those readers who may face ethical or philosophical dilemmas regarding this…very…delicious issue. And then, there was an afternoon in the town of Akranes where I was invited for a meal of the most delicious fish and chips that I have ever had in my life.
Akranes is a charming little fishing town, but there is a wee dodgy strip which could be mistaken for Innsmouth on a gloomy, grey afternoon. Though apparently the ninth most populous town in Iceland, Akranes seemed small and rather isolated to me. We were taken on a little tour of the town, which included the boat and town history museum, as well as, the lighthouse – which was an unexpected and wonderful surprise for me, as Amiina, a lovely, unique group of musicians whose works I stumbled across recently and who sound like the dreamiest, tinkling music box, had recorded at this lighthouse in the past few years. I was delighted to see that the lighthouse, though small, also hosted exhibits of the poetic or artistic variety from time to time. Before leaving I was gifted with a knit version of a traditional hat, hand made by a very generous auntie.
In addition to the town of Akranes, another one of my favorite places was Árbæjarsafn, which is the historical museum of the city of Reykjavík as well as an open air museum and a regional museum. Unfortunately, we put this visit off until the last minute, on the weekend – during which time it is not open. Technically. We were still able to walk around and look at the houses, but we were not able to go into them or explore them. Nonetheless, we still spent about two hours walking around and marveling at the simple beauty of the structures.
I was very lucky to experience Iceland from a unique perspective – though I did many of the tourist-y things (I ate hotdogs from every stand in the city for pete’s sake; I took a photo of this guy), I also spent a great deal of time with the people who actually live there and got to see things from a native’s perspective, as well. Which included many home-made meals, I might add, and in a city as expensive as Reykjavík, that’s really a lovely blessing.
A few tips, if you are thinking of traveling to Iceland:
Bring layers! I traveled during the end of August (which is like a relentless hellscape in Florida) but the weather I encountered in Iceland was in the 40s and 50s and drizzly. Cold and rainy. Tee shirts and light sweaters and light jackets are best for hopping between coffee houses on a chilly day downtown, I think.
A sturdy pair of water proof boots is essential if you are going to be visiting the waterfalls or doing a bit of hiking. I purchased a pair from LL Bean and they are marvelous. I highly recommend them.
Try to check out the happy hours for restaurants. They are all so very expensive, so take advantage of deals where you can find them.
And be reminded of why we go away. (says Terry Pratchett) “Why do you go away? So that you can come back. So that you can see the place you came from with new eyes and extra colors. And the people there see you differently, too. Coming back to where you started is not the same as never leaving.”
I am glad I am no longer the same person who would have never left. Though now I feel I am not actually the same person who did leave, either. It’s all so confusing! Perhaps I’d better start planning another trip and see what happens.
Apparently you can customize the embroidery on the back of your shoe on the new balance site – how cool is that? I kept mine simple as it appears that “Ph’nglui Mglw’nafh Cthulhu R’lyeh wgah’nagl fhtagn.” just won’t fit in the space allotted. Drat.
Notice too, the all-black-all-the-time design – perfect for midnight cemetery runs and nimbly slipping between dark dimensions undetected!
Wondering how to style these blacker than black and quite frankly otherwise quite boring sneakers? You weren’t? Because black goes with everything? Fair enough. But here’s an idea for you.
It’s not exactly as if I am some sort of social butterfly, flitting busily from one charming engagement to the next. I’m really not that at all. I’m the anti-social, hermit….whatever the exact opposite of a butterfly is. Maybe sloth. I am the anti-social sloth.
At most I will head into the next town once or twice a month to visit with friends and family, and to be honest, I am most of the time actually enjoying myself doing these things, spending time with these people. And yet even this is too much and it feels imperative that I shut myself away from the world every once in a while. I don’t quite know why this is, but I suspect that sometimes even the thought of spending time around other humans is exhausting for me…especially on the weekend when I should be free to spend it however I like. So even if I haven’t had a friendly lunch or a bookclub date or a party (eeek! ugh.) on the calendar for a while, it’s almost like I need to proactively mentally prepare for the possibility.
To begin, I set aside a weekend during the month, preferably one when I am going to be all alone. As I live with a significant other, this is a rare occurrence. During this time I make no plans. No anything that involves me walking out my front door. A Fuck Off, World! weekend is all about the comforts of one’s own home. I make sure that the house is well stocked with grocery items because if I don’t even want to visit with my sister, you can be damned sure I don’t want to talk to a cashier for a market transaction as it relates to a dozen eggs or coffee or whatever. 99% of the time I won’t even answer my phone because what part of No Human Interaction and Fuck Off, World don’t you understand, for god’s sake?
This is serious business.
Your perfect FOW!W may vary from mine, of course, but I think there are some key elements that are pretty much the same across the board.
It must involve some form of entertainment. Probably a few movies. Perhaps there are some films you’ve been waiting to watch on your own as you know you cannot talk your boyfriend into watching another artsy horror film because when he walked in on you watching Possession he was nearly scarred for life. Although really, what a grown woman and the writhing, pustulous grotesquerie to whom she gave birth do in an abandoned building on a filthy bed is their own business and who are we to judge, right? Anyway, so films. For this particular weekend I am thinking Livide, Santa Sangre and Next Door.
Puttering. Pick up a book, put it down. Start to fold laundry, get distracted. Make half the bed, remember you put the kettle on, pick up that same book again. Finish knitting a sock. Try to take a nap, but become hypnotized by the shadow of the rosebush against the curtain. If you’ve puttered properly, by the end of the day you will have accomplished absolutely nothing.
Meals must be the trashiest things you can think of, something you would be utterly motified to have anywhere near your face hole in polite company. In ghost or alien company. In any company at all. It must be a transcendent combination and disgusting and delicious and you must eat it during this sacred time alone.
Actually, that’s about it. Less is more when it comes to a perfect FOW!W. And with that, I am signing off. And you, you can fuck off. Until Monday, and then we’re all friends again.
Folks who know me are most likely familiar with a project that I have been working on for the past two years now – Skeletor Is Love: “Skeletor is experiencing the profound emptiness and isolation of human existence” and he is journeying “toward positive mental health through daily affirmations.” I created several social media accounts for this and for almost a year I updated it daily, but then began to slow it down about 8 months ago. Though it met with great success, this type of thing isn’t really meant to go on forever, you know?
I don’t own Skeletor and I technically never had permission to work with the character in the first place, but I figured since it was considered parody and my project was not for profit, it didn’t really matter. I had fun with it, it helped people, and I was not trying to make any money off of it, so I figured the “powers that be” probably wouldn’t take issue with it. And they never did. However, a recent incident in which I became aware that a popular chain store was carrying a tee shirt eerily similar to something I had created left me feeling rather out of sorts and frankly kind of grossed out by the whole thing. I had no recourse because it wasn’t my character and I had no permissions in place – also, it’s not like I was making any money off of the project, so it’s not like anyone was taking money out of my pocket. At the end of the day the only thing to do was to get over it.
And I suppose I am….but not just with regard to that situation. I think I am “over it” in a broader sense, as well. I always told myself that when I stop having fun doing the whole Skeletor is Love thing – then that’s it, it’s over. In the past few weeks I’ve found myself even dreading to think about it, never mind sitting down and create something new, so I realized it was time to call it a day and go out gracefully before I start getting resentful and bitter about it.
It was great fun while it lasted, I met some amazing people and learned quite a bit. I am grateful for the experience and overwhelmed by the outpouring of support and encouragement and love that came from not just friends and family, but from complete strangers as well. I think I can say without a doubt, it was truly a life changing journey. And now that particular journey has come to an end.
When I was younger, I would tear through a book in a matter of hours. I would demolish a stack of library books in the span of a few afternoons. My favorite time of year was grade school summer vacation, during which time I would banish myself to the screened porch; hunched on the sweaty patio furniture, I would gulp glass after glass of my mother’s weak iced tea and slip into the pages of Stephen King, John Saul, Anne Rice, HP Lovecraft, Dean Koontz (I didn’t really discriminate at that age). I thoroughly immersed myself in these lurid, awful tales of monsters and madmen and supernatural goings-on and oftentimes would spend upwards of 8 hours out in the heat, completely lost to the world.
Unfortunately as I’ve gotten older, I am much more easily distracted (or is it that there are more things to become distracted by? Hm.) and it takes me much longer to read through a horrid novel. Where I once left the library with no less than a dozen books, I now exit the building with with two or three of them lumped uneasily at the bottom of a mostly empty tote bag -I fear they know as well as I that any more than one book at a time now is wishful thinking.
The past few years had been especially bad for this; with upheaval comes a distinct lack of focus, and I am sure that I grew weary of or bored with 50% of the books I’d attempted reading. This year I was determined to begin making up for lost time. It is almost August now, and I am fairly certain that I have read more in 2014 than I have in the last ten years.
Doctor Sleep | The Ocean At The End Of The Lane | American Vampire, Volume 1 | Garlic and Sapphires | Pretty Little Liars 1 (don’t judge me!) | Comfort Me With Apples | Tender At The Bone | Pretty Little Liars 2: Flawless | The Shining Girls
Angelica | Heart Shaped Box | White Is For Witching | The Imago Sequence and Other Stories | The Asylum | American Vampire, Vol. 2
NOS4A2 | Boneshaker | The Goldfinch
Red Shirts | Wild Fell
The Unseen | The Ghostwriter
The Beautiful Thing That Awaits Us All | Horns | The Tenant | The Small Hand | Sex Criminals Volume 1 | Morning Glories Volume 1
Carrion Comfort | Morning Glories Volume 2-7
The standouts for me so far have been The Goldfinch, Horns, and Sex Criminals, but more than that I have just enjoyed the magic of burying myself in a book again, of being breathlessly caught up in someone else’s story, and yes – even the tinge of regret and disappointment once the tale has been told and the last page has been turned.
What is stacked on your bedside table for an evening read? What stories are you most looking forward to immersing yourself in? Do tell! There’s so many empty shelves that need filling in my Library of Probable Books…
I am a woman who likes her ghost stories and her soft core lady vampire movies and her occasional Viking metal or haunted cathedral music. I’ll give up my black clothes when they can find me a darker color. I dislike activities that involve sunlight and the possibility of other humans looking at me. I can’t muster much enthusiasm for anything that makes me sweat or restricts my indulgences. I am not peppy.
Diet and fitness blogs don’t seem to exist for people like me. And yet, I think, people like me are inevitably the sort of black-hearted, lazy folk who might find themselves in need of such resources. But not the cheery RAH-RAH-RAH sort of diet/fitness/weight loss blog that seem to be de rigueur in certain circles, filled with clichéd claptrap encouraging you to love moving your bod! and nourish your soul! and blah, blah, baloney forever. I need my motivation served subtle (you almost have to trick me into it) with a soupçon of snark and a sizeable side of spooky. I’ve tried googling “goth weight loss blogs/goth fitness blogs” and I know I made mention in a previous post of a BLACK METAL DIET blog – but neither of those adequately describe what I am looking for. I am not, nor have I ever been all that gothy. I listened to Iron Maiden in high school for pete’s sake, and if I recall there was a distinct rivalry between folks who listened to Iron Maiden and Slayer and those who listened to The Cure and Nine Inch Nails. So 20 years later I feel like calling myself a goth would be some sort of betrayal to Bruce Dickinson.
So I guess I am sort of weird and I don’t quite fit in anywhere. And that’s the direction I’ve decided to take with this. Every once in a while, when I decide to get chatty about my progress, I’ll be using the “weight loss for weirdos” tag. I would say “you have been warned” but you’re here anyway so you may as well read it.
SO, I am going to share two of my WEIGHT LOSS FOR WEIRDOS tips with you this evening.
1. Bedtime Yoga + MORTIIS
There is nothing, NOTHING so important as bedtime and a sound sleep and 8+ hours of epic dreams. Before tucking in for the evening, I turn off the lights, turn down the bed and do maybe 5-7 minutes of bed time yoga right on my mattress (you can find some poses here and here, I personally like the goddess pose and the spinal twist). I am cranky and irritable if I have a difficult time falling asleep, but I have found that since starting this, routine? regimen? I am usually asleep within 10-15 minutes. Bonus points: Mortiis’ Fodt Til Å Herske album is perfect to have playing in the background while you are stretching and slipping into sleep. Nocturnal dungeon/crypt sounds, when even the tortured spirits are at rest.
2. Something that you look forward to wearing when you are exercising.
I realize that might sound kind of silly and it’s not like I put a lot of thought into my appearance when I am venturing forth to sweat for an hour in 100 degree weather. But there’s something about looking down at this particular shirt when I am exercising that makes me cackle. And I love that. It makes the time spent working out seem a tiny bit less dreadful.