Deep SHİt by Carla Bryant

Disclaimer: Those who know me best can attest: I curse like sailor, and love it. Henceforth, in all my blog entries, I will be slowly (because shy) sifting in my true language, in efforts to align my internet personality as closely as possible to my true personality. If this offends you, you are hereby invited to not read my blog, and therefore not get to know my true self. This does not mean I will begin using foul language in front of all people, all the time. I will continue, in the name of common decency, to moderate my language based on the audience I’m addressing. You don’t have to read my blog. You may, of course, but in doing so, you must accept the baby with the bathwater, because that’s what I am. A baby in a bath. End disclaimer.

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It’s Friday. I have a lot on my mind. Probably would do me good to get some of it out. Before I get into the deep shit, I’ll just set the scene for you: it’s been a looooong, weird few months. Whenever I say that, I always think, “Well, heck. It’s actually been a long, weird life.” But I think the last two months have been epically weirder than the norm. I’ve made so many drastic changes to my command post, it feels like I’m living someone else’s life, almost. In a good way. Like, I’m living the life I always wanted, but always undermined because I never felt like I deserved it.

I was daydreaming about having a smoke the other day, and the thought came to me that I only, only, only, ever smoked, drank excessively, and did other bad things to my body, because I felt, on a gut level, that I was incapable of truly living. The Bible backs me up here in Proverbs: Give wine to him whose life is bitter. Let him drink and remember his trouble no more. I mean, there it is. That’s why there’s alcoholism. That’s why there’s a fucking opioid epidemic. And can we just talk for a second about social media? Holy hell. Pacify, entertain, numb, distract. We’re all dying! We’re miserable, we’re bitter, and we’re dying. Y’know – until we’re not.

Enter Jesus.

Just kidding. But not really, but that’s not what I want to talk about right now. I got a full psychiatric exam back in Albuquerque. It was an eight-hour, super-intense examination of ME. My brain, the way I think, the way I feel, the way I act. I got a big ol’ packet in the mail a while back with my test results and diagnoses. It was difficult to wrap my brain around, and still is, but I’m slowly coming around to accept what the doctor told me. I’m not going to go into huge detail, but she basically showed me.. that I need to be myself, and fighting against that will only lead me into darker and darker places. I can only imagine what lgbtq+ kids raised in unaccepting homes go through. Talk about hell. Bless them all (I just spontaneously burst into tears).

Anyway. I guess I got into deep shit already, ha! Well, here we are. Fighting against my true nature led me to deep, dark denial. I mean, still does, who am I kidding, but I think less now. It’s tough to face the lies we accepted as canon in childhood. The fun and obliviousness of my twenties had me believing they didn’t have power over me anymore. Nothing like marriage to bring out the beast in us, amiright? I mean, thank God for love. In essence, it exposes. That’s probably why I don’t do very well in long-term friendships.. ugghh, I’m going to cry again.. sigh.. but seriously. If it weren’t for love, specifically, my relationship with Adam, I honestly doubt I would be confessing all of this right now.

Over the course of my life, I’ve been told by a small handful of people I trust implicitly, that they trust my intuition and judgement. Across the board, I know what they meant was in reference to my personal perspective on life. Every time it’s come up, I’ve been utterly shocked by the affirmation. I was raised on the fear of phrases like, “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked, who can know it?” and, “There is a way that seems right to a man, and in the end it leads to death,” and “The road to hell is paved with good intentions.” Looking at these Bible bits today fills me with sadness, and a deep desire to study Biblical history to understand the context in which they were meant to be heard. To a little girl, full of emotion, creativity, and questions, they became a foreboding mantra for a life of fear. I mean, it’s one thing to live in fear of war, famine, disease, and disaster – it’s quite another to live in fear of yourself.

Gosh, I feel like I have gone on too long. I wonder if this is making any sense. I know, I know, my writing style is spastic. I’m trying to proof-read more. I just have such tiny attention span. If I start re-reading a paragraph I just wrote, I will lose ALL interest in the subject by the time I get back to where I’m writing. One of my diagnoses was mild ADHD. NOT SURPRISED. In “Sit Still and Be Quiet Class” (yes, that happened), my mom changed the rules, due to my inability to sit still and be quiet. I was allowed to draw, as long as it was what she was teaching/reading about. Good move, Mom.

So, let’s see.. Oh! I turned thirty! Yes, I did. I woke up that morning to the smell of bacon (which had not been in the fridge the night before) and coffee. Adam gave me Thomasina, the book on which the beloved Disney movie was based, and a biography with pictures on Arthur Rackham (one of my favorite illustrators). Bob and Kathy (Adam’s sweeter than sweet parents) sent me flowers and a MASSAGE. After a delicious brunch, we went up to Cedar Rapids for the first time (about 25 minutes from Iowa City) and I got myself a persimmon Fiestaware teacup & saucer. So perty. We were going to go get cake at a fancy sit-down restaurant, but a massive, tornado-bearing storm blew up, so we ate ice cream and watched Antiques Roadshow. It was great. love Antiques Roadshow. And I worship ice cream. Perfect day. This is the first birthday in a decade that I haven’t spent drunk for a week. And it feels pretty okay. Fuck hangovers. Gross.

In other neeeeews.. I got coffee earlier this week with Cortnie, the owner of an awesome boutique here in IC called The White Rabbit. I can’t believe I forgot to ask her if she was a Lewis Carroll fan, what is wrong with me. But we had a great time, and are talking currently about how we might-could work together in the future! Exciting, yes. But I’m more excited just to have met her at all. We yak like old friends; I really like her a lot. I hope we can be friends. I also met another lady, named Jill, who is the Events & Marketing Director at a sweet place called NewBoCo in Cedar Rapids (like 25 minutes from Iowa City). We’re getting coffee next week. And! I’m going to be meeting a girl named Victoria, who is the president of the UIowa’s ASL club! Hopefully, I will be able to afford to hire her as a weekly tutor for me so I can learn conversational ASL. Yay!

My work is going great. I got a new client this week, and two more potentials are on the horizon, which makes twelve clients!! That’s amazing to me. I’m beginning to think I could really do this freelance thing full-time. I mean, I technically already am, but I’m allowing myself a shit-ton of procrastination-time. Which is NOT COOL. I don’t count blogging as procrastinating, by the way. Just in case you were wondering. Anyway, I got my business cards in and they look fabulous. I have a website and a Facebook page (please “like” the latter, to make me look more credible to prospective clients), and I reached 500 likes on Instagram this week! Milestone! You can also follow me there if you want. I post slightly more risqué shit in IG for whatever reason.

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For fun, Ryan Bolton (friend of thirty years) and I did an art swap as gifts to our beloveds. I made a drawing of him and Rose (his beloved) cosplaying Spike and Buffy, and he drew Adam an ewok x-wing pilot named Kettch. An ewok would never be able to reach the x-wing controls or pedals, being that they are little stuffed teddy bears, so Ryan drew Kettch with drywall-type stilts and arm-extensions. So great. So fun. If anyone wants to do an art trade, let me know. If I have time, I would love to.

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Okay, the last thing I’m going to say is that My Favorite Murder is the greatest podcast ever. Hooked.

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The Artist’s Rallying Cry

My last blog was such a stew! After re-reading it, I would like to apologize profusely for the forty different rabbit trails I took. Ha! What can I say, truly I have a dizzying intellect.

I’m blogging again today because I need to whip myself into shape. After a few days of intense heat, humidity, and PMS, I find myself with a shocking lack of drive. So I’m going to type up a rallying cry into the computer-box and read what I have to say. This is my proverbial equivalent to Jessica’s Daily Affirmation, which is awesome, if you’ve been under a rock for the past decade and haven’t seen it.

“I can do anything good, better than everyone.” -Jessica

So! Here I am, I have an office-in-a-corner set up which is so cute, pertaining of: a flatbed scanner, a dry erase calendar, a dry erase marker board, a printer, a filing system, an iMac, and my trusty stapler. These are the essentials, and I have them. What I do with them is entirely my privilege and responsibility. Would you like to know what is written on my marker board right now? I’m ashamed to say, it’s a bullet-point list of six things that I still need to do. Why haven’t I done them? Because of heat, humidity, and PMS. How shall I set out to actually do them? Smaller goals, perhaps? Divide each thing into three smaller things? Provide rewards for myself upon accomplishing each small goal? That is a great idea. Except that I’m on a diet, and I’ve already eaten all of the chocolate I was hiding in the apartment.

On a side-note, Adam and I really have decided to change up our eating. Food in Iowa, ironically is quite a bit more expensive than we’re used to paying. Isn’t that weird? It’s “The Bread Basket of America,” shouldn’t that mean it’s cheaper? Well, that put us in a quandry, seeing as we’re not raking in the big-bucks yet and want to be healthy. So we’ve decided to go all organic and only eat meat twice a week (one day beef, one day poultry or fish). So far, it’s been agonizingly difficult for me (love meat), but it makes sense, so my brain is rewarding me with smug feelings of superiority. It’s all good.

Anyway.. goals! Let’s do this:

Here are my current work things to do (including but not limited to the marker board list):

1. Get next round of drafts out to AG & FH
2. Polish up illustration for AT
3. Reach out to Adam J. to check on job status & if I can start on the next three logos
4. Check in with John M. regarding catalog shipment & current project edits
5. Make gifts for KA and DM
6. Write Business Plan
7. Start on Chris’ tattoo design
8. See if Nicole has any feedback for me
9. Put up feature photos on website portfolio
10. Think about items to sell

That’s a daunting list! I already just want to go eat something. Good thing there’s nothing to eat. ):[ All right, let’s think about this. But first! Let’s pee, and then get another cup of coffee.

Okay, my brain keeps going to sticky notes. I feel like it would be stimulatingly satisfying to have the “little goals” written on different-colored stickies, and have them arranged on the marker board in order of urgency. That’s a great idea! Except I should just use different-colored markers to reduce my carbon footprint, right? That may be the first time I have ever used that term. 1+ Smugness

Little goals:

1. Get next round of drafts out to AG & FH
    A. Review notes & revisions
    B. Sit down at #NattyLightDraftingTable and sketch up some roughies
    C. Scan, polish, and send
2. Polish up illustration for AT
    A. Decide what final “message” should be
    B. Ink it up
    C. Send it out
3. Reach out to Adam J. to check on job status & if I can start on the next three logos
    A. Review next three logo notes
B. Send email

4. Check in with John M. regarding catalog shipment & current project edits
    A. Send email
5. Make gifts for KA and DM
    A. Pencil
    B. Ink
    C. Scan
6. Write Business Plan
    A. Review notes
    B. Draft pitch
    C. Draft executive summary
7. Start on Chris’ tattoo design
    A. Pencil
    B. Ink
    C. Scan
8. See if Nicole has any feedback for me
    A. Send email
9. Put up feature photos on website portfolio
    A. Script
    B. Scan
    C. Vectorize
10. Think about items to sell
    A. Brainstorm online
    B. Pro & con list
    C. Ask opinions

Oh. My. Goodness. That was so easy, and I already feel more empowered.

ps: My thirtieth birthday is on Friday.

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Honorific Titles and Individuality

Anyone who’s known me for any amount of time (or who’s gone back and read my life story as told by this blog here – poor fool) can attest: I’ve always been aggressively independent, and have spent a large part of my waking hours thinking about the concept of individuality. For a long time, my focus was trying to balance the animalistic urge of individuality in me, with my faith. I wanted the two to join hands. After living some life though, I came to the realization that my faith was almost 100% based in fear. And– because I know some Evangelicals are yelling at their computer screens right now– IT WAS THE BAD KIND.

I don’t know what denomination those cows are supposed to be representing, but I’m not implying any denomination or even religion is responsible for my following fear through its winding maze of piety. It was all my own doing. My mind is amazing. All of our minds are. They can convince us of literally anything we want. And I convinced myself that it was my privilege to cultivate a beautiful balance in my life– of fear (faith) and power (individuality). By “power,” I’m referring to self-control; the act of assessing your life, deciding what you want, and engaging your will to achieve those goals. It’s a fruit of the Spirit. Just sprinkle some God in there. Cue Joel Osteen.

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Sorry, couldn’t help it. Have I mentioned I am Meme Queen? I don’t care if someone’s already taken the title. I am it.

Anyway.. where was I.. oh yes, Romans 14. One of the more difficult chapters in the Bible. Here is the Carla Version:

Accept the dumb people, don’t judge them. You’re smart; you’ve decided that eating meat and animal products is totally okay, and vegans are idiots because they only eat plant products. Just because you know they’re idiots doesn’t mean you’re allowed to call them that. God accepts them. You get to judge for yourself, they get to judge for themselves, and the law of nature takes care of the rest.

Some people think you should go to church on Sunday, other people are like, “You’re crazy.” The point is – everyone should be making their own decisions. If you’re into church on Sunday, own that shit! If you’re a carnivorous beast, eat like a medieval lord at a pagan holiday banquet! If you’re a cud-chewing vegan monster, eat your vegetable products and dance around like a crazy person! Because, let’s get real: nobody’s actually doing this life thing without a conscience. We all want to be “doing the right thing.” So do it. And do it until you’re dead.

This is why Jesus lived, died, and lived again: so that He could offer salvation to the brontosauruses AND the giganotosauruses.

So why are you being all pretentious? You think other people should be accountable to you? No, no. Every single one of us is accountable to God, and God only. So ffs, can we just stop judging people already? Instead, let’s think about how we can love each other more, amiright??

Okay, so for instance – God and I had a chat the other day, and I decided that it’s totally okay for me to eat meat – but my friend Billy here (I don’t really have a friend named Billy, it’s just an example) had a talk with God too, and HE decided that it was NEVER going to be okay for him to eat meat. Does this mean I get to bowl Billy over with a leg of lamb for being a dumbass? Good lord, absolutely not. That would be so rude. And above everything, God is Love, so why would I step out of love to knock my [stupid] friend Billy over?

Basically, guys, righteousness is not in the details (that’s where the devil is), but in Love. So please, for the love of God, stop judging and arguing about shit, and get after the heart of God, which is a personal experience of love, and doesn’t go around telling other people what they should be feeling or thinking or doing.

So with all of that being said, I’m going to go ahead and say it again: MY conviction is that meat is good. BUT, that’s just my conviction. What’s objectively awful is if I were to gratuitously rip hunks of steaming hot flesh off a deep-fried turkey leg, two inches from poor Billy’s weeping face. Ugh! Seriously?! No!

(These next two sentences are verse 22, verbatim:) The faith which you have, have as your own conviction before God. Happy is he who does not condemn himself in what he approves.

This is what I’m going to be doing with “Bible Schmible,” by the way – my upcoming awesome profane podcast about my incredibly weird faith journey. Sound like fun? Anyway – I hope you enjoyed my translation. Please don’t be offended, but that’s kind of the point of all of this – I don’t actually care if you’re offended [anymore]. I used to sculpt my LIFE around making sure that I didn’t offend people. I had meltdowns when I found out that I had upset, disappointed, or was misunderstood by someone. My peace was rooted in that horrible, fickle, and ever-expanding subjectivity that is Other Peoples’ Religion.

So. What does all of this have to do with “Mrs?” A little bit. It’s what jogged this whole revelation to the surface of my mind. Y’see, over the past few years, I’ve been intentionally getting involved in things that I was raised to fear (I could make a list, but I think it would derail my train of thought), and I think my subconscious knew what I would discover.. because none of it’s been that surprising. But anyway, fear is still the automatic reaction I have to literally every controversy or disagreement that occurs in my life.

When I was trying to decide whether or not to change my last name, hackles were raised by warring factions on either side of me. I was caught in the middle, and both sides were grasping for me, weighing in, swatting and snarling at the other team. Omg, I was just totally overwhelmed. “Damned if you do, damned if you don’t” was how I felt. And in the end, I had to sit in front of God and tell Him, “I’m going to change my last name, and I think I’m convinced that it’s what I need to do, but please forgive me if I’m doing the wrong thing.” Ugh. Madness!! You want to my reasoning? Like, why I decided that I wanted to change my last name? Well, tough beans. That’s not the point.

Morality. Right and wrong. It’s all subjective. I’m using “Mrs” in front of my name as a business. Mrs Carla Bryant. I could (and I think I will, as soon as I’ve made my point) go into my reasons for why I made that choice, but I’m not out to change anyone’s mind, or sock anyone in the mouth with my conservative values. EVERYONE has their own agenda, bias, and perspective on life. You’ll notice that even the Apostle Paul did (did you notice how many times he called vegans “idiots?” jeez).

Anyway, I think the point is – be convinced, act in integrity, and fight fear with love.

Are you ready for my reasoning? Oh just hold on to your butts, because this is doing to blow your mind: http://www.carlabryant.com, http://www.cbryant.com, and http://www.carlambryant.com were all already taken. And who has the kind of money to purchase domain names from private entities??

Haha. Gotcha. But it’s for real the reason. I never even gave a thought to what it could be saying politically or subliminally. But since it’s been brought to my attention that it could be taken as literally anything other than a domain name choice, allow me to assuage your offense. Except, that may have offended you even more. Sigh. Oh well. The real point to this entire blog post is:

And I’m lit about it.

Okay, so let me address then the elephant in my room. If the point is to be convinced, act accordingly, and love (ie not be a bitch about it), what if the very act of writing this blog is unloving? I mean, I’m imagining Billy, at this point, saying, “Carla! Using “Mrs” is figuratively punching me in the face, because you’re impeding the evolution of civilized humankind, and that hurts me!” And I guess this is where the rubber meets the road, because I do care, as much as I’m able, about gender equality and feminism and all that shit. But “Mrs,” to me, doesn’t go against that. And if it does for you, I’m going to have to pull a Paul here and say, Gosh, heck, dang, #sorrynotsorry. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ I’m convinced this way, you’re convinced that way, so if we’re going to get coffee, let’s focus on something else, shall we?

All right, I think my blog for this week is done.

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The Shape of You

I have had this song in my head literally since I woke up this morning. It is driving me crazy. But that just reminded me of Shakira, and Britney Spears, so I guess I have options.

Anyway.

I’m trying to blog every week. And draw for fun every day. So far so good. I’d like to report on how my “list” is going from a few weeks back. First of all, I’m still a non-smoker.

Yes, to answer your question, I surely do wish I had never picked up a gd cigarette. I will never be over them, and I will never really enjoy anything anymore, I’m sure of it. But I’m determined to try! So where were we? My list! I’ve made some great strides:

1. Blog – I’m blogging again, right now. Hurrah!
2. Journal – it’s hard to journal when you’re always with your partner, but as soon as he starts work at the library (yay!), I’ll get back into it;
3. Meditate – oops;
4. Yoga – not as many times as I want to, but it’s coming along. We just joined the Parks & Rec Center here and they have a drop-in weekly class, so I’ll probably do that on top of my already twice a week routine;
5. Write/Illustrate Book – not yet;
6. Skate – turns out it costs a shit-ton to join or even practice with the local Roller Derby here (seriously, like $35/month! guh!), but the afore-mentioned Rec Center has a free weekly skate night with free skate rental! Going tomorrow;
7. Stilts – I brainstormed up an idea for making stilts, where I can change out the length as I get steadier. I just have to make them now. That may happen over the weekend, but I’m definitely shooting for completion by this time next week;
8. Dressmaking – not getting started on that until we move in August (no room);
9. If I can afford it, I’ve found an ASL tutor, but regardless, I’m going to go to the UIowa ASL Club meetup this coming Tuesday to hang out and get to know some people. I’m super excited about this;
10. Adam’s Music – probably not going to happen until the move;
11. Scrabble – more Scrabble needs to happen;
12. Kayaking – we’re going kayaking on Monday;
13. Guitar – August;
14. Small Business/Classes – I’m meeting with a SBA counselor on Tuesday to go over my business plan! And I need to do some more research about taking some online classes – more on that later;
15. Scarves – coming ALONG! Mine is HUGE and soft and red, ugh! Love it;
16. Podcast – August
17. Bikes – been bikin’ a lot! It’s unbearably hot and muggy here all the live-long day, so we just go on rides at night usually. I LOVE my new bike though. She is smooth as silk and sturdy as a Reeve;
18. Family – I have not been very good at communicating with fam, sigh;
19. Therapist – we are in the process of getting health insurance right now, so hopefully I will be able to find a therapist within the next month or so;
20. Dentist – see 19;
21. Wuthering Heights – I am one chapter in.

In other news though – Adam and I went to Chicago last weekend! It was a blast! We went to see our niece & nephew (technically cousins once-removed) come of age! I didn’t know that twins got their own special Mitzvah service – it’s called a B’nai Mitzvah. At least, that’s my understanding – it might be that it’s the plural form of when a Bar and a Bat happen at the same time. It’s too complicated for me to care that much about. Anyway, it was fun. They go to a Reform Jewish Synagogue in Chicago, which apparently means they believe everyone gets to interpret the Torah for themselves? Their speech/sermons were all about how they didn’t believe that God was perfect or fair all of the time, and the lesson we should take from that, is to not beat ourselves up too badly for not being perfect, but to always aim for perfection. It was kind of surreal watching two thirteen-year-olds deliver that message to a whole congregation of adults. To each their own! I’m sure I’d get a lot of balkers if I got up in front of a crowd and shared what I thought about God. smh

These kids though, I swear, they are pretty fing fabulous children. The girl is a ballerina and the boy is going to be a sportscaster. They’re nuts. So insanely smart and adorable. Did not make me want to have kids though. I can barely go see a movie without screaming at everyone in the audience to shut their gd popcorn holes, I think I’d probably last a day with a two year old. Shudder. Anyway, kids are wonderful, is my point. I think. Spending time with my in-laws was my favorite part of the trip though. Especially my sister in law and her bf. So much love. :) We also got to see some old friends of Adam’s who just had a baby. We walked around the lake some and hung out at a neighbor of theirs’ kid’s birthday party. Fun.

And we saw Wonder Woman (fine), and I’m working a lot, but not getting paid a lot yet, so that’s nice.. not having a regular paycheck is annoying as hell. I don’t need to go get another job, but I sure hope my brain will be able to process when a lot of money comes in at the same time, and I can’t spend it all in one week. (My brain is a seventeen-year-old idiot.)

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Good Afternoon!

It’s another humid day in Iowa City! The weather says it’s 66% (humidity), but it feels closer to 200% so the AC is on, even though it’s not that hot. I didn’t even think about the fact that ACs drip water on their outside (if it’s a window unit), because they’re filtering it out of the air that comes inside. It’s “conditioning” the “air.” Haha, silly me.

Anyway. It’s stupid humid. I’m at this obnoxious spot with all my clients where I’m either waiting on them to get back to me, or I’m stuck on their project and need to look away for a minute to get my eyes uncrossed. That happens a lot, actually. Do you ever get that? Like, you spend six consecutive hours working on one design, and it just doesn’t make sense anymore? Like when you write down or say aloud a particular word, over and over again – and it looks/sounds weird after a while. Same goes for design work. Unfortunately, when I spend six consecutive hours on a design then take a break, usually when I come back to it, I hate the entire thing. Ugh. So frustrating.

I’ve been working on a small handful of things since we got to Iowa. One is a branding project that I’ve been working on for the past six years, and it’s not been released to the public yet, so I’m not allowed to say anything about it. Then there’s Nicole Duke’s jewelry/egg business logo. It’s super cute, just like her. Here, I’ll show you where we are on it – I hope she doesn’t mind –

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She’s a lover of beagles. They’re her “spirit animal.” The logo has all kinds of delightful symbolism, but I can’t recall it at the moment. She wanted to be able to have it made into a rubber stamp. I think it’ll translate really well.. I hand-drew the beagle (first pencil, then Sharpie), and everything else is vector hand-work. Even the triangles. Illustrator has a similar pattern/backdrop, but my shitty cs4 version freezes whenever I try to edit patterns in isolation mode, so I just decided to make it from scratch. I can’t wait until Adam has a student ID so I can upgrade to CC. Ugh.

I’m also working on a logo for a group called Black Belt Citizens. Here’s where we are on that one:

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Nice! Right? I did some nice hand work for some rough drafts, but they wanted something cleaner, more to the point. They may not even like this one, but.. I do. Don’t those colors just say “clean and fresh?” Ahh.

I’m also working on an illustration for a friend, and the illustration is to be a gift, so I’m not allowed to say anything else about it. My friend, Amanda Turri, AKA The Sassy Lumberjack, and I are in the beginning stages of writing and illustrating a children’s book together. More on that as it happens. I’m designing a SWEET tattoo for a friend in Albuquerque. And I’m doing two wedding portraits! I’ll put everything up here as the kinks get worked out. I also submitted a bid to be the lead designer for a start-up in Albuquerque. They’re looking at two other designers though, so we’ll see.. I had a Skype session with the founders of the start-up, like, ten minutes after I smashed my finger in the window last week (and thought I broke it), so I hope the adrenaline pumping through my brain didn’t make me say anything stupid..

Oh! Speaking of fear! Adam got a job at the library today! Adam’s going to be a librarian! Yeah! He was pretty nervous about his interview, but the guy called him back the next day. I knew he would get it. But.. I’ve been wrong before, so I didn’t puff him up too much. I’m so glad he got this though. It’ll really be good for him to be working in the public library system here, while going to school to hopefully work in conservation one day. Very good and applicable experience for his career. Hurrah!

I miss my friends. Not smoking is hard. Not drinking is annoying. I had my first cigarette in August of 2004. It was a Camel light given to me by Ben James, sitting on a picnic table next to the Tennessee River in South Knoxville. What a delicious thirteen years it’s been. Cigarettes love unconditionally, I think that’s why I stuck with them for so long. I still love them more than I love most people. But! -they were going to be the death of me, so there’s no getting around that one. For a long time, I had no qualms with just embracing that death. My life has never been very enjoyable (tortured soul and all that). Being married has changed my mind though. Marriage is a trip.

Welp, time for some Netlix and chill. Peace out, fam.

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Iowa

Adam and I are Iowans now. We’re registered to vote (he’s blue, I’m red, nbd) and watching a lot of television. Is that even what it’s called anymore? I haven’t had a TV since my first apartment. What’s the alternative? MP, for motion pictures? Serialized Motion Pictures? Screen Shows. Yeah, that’s probably the best yet. Screen Shows. I like that. Anyway, we just finished season five of House of Cards, and are watching Twin Peaks as it comes out every Sunday. I’m rewatching the entirety of the American Office, and started to watch Cheers the other week, but it makes me miss beer and cigarettes too much, so I’m taking a break from that for now.

Oh, did I mention I quit smoking [again]?

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That’s how I feel about that. Which is why I’ve become a shut-in for the foreseeable future. It’s actually working really well. I haven’t had hardcore cravings in like three hours. I try to not let on that I’m dying, but then I just explode in murderous rage. It’s been ten days. I guess you could say.. wait..

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Perfect.

Anyway, Adam’s being the perfect gem that he always is. For whatever reason, he’s been getting up at the crack of dawn since we got here (which is 5:15am), and subsequently becoming a grouch by early afternoon. We’ve discovered that naps help with this behavior. I take delicious, delicious sleeping pills, so I never get up early anymore. It’s great. A doctor told me to take them until my anxiety level went down, so I don’t feel guilty about it at all.

Oh! Which reminds me, I’m supposed to blog about my recent doctor visits. Hmm.. well, this is actually one area I don’t think I’m ready to talk about to the world just yet. I can say a few things though. I’ve been prescribed ten minutes of meditation, twice a day, and therapy once a week, for the rest of my life. The doctor said she could, and might prescribe antidepressants, if – after a few months of therapy – my condition hadn’t changed. What is my condition? That’s what I can’t talk about. It’s personal. Don’t ask me about it, I will sic Jesus on you.

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All righty, so in other news, I have a list of exciting things to keep me busy for a while! Yay lists! Here we go:

  1. Blog (I’m doing that right now!!);
  2. Journal – every day, all my grossest feelings;
  3. Meditate (twice daily) – got an app, will start.. soon;
  4. Yoga – have a great app, can’t wait to roll out the mat later this afternoon;
  5. Write a book, then illustrate it;
  6. Get some rollerskates and find the nearest derby to teach me how to use them;
  7. Buy beginner stilts and practice using them, then keep getting taller and taller and taller until I can join a circus (I plan on making super-long dresses to wear too);
  8. Make one of each dress pattern I own;
  9. Become fluent in ASL and find the local deaf community;
  10. Help Adam finish some of his songs, and then sing them with him;
  11. Find a Scrabble buddy and play at a coffee shop once a week;
  12. Learn more about kayaking, and actually go kayaking, then maybe buy a kayak;
  13. Learn how to play the guitar while singing;
  14. Take a class or two on starting/sustaining a freelance career;
  15. Knit Adam and myself scarves for the coming Winter;
  16. Do the Bible Schmible podcast;
  17. Find a bike, and go biking;
  18. Be a more communicative sister/daughter;
  19. Find a therapist;
  20. Get my wisdom teeth out; and
  21. Read Wuthering Heights

So there you have it.

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It’s several days later! June 22nd (it was June 9th when I started this post). I haven’t had a cigarette yet! Somehow though, my desire to smoke has gotten stronger. I have a feeling this blog is going to become a release valve for my cravings. Which is fine with me.

I may have broken my finger yesterday. Our sublease is an old Victorian apartment building with 5,000lb. windows. I was shutting them yesterday to turn on the AC and, well, one fell on my fingertip. I didn’t scream, but I did almost faint. It’s probably not broken, I guess, because it hasn’t turned black [yet], but it’s making work and typing pretty damn difficult. Thank God for the other nine. Fingers, that is.

Anyway, an update on the list! We got bikes! I have a lovely old Fuji Regis and Adam got a Lotus Excelle (nice bike). These are NOT going to get stolen. In case you were unaware, we had three bikes stolen from us in Albuquerque in a month. It sucked. So if anyone sees the bike pictured below, with a cute little basket (with a bow) and bell on the front, and a green milk crate on the back – steal it back for me and I’ll give you a blessing. Man, I miss it. It was super heavy though. And a single speed (gross). New bike is much better for Iowa hills and humidity.

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I also found some Scrabble buddies, and have begun three scarves for Winter. Today marks the downhill slope into the coldness. I won’t lie, I am incredibly nervous about it. But, we signed a lease on a new place starting August 1st, and heat is included in the rent, so that’s comforting. It’s actually a really adorable spot. Really close to the stadium and right across the river from Adam’s school (Center of the Book). Apparently, the West side of the river is the “grown-up” side, except for the stadium during home games. Can’t even tell you how much I don’t care about the college sports scene. Sheesh.

I can’t type anymore, my finger’s making it all too awkward.

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Blaggage

I think I so rarely write anymore because of filters. I have a lot of emotion for such a large body (əəə), and being married for over a year now has been teaching me that I need to wear an emotional girdle when I’m around my husband. At least until I’ve exercised the excess away.. which.. is possible? Anyway, filters. I try to look normal, I try to act normal, in fact, I would go a bit further and say that I work at looking normal. I know for a fact I just plain suck at it, but I daresay the world wouldn’t want to witness me unfiltered.

Anyway, Adam’s out of town for a few days and I feel like blogging a little bit. I feel like removing the filters. Instagram has ruined us all. Actually, the internet has. Technology has. I seriously, as in for REAL SERIOUSLY feel like I was not made for this age. I feel out of place, incredibly awkward, lonely, and useless in it. I go to work every day and use the internet to draw people into the brewery, and I just feel so broken doing it. It feels like every click of the mouse is another drop of poison in my IV. If I had m’druthuhs, I would like to disconnect from all of it, and hire an artist agent to do all of my internet things for me.

Moving right along so I don’t get bored..

I’ve been thinking a lot about my faith lately. Not very concrete thoughts, but thinking about it. Ascribing to any set of beliefs is easy if your beliefs go unchallenged, but I’ve been confronted recently about mine. Not by anyone, but actually by memories. If my memory serves me, I believe I used to be a zealot.. saying that though makes me wonder if I’m revising history though, because I miss it so much. And I do miss it. I miss not giving a shit. I miss being open-hearted to assholes. I miss living by the Alan Watts creed (my paraphrase), “Faith is letting go and becoming open to truth, whatever that may turn out to be.” Nowadays, that creed scares me more than inspires me, and I hate that.

Next.

I miss Mary with every gram of cellular matter comprising my physical body, several crying bouts a week, and uncountable thoughts, memories, and tear-pangs daily. I feel it becoming more and more certain that a move closer to Tennessee is in our not-too-distant future. This infuriates me (I love Albuquerque), but also I don’t care. Mary!

Adam has decided that he will make a decision regarding future schooling by the end of February. He is leaning toward working toward a Master of Fine Arts degree in Book Arts from the University of Iowa’s “Center of the Book” in Iowa City, Iowa. If he decides to go that route, we would move there as soon as our lease is up here (uhh, April? May?..) in order to establish a year of residency and employment, which would knock tens of thousands of dollars off his cumulative tuition. The program is three years long, so with the added year of establishing residency, that would put us at finishing up our time in Iowa around May of 2021. This is a jarring thing to type, for a few reasons– first of all, I don’t even know if Iowa and I are a good fit. What if I hate it? Four years is a long time to live in a terrible place. Secondly, in 2021 I’ll be 34 years old, and Adam will be closer to 40 than 30 (37). We’ve talked very sporadically about having an offspring-thing, and decided that we shouldn’t unless we’re prepared financially, with careers etc. We had also decided that about marriage (well, more Adam than me), but I definitely think kids are a much bigger deal than marriage, as far as preparedness goes. Anyway, 34 is cutting it pretty close for that train. Well, I guess I shouldn’t think too much in the future about things that definitely aren’t certain yet.. Adam may choose the school in Boston, who the heck knows. I’m just along for the ride.

Which brings me to me.

I’m so sick of being along for the ride. I really think it’s about damn time to get moving on my life. And by that, I mean it’s time to buckle the fuck down and go see a therapist and/or psychiatrist for what ails me. It’s been simmering over the past twenty-eight years, and this past year, it has boiled over and burned my husband, myself, and our relationship badly. I’m sick, and I have to see a doctor. That’s all there is to it.

Ugh, that was like a hairball coming up to say.

Well, I guess it’s about time to listen to another podcast about something I don’t really care about at all.

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