If We Were Having Coffee // Halloween Isn’t Over Yet

Hello dear readers! Thank you so much for stopping by today for a bit of cold brew and conversation. I’m up and moving about with the blinds thrown open and the sun streaming in but I feel far from awake. The stupid time change is enough to throw your circadian rhythm off, but I also stupidly decided to stay up late last night for no reason at all besides I hate giving up so much of my life to sleep.

I’m no good after late nights anymore. No matter how late I let myself sleep in the next morning, I still feel groggy through to the next evening. I’m less myself and certainly less productive. The early bird gets the worm, sure, but only if she’s had enough rest to keep her eyes open and her thoughts coherent, right? Coffee helps, but I’ll still need you to be patient with me today too.

“There are two kinds of people. Coffee people and sad people.”

@deathwishcoffee

***

If we were having coffee, I would need a minute to recall what all has happened since we last sat done. It’s been a little while, hasn’t it? I don’t think we’ve chatted since at least before Halloween. I don’t usually take such long breaks from these dates, and I don’t have a good reason for it this time except I’ve been feeling down. Not sad exactly, but like I’m empty. I have no ideas, no energy, no interest. I feel thin, transparent, fragile? None of these words describe it quite right.

My girlfriend calls it depressed, but it’s hard for me to use that word. I think I’ve only been lazy, and selfish, and weak, but I’m trying not to feel that way, and I’m trying not to apologize for resting or removing myself as I need to. I only wish I was better at expressing how I feel instead of just sort of fading out of people’s lives with no explanation.

The good news is that I had a sort of revelation recently and I’ve come to accept that while it’s not my fault I am feeling this way, it is up to me to start doing something about it. I haven’t been out of the house much, except for work. I haven’t been exercising. My eating habits have gotten bad again. I’m focusing on other people’s successes and my contrasting failure. I’m struggling to want to do things I love, like writing, drawing, and reading, and falling too easily into doing things I know don’t make me feel good, like playing games on my phone, wasting time on social media, and sleeping.

No wonder I am depressed. But I’m going to make more of an effort to get out and feel the sun and go to places where there are other people. I’m going to eat more fruit, drink more water, and say a few nice things to myself and to the people around me. I’m going to go for walks in the evening and try to get in a quick 15-minutes work out in the morning when I wake up. Those are my goals anyway, it won’t happen overnight. I need to get help too, but that’s a bigger ball of anxiety than I can get over at the moment.

***

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that Halloween wasn’t all I had hoped it would be. We dressed up as Coraline and Wybie from the 2009 film Coraline. I wish we’d had more time to prepare because I didn’t get to make his mask and no one really knew what I was supposed to be. We did have fun at our friend’s party, but a very inconveniently timed migraine meant we had to call it a night earlier than we’d hoped.

Still, the rest of Halloween was great, and I’m even planning to have one last night of spooky celebration this Tuesday when my favorite movie theater, Alamo Drafthouse, is showing my favorite horror film, The Shining. Around here Halloween isn’t over until we’ve watched it and getting a chance to see it on the big screen (and get an awesome t-shirt too) is beyond exciting.

Once we’ve gotten that out of the way, it’ll be time for the customary watching of the transitional holiday film The Nightmare Before Christmas. Then and only then will I be able to fully accept that Halloween is over, and the god-awful holiday season of stress has begun.

***

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that even though it has been hard some days, I have been doing my best to read more. I tell myself that if my brain is so out of it that I can’t write, and if my self-doubt is so intense that I can’t draw, then I need to be reading.

I got through The Virgin Suicides by Jeffrey Eugenides, a beautiful and effortless read and Twelfth Night by William Shakespeare, a strenuous yet rewarding read. I thought it was time for a little nonfiction again and picked up A Room of One’s Own by Virginia Woolf, an interesting and rather incendiary read so far. I have Good Omens by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman to read next, but after that, I’m not so sure.

A few days ago I did come across a list of 135 Free Philosophy Books and another list of 800 Free eBooks that would be plenty to keep me busy for a while. I’ve never been very good at reading from a screen, but if there are free books to be had, I’m willing to put in the effort and learn.

***

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that on the writing side of things, it really hasn’t been so bad. I’m writing, I’m just not posting, and to be honest with you, I don’t have much of a problem with that.

I have a few things written for the upcoming week, and I feel a little freer to work on things that are important, not just urgent. I never wanted to only be a blogger. The goal has always been to be an author, but it’s hard when you feel like people now expect things of you, and you now expect things of yourself, and you can’t switch gears as easily as you’d like.

I love this space, but I need space in my life for other kinds of work too. I need to stop worrying about content, posting times, follower counts, and engagement, and about how I’m failing at all of those things.

I need to write with pen and paper and spend a lot more time getting bored so I can think. What I’m trying to tell you is that things might get a little inconsistent around here but don’t worry, I won’t abandon you without saying something. I won’t drop off the face of the internet the way I have seen so many other bloggers do. I haven’t posted in a while be patient, I’m coming back, I promise.

***

If we were having coffee, I would say that it was about that time that I get going on this housework. The time change still has my mind and body feeling all out of whack. It feels later than it is and I’m panicking even though I shouldn’t so I’d better get going anyway. No harm it getting it all done early I suppose.

I hope you’ve been well these last few weeks since we’ve talked, and I hope we can all get through the coming months with a little more cheer and grace than we’ve been expressing toward one another as of late. Let me know what you’ve been up to lately in the comments, I’ll be around today, and I’d love to hear from you.

Until next time.

***

Thanks for reading! If you like this post check out my weekly-ish newsletter for inspiring reads + existential musings on life, love, and inevitable human suffering. Or help support what I do by sharing a cup of coffee.

Written for the #WeekendCoffeeShare link-up, now hosted over at Eclectic Alli!

Featured photo by Nathan Dumlao on Unsplash

 

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If We Were Having Coffee // Time to Get Spooky!

Hello dear readers. Thanks for stopping by for a bit of coffee and conversation. I’m feeling anxious today. The caffeine isn’t helping. Actually, the caffeine might be the cause.

I’ve been drinking cold brew coffee for months but since the mornings are growing colder and colder, and I need something warm and strong to start the day again. Drip coffee tastes like bitter water now, so I’ve dusted off my espresso machine and moved to drinking a couple of warm, velvety shots instead. I’m still figuring out the right ratio of coffee grounds to water and I may have overdone it.

“Coffee for two
The sweetest and most bitter
Bold in taste
Warm in conversation
Lovely in embrace
Coffee for me
Coffee for you”

— NB // Coffee For Two

***

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I’m feeling much better this Sunday than I was the last. The world still feels like it’s ending nearly every day, but I made sure to take breaks from social media and to limit my intake of the news to once or twice a day. Some of the shit still found its way in.

Between Harvey Weinstein’s predation coming to light, the short-sighted call to boycott Twitter in response to Rose McGowan being suspended, the fires in California, and Trump sabotaging what little health care we can get in this country I still found plenty of reasons to be depressed and anxious, but less so than the week before. It was good to unplug for a while.

Not that I have been any more productive instead. I found new ways to waste time, and new ways to be disappointed in myself. It wasn’t a good writing week at all. I had such hope after starting a list of specific topics to write about here and after deciding on the theme for an upcoming personal writing project I thought it would be easy-peasy from here. Nope, the hardest part is still keeping my ass in the chair and just doing the damn writing.

***

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that there is hope though. I’ve started reading Things Are What You Make of Them by Adam J. Kurtz, and I’m feeling a little less afraid of writing. Or, I feel a little less alone in my fear and my failure. It always helps to know you aren’t struggling alone. It helps to know it isn’t all you, being creative and putting yourself out there are just hard things to do, but you can do it if you just don’t give up.

I’m also reading The Virgin Suicides by Jeffrey Eugenides. I started it last Thursday, and I’m already halfway done. It’s such a dream to read! I’ve seen the movie about a million time but it’s such a unique story told from such an intriguing perspective that it still draws me in and excites me.

***

If we were having coffee, I would wish you a belated happy Friday the 13th! Being a fan of all things horror, I’m always excited when the 13th falls on a Friday of any month, but having it happen in October is an especially spooky treat. To mark the occasion my sister, and my girlfriend and I went out to take advantage of some Friday the 13th tattoo and piercing specials. My sister got her nostril pierced. My girlfriend got a lucky white rabbit tattoo, and I got this cute little fly that reminded me of the film The Fly, the 1986 version specifically, thank you very much.

This is my second Friday the 13th tattoo, and I’m already looking to getting another next Friday, which just happens to be my birthday!

***

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that the highlight of my week, besides the tattoo, was last night when we met up with some friends for a couple’s night out.

We started at a small pizza place downtown for dinner and drinks. It was a new place, and I was pleasantly surprised. The calzones we ordered were enormous and delicious, and the menu featured an extensive list of microbrews and cocktails. Afterward, we went to a huge haunted house to get spooky! After that, we went for even more drinks!

It’s been too long since we were last out with friends, I didn’t realize how much I had missed it. Especially these friends, two other couples who understand what it means to be with someone for years. I enjoy watching them interact with each other. Like everything else, it helps to know you are normal.

We're the cutest 😍😙

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***

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that it’s getting late and I have to get going. There’s more writing to do, posts to draft and notes to type up plus laundry to do, dinner to get in the oven, and the cocktails that need to be made before The Duece comes on.

I hope you had a wonderful week. I hope you found time to take care of you this weekend. I hope it’s beginning to feel like Halloween and you are enjoying the spooky vibes too.

Until next time

The world's shrinking.

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***

Thanks for reading! If you like this post check out my weekly-ish newsletter for inspiring reads + existential musings on life, love, and inevitable human suffering. Or help support what I do by sharing a cup of coffee.

Written for the #WeekendCoffeeShare link-up, now hosted over at Eclectic Alli!

Featured photo is by Nathan Dumlao on Unsplash

If We Were Having Coffee // So The World Ends Every Week Now

Hello dear readers. Thanks for stopping by for a bit of caffeine and catching up. I’m having a hard time feeling motivated today, so everything is happening late and taking twice as long as I’d hoped. I’d considered just staying in bed today to rest and relax away from the world some more while I still could, but that never makes me feel much better. So I’m up, and I’m here because chatting with you always helps even when it’s hard.

 

***

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that this week was a bad one. Every time I turned on the news or got online the world seemed to be ending all around me. It seems like the world ends every week now and I’m running out of ways to cope.

I woke up Monday morning with a long to-do list and enough motivation to tackle it all but as soon as I heard the news coming out of Las Vegas, I couldn’t think about anything else. I spent my morning listening to traumatized survivors retell their stories through tears and hearing the sounds of bullets hitting people and pavement played over and over again. All that shock and devastation found its way into my heart that morning, and I still haven’t entirely recovered.

My heart was already so heavy as it was and what happened in Las Vegas just kind of broke me a little, and I shut down. I couldn’t to do anything but think of my little life and all the ways I want to protect it. It’s hard to accomplish your goals when all around you people are suffering. It’s hard to enjoy your hobbies when children lose their health care, and transgender people lose their protections. It’s hard to believe in a brighter future when the NRA, big oil, and fat cats keep winning. It’s hard to believe in humanity when our President divides the country, acts like an ass, and pushes us closer to nuclear war, week after week after week.

It’s hard to believe you can change the world when you are afraid to even leave your house or turn on the TV.

***

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that despite it all I haven’t given up. I just needed to rest, but it’s hard to begin again. Turning off the news helps. I’m learning not to feel guilty about that. Humans weren’t built for all this suffering and chaos coming at us from all over the world. My heart is only so big, and I have to give it time to work through things before letting any more pain in.

SO, I turned off the news for a few days. I spent time with my girlfriend and made time to text friends and family. I sought out the things that made me feel better, and I overindulged. I made sure to join this week’s #LetMeFemsplain chat all about technology and self-care. I watched movies, read books, played with the dog, and went on a blocking and unfollowing spree across all my social media accounts.

I carved out space around myself, and I made it quiet and calm. I rested my ears and my mind and my voice. I’m hoping to get back to listening and speaking my truth, but it may be slow going for a while. I’m not quite ready to let the world back in.

***

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that the highlight of my week was seeing the Colorado Ballet performance of Dracula yesterday.

The weather cooperated. There wasn’t a cloud in the sky and a cool breeze blowing just enough to keep the heat in check.

We’d planned on brunch at a popular restaurant near the opera house before the show but when we arrived they told us it might be another hour before we got seated. To kill time we took a walk around the block where we ran into a sign for $15 brunch buffet, $4 bloody marys, and $3 mimosas, plus a live jazz band outside a small restaurant We were sold! We wandered in and were seated immediately.

We wandered in and were seated immediately. The staff was friendly, the food was good, the music was great, and the drinks were strong. The restaurant is now one of our faves, and we plan to eat their every time we visit the Performing Arts complex from now on.

Since we’d eaten, we decided to head to Starbucks and watch the downtown crowds until showtime. The annual Zombie Crawl was underway, and there were a ton of creative people staggering around dressed up as the undead.

The ballet performance itself was just incredible! There were mental patients, wolves, zombies, and vampires of course. The story is a classic and easy to follow. The costumes and effects were perfect, and the dancers were breathtaking, as always. The dancer playing Dracula was beyond phenomenal, seductive and creepy! Even the music was good, loud and booming from the moment the curtain went up. It was seriously so, so good!

***

If we were having coffee I would tell you that the first winter storm of the season is forecasted to roll in overnight tonight, already! They are talking about 4-6 inches snow and I can hardly believe it after the gorgeous weekend we’ve had. I’m not ready, but I’m doing my best to love fall. I’m making sure to take in all the colors and smells. I’m enjoying the return to warm dinners with soups and squashes. I’m spending the evenings cuddled up under the covers sipping fall cocktails with apple and cinnamon flavors. I used to hate fall, but moping is a waste of time. Better to cling to all the good I can.

 

***

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that it’s getting late, and though I hate to go there is a ton of cleaning waiting to be done and about a million things I have to do to prepare for the week. It’s been good to chat with you and get some of this off of my chest. Thank you for listening.

I hope you found some good throughout the week despite all the horror going on around us and I hope your weekend was a relaxing one.

Until next time, take care of yourself.

***

Thanks for reading! If you like this post check out my weekly-ish newsletter for inspiring reads + existential musings on life, love, and inevitable human suffering. Or help support what I do by sharing a cup of coffee.

Featured image is by Ronaldo Arthur Vidal on Unsplash

The Faces We Deserve

Her head flopped forward as I worked to get her face up and level with mine. I got a hold of her chin in one hand and the base of her skull in the other and pulled her face level with mine. I had no choice but to let her torso hang from her neck and hope I wasn’t doing any damage.

The angle was awkward, but I was pleased with the results. Turning her head and mine this way and that, I checking to make sure I captured her high cheekbones, button nose, and full lips perfectly. I double, and triple checked I hadn’t messed up the hairline, the eyes, or missed a stray freckle. If even an eyebrow hair were out of place, I might be found out.

Oh yeah, this was my best work yet. I’d created a pair of perfect twins. I turned her face to mine, smiled and kissed each of her cheeks. I was just so excited. I practically glowed imagining the look of terror on her face when looked in this same mirror and realized she was now what she despised most.

The clock ticked away another minute, time to get back to it. I did the math and tried to relax. I was good; she’d be out for a long while yet. No rush. No rush.

I dug the photos I need from my bag. I looked them all over and took in each one. I let myself feel the familiar hatred at seeing my own face staring back at me. I took in every pimple, stray chin and unibrow hair, and crooked tooth. I lingered in it and felt happy to know this would be the last day would feel this way. I could have been happy if only she’d let me.

I hung each one carefully where I could see it while I worked. I laughed to myself remembering how at first I thought I’d only kill her and dump her in a river, or leave her for the scavengers and beetles. I’d even thought about scattering pieces of her across a desert somewhere but what kind of revenge would that be? Not a very good one. Not a satisfying one, that’s for sure.

No, best to turn the tables, yes?

I took one last look in the mirror. No turning back now. We’d each be getting a new face today and, finally, everything we each deserved for the rest of our lives.

***

So yeah, I have a newsletter :)

Featured image by en:User:Btichoen:Image:Disinserting the muscle.JPG, personal image, Public Domain, Link

If We Were Having Coffee // Happy Halloween Season!

Hello, hello, dear readers! Thank you for stopping by for a little coffee and conversation. Don’t worry, I’m feeling much better than last week, no more coughing, no more sniffling, and a lot less negativity. I’m a little tired and off to a slow start today, not to mention I’m a little bummed about having to go back to work tomorrow after having a long and lovely four-day weekend.

***

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I, like most Americans, did watch last week’s Presidential Debate and also like most Americans, thought, what in the fuck?

I think I’ve made it pretty obvious around here, but just in case I haven’t let me be clear, while I do not think Hillary Clinton is perfect, I do not think she will be the worst President this country has ever had. Actually, I think she will do a pretty good job. She does have a history of getting shit done, you know?

On the other hand, I do in fact think that Trump will be the worst President this country has ever had. He’s a liar, a misogynist, and I don’t think he takes the job seriously. I can’t for the life of me understand why anyone would support him.

***

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that for better or for worse I can’t wait for this election to be over.  Oh, of course, I am worried about the results, but I am looking forward to the relief of it all being over too. I look forward to less hatred and lies filling every social media feed. I look forward to being able to talk with friends and family without worrying about their political views. I look forward to this country getting on with the business of helping it citizens live happy and healthy lives.

Just remember that can only happen if you register to vote, and then vote for Hillary Clinton on November 8th. Thank you.

***

If we were having coffee, I would laugh off that rant and jump right into telling you about all the ways I am going to fail at NaNoWriMo.  I can’t believe I thought this was a good idea. I have one month, minus these past two days where I wasn’t productive at all, to plan a book. A whole book!

I did work a little last week, getting together a very vague idea of what this book is going to be about. This week I plan to do a little world building, learn more about my characters, and outline the beginning. I am also working around the clock to pull ideas and inspiration from every source I can get my hands on.

I’m pursuing articles on The Better Novel Project and Write on Sisters for now, but if you know any other sources of writing how-to, I’d love to hear about them.

***

 

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that this season isn’t all anger and anxiety, it’s also Halloween season! Yes, dear readers, it is the most wonderful time of the year, time to get spooky!

Last week we saw the strange and wonderful slasher movie Perfume: The Story of a Murderer, and last night attended a Beetlejuice movie party, both at the Alamo Drafthouse of course. I considered their Nightmare on Elm Street seven movie marathon, but let’s be honest, a lot of those movies were crap, right?

At home, I’ve already watched Invasion of the Body Snatchers and the surprisingly scary At the Devil’s Door, not to mention the very creepy current season of American Horror Story. I’ll, of course, watch all my other favorites too, The Shining, Carrie, and The Witch just to name a few. I’m still looking for a party to attend for Halloween weekend, though.

***

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I had better get going. There is a ton of housework to do, and I’d like to get it done before some of my shows tonight. Westworld is premiering on HBO, and if it’s half as good as this teaser trailer makes me think it is, I’m going to love it.

So yeah, I hope you had a great weekend. Enjoy what’s left of your freedom, the work week is only hours away, bleck! If you have a moment I’d love if you stopped by the comments and say hi. I love hearing from you all and I’ll be around to chit-chat while I clean and fold laundry.

Until next time :)

***

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Featured image via Unsplash

If We Were Having Coffee // Happy Halloween and Happy NaBloPoMo Everyone

Good morning friends, and happy Sunday. I am so happy to see you this morning! I am in need of some good conversation and a good strong cup of coffee. I am tired from a late, but calm, Halloween night, and sad that my favorite time of the year has come to an end. It’s November now which means preparing for Thanksgiving and Christmas, the two most stressful holidays of all. Ugh!

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If we were having coffee I would tell you that my Fall Break wasn’t spent exactly as I had hoped. On Monday and Tuesday I did some writing but nothing I liked. I planned to keep at it but my plans for the week changed, starting on Wednesday, when I got invited to birthday dinner with some old friends. I spent much of that day buying gifts and a new outfit to wear.

Then on Thursday and Friday my girlfriend took off work to spend time some time with me. We spent the time being completely lazy. We watched movies, drank, and slept a lot, our favorite activities when we are staying in. I don’t regret it at all but I know it will be awhile before I can take this much time off of work again.

*************

If we were having coffee I would tell you that I didn’t make much progress on a story but I did get a rough draft of a poem written for the Rising Phoenix Review, a “monthly online zine dedicated to publishing poetry focused on the working class and other marginalized groups”.

I found them on Tumblr awhile back after searching for “call for submissions”. I liked what they were doing and what they stand for and so have been planning to submit work to them for the past couple of months. I haven’t yet because I wanted to really get an idea of what they were looking for first. I also wanted to give myself time to write something a little different.

*************

If we were having coffee I would tell you that, on a less serious writing note, I am having a lot of fun working with “found poetry“. I think found poetry appeals to me because I love collage art and this is the literary version of that art. I like the quiet focus it takes to scour the page looking for good phrases to use. I like the care and precision required for using an exact-o knife to cut out the words. I like sliding the cut outs over the desk trying this phrase with that and finding meaning in words that meant something completely different before.

I have a ton of material to work with since I’ve been a magazine hoarder my entire life. I feel like a good magazine is just like a good book, you don’t want to throw it way after you are done, you want to keep it and possibly read it again. I tend to buy a lot of philosophy and science type magazines so the articles make me think. They leave an impression on me and have even influenced the kind of writer I want to be. But the piles are getting out of hand, so I’m purging by reading them and making little poems out of as many articles as I can.

This coming week I want to try using my science magazines and see what I can come up with.

*************

If we were having coffee I would tell you that this Halloween was a fun but we kept it pretty tame this year. Most years I am looking for a crazy party to go to but this year I wanted to be somewhere that felt safer. You never know what will happen at big parties and I have gotten too old to not worry about things like that anymore. So this year we spent the evening at our favorite movie theater, the Alamo Drafthouse, and we saw one of the funniest musicals ever, Little Shop of Horrors.

At the last-minute, literally on Halloween morning we made the decision to dress up as Seymour, me, and Audrey, my girlfriend, and we made simple little Audrey II for me to carry around. As part of the special screening we got free s’mores and a mudslide, plus balloons, poppers, and a “smell-along” scratch and sniff card. It was so much fun!

Guess what movie we're going to see tonight? :) #LittleShopofHorrors

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If we were having coffee I would tell you that I had hoped this to be participating in NaNoWriMo, National Novel Writing Month, this year but unfortunately I do not have good book idea ready yet. So instead I will be participating in NaBloPoMo, National Blog Posting Month, the blogging alternative. I’m preparing for the prompts, picking and choosing which ones I like and which ones I want to supplement with something else, like The Daily Post prompts.

Next year I will definitely be doing NaNoWriMo though. I knew this year I might not since I had only just started writing and hadn’t done much fiction writing at all. One of my biggest goals for next year is to start writing short stories and work on a book idea. I do have one or two but I’m not sure how to tell them yet and one of them I’d really like to make into a graphic novel instead…There really should be a graphic novel version of NaNoWriMo…just saying.

*************

If we were having coffee I would tell you that I had better get going. This past week we were very lazy about the house work and I have a ton of cleaning and shopping to do. I hope you all had a good weekend and a fun Halloween. Update me in the comments and enjoy the rest of your Sunday because Monday is coming up fast!

Original image by Julius Schorzman (Own work) [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons