Saturday, August 7, 2021

A gift you give yourself

I don't like the term "self care" but I've been watching fight scenes from Kill Bill this last week or two to work through some things.

Silly Rabbit.

I watch them at the gym instead of listening to music sometimes.

<You call that begging?>

Maybe it's a little extreme but... at work we're being required to wear masks again and things are looking bleak in many respects for civilization. Meanwhile I still go to school and keep house, and pretend like life is normal. 

I finally did something about my patio, and I really have to start taking before and after pics. It's been so hot I barely do any outdoor work, but this evening I went out there with a weed whacker and a hack saw and cleaned up most of the concrete and surrounding bits by the fencing. My neighbors are away so maybe I'll have everything looking really good by the time they get back. A couple days ago when I was outside watering the plants I realized my yard looks like no one really lives here. Weeds were growing out of the cracks in the patio and blackberry vines are trailing over the edges. There's still a lot of work to do but maybe that will be the fun part. 

I have been giving a lot of thought to the origins of anxiety, how I first perceived it , and how it comes up now. It's as if when it does happen I'm not sure what's going on, I can't put a name to it. A week ago I had a mild anxiety attack that lasted for most of a day, in which I could barely collect my thoughts or identify any of my immediate needs. It feels more like being not fully awake rather than being nervous. Ever since that day I've been better but I've been mulling over how I can make some little positive changes and take breaks. That day I had also had a small amount of alcohol, which made me even more aware of how sensitive I am to it. I never want to need meds again, though I wouldn't rule it out. I just want to manage as best as I can. And I want to write more about my experiences so that I can help people if I can.

This week is going to be my last in my current term at school. I've been studying for over a year now! I have much more to go but I'm no longer afraid of transferring and taking on harder classes. I'm ready!!

Another thing that I've been pondering is that looking over your own mental health (and wellness in general) truly is.a gift you give yourself. Being your own advocate and learning to pay attention to the little warning signs your mind and body are giving you is a lifelong process. I'm still learning to recognize and respond to my mental health matters. It's worth the time and study it takes to become familiar with all of those things. I feel like for once in my life I have the resources I need to see to them.

Monday, July 12, 2021

You Meet the Nicest People

I forgot in my last post to give a mention to a new free stuff exchange happening in my own neighborhood! This is organized by Food Not Bombs, who as you might remember served food at The Really Really Free Market. This one happened in Laurelhurst Park a week ago Saturday and I was told that it will recur on a frequent basis but I don't know all of the details yet. 

I went with two of my friends, one of whom brought some things of her own to give away. I had a few clothing items and a bunch of movie and music magazines that I had left over from my old swap meet days. We spread them out on a sheet on the ground and went to get some eats from FNB. I finally got a chance to ask them about volunteering so now I have some contact info.

My mission was successful and I got rid of a lot of the magazines. I took home a couple things but there just wasn't a lot that I wanted or needed. This event was a lot smaller in scale than the RRFM but the folks that came brought a lot with them. 

We hung out until it really started to wind down - it was a short event too but that was ideal. It might have been better if we had been in a more central location in the park to attract some of the weekend crowd but I don't have any real complaints. The vibe was really positive and neighborly and I was happy that it was so close to home. 

Ok, now that I have that out of the way I can get into my current obsession: Korean cop procedural/sci fi time travel action drama TUNNEL.

I just became part of a small K-drama appreciation group of work friends so now I'm going to have lots to talk about with them. I'm only on episode two so far but it's just getting weirder! I'm rewatching Bridgerton to balance out the crime ugliness with something nicer.

Monday, July 5, 2021

United Snakes of America

I haven't been wild about fireworks since high school so I'm glad that they're banned this year due to the severe heat and dryness in the Pacific Northwest. It's my weekend today and I didn't really celebrate. I marked the occasion by unclogging a nasty drain problem in my tub. 

This is really a major event for me, because I had to use a snake (or a drum auger) for the first time in my life. I thought it would be expensive (it wasn't) or time consuming (not very). I put it off because I'd hoped it would be solved by the old baking soda and vinegar treatment, but that didn't do anything this time. 

I followed this video from YouTube to get the advice I needed:

Most how-to videos will tell you to penetrate the actual drain, but I had to take out the plug mechanism (as shown in this one) because the coil wouldn't bend as I needed it to. Fortunately I didn't have to take out  everything; I just snaked down the middle of that part at the end that looks like a bell. It took some persistence but in a few minutes I pulled up a nice chunk of hair!! The water drained like magic afterwards!

Cleaning the coil was the hardest part. It was so nasty! I wiped it down with a bleach solution and cleaned out the tub thoroughly. 

Looking back, I don't think I've done a whole lot of bathroom cleaning tips, but it's one of the jobs that gives me the happiest results. I keep all of my cleaning products in the bathroom and a couple different brushes and sponges. Old toothbrushes are great. It's important to vacuum the floor before wet cleaning. 

I've been on another true crime watching spree on Netflix and it's been a journey. I highly recommend the Dirty John series, based on the podcast by journalist Christopher Goffard. The first season focused on the eponymous John Meehan, a con artist played by Eric Bana. The second season is about the Betty Broderick case, unrelated to the Meehan plot whatsoever. I had seen her story told on American Justice years ago and I formed a strong negative opinion about her, but the Dirty John series has a lot of subtlety in the development of her family life and the toll it took on her. It doesn't excuse her actions but it explains much more than an hour-long TV show could. Christian Slater is as great as ever as Daniel Broderick, her cheating and gaslighting husband. 

I tried watching Sophie: A Murder in West Cork, which describes the murder of Frenchwoman Sophie Toscan du Plantier on the vacation property she owned in rural Ireland. I was surprised at how the documentary dragged repeatedly, and seemed to gloss over the failures in the investigation in order to focus on the eccentricities of the main suspect, Ian Bailey. Bailey's history of violent behavior is barely touched upon. I stopped watching in the middle of the second episode. 

I watched the entirety of American Murder: The Family Next Door, a total of 82 minutes in length. I'd been avoiding it for no particular reason but I gave in yesterday. The story has a lot of parallels with the Scott Petersen case, but the husband in this case confessed not long after he murdered his family. As short as it was, it was the hardest program of all to watch this week. 

I'll switch from all of that evil nonsense to leave you with a clip of someone who is by far the opposite of sociopath: this young fellow Hampton.  I watch his channel to get all kinds of advice. His fitness tips are the best I've ever seen, and he breaks everything down so carefully. His thoughts on mental and emotional well being are priceless too and he is just the kindest, gentlest soul. "Hello, my friends!"

Monday, May 10, 2021

My Mad Fat Diary

 Yesterday was another episode of The Really Really Free Market! I feel another Clapton Is God moment about to burst:

Some of the highlights from yesterday include: spotting a DVD copy of Raising Arizona that may or may not have been the same box being picked up and dropped off from one table to the next; getting a free oat milk "latte" flavored generously with vanilla bourbon syrup (non alcoholic); having a spontaneous conversation with a teenagerish person about our favorite Victorian authors; and another delightful sandwich and some rather soupy apple cobbler from Food Not Bombs. 

I've been giving a lot of thought to becoming a volunteer somewhere soon, and I've contacted Food Not Bombs to see if they need help in my area. I literally just emailed so I don't know anything yet. I'd been interested in serving food to people who need it and I love the work they've been doing so maybe this will work out! I'm excited to do it especially now that I'm vaccinated. I have been wanting to volunteer again somewhere for so long and this feels right to me.

Well, I'd like to say more but my computer has a low battery. I'm about 3/4 done reading 1Q84 and still working on Breakfast of Champions. I've been binge watching The Good Fight on my new dvd player and it's pretty good. It begins as the 2016 election happens and the unfortunate part is reliving all the antics of the first two years (so far) of that administration. I'd almost rather have a show that is MORE removed from reality. 

Thursday, April 22, 2021

Unqualified WINS (& one shit show)

Today I'm reviewing The Really Really Free Market, which took place for the first time on April 10th 2021 in the Gateway Discovery Park in Portland! It's supposed to happen every second Saturday going forward so this is a superb consolation prize for losing the Twilight Rummage Sale. More on that subject later.

RRFM is on Instagram. Like me, most attendees brought bags and boxes of clothes and things and just spread them on a blanket or picnic table. Food Not Bombs served sandwiches and other lunchy food, and I got chicken and beans from another table. A couple artists made crafts for giveaway and some folks brought coverings on poles for their spaces. I did a little research and apparently there have been other RRFMs in other parts of town in years past. 

I brought a bunch of clothes and I enticed one of my friends into doing the same. I loved it because I could leave everything on the picnic bench while I went around looking. I have to admit that most of what I took home I'll be bringing back next month because it didn't fit, but that's ok.    

With regard to the Twilight Rummage Sale, the Covid-19 restrictions made it impossible to happen anymore. As if that weren't enough, the Eagles Lodge where it happened was abruptly shut down, so if the events I've written about ever happen again they'll be elsewhere.  It's really sad that it all ended this way. When I started selling things at the sale it was partly to help me make room for the new life I had to start after losing my husband and it became a place where I had so many friends and memories. 

At least Village Merchants is still going strong. I brought them some clothing in exchange for trade credit. I'm looking for gardening implements and VM has those as well as tools, housewares, and of course clothing. I found some tomato cages for a couple bucks each!

In more good news: I am now fully vaccinated as of yesterday. I had aches, fever and chills as well as weird fatigue and heaviness in my whole body, but it's worth it! I'd do it again!  

Finally: I had an accident on my bike last week and sprained my left arm. I braked to avoid getting hit by a car and my bike fell on me. It's been over a week now and I'm doing a lot better. I hope I'll be back to my normal work duties when my weekend is over.

This is enough for now. I'll have another post soon about my latest Buy Nothing page activity as well as some other organizing stuff I'm up to. Thanks for looking!

Monday, March 29, 2021

The Day the Couch Stood Still


I don't have a lot of news but I'm making spring cleaning plans. This made me want to make a list of repurposing/donation sites that might be useful to some. Because of Covid-19, some places have changed their rules for accepting materials, so I'm making notes for each (links forthcoming):
  • SCRAP: this is the best place to give and get used art making materials! They will accept donations by appointment, which can be made online. Their store is, happily,open for business.
  • Friends of the Library: one of my favorite places to donate books and other media, however they are currently not accepting new material at this time. 
  • Free Geek: they are taking donations of computer and other tech equipment in bins outside of their storefront locations. See the guidelines on their website.
  • SE Portland Tool Library: it's tragic, but they are closed for the time being. I really, really need to borrow several tools. There are other tool libraries in the Portland Metro area so check their websites to see if their policies are any different. My guess is no.
  • Buy Nothing Groups (Facebook): these are very active and still insisting on contactless pickups. I've had many safe, successful gifting experiences in the last few months, so I recommend these if you are on Facebook.
  • Vietnam Veterans of America: The pickup policies for clothing and small household items are the same, after temporarily stopping operations for a while. Their pickup dates are less frequent. They still do not do furniture items, just smaller things that one person can carry easily.
  • The thrift stores around here all seem to be taking donations on the regular. Please be a champ and visit my old hangout Better Bargains - they will give you a coupon if you give them a bag of clothing. The employees are charming babes who will call you "hun". I got a senior discount last time I was there even though I don't qualify!! Bonus!!!! 

Thursday, March 18, 2021

Fitzrovians: Covid Anniversary Edition

It's been too long since we celebrated something together! Take me in your (virtual) arms (no mask required):

I had another post partially written, but I’ve just deleted it. What can I say that thousands of people aren’t saying already about the past year? Yet here I am typing on my phone because I left my laptop at home. I’m in Olympia looking after my elderly father, who’s had some medical issues (not COVID-19 related)in the last few days. As I’ve mentioned before I work in a grocery store and you’ve probably heard about all the stuff that goes with precautions in in that realm. I’m just worn out talking about it.  

I was feeling a little blocked but listening to this helped a lot: 

Ok, that’s all I got for now! Thanks for checking in.