World-Building

I started gradually rejoining the online world in 2016, after about two years away. I’d spent the six years before that being an unbearable Pollyanna, trying to get everyone to have interactions where we could find common ground and have Meaningful Discussions and for shit’s sake stop calling each other evil. I’d exhausted myself by…

The Tyranny of Comedy

There is nothing worse, people often seem to believe, than ruining someone’s joke. The pervasive attitude is that if other people find something funny, everyone is expected to go along with it, regardless of the content—and if anyone doesn’t, that person will be treated as if they have wronged the others. You know what this…

Recovering

It’s been a bad time. No one had a good year in 2020, but I have to say I had a particularly bad one. My husband and I split in August, so I moved back to Texas to live with family. Because of the move, I got behind in my classes, and then my mental…

Educated, by Tara Westover

Five stars, read in April 2019. There was a lot about this that was depressingly familiar to me. I grew up in the same religion as Tara, though her family believed in it much more literally than mine did. Relatedly, her childhood was more violent than mine was; my version of the story is mostly…

Why “you are loved” is meaningless and almost certainly unhelpful

It’s an abstract solution where a concrete one is needed. It asks the person in need of love, the person in pain from the lack of it, to just use their imagination and be comforted without the one “comforting” them having to invest any actual emotion. “You are loved” is noticeably not the same as…

Fast Forwarding

I’ve always been a completionist. I cannot stand starting a series anywhere but the absolute beginning (one reason it was so difficult for me to break into the world of comics), and once I start something, I have a strong need to finish it. So it is pretty crazy for me to tell you that…

Things that are just about too much for me right now:

Accidentally reading internet comments. I’ve long had a personal rule against doing so, and I’m almost always good about it, because I know how much I genuinely do not want to know what the general public has to say on literally any topic. And yet somehow, I ended up reading an entire stomach-wrenching thread about Lena Dunham’s recent…

Part Three: Scream Into the Roaring Waves

And for all the things I can’t get enough of, there is too much of what should not be at all. There is too much wrong for one world. The more I read, the more injustice I discover, and it seems like I can’t pick up a book anymore without uncovering a whole new field…

Part Two: Too Much/Not Enough

There is too much world for one person. There is too much to experience, and I’m interested in so much of it. I have tried to learn so many languages, and I still want to learn so many more. I play piano and bass clarinet, but haven’t played either in years. I’ve attempted to learn the…

Part One: I Can Never Catch Up

I think if I could have an entire year in which, except for the passage of the year itself, time didn’t move—ignore the paradox, just let your imagination make it work—maybe then I could catch up on everything. I’m annoyed that it’s January 15 and I haven’t finished my end-of-2017 posts. I did finally manage…

Writing’s On the Wall

Memory: Sitting in my car at the Mesquite library, crying into my Schlotzky’s and Starbucks, which I’d gotten because the tiny break room was full of people and the only way I could survive that job was having an hour alone for lunch. Knowing I’d have to go back in to work soon. It was…

All or Nothing

I’m finally realizing why I can’t find a manageable way to keep up with things, why it seems to be either all or nothing. It’s because it is. There are no universal news sources anymore, there are not even universal facts anymore. To be well-informed you have to keep up with multiple sources, all of…

Can’t Get Away from Myself

I frequently find myself thinking of things that I should tell a therapist or psychologist, if at some point I’m ever able to get an official diagnosis, things that seem to be examples of whatever the condition is that I need diagnosed. Because one of the hallmarks of my anxiety is that I can never…

Supernova

I feel like I’m imploding in slow motion. Like for the first 25 years of my life, I had this exoskeleton, a shell that forced me into an unnatural shape but was somehow propping me up as well. And then I blew it up, and the explosion gave me momentum for a few years, but…

Things To Do

Take kung fu, tai chi, or another martial art. Go to ladies night at the comic book store. Go to the last Thursday book group at Deep Vellum.  Join the feminism and social justice book club I was just invited to. Hang out with friends on my own; doesn’t always have to be with Mike….

Matilda, Mara Wilson, and Me

I started out writing this as a review for my book blog, but it turned into (1) a pretty personal post that is also (2) not at all a review. I know I have severe anxiety, but I hadn’t realized how many specific things I would have in common with Wilson. Not being in a great…

Furiously Happy / Let’s Pretend This Never Happened, by Jenny Lawson

Furiously Happy: Five stars, read in October 2015. Let’s Pretend This Never Happened: Three stars, read in October/November 2015. I really needed to know about Jenny Lawson a long time ago. She’s a blogger who became famous, partly because she’s insanely funny, partly because of the conversation she fosters about mental illness. Like her legions of followers, what…