General Nonsense

Listen to My Story!

There is a story that is out there, acting like a grown-up, getting read aloud like some sort of literature. And I wrote it. I wrote a story that someone out there, who I don’t even know had to read. Aloud. Professionally. Probably more than once, that poor woman.

I knew this was coming at some point, but when I woke up this morning and saw the notification on my phone screen that it was real, it was here and real, everything stopped. And then I avoided it.

Okay, so I have been writing a book. You’ve likely heard this from me for about 5 years or something. I mean, I’ve been tinkering for like 5 years, I’ve been actively writing this book for about a year now. It started out as me just writing down things that happened around me that I thought were funny. And I was on a PTO, which is like a PTA but not as official or something so a lot of my stories revolved around the fun (and trouble) we got into in the PTO. And then I started talking to people here in Colorado who had similar experiences to some of the more dramatic stuff and I decided that I needed to fictionalize it all and write a whole stupid book about it. Except now my book has gotten bigger than that. Now it’s about friendships and whatever.

However, I was asked if I could condense some of the PTA stuff into a few thousand words that could somewhat come together as a story for this podcast. So I did AND SOMEONE WHO DOESN’T EVEN KNOW ME HAD TO READ IT! How crazy is that? I feel so powerful.

I also feel a little like an impostor which is why I just stared at the notification this morning and then ignored it for a couple of hours. I mean, if I had to read my own writing, that’s one thing, but to hear someone else have to do it made me feel secondhand embarrassment for some reason. I eventually listened to it and I feel good. It sounds normal not in my own voice. All of this is not selling the podcast is it? Okay, ignore this paragraph.

So a woman, who is named Julie Niblett, who I didn’t have to guilt into anything, read my story, amazingly by the way, and it exists out there like a real thing. And you should all listen to it!

https://pendustradio.com/humor-satire/kicked-out-of-the-pta/

A Ghost Story!

A couple of weeks ago, I put together a thing about ghosts, thrown together from a few of my blog posts for a project and then decided to go a totally different way (which is coming soon, I’ll talk all about it when I know more). But my ghost story has been sitting there all gussied up in a prom dress with nowhere to go, like a ghost in the attic looking out the window in longing wait just wanting someone to pay it some attention.

I release you, ghost story.

Legitimate Ghost Science

The thing about being broke and watching House Hunters is that you start playing the game, What would I do for a real house? Would I live with a demon? I think I could totally live with a demon if it came with an attached garage.  And theoretically this is true. Theoretically you’d put up with anything for more space and a dishwasher. But the reality is sleepless nights silently praying for the banging in the walls to stop in an apartment that smells vaguely of urine. The tradeoff is the exposed brick, original hardwood flooring, and natural lighting throughout in a desirable neighborhood downtown.

I lived with a ghost, so I know a lot about ghosts. Well, at least I know something about living with a ghost.  That’s because I was haunted once and I think it might have been by the ghost of Molly Brown. You know, from the Titanic? I know, it seems weird, but hear me out. I lived in a super haunted apartment in the Capitol Hill neighborhood of Denver. My friend and I moved in there together. My friend, Vicki, not Molly Brown; Molly was already there and a ghost.  Vicki’s not a ghost.  

This apartment was walking distance from, what we later found out, was Molly Brown’s house. We did know her house was called Molly Brown’s House, but it was also 1996 and Titanic hadn’t come out yet, so we didn’t really know who she was. I guess there was a musical about her, but it took Kathy Bates to really bring the whole thing together. I did know that her house was a museum, but beyond that, I didn’t put too much thought into it. 

Vicki and I were much younger than we are now. No gray hair between us. We were 19. And like most 19-year-olds, we ate raw cookie dough and corn out of cans we’d buy from the convenience store on the corner. We were obsessed with The Beatles and Weezer when they still had Matt Sharp in the band. We were either going to start a comedy troupe or a rock band. Maybe both even though I still don’t know how to tell a joke or play the guitar. 

The day we moved into the Denver apartment, was a mixture of sweat and relief. We spent a good six weeks apartment hunting from Poets Row to Five Points and everywhere in between. The only other thing available was a small, windowless basement of an old Victorian home with a shared bathroom and a pull chain toilet, so walking into the sunny living room on 14th Avenue felt like a dream. Jenny, a mutual friend that Vicki and I knew from work had a corner apartment in the same building on the 3rd floor that looked out over an alley and an empty parking lot. I parked in the lot once when I couldn’t find street parking, and the parking lot police gave me a $150 parking ticket and a big orange sticker on my windshield that took me 3 hours with soapy water and a razor blade to get rid of. Jenny just paid $50 a month for a parking pass to avoid any of the hassle. That always seemed like a rip off to me. 

So, the day we moved in, The Beginning, we were greeted by the welcoming sunlight that spilled in from two large windows on the south wall. There was a rumor that the building was built as a hotel for businessmen in the 1920s. There was a defunct dumb waiter up the center of the building, still accessible from the bathroom and adjacent hallways through clear windows. That dumb waiter probably had its heyday more than a few decades back, but now it was just a dusty smelling hole filled with old beer bottles and used syringes and see-through windows that looked into the neighbors’ access windows, located in their hallways and bathrooms. It only just occurred to me now that my neighbors quite possibly saw me naked, but to be fair to past me – and future me that will inevitably lay awake tonight thinking about it in horror – my neighbors seeing me fresh out of the shower was the least awful thing about the Denver Apartment.  I mean, there were bullet holes in the bathroom tile. Vicki and I brushed it aside telling everyone who came over, that it gave the place a little character.  

You know when you see something paranormal going down and you think, Yeah, I’m just going to ignore that? It doesn’t work. 

Only hours after being courted by the sunny afternoon sun, bouncing off the original hardwood flooring in the living room, Vicki and I held each other in the dark in fear on that very floor as rattling chains and moaning laughter and slow, even footsteps walked up and down the original hardwood hallway. We cried and stayed up all night praying to the ghost of John Lennon to protect us. 

I walked out to my car the next morning to see that it got tagged on the street, right in front of Molly Brown’s house. It wasn’t like a spray paint tag, but it was a very threatening scribble in the frost on my back window. This has actually happened twice in my life. Both times being right as I moved into a new place. Maybe it’s a guardian angel that hates me. Maybe it’s a ghost who was a fan of Ghost trying to tell me I’m in danger but doesn’t have a penny to roll up the wall, so he has to scroll it out in the early morning windshield dew. BITCH, he writes in whatever crossed realm magic he has summoned.  Perfect! he thinks, she’ll know what that means

I think I may have summoned these ill-willed ghosts through the Ouija Board as a teen and then they never left me. 

When I was 13, I developed body odor and an obsession with the Ouija Board. I think in that order and at the same overnight visit to my friend, Lauren’s house.

Sara, Lauren, and I met in middle school art class and in between drawing circle people and perspective cityscapes, the two of them spent every class, willingly or not, listening to my unverified theories that perhaps all of Def Leppard were deaf and way into cats. I also spoke loudly on my conviction that West Coast hip hop group, N.W.A. was named after an airline. I’m pretty sure the girls had some bet going between them over who could stand my idiot stories the longest without laughing. Maybe there was a can of soda on the line. Whatever it was, I eventually infiltrated their clique of friends like Ebola, spreading my ignorance and lies to the furthest reach. Miraculously, I was never beaten up. 

The year was 1989, possibly 1988 but we’re not going to squabble because when I start doing the math on my age I begin to sweat and grow even older. It’s like that merry-go-round in Something Wicked This Way Comes, all fun and games until your skin wrinkles and dusts off of your skeleton into a pile of ash and sadness. 

At a sleep-over at Lauren’s house, we had just finished watching a rented VHS copy of The Exorcist which, even at the time, we all knew was a bad idea, but none of us wanted to admit it out loud, so we decided to dress up in Lauren’s new dresses from her trip to San Francisco earlier that summer and at that precise moment, I realized that I officially needed to start wearing deodorant. I’m convinced it was fear manifesting itself in physical form, like Freddie Krueger shredding up the pits of Lauren’s new dress with my onion-like stench. I’m a true friend and said nothing about it. We also decided at this time to pull out the Ouija Board and talk to dead people because I think a Magic 8 ball told us it was destined. This would not be my last Ouija Board experience, nor my last attempt to talk to dead people. They have apps now. 

“Only use two fingers, like lightly put them on. Actually, they shouldn’t even really touch it, just like hover.”

“But it needs our energies to work, or something doesn’t it? How’s it going to work if we’re not touching it? We need to touch it.”

“Yeah, like if we didn’t need to touch it, it’d be channeling ghosts all the time!”

“What if it’s channeling ghosts right now? I don’t think I want to do this. You saw what happened in Exorcist. Even the smoking priest couldn’t handle the demons that came from the Ouija Board.”

“He smoked. That’s what the demons were mad about. The smoking. He was probably faking the whole thing anyway. He was a stunt priest.”

“Can we get on with this? Okay. Two fingers, touching the pointy thing, but lightly. And don’t push it. I’ll know if you’re pushing it.”

Will you know though, Lauren and Sara? I thought to myself as I sat oozing B.O. into a dress that wasn’t mine.

To be honest, I probably pushed it, but I don’t remember doing so. I remember being spooked and engrossed in the story playing out before us, letter by letter, of a boy named Kenneth who was killed  – hit by a Coca Cola truck on his way home from the mall – or something equally as adolescent, and forced into an afterlife of parlor tricks and fortune telling. 

I’m afraid ghosts are becoming too kitsch. Too trendy. Too hip. It’s all fun and games until I pull out my ghost app at a party and then I’m what, too old for this? The ghosts don’t care how old you are, Heather. 

One night in the Denver apartment, as I stepped out of the shower – you’re welcome, Apartment 10 – my cat, who was standing on the towel rack on the back of the door jumped onto my naked, wet body in pure fight or flight mode as I grasped out desperate to find a towel that I could wrap around me as an impromptu cat shield. 

I opened the door to the bathroom, the cat tore off around the corner leaving scratch marks in the floor and as I looked up, at the end of the dark hallway, I was staring eye to eye with a Victorian woman, dressed in a white Victorian gown, and you could tell that she wasn’t real, it was like looking at a hologram. But she stared at me as she moved into the bedroom – my bedroom – slamming the door behind her. 

I never used that bedroom again. I spent the remainder of my residency at the haunted Denver apartment sleeping on the hand-me-down loveseat in the living room. I should’ve known that room was evil from the start. There was a creepy mirror glued to the wall that you probably didn’t even have to play Bloody Mary in front of to get the ghost in it to come out to say hi. 

You would assume, knowing my obsessive interest in the paranormal, that I would’ve, at some point in my life been down to play a good old round of Bloody Mary. In case you don’t remember being a teenage girl at a slumber party in the 80s, Bloody Mary is more than that disgusting drink with clam juice and vodka. Bloody Mary was a “game” where you would stand in the bathroom with the lights out, close your eyes and chant “Bloody Mary” three times and when you opened your eyes, you would see a murdered girl in the mirror, standing behind you, looking at you. I know that we joked about doing this at several parties, I don’t actually know if any of us ever went through with that third “Bloody Mary”. Maybe the game was invented after someone drank three Bloody Marys and was trying to refocus and reassess their life decisions alone in the bathroom as we all do, when your face looks bloated and weird and you realize you’ve had too many Bloody Marys. 

My interest in the paranormal is in jest only. When put into an actual situation where there may be a ghost, I’m not as cool as I pretend to be.  I’ve lived with a ghost and lived to tell the tale. It’s my party story. But, ghosts are trouble and not something you invite into your home as a joke. I’ve watched The Exorcist. I’ve seen how that plays out.

I remember once at my grandma’s house, my sister, Julie and I decided we would try to summon Mary. It was the afternoon, what could go wrong? We’ll never know because I couldn’t go through with it. Not even in the middle of the afternoon.

The slumber parties I remember the most are the ones where we tried to scare each other. Light as a Feather, Stiff as a Board was a favorite and I always wanted to be the one levitated so that I could feel envied for being so magical and airy. I never levitated. And then there was the Ouija Board which I’m not sure whether it worked or not but when I was a middle schooler, I’m pretty sure I would sometimes push the little triangle thing to see how far I could get my friends to believe. This is probably what has angered the ghosts. 

One day a guy knocked on the door at the Denver apartment and said he used to live there and asked if he could use the fire escape. I said “yes” because I was 19 and stupid and he came in, went down the hall, into the ghost’s bedroom, and right out the window onto the fire escape. I should’ve asked more questions. That guy was probably also a ghost.   I had to go in the room to close the window behind him and I think the ghost woman touched my hair. I don’t know. That was the last time I went into that room.

The thing about living in an apartment is that most of the time, you can easily blame all strange noises on the neighbors. Was that a demon growl or just Chubs, the bulldog that lives next door? Was that a ghost in the hallway or just Brian upstairs, rattling his chains for some reason?  Kitchen cabinets slamming? Earthquake. It’s like living in complete ignorant denial. Icy hand caressing my back? Roaches probably. See? People in apartments, for the most part, ignore it. This is probably why all horror movies happen in houses. 

I’m not like those normal apartment people. I assume everything is a ghost. One time, my husband had his headphones on while he was humming a song in the kitchen, only I didn’t know it was him at first. He sounded like a ghost haunting. I heard a ghostly moan that paralyzed me with fear, something I hadn’t felt since the Denver ghost. It was just Billy. 

Maybe I should get my own ghost show, filmed in night vision green where I go around in the dark investigating moans. Holding a device that sounds like it’s detecting dead bodies in concrete, my glowing eyes looking concerned, I’d say to the camera, “Hmm that could be actual paranormal, could be a dude in headphones humming along to The Lemon Twigs. I’m going to take an EVP here in the kitchen, Sheila, you go investigate the hallway”.  I was watching a ghost hunting show once and they were using their iPhones to communicate with the ghosts. I do have to say, from being an expert in ghost apps, I think they might not detect real ghosts. Like, the ghosts that appear on your phone screen look like they might have teleported in from an 80’s movie. The 3 Men and a Baby ghost looks more ghostly than these app ghosts. I did have one app that cost like $6.99 that probably talked to real ghosts but then it wouldn’t update anymore, and it would just crash my whole phone, so I had to delete it. 

I think the perception we have of ghosts and demons is wrong because, in my multiple apartment hauntings, it’s the ghosts you see in white that are the demons. The dark shadows that just lurk in the corners, minding their own business, they’re fine. They’re not Harry Potter dementors or those things that took Carl away at the end of Ghost.  But these are probably irrelevant examples regarding house ghosts, because all of my hauntings have been apartment ghosts. You have to admit, it does seem more likely that bad stuff happens in houses. And hotels. What do apartments get? A bum rap, that’s what. And a shared laundry room that ne’er-do-wells sometimes break into in the middle of the night to steal your laundry, but I’m not 100% convinced the laundry thing wasn’t just the neighbors across the way exacting petty revenge. Back in my haunted Denver apartment, a man used to sleep down in the laundry room and he would yell at you when you turned on the light. I don’t think he was a ghost. 

If I had the hacking skills and smarts, like Mr. Robot, I would totally find out how to scare people using the microphone on their laptops. I would target my friends too, like “Hi, Michelle. It’s me, a demon. Nice shirt. Go Broncos!”. Friends would be the best prey because I already know their weaknesses and I have a vested interest in their reactions. I feel that’s important in a prank.  “Hey Vicki, the guy from the laundry room is standing behind you in your blouse.” Somebody teach me these practical skills please. This is what kind of ghost I would be, by the way. A chain rattling, spooky sounds ghost that apparitions out of a friend’s cupboard. I hope that there’s a ghost wardrobe department and I can be ghosts from various decades. Like 60’s hippie ghost, Salem witch trial ghost, caveman ghost, because I don’t think there’s enough of those talked about. Standard white sheet over the head ghost. Headless horseman ghost. The styles are endless. This is probably what ghosts are, they just scare us because it’s hilarious to them. 

But are ghosts even real? I’ve lived in a couple of haunted apartments, one that was the scariest apartment in the world. But logically ghosts make no sense, and that is what makes ghosts so scary. For all we know they could just be an alternate universe overlapping ours where they’re as weirded out about me as I am about them. In this universe, I’m sitting on a couch, in their world, I’m a weird half vision in the hallway with messy hair. 

Here’s the thing. I know, scientifically or logically or whatever ghosts don’t exist. Like it doesn’t make sense. I also very much believe in ghosts. Because I’ve seen them. I have lived with ghosts. I don’t wish living with a ghost on anyone no matter what the interior design perk it may come with. And yet, at the same time, I don’t know how it’s possibly a thing. There’s a whole scientific thing about energy transference and how energy doesn’t just go away; it has to go somewhere. And where else would it go other than ghosts and Ouija Boards? But I also get the whole thing about how an energy field being off in your home because of negative ions or leaking water pipes, or something else that makes scientific sense, our human brains interpret this fluctuating, abnormal, unbalanced energy as danger. But, since we can’t physically see danger, our brains form hallucinations trying to make sense of the whole thing and we see ghosts. Or something. But I’ve seen ghosts live in the ghost flesh and if what I saw was only my mind’s hallucinations, my brain deserves an Oscar. I looked that Molly Brown ghost in the eyeballs. 

But ghosts have to exist. I seem to be a vessel for ghosts. I have the ones that hate me and write nasty messages on my car windows, and there was that one time that I’m pretty sure Elvis visited me in my kitchen and dumped a cabinet of Tupperware on me while “Heartbreak Hotel” played on the radio. There was Molly Brown, who I don’t really think was Molly Brown. I looked her up, she seemed like she was a really cool lady. And we have the same birthday.  Denver Apartment Ghost was not a cool lady. I refuse to share my birthday with Denver Apartment Ghost. She smelled like pee. 

I sat down to pee last night and I got hit in the head by my son’s plastic, Halloween sickle that was propped up behind the bathroom door. That’s how Death is going to take me. Not slicin’ and dicin’ like some garden variety Freddy Krueger; the Grim Reaper is too sophisticated for such dramatics. He’s just going to jump scare me into a heart-attack on the toilet. Like Elvis.

Now, if I would have met my eternal demise then and there, we would be in quite a pickle. The obvious, number one reason being no pants. I probably want to be wearing pants when I die. Secondly, my bathroom is a disaster. Like biohazard zone disaster. I should probably take some Scrubbing Bubbles to the sink soon and like, a flame torch to the rest of it. I can’t be found naked and slumped over in a bathroom that resembles a truck stop. It’s embarrassing. Not only for me, but future generations that have to relive the humiliation in stories told and retold ’round the campfire in vivid detail.

I’m going to need a cleaner. Like a personal assistant but also super loyal that will take care of all of my indiscretions before the news teams and nosy neighbors arrive to find all my photoshops of Prince as a ghost in purple undies on my laptop. This might be hard to coordinate though because, as my super loyal personal assistant life restorer, you’d have to be on call for like, ever, because I don’t plan on ever dying. I’m going to be like one of those Twilight vampires with the glittery skin that live well into their 1,000s. “Sorry for waking you, kid, that wasn’t a ghost, that’s me walking the hallway at 3:00 AM ‘cause I can’t sleep. I’m too busy worrying about neighbors seeing the cat attack me while naked in the bathroom last century. Yes, the wailing moans are me as well. Go to sleep, Renesmee.” The easy thing to do would be to just keep my life together while I’m alive, but let’s be honest, this is not a skill I currently have on my resume.

Now that I think about the logistics of this, someone needs to call up TLC, this is the show idea! I need either Theresa Caputo or Zak Bagans to team up with like, Oprah and the What Not to Wear team to come in with a camera crew and sort me out. They can help me throw away my underwear with the holes in them, sort through my emails, vacuum, make friends with current ghosts already in the building, etc.

See, I base a lot of my knowledge of the afterlife on what I’ve seen in the movies, mostly Ghost and Beetlejuice and here’s the thing, once you’re a ghost, you’re stuck in the clothes you died in. I don’t make the rules. So, do we want comfort or haute couture? Like, do I have to walk around in Gucci the rest of my life? Is this why you see so many ghosts in ballgowns? Or am I okay haunting the halls in my sweatpants? Do they make gowns in sweatpants material? These are things I need to find out. Dying on the toilet will still be a problem, but that’s what you hope your family is for. Emily Dickinson’s family published her poems after she died, I’m just trying to get mine to agree to pull up my pants.

This could be my new life path. Live in a way that won’t embarrass me when I die. Although, what kind of life is that? It’s boring.  Maybe I would have a better shot if I live my life preparing those around me for my embarrassing ghost phase. Like I’ll just be openly weeping in the hallway at various times throughout the day and adding photoshopped pictures of Prince to my email signatures.

Please, someone’s just gotta pull up my pants…  

The Forever Tourist

Photo by Kait Herzog on Unsplash

“I’m going to paddleboard at the lake this weekend, I’m so excited!” The grocery store lady told me as she loaded the groceries into the back of the car.

“Oh fun! What lake?” 

She froze for a split second and looked at me with her face all scrunched in confusion and I felt a little like a time traveler or something that just asked what a computer is. 

I grew up here. Just down the road about a mile and a half. I lived the first 20 years of my life here. And then I moved to California for another 20 years and now I’m not from here anymore. All the local references have been wiped from my brain. I remember none of my life here. I don’t remember any of the local things, lexicons, street names. All gone. But I can distinctly remember what the lilacs in my grandma’s garden smelled like. And the feeling of the butterfly landing on my bare thigh when I was 5. I remember what a crawdad feels like when you pick it up out of the creek and the itchy feeling of wild grass hitting your bare shins in the summer. I remember the way an early Saturday morning in springtime smells and the way the mountains look on a clear day. I remember picking those little navy colored berries out of evergreen bushes and getting tiny, microscopic splinters in your thumb. I remember the smell of Leah Farrell’s basement. I remember the afghan Mrs. Teemsley had on her couch that day we found out where she lived after the principal died, and asked to hang out with her for a while. I remember the dried food on the black wrought iron chandelier that hung in the house my mom was renting. I remember the clogs I was wearing when I was 3 and I remember stretching my legs out straight ahead of me on the couch so everyone would see the heels on the clogs when I was having my picture taken in the den. I remember hanging out at the bowling alley with all the other kids whose dads were in a league and making hickeys on our necks with those rubber poppy things from the vending machines. And then in the summer, I remember hanging out at the softball fields with all the other kids whose dads were on softball teams and buying candy from the snack tent thing and hiding under the bleachers and getting sand stuck to my sticky fingers. I remember telling Heather Staroscik I was allergic to water because I didn’t want to run through the sprinkles and I remember watching “V” at the sitters house waiting for my mom to come pick us up. 

“I thought you were from here” someone will always say. 

I am and yet I don’t know how to make that relevant. My memories don’t include anything practical, unless twisting your ankle in a snake hole is practical. I remember the way my pink room would turn peach in the early morning sun. I remember reading Huckleberry Finn on my bed looking down the hallway to the stairs. I remember thinking I would remember that precise moment for no other reason but to see if I could. I remember trying to fly off the fireplace and I remember thinking it was possible if I thought about it hard enough. I remember eating a walnut from a glass dish at Christmastime and hating it and having nowhere to spit it out. I remember reading a book in the living room about a ghost while it rained outside and I remember the way the turquoise and red line printed on a shampoo bottle jumped into each other when you looked too close. I remember the feel of the knitted blinds in my parents’ bedroom and I remember prank calling 911. I remember where I was when Freddie Mercury died (in the backyard playing paddle ball with my sister) and I remember where I was when Ronald Reagan was shot. I was at someone’s grandma’s house. I think. The house was blue. I remember that my 4th grade teacher moved to the United States when she was a little girl and learned to speak English by watching Sesame Street and reading comic books. I remember the smell of her perfume. 

Isn’t it like that with everyone, though? Who could possibly remember the name of the street some lake is on? The name of the video store that sold beta and vhs? Where the fish store was that smelled like cigarettes. I just realized that the cigarette smell is so much a part of my memory of it, that I expect fish stores to just smell that way. And I suppose they do not. 

And if I’m no longer a local because I don’t remember where the haunted farm was or that it even existed until I got lost one time trying to get to the Butterfly Pavilion and happened upon it, where do these memories belong? I know the wild grasses and snake holes were in the field behind my house, but that particular field isn’t this vast space full of my childhood anymore, but only a small strip of overgrown land behind some houses I barely recognize. Or it was last I drove past it. I don’t like going over there anymore. 

So no, grocery lady, I don’t know what lake you’re talking about, but it sounds really fun. And I’m going to nod my head and pretend I knew of a second lake that’s even cooler than your lake and I was making sure we were thinking of the same lake. You know, so I look cool. Like a local.

Day 62

Day 62. 62 days ago was the last day I went out in public. I went out on my weekly Saturday brewery lunch with my mom. We knew the day before that schools were starting remote learning, but we went out to our normal lunch. Probably well aware that it was the end. Before that we met a dog. My mom was in the middle of adopting a dog and we met him at a farm a couple miles away. I do not live at a farm, unfortunately. That’s kind of an ultimate dream. In theory. Because in reality I’m a city lady. But we went to a farm and met my mom’s future dog.

That was 61 days ago. 61 days ago I was super nervous because I had chaperoned a middle school trip to the Buell Theatre in Denver and I had standing reservations for my grandma’s birthday party coming up. News of the shutdown was rolling in, but I still felt foolish telling my family I had to cancel because I didn’t want to get grandma sick.

62 days. Only like 2 “fights” with my husband which is miraculous because this might be a record! I really think we’re better as a family. Which makes me feel awful because I read something that said this was Ayn Rand’s dream scenario, and while I know NOTHING of Ayn Rand’s writing, I know that people absolutely HATE her take on stuff so, I’m super worried about how easy this thing has been on me. I worry that my desire that everything STOPS potentially puts me in Ayn Rand territory.

I worry about my friends that have to work with the public. Whether for moral issues, financial issues, health insurance issues, mental health issues. I want all of you to get not only hazard pay, but paid insurance. Like zero out of pocket.

I am super proud of my teacher friends that are holding it all together so that I don’t necessarily have to.

I am PRAYING for my nurse friends. PLEASE LET ME KNOW YOU’RE ALIVE!

And yet here I am. Day 62. And my daily distraction is my awful haircut. Because I cut my hair a few weeks ago. Or days. Or months? And it is a situation. And all I’m focused on is maybe cutting it more and making my hair into Debbie Harry hair or Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Fleabag hair. Currently, my hair looks like 2008 Kate Gosselin hair, minus the chunky highlights. Also, it should be noted, I am not a stylist. It won’t work. I’ll cry even more.

But then there’s the realization that my normal “summer mood” is basically my current “lock down mood” and I’ve come to realize, they are the same thing. I cut my hair now because I have the safety net of seclusion. But what if I’ve always had this passion for bad hair. My privilege allows this. I am in a place that allows me to Tiger King my hair. Or Debbie Harry it. Or Fleabag it. What’s the worst thing that will happen? Now? But what about later? What would happen in the event this was normal times? Would I be immediately shunned? Immediately put into a box? Is this even something I care about now?

And yet, Day 62. I’m worried about my hair. I’m worried that I want to sound too much like some celebrity who is posting a bunch of social media nonsense to stay relevant. I am not relevant. I don’t want to be relevant.

I am happy. I am content. I know this gives me privilege. I feel awful about it.

Quarantine

I feel guilty.

Photo by Edwin Hooper on Unsplash

I feel content and happy and comfortable and I don’t want this lockdown thing to end. But then I think about the people who need to leave. The bad relationships someone must be in. The kids that are having a hard time with remote learning, or even worse, the ones that are locked in with violence, and no one is looking after them to make sure they’re okay and being fed.

I need to stop. I don’t want to think about this time this way. I know all of that is out there and happening and there’s nothing I can do about it. It’s stressing me out. I have to live my own time. I have to choose to enjoy my time. I am enjoying my time. I love not having to put on pants or look presentable. I love not having to drive the kids to school. I love having my husband home. I love not feeling pressured to go out and do something. I love not going to restaurants and I love not having to put on pants.

My hair is growing out and showing how much older I am than I thought I was before this whole thing began. But there’s something so comforting about the loss of beauty and youth for an entire culture. The entire world. We are reverting back to our physically ugly selves. And that’s so calming. So relaxing. We’re forced to do our own hair and our own pedicures and we’re all stuck. We’re all ugly and old and stuck. All of us have crusty heels and badly painted toes. I don’t want this time to end. Partly because I cut my hair and I need it to grow back a bit before anyone sees me looking like this.

I know I have this time easier than others. I know that I’m lucky that my husband and I are getting along. I know that I’m lucky that my kids’ school district has been amazingly well organized. I’m lucky that I have wifi and my kids are able to remote learn without me having to do much, although I do suspect that my middle schooler is just reading Harry Potter books the whole time, but I’m fine with that. I’m lucky that the boys have an xbox and they can play Fortnite and Minecraft with all of their friends. I’m glad that they facetime their friends and that both of the boys are forced to get along. I’m glad that we can “meet” my mom outside from a distance and walk our dogs together at least 6 feet apart while we yell through our masks about our day so far. I’m happy that we eat three meals a day together. I’m glad that the boys entertain themselves for the most part.

I had a breakdown around Day 25. I was a stay-at-home mom before the shutdown and we all became stay-at-home and I didn’t realize how much I needed the silence of everyone off and doing their real life things everyday without me. Of how much I thrived in my solitude until I was forced into the daily group setting. And on Day 25 I yelled at everyone and I cried and I wrote an emo post on Facebook about my “hard time”. Quite frankly, I had my own Ellen on Instagram from her mansion-jail moment. But honestly, I just needed space. I was overwhelmed and overstimulated and it wasn’t anyone else’s fault but my own. Because I wasn’t taking my space. I was expecting everyone else to just give it to me. So I got a glass of wine, apologized to everyone for my nonsense, and told them I needed an hour alone. Just like that. And just like that they told me they loved me and told me to go to my room. I’m loving that I’m learning to take care of myself. I’m learning to communicate better. I’m learning that I don’t have to yell. And I think my family is better for it. I do still have to yell at the dog for barking inappropriately. But this forced space has made us closer as a family.

And I’m writing. I’m reading and I’m writing and I’m pretending that the outside world is stopped. I can pretend that people are being kind to themselves and to each other. I can pretend that we just don’t have a government right now. That everything is fixing itself. That nothing bad is happening outside of my windows. My dog disagrees and would like me to tell to everyone that life is NOT okay outside the windows, because she saw the neighbor’s dog, Mister poop on our lawn last week. But everything in my little bubble is fine.

And I know I’m lucky. I know I have it better than a lot of people. But I’m having my John Locke on the LOST island feelings. Because I’m a better me here.

I’m still trying to work out exactly why I want the world to continue to stay paused for a bit longer. I think part of it is the shared experience. The entire world stopped. Most of the world. But I know that I’m speaking from a place of privilege. The world paused for me. It didn’t pause for the doctors or the nurses or the lady that has to go to work at the grocery store or the person that still has to work at McDonald’s because rent is due and they need health insurance for when they get sick. It’s such a baffling feeling. A selfish one. But when the responsibility to live in a society has been taken away, I feel myself thriving. The pressure to conform to something, the insecurity of not measuring up, it’s all paused. All of it. No one is coming to my house so my bed remains unmade. My bed is usually unmade but now there is purpose to it. Now I vacuum for me and not because I worry what my mom would think.

My roots are grey, my heels are rough, my eyebrows are a mess, my legs are unshaved, I’ve gained 5 pounds, and I’m just really at peace.

I think I just want a break from everything for a little bit longer. I want to stay inside and I want the world to stay inside and I want the system to fall so it can be rebuilt from scratch. So that it will be rebuilt by the people who will work to do it for all of us. I want it to be controlled by the people who need it to be better. I’m not ready to go back. I don’t want to go back to rules. I don’t want to go back to forced small talk and bedtimes and appropriate drinking hours.

So here’s to Zoom happy hours and my awful haircut and my self-pedicure. And my new solitude.

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Isolation Day #6 (maybe?): The Writing Group Dilemma

I have a novel that I’ve been writing and rewriting and rereading and deleting and starting over and writing and rewriting for like 5 years now. It’s super exciting and I love it and I also think its a steaming pile of crap that should never see the light of day.

But it should. Because I love where it’s going. But I’m bored of it and how awful it all is.

But I figure I should use this self-isolation time to be productive. No excuses.

There’s also the fact that Camp Nano is coming up and I like doing that AND that I just joined a writing group which I’ve always been drawn to writing groups.

The dilemma with this new writing group however, is that I hate my above mentioned grand opus. Then there’s a story that I have partway written, that I DO like, but it came to me fast and furious, in a dreamlike way and I have no idea where it wants to go and so 10,000 words just sit there like Whitney Houston in sunglasses staring at me from across the fountain. The writing group is going to kick me out for being a waste of their time, probably.

While logging into the laptop in my efforts to have a productive writing isolation, a link came across my attention that Scribd is offering a free 30 day membership to read and audiobook as many books and magazines and whatever else you can find there as is your want. No strings attached. I’m taking this opportunity to finally read (well listen to) Save the Cat because apparently I am scrapping all of my efforts to finish something and I’m going to write a screenplay! Because of course I am. After I listen to this book and maybe a few others, because 30 DAYS FREE BOOKS!!!!

But seriously, what should I do about this writing group? Do I submit something I really like with no signs of an ending, or do I submit the mess that is my novel that I really want to finish but I don’t know that a writing group will be able to help me with, or either that, they’ll collectively tell me it’s a pile of crap and needs to be immediately scrapped with a promise I never write again? I know that won’t happen, no one is that mean. Right?

Alright, if anyone has advice, I’m here for it. In the meantime, I have a book to listen to.

Things to do in Denver when Old You is Dead.

I’m from Denver. Well, like 20 minutes northwest of Denver. Denver adjacent. I moved back about a year and a half ago from a 21 year stint in Sunny Los Angeles and I feel like I left a whole chunk of my heart and my soul back in the Valley when I moved.

Photo by Neil Soni on Unsplash

I moved to California, when I was 20 and obnoxious (probably because I was 20). I was shy, and angry, and wrote embarrassing journal entries that I was sure would win awards once I died and they were found and published. I knew everything and as I whined about the world through pages of angsty words I threw together about living alone in this world (dramatically with cats and adoring fans of my works). I couldn’t stand to be alone. I couldn’t do anything on my own. I didn’t know how to do anything on my own. I didn’t know how to do anything. And I didn’t ever have to. And then I moved to Los Angeles. Studio City to be accurate. A mile from the Brady Bunch house to be even more accurate. A couple of blocks down the street from Universal Studios, actually. Thankfully. Because I got a job at Universal Studios (CityWalk) and on my first day of work, my car wouldn’t start, so I had to walk those couple blocks (and that REALLY BIG HILL) in end of July, Valley heat. Valley heat isn’t like anywhere else I’ve ever been. Valley heat is sticky and it smells faintly of car exhaust and dirt. Sometimes garbage, depending on where you happen to be. And your head sweats under the hair you just straightened, making it rise in volume by 2.5 units. I’m not a math person, so just believe me and pretend you know that I’m right and hair units are a real measurement. I walked into my new job, a helmet of hair that now smells like the street, face hot and flushed bright red with exhaustion and being out of shape and it’s now itchy because of the sweating and I’m in HOLLYWOOD (adjacent), my roommates hated me because they had to live with the awful version of me that was now completely depressed, and, the icing on the cake, freshly car-less. I had to make friends. And quick. I knew no one. And that lasted about 20 minutes, because let me tell you something about Los Angeles. Everyone is obnoxious. And lonely. And insecure. And alone. People cling to other people like life rafts in Los Angeles. And it’s wonderful. Sometimes it’s awful, like being stalked by a stuntman awful, but most of the time, it’s amazing. And I wouldn’t be who I am now if I didn’t have to kill off pretentious, emo queen, “Denver Amy” to survive. It was the best thing that ever happened to me. Like Personality Boot Camp.

I moved back to Denver (adjacent) on an opportunity and while it’s been a great move for all the California boys I brought back with me, which is really only a husband and two kids and not like actual back-up dancers, which I didn’t realize I needed until now, there’s a feeling about moving back to a hometown where nothing has changed except there’s now a church that’s taken over the old movie theater that I saw Beetlejuice in. It’s suffocating in a way that I imagine is a lot like that one Tom Hardy movie with the black ink demon thing that people draw porn and write fan-fiction about. Anyway, I feel like “Denver Amy” haunts the streets where I grew up, reminding me of how awful I can be; my own personal Ghost of Christmas Past.

It’s entirely possible I just grew up, but throwing myself at a huge city I had only ever seen on tv and then loving everything about it for 21 years has a way of making you feel a part of something bigger than you. And I think that my reluctance to fully re-embrace Denver adjacent has more to do with my fear that if I let LA go, I can never get it back again. If I embrace my new, I’m allowing back in the old. And I made a pact to pretend that version of myself was a bad fever dream. However, recently I’ve been coming to refreshing feelings, and maybe it’s because it’s been warm for like 3 days in a row and I’m getting hopeful. I’ve decided to embrace and fall in love with my new home as if I had never sat in that new church down the street laughing at Michael Keaton in his striped suit, or been in that grocery store a mile the other way that allegedly had a make-over but I can still hear inky demon/high school me thinking about Anne of Green Gables in the frozen food isle that used to have greeting cards in it. So If I avoid those two places – the church will be easy because I don’t do the church thing, and the grocery store is where my demons seem to congregate so that one is out, then I can pretend I never lived here before.

You know what it is? When you move away from your home town, you create a new life. Like a Witness Protection kind of thing. And you can completely erase all the bad, embarrassing character flaws like Peggy Olson did with Pete’s baby. You just Don Draper it. But I’m at the Priest Colin Hanks calling me out in the Lord’s house part of the show and I want to skip ahead to the roller skating in the office part. You know? The walking down the hall carrying all my stuff in a box with octopus porn art under my arm in sunglasses with a cigarette hanging out of my mouth part of my journey. I think that I’m actually pretty close to strapping on my roller skates, though. I have made a conscious decision to actively love where I live with such vigor, that I single-handedly become the Denver Adjacent Tourism Board. I can still love Los Angeles, fiercely, but I’ve seen Sunset Boulevard. It doesn’t work to shut the world out thinking it still loves me; demanding that Hollywood not forget me while I rot away in my self-imposed exile.

But you see, as I wrote this, several friends from LA have randomly and unknowingly sent emails and texts of love and gossip, reining me back in.

OMG! Mr Deville, I’m ready for my close-up.

Molly, you’re in danger, girl.

Last night I saw a medium.

I was skeptical. But my uncle is hands down ALL IN ON THIS. She was 100% Uncle Buck certified.

He met this woman during a ghost hunting expedition like 20 years ago and swears by her. He took his girlfriend to one of this ghost hunting friend’s medium readings and she was sold and at Thanksgiving dinner this year, we all sat around the table talking about ghosts. Well, that’s all dinners when I’m involved, but ghosts were discussed. And then this medium lady was brought up. My mom was sold.

I was intrigued. She is said to have spoken of things no one could know. My mom wanted in. I wanted in, because, you know, ghosts.

Quick aside, if you’re ghost hunting and you’re a medium, do you need all that fancy equipment? EVPs? Heat maps? Night vision goggles? Ouija boards? I’m serious. Where’s the line between like, my super haunted apartment in Denver and Oda Mae Brown? Although, she seemed spooked a lot of the time, so, SAME. Okay, take Long Island Medium. She’s always laughing and snapping her nails on the granite counter tops in her fancy home and blaming farts on her clients’ dead loved ones. Allegedly. But I know what I saw. A scam of farts. (By the way!!! I heard farts last night, more on than in a minute.) See, when I lived in Capitol Hill with a super nasty early 1900’s Denver socialite ghost that hated me, I rarely laughed. Well, I still laughed, but I also peed myself more times than I care to admit out loud.

Point is, mediums are super relaxed and laughing about farts, while Zak from Ghost Adventures is always yelling and getting scratched and possessed. To be fair, if I was a ghost, I would be more likely drawn to the blonde lady who’s laughing and farting, but I would also love to scare the crap out of Zak Bagans. But also as a ghost, which adventure do you choose when a group of charlatans rolls through your spooky abandoned parlor with cameras and tape recorders?

Okay, back to me. We walk into this metaphysical book store that smelled like patchouli and random purple and yellow aura. There were several stones for sale, candles, and a lot of books with levitating yogis in front of expanding light and galaxy brain meme looking backgrounds ranging in topics from my dead loved ones to constipation. It sounds like I’m knocking this. I’m not knocking this. I was just friends with a lot of potheads in the late 90s and well, this is similar to what hanging out with them was like.

We are escorted into the back room which was painted in a light purple hue, floral curtains on one wall, fold up chairs lined up in rows on the floor, and a Christmas tree set up in the back. It kind of felt like where the gangsters held their meetings in that funeral home in The Wire. We sit down, My Uncle, his girlfriend, my mom, and me. And we wait, and wait. People start talking about who they hope will come through. And we wait. The medium ghost hunter lady is milling about. I like her, she’s got a good vibe about her. Like I could be friends with her. But I’m skeptical, right? Like, I’ve watched those debunk videos on youtube about mediums and their cue reading skills. How they plant people in the crowd to make themselves look legit. So the whole time I’m hearing everyone talk amongst themselves about dead people, all I can think is, you idiots. She could be taping this somehow! You’re giving her everything she needs. At this point, my mom turns to me and starts talking to me about the very minute details of various dead people she hopes come through.

Good job on the stealth op, Mom.

Here’s the thing. I know, scientifically or logically or whatever, that ghosts don’t exist. Like it doesn’t make sense. I also HIGHKEY believe in ghosts. Because I’ve seen them. I have lived with ghosts. Like, I don’t wish ghost living on anyone. And yet, at the same time, I don’t know how it’s possibly a thing. Like I get the whole thing about energy transference and how energy doesn’t just go away, like it has to go somewhere. And where else would it go other than ghosts and ouija boards? But I also get the whole thing about how an energy field being off in your home because of negative ions or leaking water pipes, or something else that makes scientific sense that I’m not looking up right now or I will never finish this post, how our human brains interpret this fluctuating, abnormal, unbalanced energy as danger! but since we can’t physically see danger, our brains form hallucinations on the interpretations trying to make sense of the whole thing and we see ghosts. Or something. But I’ve seen ghosts live in the ghost flesh and if what I saw was only my mind’s hallucinations, give my brain an Oscar.

So we’re in this room last night, at the back of a psychic book store and about 45 minutes after we sat down, our fun medium lady stands in front of us, cracks some jokes, says hi to my uncle, hugs a guy in the front row, waves at a lady in the back who drove over from Aurora, which Long Denver Medium knew either through paranormal or non-disclosed normal means, and off to the races we went. Apparently the ghosts chose me to go first.

She looked me directly in the eyes and asked me who the female with the J name was that was sitting on my lap and saying we were very close. Was she a friend? A sister? And my heart pounded and my neck did that tightening, painful thing right before you bawl and I bit the side of my mouth hard so I wouldn’t cry in front of everyone and then I took a deep breath and gave out a shaky “My sister, Julie” as she went on about how funny she is and she was with my great-grandma and grandpa and a whole slew of other accurate details that I can’t remember.

Then she went around the room for the next 2 hours, making other people cry with her questions and remarks about smells and inside jokes with the beyond, a murdered ghost came through, a ghost that spoke only Spanish, a ghost asking about a lady’s new hairdo just like in the real Ghost, a ghost telling a woman babies were coming, I don’t know, it was a lot. Someone kept farting loudly, a lady behind me burped. Everyone laughed together, cried together, passed around a community tissue box, it was great. I could’ve done without the farting though, but maybe that’s just a thing that summons the ghosts! I’m not here to judge the process.

But here it is, the next day and I feel like maybe it was all a scam. I mean, it was worth it, I had a great time, but maybe the emotions flowing through the room, the comradery, the ill-timed farts, maybe these were all a dripping pipe in the house type thing. The emotions made us hear truths that weren’t there. Made us believe in hope from the other side. Helped out by tidbits of information Long Denver Medium was able to pick up from the people she knew and the things she over-heard as we sat in around gabbing during the pre-show. I don’t know, but she likely made a TON of money doing this thing.

New career goal. Maybe I can get fake acrylic nails, work on my stand-up routine, and charge people to sit in a room with me and cry about stuff. I don’t have a psychic ability, but I do have ghost apps on my phone that are a hit at parties and I am a professional Ouija board user. This could totally work. Alright, who’s in?

The Demon in the Magritte Hat

There is this thing bubbling up under my heart, in my soul, my dreams, and I need to do something with it. I need to make something with it. Part of it might be having just come off NaNoWriMo, which started out great for me and kind of fell flat at the end. I was writing this mystery story, that I still really like, but I fell out of routine and started doing other things. But this thing, this demon, that has been lurking for a good 6 months now has been ignited.

It feels like I have to solve a mystery, even if it’s not going to be my own, but that Nancy Drew drive could be because I got sucked into the Visit Eroda hashtag on twitter a few weeks ago and I began piecing together clues, and reading along with others’ clues and figuring it out it was some scam Harry Styles was running about a fake island. And look, it looked like he was pulling some Alice in Wonderland/ Through the Looking Glass, Magical Mystery Tour thing. I was invested. And now that I’ve seen Harry Styles’ Adore You video, I have nowhere else to put my sleuthing. I also really wish this Eroda thing was like an album film thing like, well, like Magical Mystery Tour or Head. Because I have been yelling for months to no one who cared, that that’s what Harry Styles was filming in Scotland back in August or something. His own Magical Mystery Tour. And I was wrong. I’m not a great sleuth, turns out.

But there’s still this energy lingering in me and it’s causing my anxiety to wreck my sleep and stomach lining because I’m not doing anything with it. I’m not creating anything. I’m not thwarting bad guys in masks at a haunted amusement park, and I’m not following an art thief through a museum in a Rene Magritte hat.

I think I’m trying to write a play or start my own improv group or something. I don’t know what this drive in me is, but until I figure out what I’m supposed to do with it, I won’t get any sleep and I may end up moving to New York or Chicago and I’ll wear all black and I’ll listen to jazz and pick up smoking again. I have a family with a husband and school aged kids and a mortgage and a dog and a cat! I can’t be stupid and 20 again.

Because when I was stupid and 20 and I got this same vibey feeling, I decided to be a rock star because I learned about CBGB and I wanted to be Debbie Harry levels of cool, so I bought a guitar and moved to LA and worked a lot of retail and joined the pta and then moved back to Denver. But at least I did something with the demon. I fed that demon. And now there’s a new one and I don’t know what it wants from me. Except maybe a Beatnick lifestyle, I don’t know. I’m a middle-aged, suburban mom, Demon!

Stay tuned, I guess. At least all black is slimming.

How many plotlines is too many plotlines?

Photo by Casey Horner on Unsplash

Here I go. Here’s a whole blog post dedicated to crying about my novel instead of actually writing a novel. I’ve probably whined about this on this blog before but to catch anyone up that is interested, I am writing a novel that is inspired by true events and it is taking me a LONG time to get it out of my head and onto paper. And I’m frustrated. I’m 55,456 words into this thing and I am not near done and I’m all over the place with it and it sucks. And this is where I am.

There are two roadblocks I’m having a hard time ignoring. Because they’re imaginary, I know this. But I can still see them and I’m having a crisis about all of it. The first one is because the basis for the story, the whole point of the story, is based on a really painful, uncomfortable memory, like a real thing with real people that I knew and it’s taken me some time to get over my anger enough to want to explore this event. Even though, I’m making up 70% of everything else. Probably more than that but the characters are originally, somewhat based on real life people that did real life unfriending me on Facebook kind of stuff and I’m real bitter about it, you know? They are mean. So I really want to finish this book because I don’t want to live with some of these people in my brain anymore, I hate them.

So why write a book about them if you hate them, Amy? I can feel you asking me. Well, dear readers, because it’s funny. Which brings me to roadblock #2. I am sitting here trying to foolishly write satire when I am the most unfunny person I know. No one wants to hear me rattle along for 55,456 words. It’s pretentious. And there’s more words that need to come out so it’s even worse than where we currently sit. And reading this back it looks like I’m digging for validation. Well, in fairness, I’m always digging for validation, but that’s not what is happening here. This is a legitimate tantrum I am having with myself and I need to get it out of me so I can just move on and finish this book.

I had thoughts about abandoning this project, but the characters and the storyline just keeps doing stuff when I’m in the shower or in the middle of the night and it’s like that scary, wet girl in The Ring and she won’t leave me alone until I share her with others.

How do I get over my nonsense? Does anyone have any tips? Can I just “blah blah blah” the middle parts with the holes in them? Because that’s what’s there now and I could just be done with the whole thing, close my laptop and have a peaceful life. Maybe I have too many plotlines. What will get me out of this funk?? I know what I need to do. I need to be patient with this beast. I need to continue filling in hole by hole and not be overwhelmed by the big picture. Because I know the plot. I’ve already written the dramatic conflict/resolution scenes, I already have the ending pretty much wrapped up, it’s all the little stuff in the middle and it will end when it ends, I just need to keep filling in the holes and stop worrying about tone and timing and the beat of each individual sentence.

Oh my god, I know what the problem is. I need an audience. I need to be telling a story to somebody. Because writing for me? This is not the story I want to be hearing over and over and over and over. Not because I don’t believe in the story itself, but more because I lived it. Not all of it, but the bad parts. which brings us back to problem #1.

BUT, I think to solve both of my ridiculous made-up problems, I need a beta reader. One who likes me. That’s important. And one who will be willing to beta read chapter by chapter. Like work in progress, fanfiction. Without the smut. Ooh! Should I add smut?! Also, this person must be willing to overlook my typos and stuff.

This beta reader idea solves the second roadblock as well because I’m not thinking about being funny when I’m writing a blog post or a Facebook status update or whatever that I know someone will read. I just write. The idea of writing a book is horrifying because I’m too worried about being perfect. And that’s just not how I write.

Although, how does one even go about getting beta readers? How do I get someone to devote their whole life to following me around and laughing at my bad jokes, while they comb my hair and tell me I’m pretty?

This whole blog post is a mess. Alright, that’s a sign I need to get back to filling holes. Seriously though, if anyone has any answers to any of my annoying questions above, I would love to hear them.

I am also accepting compliments.