I had a fucked up week that lasted years.


November 12, 2022 :: 1:50 PM

Shrinky Dinks, invented in 1973, are a children’s toy and activity kit consisting of large flexible sheets which, when heated in an oven, shrink to small hard plates without altering their colour or shape. (see also: drug dealer)

It’s a Matt Nathanson sort of day around these parts.

I hit a wall with running about the same time Potterhead was forced to shut down. Despite my running coach’s best efforts, I couldn’t improve. In fact, I swiftly went from success to abject failure. He thought I had exercise induced asthma and that’s why I had not improved. I wasn’t fully convinced (I’m still not), but I saw a doctor he recommended. Guy was a complete douchenozzle, but I took the prescription for the inhaler and went on my merry way.

Fast forward to Wine and Dine.

I hated the 5K, was absolutely miserable during the 10K, and walked off the half marathon course at mile 7. The truth is, it wasn’t the humidity. It wasn’t the heat. It wasn’t the asthma. I just didn’t want to be there.

I’ve been joking about how I hate running, but the soundtrack in my head during those 16 miles… well, let’s just say that those little voices in my head? The ones I’m not supposed to talk about? They were right.

I. FUCKING. HATE. RUNNING.

It doesn’t spark joy. I don’t get a runner’s high.

I. Get. Absolutely. Nothing. out of it.

NOTHING.

So. Really. What’s the fucking point?

I walk a 5K in a little less than a hour. Longer if I’m on the treadmill because that’s when I allow myself to read certain fan fics… but even with reading the un-put-downable pr0n (as the Chicken calls it), I fucking hate it. That’s an hour I could spend doing anything that actually makes me feel good.

I fired my running coach last night.

I left all but one of my Disney running groups.

Being able to admit that I hate it has taken a huge weight off of my shoulders…

but, of course, I’m a fucking idiot and posted in my favourite running (non-RTI FB) group about my struggles and asking if it’s normal.

And… there was that one asshole who told me I was mentally ill and needed to see a psychiatrist.

Bitch, please.

You mean the psychiatrist who held my hand and walked me out of the most suicidal mindset I’ve ever experienced? (Fuck you, CrossFit.)

You mean the psychiatrist who has been trying to help me get past the closure of the only place that has ever truly inspired me to run?

Or, perhaps, you mean the psychiatrist who has pushed me - repeatedly - to find a simple prop to occupy my time?

This one goes out to the one I love…  FIRE! She’s coming down on her own now…

I’m sorry.

I lost the plot there for a minute.

I guess I’m fucked in the head after all.

Thank you for the diagnosis, internet stranger. I feel much better now.

Proud member of the wherethefuckarewe tribe


October 22, 2022 :: 8:35 PM

oh, bestie, have I got a story for you…

Let’s start with the title of the entry.

Get the boring shit out of the way.

My dad, in all of his politically (in)correctness, used to tell me we were part Indian.

But not any of the tribes you would find in East Buttfuck, Maine.

Nope. We were members of the wherethefuckarewe tribe. (God, I wish I could type his pronunciation… it was a thing of beauty.)

I always lie when I talk about the things I inherited from my father.

Well, I suppose it’s not a lie if it’s omitted.

Mousy, crap brown hair? Check.

Blue-ish eyes? Check.

Potty mouth and blue humor? Oh, fuck yes.

Sense of direction or lack thereof? Nothing to see here. Move along.

Yeah. I get lost so fucking easily that it’s almost comical.

Eh, fuck it. It is comical.

I got lost today during a half marathon. Between mile markers 2 and 3.

Long story short, I walked 5.4 miles. The majority of those were trying to get back to the finish line,

I swear, it’s a resume worthy skill.

Right up there with making Excel do things that it was never meant to do.

 

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

*looks around*

*grabs axe*

*puts axe down*

*grabs gasoline and a zippo lighter*

*walks over to family tree and douses that fucker in gas*

*starts to walk away*

*throws zippo over shoulder*

*strut like a bad ass while the tree goes up in flames behind me*

*zoom in on a shit eating grin*

 

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Take a seat. Get comfy.

Shit’s about to get real.

The other day, I get this random DM with a GoFundMe link from one of my cousins.

Let me set one thing straight:

I. FUCKING. HATE. GOFUNDME.

Nothing says “I only care about your money” like a link to a GFM page.

Which, let’s be honest, is pretty much on brand for that branch of the family tree.

Not a word as to WHY there’s a GFM link in my DMs. Just the link.

So I click on it to find out that in MAY, she was in a terrible accident. Life support, serious injuries, yadda, yadda, yadda.

(I suppose it says a lot that I’m so blasé, instead of treating it seriously.)

Shall we view a timeline?

May: accident happens

October: random DM in my inbox

Hmmmm… let’s see. October less May, multiplied by the square root of cheese, and divided by a pizza pie, gives you, what? Five months?

For five months I had no idea that a person I used to care deeply for was staring death in the face.

I didn’t even know why I was getting the GFM link. There was nothing to put it in context.

So… yeah. Fuck that noise.

Fuck her.

He’s got the biggest balls of them all


October 09, 2022 :: 3:51 PM

proof that the ability to provide perfect *mic drop* moments is in my DNA

Was supposed to study Ukrainian today. Decided that fucking around on YouTube was a better way to spend my time.

But I watched the 2022 Ukrainian Independence Day concert, so that counts, right?

I might have posted three of the best performances on Facebook… ya’ll are lucky I didn’t spam my feed more.

 

- - - - - - - - -

A while back, I had a Ukrainian lesson that went off the rails. I don’t know if I mentioned it here, and I’m too lazy to look at the archives…

Anyhoo.

The tutor asked me what the weather was like and I blanked on the word for sunny.

Which led to a dive into a very deep Ukrainian music video rabbit hole, starting with this one.

Behold: “Sunny” by Kalush

 

I looked at the lyrics, and well…

Заправ мені борщ, як вмієш ти, приправами

Which translates to: Season my borscht with seasonings as you know how.

Ukrainian song lyrics are weird.

Happy 40th, Epcot!


October 01, 2022 :: 11:56 AM

I really need to rethink my priorities.

I got tired of answering message after message during Irma (which was our first hurricane as Florida residents), so I started posting #bluedotupdates on my Facebook page. Normally with a screenshot of the current conditions. Of course, hurricanes are hard to predict. They can change course in the blink of an eye. Like, for Irma, it was headed straight for Sunrise, so we decided maybe it would be smart to go north west. Well, Irma decided to go there before we could totally make our minds up. Probably a good thing that we were frozen by fear…

We’re located between Miami and West Palm. Closer to Boca than Fort Lauderdale. We are often in the Cone of Uncertainty. We are often nervous. We are often scared. The #bluedotupdates are often soothing. People know where we are and how we’re fairing. While I can get exhausted thinking about what could happen, and answering the same “Are you guys OK” day after day, I appreciate that people care.

I mean, it’s not like I have many friends… mostly acquaintances. People I want to meet up with when they’re near… then blow me off after making tentative plans. And I get it - I absolutely suck donkey balls at staying in touch with people. I hate the phone, but I would rather talk than text. Texting takes too long and I’m never sure where the conversation actually ends. Quick likes on Facebook are more my speed, but they don’t breed intimate friendships.

I’m a fucking walking disaster.

But anyhoo… that’s not the point.

The point is that I’m Facebook friends with three members of my blood family. Two that I was really close to growing up and one that I became close with recently. M & C are my aunt’s daughters and L is my godfather’s oldest.

I’ll give you one guess as to who reached out to see if I was OK.

I’m tired of being angry. I’m tired of being hurt. I’m tired of letting that branch of the family tree live rent free in my head. (...And if you read the archives, I tend to say the same things about my mother.)

The sad thing is that I know therapy would probably help with bits and pieces of that, but every therapist I’ve ever seen wants to dive into the minutiae of my parents’ alcoholism, the physical and mental abuse my mother put me through… and I know that that’s probably the root of all my problems that are outside the scope of the bipolar.

But.

It’s easier to work through that shit here than it is to talk to a complete stranger. I don’t know. Despite everything, I’m still a little protective of my family. Not that they deserve it. (Well maybe my father does. He tried the hardest to do right by me… but the rest of them can go fuck themselves.) Here I can edit my word vomit. Dial back the emotions. Engage in unhealthy behaviours. *shrug*

Maybe I like constantly feeling like shit.

Who knows.

 

- - - - - - - - - -

In other news, and not really in order of importance:

  • We went to Universal last weekend for Halloween Horror Nights. The only house worth the price of admission was the Halloween (1978) house. We had express passes - which is the only way to do the event, tbh - they’re great if we want to do certain houses more than once. (We can justify the cost of those since the HHN ticket is included in our annual pass.) Since we had early access, we were able to get into Halloween before the doors opened to the crowd. And it freaked me the fuck out. (That movie is the only one to consistently scare the shit out of me no matter how many times I’ve seen it. I hear the music and my blood runs cold.) We also got lost in the house. There was one room that was a hall of mirrors and… GAH! That, of course, was the one room we couldn’t find our way out of.  We used the express pass to go through it a second time (when the wait was two-ish hours) and it scared me even more the second time, despite knowing where the jump scares were.

  • I’m running a ridiculous amount of races between now and Wine & Dine: 5K tomorrow, two 5Ks next weekend, a 5K the weekend after that, and a half marathon the weekend after that. Then, I take the weekend off for my first trip back to UConn in years. (And I almost got a room in Storrs before remembering that the football stadium is in East Hartford… I’m close enough to the stadium to walk to the game.) Have I mentioned that I HATE running?

  • My Stetopher fic is a struggle. I haven’t figured out the actual plot yet, so it’s eleven chapters of backstory / exposition. I’m oddly OK with the struggle; it means the characters are more in character than most of my fan fic. I’m also loving bouncing in between the three characters thoughts. It’s a fun project, even if it makes me want to tear my hair out.

  • I’ve taken a break from using italki for Ukrainian lessons. I’m not feeling it right now. I just haven’t found the right teacher and it’s frustrating. I found a (online, yet a true classroom setting) class based in NYC, affiliated with a Ukrainian group that I am familiar with and trust. When I was going through everything with the class organiser, I mentioned my struggles with italki. It boiled down to: there’s a huge difference between a native speaker trying to teach a language and someone who has been trained to teach that as a second language. I looked into teaching English as a Second Language a few years ago, and opted not to because I would essentially have to relearn English. Yeah. No. It tracks. Except now, I’m in the ridiculously odd position of using the Яблуко text for a third class. And, that book has been written in to the point where I have to retype the assignments because I can’t just take a photo of the page. Plus, the paper is C2S so I can’t write in pencil. It has to be pen, and it can only be one type of pen. (Staedtler triplus fineliner, if you must know. It’s the only one that doesn’t smudge… but who the fuck prints a textbook on coated paper?!?!)

    At any rate, we have that basic chapter one conversation: How are you? Fine. (Як справи? (Добре!)) What’s your name? Wendell (Як вас звати? (Вендел)) Where do you live? America (Звідки ви? (З Америки)) What’s your profession? Accountant (Яка ваша професія? (Бугалтер)) How old are you? 47 (Скільки вам років? (Сорок сім)) —and next thing I know, I’m in Beginner Two. ACK!!!! Also, it is an absolute bitch to switch between languages on the keyboard. First world problems?

Мамо, це не сон!


September 25, 2022 :: 9:57 PM

as seen at St. Mike’s

A photo of Lviv popped up in my Facebook memories today and I abruptly started to cry.

Fuck me. This war needs to end.

 

- - - - - - - - - -

Since someone asked, and it wasn’t really a Facebook post, here is - in a nutshell - my journey. (aka: WHY THE FUCK DO YOU POST THIS UKRAINIAN SHIT ALL THE TIME? Also: fuck you, former friend.)

My grandparents were from a village in Poland, which would become a part of Ternopil Oblast, Ukraine.

They were captured by the Germans and were forced labor in northern Germany, which is where my mother was born.

When she was 3, they came to the US.

She rebelled hardcore against the old school Ukrainians.

There’s a story that I’ve heard a dozen times, that when my mother first brought my father home to meet the family, it didn’t go particularly well. For him.

Supposedly, my grandmother chased him down Pine Lane, waving a broom, and shouting ‘я тебе дам!’ (which translates to “I’m going to give it to you.”)

I think we all understand what exactly it was that my grandmother was going to give him and it certainly wasn’t going to be a bowl of her borscht.

Oh God, to hear about the reactions… you would have thought the world was going to end because my mother married AN AMERICAN.

Anyhoo… they got married in ‘69 and I came along in ‘75.

She tried to get me to go to Ukie School, but I was painfully shy back then and remember being miserable. I can’t remember why I stopped going, but I stopped. With that, my formal Ukrainian language studies ended, and I was left to pick up as much as I could by osmosis.

(It wasn’t very much, as Future Wendell would come to learn.)

So.

1992. Mom died. I became isolated from the Ukrainian community in Hartford, for a bunch of reasons, but that was pretty much the last straw. Then, I got cut off from the woman who practically raised me.

2014? I can’t remember for sure if I decided before or after Russia invaded Crimea, but I was done feeling like something was missing.

I started Ukrainian lessons. I was terrible at sticking to it - and now, *cough* years later, I still struggle with it.

But.

I went to the Ukrainian Festival at Suzy-Q.

I went to the Ukrainian Festival in Toronto.

I hired a company to do my genealogical research and had them arrange a trip to Ukraine.

Then, we went to Lviv and Medvedivtsi.

It was all over for me after that.

Something clicked. It literally felt like a switch flipped. Something in my DNA woke up and it felt like coming home.

Seriously.

I’m in this village where I barely speak the language, standing on a dirt road, and feeling like twelve different types of asshole tourist, but damn, it felt good to be there.

It felt right.

And then I came home, stopped studying Ukrainian, moved to Florida, got fired for being bipolar, and had to deal with all that bullshit.

A few months ago, I decided to pick the language back up. I’m spending more time trying to read Ukrainian and watching Ukrainian videos… and I have been finding all kinds of new music, too.

So. There you go.

Я - українська.

Not at all what I wanted to write, but it’s what you’re getting.

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