DragonCon 2017

So this year, we went to DragonCon as volunteers for MechCorps.

Firstly, this is apparently the 'hardest' convention I've been to.  As we were loading in the Battletech pods on Thursday, the day before the pop culture convention even opened, people were walking in the streets in cosplay.  This is cool and all, but within the first three hours of just unloading, someone was already carted off in an ambulance.  I recall hearing no less that four throughout the convention.  Whether or not it was from the convention, I don't know.

For MechCorps, this is a hard enough convention.  The fact they were located in Houston during Hurricane Harvey made it no easier on them.  Staffing that convention, it is optimal to have at least six people on staff for a shift.  There are three shifts which rotate at 6 hour intervals.

We drove from Louisville, Kentucky because two of the staffers were family.  My daughter and father-in-law.  The rest were friends.  Two locals volunteered to help.  One couple, who go damn near every year, their house as flooded badly.  Four people were taking flights, which were delayed or cancelled completely (and let's be honest, if your flight is delayed, you miss a lot of the convention...all because the runways were literally flooded out).  One guy and his two cats had to be rescued, and although they were taken to safety, his house stood in six inches of water.

But....at MechCorps in DragonCon 2017, all tips, cash and digital, were collected to help out our MechCorps volunteers that didn't make it with us.  We flew the Texas flag proudly. Although my family lives in Louisville, Kentucky, I don't think you'll ever get the Texas out of us.

I wasn't on shift when two women got hit by chairs while walking on the street, but one of the regulars was there (at DragonCon, there are some people which come to the convention solely to play Battletech on the VR simulators, the rest is kind of good background).  I did, however, go to the costume parade, which was insanely crowded.  We were right by the door to go upstairs and see the parade from where the pods were, but we went downstairs instead, my husband putting his niece on his shoulders (because his sister lives near Atlanta, Georgia and wanted to come out and see the family).  But as soon as I went to fetch something from the pod bay, I came downstairs and there was a guy on his side, throwing up.  From alcohol poisoning or having an epileptic seizure, I couldn't tell you.

The intensity didn't come from beating the concrete floor for six hours mostly on my feet, nor the hawking in calling out pilot names, but really from the lack of sleep.  Hiking three city blocks isn't bad, even though it's hilly in Atlanta.  It's the limited allotment of sleep (yeah, you get 12 hours, but in that 12 hours off, for people who need 9 hours of sleep, how much time does that give you to seek out things in the convention, or even find a place to eat on foot?).  It's rather grueling.  But it's a labor of love.

What most people do not understand is that when they call us Vols, we are volunteers.  We do it because we love the game and we love the people.  Hell, some of us don't play the game for the most part, and Vol just because we love the people.  The owners do not run it to turn a huge profit.  They run it for the love of it, because they want to share the game with players, young and old.  The pods are old enough to drink, and they require a lot of maintenance.  Frames brake.  Chassis break. Rio boards give out.  Joysticks come loose.  The pods take damage being moved to and fro.  This is a lot of work, but it's a labor of love for most of us.

I am blessed we got to go, double-blessed that we got to see family, and triple blessed that the people we work with are amazing.

Will I do it again?  If I have the opportunity.  Hopefully.  Don't know how much longer we can take the physical abuse it takes to do it, but ...again...a labor of love.  Hopefully, everyone will make it next year

I didn't get to take many pictures because my younger daughter absconded with my phone, but hopefully those that went with me will contribute photos to the public facebook album that I made.

So....just remember...if you loved MechWarrior, you'll probably love Battletech.  And that these guys aren't in it for the money, they do it because they want to share the game.  Charging for the game helps maintenance and repairs, pays for HQ in Houston, and gives a little bit of capitol to make some cool nose art and buy pins and patches to make them available to everyone.


a twenty dollar burger

I've been sick as a dog today.  Probably coming down with a cold or flu or something.  I haven't eat much and I had to go into work.

After about six hours on my feet dipping and coating caramel and candy apples, I took a break and went down to a prolific, world-wide chain for a burger.  I ate sparingly, as I have to do with the surgery, and boxed the rest of it up to go.  

Walking back to work a couple of doors down, an old black man with a walking cane stopped me.  "Hey miss, I'm homeless," he said softly, "you mind sharing some of that burger with me?"

"Dude, do you want it?  You can have the whole thing.  I only cut off part of it."

He was surprised.  "Uh, you don't want it?  Sure!"  He happily took the Guinness Bacon Burger (with most of the fries) off my hands.

So....uh, with the tip I left, a burger and sweet tea there was $26.00 (ouch).   I ate 1/4 of the burger, which I cut up and ate with a fork and knife.  I still had my tea.

Maybe I didn't get to eat all of the expensive meal, from being sick and from the surgery.  I didn't need to.  But I feel okay knowing that someone who might not have eaten that day had a meal.



There are two worlds which overlap that our minds perceive.

The first is the one that everybody wants to see.  The rainbows, the unicorns, the magical land of fae.  Where dreams come true, where there is light and joy and happiness.  It's filled with color, brightness, warmth and hope.

Then there's that Other Place.  The place of darkness, of sorrow, of pain, despair and hopelessness.  The place where demons and dragons are real, ready to eat you at a moment's notice.  Where if you try to hide in the dark, something is going to get you.

And sometimes, it does.

I learned yesterday that the child of a friend of mine I've known since high school committed suicide.  Honestly, I can't remember her age, save for the fact she's younger than my youngest daughter, which puts her at 13-14 years old. 

It's tragic.  Some kids mature faster than others, true, but at 14.....you don't know what potential life has yet.  You're trapped in a situation you have no ability to change, you can only ride through it.

But once you turn 18, your whole life unfolds before you.  You can make it go any direction you wish.  And it's such a short, short time.

At the age of 18(ish), there's discovery.  You're able to break free and go exploring.  Wherever, whatever you want, if you have enough desire and determination.

It hurts my heart so bad.....at 14....that this young girl felt like she was in so much pain, she just wanted it to stop and she felt like she had no one to turn to, no one to talk to.  I get that.  

But....killing yourself?  It is a permanent solution to a temporary problem.  "This too shall pass."  "Enjoy the good times, because they are fleeting.  And when you are in the bad times, remember, they can't last forever."

But she'll never have any chance to see past the 'bad times' in her life.  Because she's gone.

And there were a lot of people she could have talked to.  They put her in therapy.  I don't know if she was on meds, if meds perhaps made her do it.  but depression is a fucking liar - you can't listen.  You can't let those things in the shadows gobble you up.

If you really feel you don't have anyone you can talk to, really, think about calling or texting someone who is removed from the situation - someone objective to really listen.  Click here for more information.

I know it's about you, but if you're to the point you don't give a damn about yourself, you need to remember that there are people who love you and care about you, whether you know it or not.  Even people who really don't know you because nobody should ever be to the point where they are in that kind of pain that they want to take their own life.  Life is so precious.  Please...please talk to someone.  Anyone.


Who died and make you king of anything?

So I've been on my job less than two weeks, but the boss is leaving for a business trip.

The timing is probably the worst.

I moved a few months ago to Louisville, Kentucky, and it's cranking up for 'Derby Season'.

I'm not familiar with this event, but it's apparently when the entire city loses it's collective mind.  At least for a month,  They kicked off last weekend with pre-Derby partying.  I work in a high-traffic tourist area, so it's been crazy-busy.  To give you an example, the parking garage I usually park in is $15 dollars a day and was 'open' all weekend (for free, goddamnit - supposedly they're going to get me a badge to get in and out and the company is supposed to pay for it), and going into work yesterday morning, someone must have been so drunk they pissed in the garage elevator, because it reeked of urine and disinfectant...

(Let me reiterate....the boss, knowing this, did not seem to want to do anything to weasel out of this trip,,,,I would have, knowing my store was going to be rockin'....)

Anyway, although the boss's woman works there (they're not married, but they just recently had a kid together) and knows more than the collective brain cells (besides the boss) in that entire place, they flew a manager in to babysit me while this was going on.

Mind you.....I do have a lot of retail experience,  I've been very slow trying to talk with the boss in the past week and a half, working on little things that probably need to change in the back end for accountability and minimizing loss of product, so I get introduced to this guy yesterday.

Automatically, he starts going over 'what's wrong' in the store. Dude, I know 'what's wrong' with what I'm looking at, I haven't really had any time to start working towards fixing that, for fuck's sake.  Telling me that basically the next two weeks, I'm his and it's now 'insert-company-name' bootcamp and he's going to 'teach me the right way to do things'.

I get it,  You're enthusiastic.  You come from further up north, so your temperatures on your cooking aren't going to be applicable here as easily.  But by all means, try it,  If you can handle the crew in such a way you get them snapping in tune, fan-fucking-tastic,

But please....don't get pissed that I call your 'sir' when you're supposed to be the boss of me.  Don't talk down to me as if I have never had a retail experience in my entire life,  Don't treat me like you're some kind of golden child miracle worker and I am a grovelling, snivelling infantile idiot that has to be spoon fed information.  

That being said, lead the fuckin' way.  There's the podium and sceptre.

Besides that....I'm not going to bitch about my hours, because I'm enjoying my job thus far.

But he makes me want to pull his dreads out one by one, I assure you,



Some days are good, some days are bad.  

What happens when there get to be more bad days than good?  Why, they put you on meds.  And it doesn't really solve anything, it just makes it bearable, and you're addicted and have another added expense to your cost of living.

It's okay.  Nobody generally gets to see the mess.  In fact, most people don't realize it exists.  Which is good, I guess?  That makes a person 'high-functioning' with whatever they're diagnosed with.

But I don't think I was ever diagnosed with anything.  Just given a handful of pills to go along with what ails me.

So, nobody really knows.  Nobody saw me burst into anxiety and tears when I realized as my husband was leaving for work, that I didn't make his lunch and he didn't have time to.  Generally, women do that when they're scared about the repercussions of that lack of action. Not me - I was just truly distressed that he was going to have to find something else and that it wasn't set in stone he was going to eat during his lunch break this evening.  Literally burst into tears.  Which is juvenile at best, but probably a good indicator as to how unstable I feel.

And somehow he feels that repeating, "It's okay.  It's fine.  It's going to be all right," is somehow a soothing Mantra.  Sometimes I feel like he is really trying to convince me, other times I feel like it is something he is asserting because he thinks I'm feeling like the world will fall to pieces if he doesn't say it and it's a chore for him to do so.  Oddly, it's all of those things.  And it drives me crazy (or, maybe crazier than I already am?).

But it's time to 'go make the doughnuts'.  Or in my case, sweets.  It's odd......cooking and serving candy to pay my bills.  I just find it amusing.

The pods

One of the hobbies I've picked up along the way was Battletech.

I don't play the tabletop.  Hell, I don't even play the PC game.  None of those stupid copy cats like Mech Assault and stuff.  Grand Ole Battletech in Pods.

When my husband and I were first together, living on our own, we both worked in the mall, Memorial City Mall to be specific.  I worked at a place that's still around called Spencer's Gifts and my husband worked at Exhilarama, which was the old arcade place.  You can totally laugh about that.  We were married teenagers, working in the mall.  He was part of the distinctive team that worked in what looked like a small military-styled bunker, covered in camo.  He wore a (sexy) black jumpsuit, combat boots, and played on a computer all day - pushing both geeky kids and adults alike into giant black boxes, shutting a door, and immersing them in a VR setting of a pilot console controlling giant robots to blow each other (and sometimes themselves) up in pretty spectacular ways.  At this time, this was the cutting edge of VR gaming, with a whole slew of stars casting in the 'training videos', from Cheech Marin to Judge Rhinehold, and several other stars that were popular at the time.  

Fast-forward somewhere like 25 years later.

My husband finds this group in Houston called MechCorps.  I don't really pay much attention at first, but then I get to the point where, well, our kids are growing up fast, and I want to have other commonalities with my husband - things we can do together.  We've spend most of our lives together raising kids, so focused on it, that we have rarely had time to ourselves.  Before we know it, we'll only have one another, so ....kind of only good to have common interests, right?  

Firstly, I'm not a sci-fi person at all.  Really. I think that might have to to with the technobabble which comes along with it.  Some people really dig that kind of thing, and speculate on how to create it for reals (think about this...remember when Star Trek the next generation debuted?  They walked around...doing their work on hand-held tablets....now we have a whole generation of zombies...doing work and games...on handheld tablets...).  I was more engrossed by stories than anything else.  So beating around that bush, the idea was that I went because I wanted to spend time with my husband, I really didn't give too much of a shit about the game itself.

Um, truth be told, really....I still don't.  I can't tell you the difference between the Madcat and Timberwolf (aren't they the same mech?  Depending on what side of the alliance you're on, right?  Freeborn or canned, I can't remember which).  Or how many chassis the game offers (but I think there's 172 variants?).  Hell, I can't even remember how to unjam the guns and missiles when you're sitting in the cockpit.

But I still went with him, and I found something even more cool than the game itself.

I found the people that run it.

This game runs about every Saturday night from 6 pm to midnight.  They generally announce when they're open and when they're not in town, but that's part of the fun of being in the MechCorps crew.  We were there a lot.  We learned about the way the system was set up (probably more the husband than me, I learned more of the gruntwork of moving and setting up), and the nights that MechCorps was closed, generally, it was because either they couldn't find someone to run the game or they were out of town for the conventions they go to.

Yeah.....these guys tour.  Like damn rockstars.....

So in hanging out with these people, learning about them, getting to know them and how awesome they are, we volunteered to help out with conventions.  They gave us 'easy ones' first, and then we started hitting the road locally with them.  It's kind of cool, because really, they need the help.  You volunteer.  Which means you help pack everything up, you catch a ride, you set everything up.  You work a 'shift' daily during convention and then you get the rest of the time to yourself.  They even put you up in a hotel (but be forewarned, they cram 6 people to a hotel room sometimes - you're there to work so it's barracks style sleep.  You share a bed or you bring an air mattress).  So...it's like getting to go to a convention free.

But the kicker is this: you gotta be a cool person.  You gotta be dependable.  And they gotta like you.

I think we were fortunate enough that even though my husband and I have personalities that are almost like night and day, they kind of found us interesting and dependable.

I know this sounds like a shameless plug for MechCorps.  It kinda is.  They're kinda wonderful people.

the blahs

So my first day was Last Friday and my first day off was today.

"I did absolutely nothing and it was everything I thought it could be."

I spent 3/4ths of the day in my PJs, playing Neverwinter on my brand new Xbox One that my amazing husband decided it was okay to buy after the PS3 finally gave up the ghost.  It made me sad, but so far, the trade-out is okay.

I don't have all the accessories and I don't know too much about the platform.  It's the fist time I've ever had anything of the Xbox franchise.  Not too bad....just wanting to learn more about it.  I'm still sore from work on and off, but today I definitely had Nintendo Neck and case of Hard Ass from sitting in one spot for too long, playing the damn game.  But It was nice to be just a vegetable.  My friends are limited and I don't want to pester the three that I feel the closest too - and I'm sure that the husband and kid are really getting tired of looking after me.

Yesterday I had a very heart-wrenching moment at work.  Humming along, selling fudge, joking around with the kids as I learned new stuff, and a small group of Latino-descent individuals came in.  In that group was a guy carrying a long rectangular box.  The sight of that box made my heart sink to my toes.

It was an innocent moment.  This family came in to get some fudge on what amounts to Sixth Street in Austin or maybe the Kemah boardwalk.  It's a tourist trap with fun places to eat and things to buy.  And amidst it all, I wanted to cry some.  I didn't....but I wanted to.

Anyway, the box was imprinted with Louisville Slugger - a personalized wooden bat.  When I saw it, I instantly thought of my Dad.  That's what made me sad.  That's what gave me a fleeting moment of utter heartbreak.  Because it's something that I Would have gotten him or Christmas, and It's something he would have really loved.


All that was from Yesterday, actually...the 25th.

I don't think I feel much different today.

I got to work today, so eager to get there and start into it that I forgot my badge to clock in.  I called my husband, who didn't have to go in until 2, and he brought me my badge at 10:30a.  I felt really bad, because I know that even though I told him to go back to bed, just like he replied, he wouldn't be able to sleep anyway.

So I brought him home a caramel apple.

Sometimes I don't know if the meds that I take are working any.  Today, I feel that the extent of my life goals will be something close to making sure that I can get cremated after death without burdening anyone financially and being able to survive if my husband dies before I do.  I'm stupid at math, so going back to school is probably something that I'm never going to do, which means that the 'most successful' in life I will be will always be middle management in retail sales.  I'm not all that bright, I'm not ambitious, and I'm not a 'gold-digger' type.  I'm not one of those women who view all other women as competition (there are a lot more of those than most people realize....).

I think I can live with that.

The trade off is adventure, I think.  I've done more, been more, and seen more than a lot of people in their entire lifetime, so for that, I'm thankful.  

Mainly, I think about how much of a bother I am to everyone, or could be.  It costs to live.  It certainly costs to hang out with friends outside of the home and then, you know, people wrestling with tabs.  That sort of thing.

I need to start paying into a cremation service, like my sister did.  Like my mother has done. That way they can take care of everything but where to put my ashes.  Minimal inconveniences.  


caramel covered gainful employment

So today I started a new job.

I work at a place that's a tourist trap in Louisville, nestled next to the Jim Beam experience and the Hard Rock Cafe.

I get to sing and make fudge.

As cheesy as a job as this sounds like, right now, I have no complaints, really.  If you're going to pay for higher education and work your ass off to pay off a bunch of bullshit you don't absolutely need,  you go into the service industry.

Service industry can go two ways. You can find a mindless job that sucks that wants you to make you burn you eyes out so you never have to see it again on a regular basis, or you can find one that is mindless, but has a good crew which makes it tolerable while your making a paycheck to do what you really want to do.  Or you can go for the third option and do something you feel like is fun, surrounded by good people and you don't ever have to feel like you're working hard because you actually enjoy your work. What is the saying? Do what you love and you'll never have to work a day in your life?

Hell, I get to make desserts.  I get to make happy.  Who doesn't want something chocolatey?  Or nutty? Or candied apples?  Or ice cream? (Other than you know, those poor people with allergies.)

I have been lucky enough to have an adventurous life.  I do owe a lot of that to my husband, who let me try to pursue the things that I wanted to try.  

So far, it looks like this guy has looked over my resume and decided he wants me to be the store manager, that he's going to 'learn me up' and pass off the keys to this place so he can go to the next level.  Which is good thinking for anyone that wants to succeed in life and move up in the company they work for.  And....I don't think I would mind being responsible for a store that makes fudge.  I mean...I know there are always customers that complain, but come on....it's fudge.

I observed a lot.  The guys sing beautifully.  I also realized 230 degrees is a magical number for cooking fudge.  It is also a magical number for cooking caramel, but caramel bubbles in such a way it spews and it causes tiny 2nd degree burns, no matter how careful you are.

But that's okay.  Thunder over Louisville is tomorrow, it's got a spotty forecast to rain, and I will be in the middle of it....giving out samples and selling chocolates.

I'm good with that.  I can be a productive member of society and hey, it's dessert...what's not to like?

Kinda nervous.  Texas girl is gonna be working her 2nd day during the Thunder of Louisville.  Wish me luck.

Over 20 years out of practice...

So I get woke up by 2 text messages from my oldest daughter.



Of course, my first response is, "Is he cute?"

Then I think about this through my sleepy haze, being as I didn't actually sleep last night - I remember looking at the clock at 5:30a before I rolled over...then 8:30a....and her text comes at 11:10a....

My oldest daughter just asked me for dating advice.

What the fuck do I know about dating?


Think about this.  I'm turning 40 this year, is a good, happy marriage of over 20 years.  We still make kissy faces at each other, we still are deeply intimate, and we hold hands across the table like newlyweds.  I know nothing about the dating scene and with all due respect, I'm going to do whatever it takes to keep my husband alive for as long as possible, because that's just another reason.

I would have no clue what to do.

She did give him her phone number.  I told her to take the dude out to play Battletech. That way the Vols can give him a shifty and see if he's legit.  I don't want my baby dating some jackass and I'm pretty sure the guys up there are a good judge of character.  Some of my favorite people.

Just so everyone knows...

...that way anyone nearby can give me a full status report.  That is all.  Thank ou.


high functioning anxiety

When we moved from Houston, we left the older one behind (it breaks my heart still...I feel like I abandoned her...) and the younger one came with us.  Now it's like she's an only child and she happily saps whatever I have to spoil her with to her heart's content.  Of the two, she seemed quite a bit more fearless and intrepid, with a penchant for all things Gothly and horror movies.

Recently, my PS3 bit the dust.  This actually created a lot of internal turmoil - that thing was with me right after my sister passed away.  My husband gifted it to me, giving me something else to do other than work and sleep (and see my way through a handle of rum or vodka every other day or so).  It let me immerse myself in a game rather than dwell on the fact that I was now having to take time to go through my sister's things and get rid of much that was of no use to anyone anymore.

My sister and I gamed a lot.  Not....gamer girls, you know, the pretty ones that pose licking controllers or whatever, but actual female gamers.  I loved RPGs and puzzle games, while my sister loved platformers and action-packed games.  And we worked oddly well as a team that way.  When I played, she'd listen to me logic out stuff and make suggestions and vice versa.  When she was sick and living with my mother, I came to visit while I was training for Walmart in Dallas.  She was playing Prince of Persia, sands of time.  We had dinner and visited and she was suddenly hit by the notion of showing me the game, where she was stuck.  She showed me his cool abilities and how he moved and the area where she was stuck.  I was immediately focused.  After a few moments, I asked, "Did you run across the wall to that platform and try to run up that ledge and jump over?"  She blinked at me once or twice, then did it.  She shook her head.  "I've been stuck there for a week," she said in disgust.  And...that's kind of how we gamed.

My girls have grown up gaming.  One is very into Pokemon.  The other....into the same types of games my sister played - anything and everything.  Except she will play horror games.

Now, for those of you who don't game, there really is an entire genre of video games out there filled with blood, guts, gore, jump-scares and all sort of sick and twisted shit.  Really.  Stuff that makes most people's hair crawl.

At one point, I observed my youngest playing one of these games, so somewhere down the road, I got it in my head that she really likes them.  I can't even watch horror movies, much less play video games like that.  So living vicariously, I buy them for her.  When she sits to play them, she just makes commentary like, "Ohhhh......oh, that's not good...."  Or snarky stuff. "Yeah....so you took my hand.  I still have a gun."  I took this as fearless and really into it, so...I continued to buy those kinds of games when the PS3 died.

So after a few days, she's playing something called Ori the Blind Forest or something like that.  It's a beautiful game.  But the other night, I was like, "Honey, uh, why aren't you playing Resident Evil or Silent Hill or something?"

She looks at me like I've lost my shit.

"Mom, it's late at night.  Are you crazy?" she asks.

"I thought you liked those kinds of games," I replied, uncertainly.

"Mom..." she says, teen-splaining it to me, "yeah, but c'mon.  It's a horror game.  I won't be able to sleep tonight."

Then I realize she is actually gets scared with those games. And state as much.

"Of course I get scared. They're damn scary!"

I shoot her a sideways look.  For some reason, she's getting into the habit of using those words around me a little too fluently.  "Taindee....you mean to tell me that those games where something is trying to eat your ass or kill you actually scares you?"

"Of course, ma! Geez!"

So all that snark, all that very controlled conversation with the TV that sounds casual, is actually my child chattering out her fear and playing the game anyway.

Damn...I wish I could do that.   Even taking an anti-anxiety med, the idea of it sends my mind crawling up walls.

So every now and then, like I said, vicarious living - I hear her say something snarky and I have to walk through the room with my hands over my eyes, peeking a bit, as she fights the shit that was born of someone else's nightmares.

I do gotta say, I think we both kinda freaked out when the dude was running after her character with the chainsaw.  That was a bit much for us both, regardless of my meds.

So she doesn't play those games after dark and that's fine by me.

Trying to get back in the saddle....

The last post to this blog was in 2013.


After friends poking and poking me, I think I'll try to take it up again.  The whole blogging thing.  At least then someone will get the happy thought they can go somewhere and read the bullshit I have to say and be done with it.

Maybe that's why I can't read anymore.  Because I need to write.

In fact, I'm not even going to go back and try to see where I left off, other than that month and that year.  Um, so around 2013 to about now in a few lines....or...you know, as the first blog entry, I guess.

I went to trucking school because my husband said I couldn't do it.  Did it for three months, rolled a rig on it's side 180* and laid it gently on the side of the road (unbelievably glad that it didn't rip the arm off my co-driver, who I adore, but her cat totally shot out the broken window when the truck came to a halt and we never found it, which broke my heart.  He was a beautiful tuxedo cat and was sweet - lost somewhere on I-10 right shy 3 miles of the Florida boarder - named Rio).  Did some recovery and dropped LSD (an analogue, don't judge) about every weekend for a solid four months (which is probably why I didn't wind up with PTSD in regards to getting in a big rig again....I think I could still drive...they never called me back....the official reports said that it was mechanical failure...I waited and basically my CDL expired....whatever).  Walked into a head shop looking for a pipe for my friend's birthday and wound up with a job behind the counter.  Worked for a month there as a clerk, became a store manager.  Worked solidly for four months straight without a day off and became the purchasing agent/warehouse manager for the chain (5 stores), helping out the general manager because she had her IUD ripped out of her body, got pregnant with twins, and was all-round miserable the entire time (which, that was a funny story too, the 'Hey, I'm pregnant' thing, but that's for another blog) and at some point in that first few months, had to take a week off because I had fibrous growths on my uterus and a cyst on an ovary so bad it was encapsulated (I think everything was taken.  She did leave me an ovary, which, the first 'period' I had after....holy shit, was it pissed off that it was doing the job all by itself...it HURT....).   Learned more about weed and drugs than I ever did in high school in the duration of 1 year.  Got 'laid off' because I took the time off to get gastric bypass surgery.  Got a job as a dispatcher at an AC company.  Office was quiet, folks were nice and down-to-earth country livin' types.  

A year into that, life went to hell in a handbasket.

In October of last year, my dad died.  It was a paradox of thought - I cannot say it was unexpected, but it wasn't expected.  I knew he had a bad heart and I imagined a heart attack would eventually take him out.  I had just hoped that he would live long enough to see both his granddaughters graduate high school. I loved my father so much and I even though we did not see eye to eye on religion, we had a good relationship.  I just didn't get to see him enough.  So now it just leaves me, my mom (three half-siblings which live literally on the other side of the world), and my stepmother.

A couple of weeks before my dad died, my husband and I had been talking a lot about my need to sleep more.  It's gotten to the point where he wanted me to seek medical attention, so I went to see a shrink.  Who wound up giving me an anti-depressant, an anti-anxiety med, and a sleep pill.  Two weeks later, my dad drops dead of a heart attack.

That was perhaps the only reason why I could stay and still stay relatively calm about the whole affair.  My emotions are chemically castrated.  Sometimes it's good, sometimes it's bad.  In this case, I don't know how I would have made it through the past few months without it.  

A week after my dad died,, my husband got laid off.  Breadwiener of the family at the moment (Bread Winner - title given to the majority payer of the bills.... Breadwiener - same diff, save for the fact that we can tease each other about it from time to time), this was Really Bad.  At least in my mind, adjusting to meds.  Within the week after, he gets it into his head we need to do what we talked about years ago, right before my sister died.  We needed to move to pursue our spiritual side.

Um, okay.  I had thought earlier that we'd hacked out a sort of four year plan to get our youngest daughter out of school and then us move out there, but sure.  If that's what he wants.  I am really in no condition to be making life decisions two weeks after my dad died, but hey, we're a partnership, and at the moment, he's more than welcome to take the captain's wheel while I go starboard and hurk my emotional guts out.

So, the kicker was that we moved to Kentucky to learn witchcraft.  No shit.  Specifically, British Traditional Witchcraft.

Who had any idea that Louisville, KY, home of the Derby, housed so many traditional witches in the US?

But during all of this whirlwind of insanity, there had been a plan.  There was a plan kicking around before I got laid off from the head shop gig about going to Thailand for at least a month.  That plan had not changed and it was for January of this year.  That actually was several blog posts worth of shit, but if you're not on my facebook then you missed it.  I will, however, give you one picture (because, you know, thousand words):

 (If you want to know more about this place, look up Wat Rong Khun (see?  Isn't it spiffy of me to provide you a link to the wiki for easier access?).)

Anyway, amazing lifetime adventure, get home, flight of the bumblebee packing, head towards 'home'.  When I get back into town, I get generics for my meds.  This....was okay from the one I was taking, the mail order that does three months at a time?  I don't think it works the same.

Husband's insurance hasn't kicked in yet, so I'm into the last month of what I've been prescribed and I gotta find a shrink.  All the while, I've been looking for a job since the beginning of February.  I think I found one.

Having been an assistant manager with Walmart kind of gives me a little street cred in the retail arena - it's not an easy job, you really kind of get paid dick for the amount of stress involved, but because you can handle that, you can handle just about any kind of middle management hell they want to stick you in.

So...uh, the first gig I've gotten a good response from is a singing fudge factory.  And that's not some sort of euphemism for anything else.  Literally, your job is to sing and make fudge.  As an assistant, it just includes key turn, deposits, cash flow, and supply chains.  'Supervising'.

I keep telling people....I really just can't make this shit up.

So right now, my life is compromised of domestic tranquility of sorts (I try to keep shit clean, my cooking hasn't poisoned anyone yet, and maybe the laundry isn't folded, but it's been washed and put in the general vicinity of where it's supposed to go).  I'm fucking around on the computer, waiting for all the paperwork and red tape to put me into the candy-making store in a highly 'entertaining' part of town, trying to keep the cat from tossing it's cookies everywhere and diligently taking meds, trying not to worry about when they're gonna run out if the insurance has kicked in or not.  Occasionally, practicing some spiritual stuffs.  I watch my 14 year old kid (almost 15, she keeps reminding me) walk through the house painted in grey body-paint with white out contacts (Not as Goth as you think - she's a coplayer who refers to herself as Homestuck Trash....some sort of web comic where there are quads of feelers.....you'd have to read it.  But everyone that IS Homestuck Trash advises against it.  My husband works second shift, so things are just a bit weird so far.

Other than the coven we'd joined prior and the politics involved in having so many covens so close, I don't really talk to anyone or haven't made any 'friends', save for this nice burner fellow that likes to breathe fire and kind of fancies himself a circus kid - all good.  Somewhere in the above paragraphs of what I've been doing, during the time I was working at the AC company, my friend introduced me to a local Houston group that fancy themselves by the name of 'Burners', a collective of artsy people who lifelong goal is to party at the feet of the Burning Man effigy at Black Rock City.  Nice people.  Did some arting with them.  So when I came out here, I tried to find a few....Zootch is the only dude I've met so far.

I'm sure it's just going to get weirder.  Or more normal for me, anyway, even though it seems lonely.  I keep telling myself I just need to give it more time.

Anyway, my fingers are out of practice.  I'll just try to write more stuff tomorrow.