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My best friend is a dragon. Does that sound unkind or like an exaggeration? Please let me explain. I don’t mean the fire-breathing kind or even the water-type. She’s no dragon you’ve ever seen before. She is a stone dragon. At first glance, she’s gorgeous, polished and while she will remain in your mind as a unique impression, she is far from tame.

If you throw hell at a firebreather, it will only feel at home. And water doesn’t be into cope. But she is stone. When you throw hell at her, be certain of one thing: she will not budge. She will only emerge refined and strengthened and you will stand down.

I know. We’ve been best friends for 18 years in July. I didn’t know when we met – and neither did she – that I brought hell with me.

For nearly 18 years, despite a lot of drastic events in her own life, she has stood alongside me through many hells. And as we emerge from each, I find her still at my side. Still standing. Often still between me and an oncoming hell.

Today is her anniversary. She married an amazing man and together they are raising a wonderful son. I’m privileged and honored to share in their lives and will always be somehow amazed that, come what may, we are still standing, side by side. – with Hillary

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Not About Sportsball

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This post is a little different.  From time to time, I actually do talk about other things, and some of those are serious. This is one of those.

Instead of posting a doodle and telling you how I think we should re-name “tennis” to “fuzzyball smackracket” because it makes more sense, I want to talk about this. (We may get back to fuzzyball smackracket another time, though. Dunno.)

This is National Suicide Prevention Week. I thought about making a smart-alec post about the 5 most epic ways to snuff it (number 5 was spacewalking without a suit, but Kubrick beat me to it) with the overall point being to give better alternatives, that suicide isn’t the right choice. But some things are just too big to fit into silly pictures and stupid hyperbole. Like this.

I’m going to tell you that if you are depressed and if you are considering suicide, don’t. Suicide is not your best option.  I’m not going to tell you it’s not a logical thought. I’m not even going to promise you tomorrow will be better.  Why? Because I know what it’s like to believe it IS logical and to have faced so many “tomorrows” that I no longer believed it could get better.

It does get better. But it won’t be tomorrow.  There’s no magic way you’re gonna wake up and everything will be perfect in the morning, but you know what you will have? The rest of your life, a life that will get better.

If you are suicidal or dealing with self-harm, go to the ER. If you can’t, call a friend. Call a doctor. If you can’t do those or you don’t think that you can talk to someone you know, there’s still someone to call.  Toll-free, private and 24/7, you can call 1.800.784.2433 or 1.800.273.8255. If you are hearing impaired, you can call 1.800.799.4889.

I have dealt with clinical depression most of my life. I have been suicidal for the majority of it. I’ve been hospitalized more than once. But you know what? I’m still here. And it’s been years since I wanted to kill myself. And no, my life isn’t perfect, but it’s so much better.  And it keeps getting better.

Suicide is a decision you can’t take back. It’s an act you can’t reverse.  Everything else in your life is something you can change or improve – unless you end it. Suicide is stopping your narrative cold. Please, don’t do that.

Every breath you take is another time you told depression to suck a bag of rotten weasel dung. It’s another battle you won. Every day you wake up, you’re a HERO.

Not everybody deals with depression. There are people who feel pretty good most days and live typical lives. They don’t know what it’s like to struggle to find meaning, to find a reason to go on. You know what? That’s great. I’m happy for them. But the resilience I see in those who’ve stared at the darkness of depression and decided to fight is incredible.

You don’t have to do it alone. There are people to talk to and programs available. If you are prescribed medication and can’t afford it, there are programs by manufacturers that can help with that, providing low or no cost meds. Finding the right meds is no fun. But the first time you realize it’s been weeks since you thought life had no point, since the end of everything seemed like the best idea? That’s actually a rush. And it can happen for you, too.

I wish this was something that could be sorted with easy platitudes. I wish there was a button to push to change it all. But it’s hard and it takes work. But more than anything, I want you to hear this: it is worth it.

I’m going to say that again because it’s true:  it is worth it. YOU are worth it.

Don’t take the step you can’t take back. Don’t let the darkness win.

Live.

And tell depression to suck a bag of weasel dung.

 

It’s Sportsball Season Again

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Because it’s always sportsball season because Jesus doesn’t want me to be happy, I guess.

Anyway, I figured this was a perfect excuse opportunity to explain how much I don’t grok about any sportsball. Any. And what’s more, if you tried to explain it to me, honestly, I’m gonna start humming Pachabel’s Canon in D until you stop. If we’re both infinitely lucky, it’ll only be in my head. If you are passionate about sportsball, neither of us will be lucky.

The thing is, everything I know about any kind of sportsball I know because I had friends/family/whoever who was interested in it when I was younger and nearly all of my exposure to sportsball has been without my personal consent.  I had to be in the Pep Band to flute at people. I had to go to games featuring brothers or cousins or whatever because if you love family, you go and do things you hate because family.  I would read or take pictures or do pretty much anything that didn’t involve watching the “game” and it’s really left me with a cyclopedic knowledge of all things sportsball — if we define cyclopedic in this context as “patchy at best.” Mostly I just like the word cyclopedic and it’s my freaking blog.

(Speaking of, I have family humans who have snuck in without my knowledge. Everybody just act normal till they get bored and wander off, okay? NOBODY MENTION THE SQUID PORN.)

Anyway, I figured I’d open sportsball season (because it’s ALWAYS sportsball season) by explaining exactly how much I know about stick-puckey on ice. The NHL prefers we call it “hockey,” but that’s ridiculous. There’s not any kind of hock involved in stick-puckey on ice, while I can demonstrate precisely how much stick, puckey and ice are involved in stick-puckey on ice. My name is better; I win.

Did I mention the razor blades? Oh. Well, also razor blades.

Did I mention the razor blades? Oh. Well, also razor blades.

Stick puckey is what happens when people (in this case, Canada) decides to become a relatively peaceful nation. See, most humans aren’t actually peaceful by nature. They’re terrible. Or, okay, some of them. But instead of traipsing off and colonizing the rest of the world, Canada decided to start Stick Puckey. This is essentially what happens when you don’t do war, but you still want to hurt people. If you’re Canada, you look to your national resources — in this case, ice. What do you do with 78% of your country is made of ice and beavers and the beavers are all rabid? You start smacking people with sticks while dancing on razor blades. On ice.

The puck is there mostly to give some excuse for the violence. Don’t be fooled. It’s incidental. It was actually a pancake that fell onto the ice during the inaugural game and got written into the rules by accident.

I’ve had people try to explain “scoring” and “goals” and “leagues” and that kind of thing to me, to which I … blank out and star at their left ears till they shut up. Partly because I watched The Mighty Ducks and I don’t care what you say: stick puckey is absolutely about smacking people with sticks. I think the points are awarded for not actually killing people.

Join us next time when we’ll discuss another thing I don’t know about!

Happy Anniversary!

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To me. Not you. WordPress helpfully reminded me I’ve had this blog for 2 years. Which helpfully reminded me I haven’t posted in more than 2 weeks. Which then gave me guilt, which is now making me feel sad.

Theoretically, I really am going to post more things. I mean, I’ve been drawing. But I took a few days off for my birthday, but then it turns out that the universe hates it when you act 7 instead of 34 and so it punishes you with Honk Donkey Flumoniantery Ebola Pox. And then, once you’re finally over that, you’ll have a fantastic migraine because screw you for not being an adult for 3 days, apparently.

Then WP will tell you you’ve been blogging here for 2 years and you’ll wind up with the aforementioned guilt and depression and find yourself typing up an entry so that the universe doesn’t decide to dump another plague on your head.

Can I quit now? I wrote, um, several words. That’s totally enough, right? Several?

I have no idea how many I’ve written because while you’re not seeing this till mid-day, I actually wrote it at butt:30 because that’s just how I roll.  Actually, in the interest of full disclosure, it’s butt:35 now and might be a different time by the point I actually click all of the settings. So I’m writing all of this in the far distant past.

Turns out time travel isn’t nearly as cool as we hoped.  :/

P. S. After looking at past tags I’ve used, I now want ice cream. I blame all of you.

So you’re 34, today, huh?

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“So, what are you doing for the big day?”

“Drawing, playing Pottermore and eating cake!”

“…”

Seriously, if you ask me, your birthday should be last in the list of days on which you’re expected to behave like a grownup.

For my birthday, I’m about to go hang out with my brother, SIL and nieces. But when I was 16, I embraced the idea of a birthday month. So on Wednesday, I am going to do stuff with my best friends in the universe. And until sometime in mid-September, I’m going to act exactly as mature as I feel, which is more like the sum of 3 and 4 than the actual age 34.

ETA:  My spate of acting 7 is to blame for blog lag this week.  Sorry.  I’ve been really random.  But I’ll be back, possibly with pictures of cake. Or something.  <3

Yes, But That’s Stupid

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That’s what I WANTED to say on a FB post earlier, one that reminded me why I normally like to pretend that FB doesn’t exist. This one was about something forgettable, but I realized I want to say it a LOT when I’m on Facebook.  Twitter, on the other hand, is full of brilliant and witty people with whom I actually engage in useful discussions.  Social media is awesome, except when it sucks.

Moving on, though, to the real crux of this post.  It’s about Google.

Listen, Google. You do great work. You’re really good at what you’re good at.  Hell, I’m even using Chrome right now on my Mac because you nailed the browser thing. Nailed it. I was a beta tester for gmail. Remember those days?  Back when people had to use hotmail or Yahoo! just to talk to each other? Dark days, my friend. But then there was Gmail. There was light. And 1GB of space. I know that sounds silly now that you’ve given us, what, 15GB? And Google Drive? I even briefly considered acquiring a Chromebook at some point in the future before my iThings ganged up on me and threatened my survival. Anyway, I’m just saying that there are things you are really good at and you should stick to those things.

This is the awkward part, though.

You’re known for creative thinking. Innovation. Doing stuff in a different way.  That’s why I was really sad to see the Google Doodle on Monday.  I mean, I almost didn’t even mention it because, let’s face it, I’m afraid you’ll take away my data or something. You hold the power in this relationship.  But remember last week when I invented the Quantum Reactive Schröedinger’s  Pie cult? Last week. Like, before Monday.

Okay, I know I didn’t invent Schröedinger or the idea of quanta reacting differently on observation, but I did draw pictures about it. Like… three of them. Maybe it was two. I don’t know, Google; I’ve had a couple Klonopin smoothies since then and it’s a bit of a blur.  But the thing is Monday, I saw this:

You and I both know what you did. Is this a cry for help?

You and I both know what you did. Is this a cry for help?

Really, Google, you could at least have been subtle about it.  This is just blatant. I really feel like maybe you need to talk to someone. Have you called your mother? Google, we can get through this, but you have to stop cribbing off my blog. Just admit you have a problem and, I don’t know, Google something. See? That’s another thing you’re good at.  You don’t have to keep following me online.  It’s a little creepy, sometimes, really.  I’m sorry. It just had to be said.  I think we might need some time apart — except for email and searching and browsing and storing things online, I mean. But all that other time?  Yeah.  I need space.

It’ll be okay, Google.  But I’m not letting you borrow my iPad again.

 

I really don’t think that’s a good idea.

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I’m spending some of the time my brain hates me brushing up on languages I used to be really good at. Specifically, I’m working on my Spanish and my German skills. At the same time. Because I’m an idiot. (Also because they are two different families – Romantic & Germanic – and don’t have a lot of overlap in areas that would be confusing, such as if I were doing Spanish and Portugues, French, Italian or any of those other languages with fewer than 9,000 declensions per verb form.)

Originally, it was a little bit depressing because it showed me how much I’ve forgotten. But then I started getting into it and realized I hadn’t forgotten as much as I thought.

Still, I think the people writing the lessons might be on crack. I’m pretty sure that horses aren’t supposed to eat bread and that making a duck drink milk might actually be a felony in some states…. They also reminded me that the soldiers aren’t green, the baker will not dance and that my mother is not a priest. They have some strong opinions.

But who knows? Maybe ducks really LIKE milk and I just never noticed because I’m lactose intolerant. Wow. Way to be self-absorbed AND enzyme deficient, me.

I do know how to tell you a straight up lie in German. It involves children happily eating onions. I also had to declare repeatedly in both languages that I am a man. (I’m not. That I know of, at least. Shit. Maybe this language program knows something I don’t and is just waiting till I’m fluent enough for them to spring it on me that I’m a dude and just never noticed. Way to make me paranoid, LANGUAGE!)

Dammit.

Oh well.  I fully expect to be bilingual by the end of the week. That’s realistic, right?