October 28, 2009

Women Rock!

Oh my!! I feel so...so...babied! Thanks everyone! I do have to wonder though, did anyone catch my attempt at humor? You all sounded so serious in your sympathy. Except Kim, of course.

I'm good, really. I'm not dying, A), and 2) if you haven't noticed by now, I have a bit of a proclivity towards drama. Oh, you did notice?

Feeling a hundred percent better today and wanted to share my afternoon, real quick like, since it's three chocolate martinis past my bedtime. It was my BBF (best boy friend)'s birthday tonight, so there was a little celebratin' going on, amidst the kickASS near-shut-out by the Phillies. But more on that later.

Today I joined some of my book club ladies and we had lunch downtown with Ann Rule. Yes, the Ted Bundy Ann Rule. Well, we didn't exactly sit at her table or anything...but after an hour or so in line, she did write "Happy Halloween" in my very own copy of Too Late To Say Goodbye. And she was so nice, and so personable. But that wasn't the real highlight of the luncheon.

It was sponsored by the Pierce County Sexual Assault Center . There was a woman who told her life story, beginning with psychological and emotional abuse by her mother, followed by sexual abuse by her grandfather, promiscuity, drugs and alcohol as a teen and a brutal rape as a college student. I was floored. I couldn't take my eyes off this 20-something woman who had lived a lifetime of horror in half the time I've been living my privileged, relatively trauma-free life.

I am inspired now to follow up on her story, to see how I might be able to get more involved. I have discovered, simply through blogging, that there are millions of women out there looking to support and be supported...we can all come together if we make the effort. I "met" a woman the other day on my blog who was facing the prospect of breast cancer in remote Montana, with no one around to share her fear. I found out today that her results came back negative and I felt like I had received the news from a good friend.

That's the power of connection and community. That's the gift of not being alone when the news comes, or when all the shit hits the fan at once. Imagine! Me sitting here all sniffly and whiny, and before I know it, I've got sympathy coming out my ears. People wanting to bring me soup AND wipe my drool.

Imagine that power when the trauma is real.

October 27, 2009

Where's the Love?

I admit it. I'm a baby when it comes to being sick. If I dig far enough into my childhood to blame my parents for this (which I'm pretty good at) I'll tell you that it's my mom's fault, mostly.

My mom was the mom who had to see blood spurting from a gaping wound with a fever and a pulse rate under 30, before we could stay home from school. A mere sniffle or upset stomach was a joke. There was no such thing as a headache; kids don't get headaches, she'd say. I'll give you a headache.

Not that she didn't love us, don't get me wrong. She just didn't believe in whining, and you had to be really, really sick not to be considered a whiner. My mom would have laughed at the Swine Flu. Oh, for Pete's sake, get a Kleenex and put your shoes on. Quichyer bitchin'.

So, you see, I was deprived of sympathy and warm mugs of chicken noodle soup, right into adulthood. (And, need I say, the ability to dodge a math test when I needed to.) And here's the thing that really sucks: I married my mother. No, you know what I mean.

My poor husband, Mr. Strong Who Never Gets Sick. He's so not the Doting Husband. He's all about going to work with The Worst Cold Ever. Too much to do! The world might cease to spin should I stay in bed!

Good lord! All I want to do is watch back to back Roseanne reruns all day long, and for someone to make me (and bring me) soup; I want someone to check to make sure my blanket is covering my toes and that my little homemade hot pad (it's a tube sock filled with rice; aren't I brilliant?) is hot enough and positioned correctly across my shoulders. I'm trying not to whine, really, I am. I try not to make a little sad, moaning noise every few minutes when I have to reach for ANOTHER tissue. But why should I pretend I feel ok? Why should I fake it? That's just plain dishonest. And why on earth would I go to work when I feel like I'm standing on the edge of my grave? When I can barely inhale without launching into a black plague cough? (Oh, wait! I don't have a job! I wouldn't go to work if I were well!)

But there's no one here in my house who's banging down the door for the position of Wait on Mom Hand and Foot. Not even Jack, although he does try not to slam all the doors in the house while I'm trying to nap, as he runs through, yelling "Mommmmmm!! Where ARE you?"

Nope, it's just me feeling sorry for me. Me making soup for me, and me bringing it to me on the couch where I arrange my own blanket and heat up my own tube sock.

I want to be babied. Is that so much to ask?

Evidently, uh, yeah, it is.

October 23, 2009

One Year Down

Hmmm. What happened there? Two weeks I've been gone?? What kind of writer is that?! Not to mention, I had the date, October 18, scribbled on my notepad, here by my computer. It was my First Blogiversary, and I wanted to be sure not to miss it. I wanted to log in and say Yahoo! It's been a year and I'm still writing! I was even mulling around great ideas for my post for that day, having spent the past twelve months meeting some remarkable writers through blogging and being inspired beyond anything I could have imagined. Woops. I never was very good with important dates.

But my absence is due less to forgetfulness than it is to denial and avoidance. After a couple of weeks away, I realized why it was so hard to log in. I went back and read my very first entry, and I was slammed with all the reasons I came here in the first place. I hadn't really forgotten them, I had just managed to do a bang-up job of avoiding my issues as this year progressed.

A year ago, my now-17 year old son, my troubled wayward rebel, ran away from home for the first time. At first, it was just annoying. If you were with me then, you know that we were most concerned as to where he was going to plug in his flat iron, if he were on the streets. John wondered which of the Tacoma bridges was running power, and did they have mirrors too, for applying guyliner? We made a lot of jokes about it at the time, which I know was a defensive tactic for me, but we also knew where he was, which was about two blocks away at a friend's house. I wasn't worried so much as I was pissed, really. Then, before I could settle into this new [and I thought temporary] inconvenience in my life, a place from where I could still look into his eyes and see my son, it all went sideways.

What I remember most is the losing. Losing the ability to reel him back to me, to soften him enough to talk, to see beyond those angry, angry eyes. I lost his trust and I lost custody of him in court. I lost the ability to wake up in the morning and be a good mom to my other kids.

Every day, I would discover something else I couldn't do, as a mother. Some other thing I was supposed to be good at that had slipped through my fingers. I cried, I slept, I ate, ate and ate, and I drank. A lot. Then I decided that if I added drugs to that mix, things might improve. Prozac, my new best friend.

Yeah, it took the edge off all right. Numb was a whole lot better than manic, for awhile at least. It was easier to sit in court, talk to a cop, deal with the school or purge to the counselor when I couldn't really feel anything. And oh so much easier to deal with Matt; his rages and screaming and cussing at me, his hateful, mean words and the way he looked right through me as if I had never seen him before in my life.

And everyone said, oh how sad these teenagers are so rebellious, and oh we went through that with johnny, believe me it gets better. And I wanted so much to believe them, but I knew I didn't dare, because I knew that Matt's behavior wasn't normal teenage angst. And I kept trying to reach him, and help him and love him and the more I did, the harder he pulled away from me. Before I knew it, we were sitting in the police station with two officers who wanted to arrest him for assault and they left it up to me to make the final call. What kind of f**ing choice is that to give a mother?

And everyone said, oh, you did the right thing, tough love, that's what he needs. But I couldn't sleep that night because my kid was in juvie and as tough as he acted on the outside, I knew he was scared to death and all I wanted to do was go down there and rescue him. But I didn't, and then he was gone. We spent four month fighting his lunatic biological dad in court for custody and we lost.

Yes, I know where he is. I see him all the time. He hangs out across the street and with the neighbor kids sometimes, but he never comes over here. He doesn't talk to me or look at me. I know he's in school because his dad's too lazy to change the contact information and I still get it all.

It's October again and it's been about a year since my kid left. I tried to pretend it was like he went to college; I redecorated his room and tried to make light of it. I stopped taking Prozac because I hadn't felt anything in so long I thought I would slip into a coma. I'm ok with that, even though I cry all the time again. At least it's real. I cried in Target the other day, looking at Christmas cards and realizing that we weren't going to be able to take family pictures this year. It's just too awkward to explain the missing person, or not explain.

Some days I go about my normal parenting duties with Jack and Casey and I congratulate myself on being a really good mom. But some days, maybe over these past couple of weeks, I stand in the doorway of his old room and I remember all that used to be there. I imagine what it would be like if he were here again; I force all of the good memories aside so that I can justify his not being here. If I only remember the bad stuff, it will make sense to me that he’s gone.

So...having said all that...

I’d like to celebrate my one year of writing. I'm grateful to everyone who comes here and reads. Maybe you get a laugh, or learn something, or just don't feel alone in wherever your journey is taking you. It's done wonders for me, having a place to go where I can read through the lives of others and feel safe enough to write my own story. I want to celebrate this new community of writers who have so warmly welcomed me.

I just don’t feel like celebrating October, that’s all.

October 13, 2009

These are a Few of My Favorite Things....

Wednesday Late Start.

Our school district starts Wednesdays 90 minutes late. This makes Tuesday night kind of like a mini-Friday night; we can have friends over for dinner and the kids can stay up a little later. And sleep in. I think it's the greatest thing ever invented.

Cash Cab.

Every night it's on tv from 5-7, four episodes in a row. Perfect timing for cooking dinner and it makes me feel smart. I love Ben Bailey. I would love to end up in that cab someday. I wouldn't even have to win.

My Husband Does Dishes.

John has always done the dishes in our house after dinner. Unless I offer, he will get up and clear the table and completely clean the kitchen (even to my specifications!) without prompting, while I sit at the table and ramble endlessly to him, sipping my wine. I love that. I love him.

I know there are many more...just a quick share tonight.

Sleep well!

Slipping on the Big Girl Panties

Grouchy McGrouchster here. I was just checking out everyone's morning posts and getting a good laugh here and there; it sure takes the grump out of my war with technology yesterday.

My friend Kim, who is also job hunting, and who also suffers from depression, and who also hates this whole technology thing, took the brunt of my frustration since she was the only one whom I felt could truly relate. I ranted and raved on the phone to her until I felt better - ok, I didn't really feel better. At least she got it. She didn't say things like "If you'd just take a deep breath and focus, this would all be ok." Nor, as my mom would have, did she say something like "Just get off your duff* and do it! And put a smile on your face."

Instead, Kim validated for me that having gotten up, exercised, showered and cleaned the kitchen, I was a million miles ahead of myself and it was a very good day. Wrangling with the computer was not what I needed. I needed to continue my morning feeling as though I were accomplishing things - great things, even - not feeling like a complete idiot. Thanks, Kimmie :)

But then, I was able to pull myself out of it a bit by quitting (yes, I know) at least for awhile. I walked away from it and left the house. I went grocery shopping and found super deals (I'm not a bargain hunter, per se, so this was good.) I picked up the kids and was nice to Jack (sometimes I'm not so good at that when I'm pouting.) I made a spectacular dinner that everyone liked. And I never came back in here to look at another job site. Not once.

Smart move. I shouldn't get so worked up over such little shit. Today, instead of sitting down and opening Monster.com, I opened a friend's blog and caught up on her writing. Then I opened another one and another one, until I was feeling alive and friendly and supported and surrounded by good karma. A much better beginning to the day, I think, than trying to remember thirteen different passwords and log-in names. Opening up a "perfect match" job that turns out to be a Forklift Trainer, since one of my "key" words is "trainer." Dude. Forklift? My friends flip a coin to see who has to sit in the front seat when I drive a regular car.

So now I'm ready to hit it again. Thanks for bearing with me. I'll strive to be a bit less of a whiner spoiled brat beotch today.

* Duff. What a fabulous word. My mom really does use it, too.

October 12, 2009

I Miss My Highlighter

I'm starting to hate my computer. Didn't I say, about a month or so ago, that I was obsessed with it? Proof that you can have too much of a good thing.

The thing is, I spend waaaaaaaaay too much time on it, and not doing anything fun, either. I'm not blogging, or reading blogs, or shopping online or even reading and working on my web page tutorials. What I've spent most of my logged-on hours doing is looking for a job. And, for the record, I AM SICK OF IT.

I have to say right up front that I am very, very fortunate in that I'm not looking for a job because I'm about to lose my house, or I can't feed my kids. My heart and all my good energy go out to everyone who is in such a place. I just need a little extra cash to make the ends come together again, like they used to before we had a college student and three car payments and child support to pay and a kid who wants to play every sport known to man (and therefore requires registration fees and uniform costs up the wazoo.) Yes, I am so, so, so lucky that this is the only reason I need a job. Nonetheless, need, along with crazy, is relative.

So here I am, at my age, trying to navigate the job-seeking world with a pretty outdated computer, a really outdated resume and, more or less, no clear idea of what I want to be or do. Great starting point, don't you think?

I thought I was computer savvy. Evidently, I was comparing myself to my Grandpa (now deceased) who only knew how to do two things on the computer: open the email and hit "forward". I now know that, in regards to the new job hunting world, I'm not all that far ahead of him. I have no skilz whatsoever in roaming around Monster.com and all of its buddies. I am not interested in paying to become a Platinum Member of anything, which, according to the every-five-minute-pop-up-ads, is going to prevent me from EVER getting hired. If I had the money to pay for this service, I wouldn't need a freakin' job, would I?

I thought my resume was ok. I never thought it was great, but it was good. Was. Key word. My resume, I found out quickly, s.u.c.k.e.d. I think I've finally got it where it might, maybe, get me am interview someday, but I'm sure it's nowhere near the shining displays of all -things-high-tech that are coming out of colleges left, right and center.

I am not looking for full time work, nor am I looking for a "career". So networking among my friends and relatives isn't really an option. I mean, I'm not going to send out a mass email asking my high school alumn if they can match me up with a good clerical/administrative/data entry position, 20 or so hours a week. I'm not a top level exec with a ton to offer. My network is only so wide.

I realize, rather abruptly, that I am a player in an entirely new (and super unfair) game. It's not like the old days, when you looked through the want-ads in your jammies on a Sunday morning, a highlighter perched above the paper, waiting to circle all the perfect opportunities awaiting you. Today, most of the jobs in the category I'm seeking are coming through these big Job Match companies; companies are outsourcing their HR and probably saving a bundle. Well, good for them, I'm sure, but for little ole' stay home moms like me, looking for something to do during the school day that doesn't involve folding clothes, working with grease or operating heavy equipment, it's a stupid idea.

Just saying.

I would never say that in an interview. If I ever get one.

But I won't give up...remember, I'm not a quitter. I just feel really inept and old and confused, especially when I'm filling out the exact same information on the exact same form but for a different company, over and over again, and then STILL attaching my resume at the end, that says the EXACT SAME THING.


And yes, I go to bed tonight grateful for all the amazing blessings in my life, and my prayers are not for me but for those who are struggling to find important and necessary work.

Gotta keep it in perspective.

October 9, 2009

No Drinking While Cooking, or How I Almost Made the Local News

Ahhh, Autum! A time for simmering a little cinnamon in the cider, cozying up with your favorite comfy throw on the couch...and maybe trying your hand at something new, yet traditional.

And I'm not talking about staining the deck. That wasn't related to autumn, really, other than the fact that since we had procrastinated all summer, it became an autumn activity. After I'd spent the entire day being Ty Pennington's assistant, I felt compelled to keep going. Like I had been sprinkled with creativity dust from the Artsy Crafty Fairy. That and I've been reading all these blogs lately, by women who make and build and do stuff that people like me buy at craft fairs. I want to be a maker, a builder, a doer.

First, though, I took a long, relaxing shower, coupled with a large glass of Old Vine Zine and the ever popular Advil/Aleve combo. By the time I was snuggled into my jams and big fuzzy slippers, I couldn't feel my back at all. I'm pretty sure I was standing up straight by then, too. Jack had been invited to a football game and Shawn was a hurtin' unit like me, so we decided against dinner together and I settled in for a quiet Me Evening. CSI was coming on, right after a Criminal Minds rerun. Dream night! I made a fairly decent chicken and risotto plate for myself, poured some more wine, and then it hit me: I should make Caramel Corn!


But I couldn't be stopped. I poured another glass of Zin and ran to my favorite cooking website, AllRecipes, to find the perfect recipe. And I had all the ingredients! You think I'm kidding, right? Foodies out there are thinking, "She's excited because she's got baking soda and brown sugar on hand?" No, silly. I had Karo syrup! Who has that hanging out in the pantry??

Fifteen minutes (and surprisingly little effort) later, I had a beautiful, golden brown concoction, spread out in my roasting pans (I had those, too!) and ready to bake for an hour.

15 minute cooking increment, #1:

Stir. Smell. Smile. Replace in oven. God, I'm good! Maybe this is my calling! Maybe I could start a business!

15 minute cooking increment, # 2:

I looked at the oven, and somehow, the temperature had been turned from 250 to 550. I'm yelling Fuck! God Damnit! at the top of my lungs (like any good housewife) up until my lungs weren't working so well, because of all the smoke. It was filling my entire downstairs so fast I had to squint to keep my eyes from burning. I was running around like crazy, opening all the windows and cranking up the fan, hoping to beat the smoke detectors, which were going to start screaming... any minute now... not. Not a sound from the built-in, failsafe fire safety system. Not that I was complaining; it's such a pain to deal with the freakin' noise when you're already asphyxiating. However: sort of ironic, no? Fire Chief's Wife Dies of Smoke Inhalation. Investigation Ongoing: Dead Batteries in Smoke Detectors?
Twenty, thirty minutes later, the smoke cleared. Not the smell, mind you, but the smoke. I closed up the house and set the pans in water to soak. I stood in the middle of the kitchen and thought, after all that, the worst part was that I didn't have any caramel corn to eat during CSI.

So what did I do? I bet you think I drove to Walmart for processed high-fructose caramel corn that's been sitting on a shelf for months. I bet you think I threw those pans in the garbage and made up a lie to tell at Thanksgiving, when they came up missing. But I didn't; not the New Me. Not the Maker-Builder-Doer Me.

I made some more.

Never, ever, call me a quitter.

October 8, 2009

A Little Love before Actual Work

I guess I could start this morning with a couple of blog shout-outs; it might get my little brain warmed up since it seems to be somewhat stalled in the writing department.

First of all, I read a great post the other day on I [Heart] Arugula, which is a blog written by my dear friend, Joanne, who introduced me to blogging in the first place, and who encourages and inspires me to write every day. We went to graduate school together, way back in the day, and are navigating our way through middle age together, even though we live on opposite sides of the country. I had to share this first post, Elephant in the Room, because I just love how she's so comfortable in her life; I wish I could be so self-assured. And this second one, Oh My Goodness, is something I wish I had written myself. Not only because I'm a featured character in it :-) but because I'm having my fair share or Oh My Goodness moments myself these day.

So when you get back from reading over there, which I know you will love, check out my new favorite blog: Controlling My Chaos. {I discovered it on SITS, which is an awesome blog site for bloggers, and an excellent way to find new things to read, gain readers, and make cyber friends.} I probably could have blown off this entire morning reading her; I think we're kindred spirits. Check it out!

The fact that I want to link you up with great bloggers is a testament to the fact that I want to be one. I am still a little OCD over the look of the page, the colors, the fonts, etc. It's a disease, I know; I can't seem to get any substantial content out of my head until the delivery vessel is perfect. Stupid, I know. Some great writers write on napkins. Some don't even need the right pen. (Whatever!) Yet here I am, fiddling around with design features.

Not today. I only changed one thing today [Joanne]. But here's the thing. I was supposed to be out all morning volunteering at Jack's school, but caught a break when they didn't really need me after all. I came home and thought Awesome! I can write this morning instead! Well, then I felt like I needed to get caught up on reading all the blogs I follow, because there are so many great ones out there and I hate to miss stuff, and now, all of a sudden, my time is up. Shawn is waiting patiently for me to pick her up so we can go Deck Staining Supply shopping. I told her I'd be ready to go when I got home from the school and so now it's time.

The shopping part I can handle. Even if it is Home Depot and there are no shoes there. (Crocs don't count). But the work part? I'm not a DIY person. Not even kinda. But my BF Shawn is scary DIY, like I think she was probably Ty Pennington in a past life. She has to save me from myself when I think I can do stuff like stain my deck. We're supposed to go to Home Depot and then, since the weather's nice, start the actual application of Stain to Deck. Oh my God, I can't even paint the nails on my right hand with my left hand.

Boring, useless backyard
BEFORE picture

Beautiful, love, love, love it

Will post my AFTER pic when the stain's done.

This might require cocktails at some point.

October 4, 2009

Drew Whips It Good

I don't get to go to the movies very often these days, but when I do, I am always delighted to have snagged a film I love. This weekend, I went to see Whip It, Drew Barrymore's directorial debut. A) I love DB and 2) I actually had someone who wanted to see it with me. I didn't care that most reviews coming in were crucifying the film and Drew. I didn't even really care if it totally sucked, I really wanted to see it.

I'm so glad I did! I'm not a reviewer, so please don't expect anything like that from me. I just wanted to rave about how funny it was, and clever and witty. Ellen Page is just gold, no matter how you look at it. She could just stand in front of the camera for two hours and do nothing and I'd still pay to see it. The script is fantastic. The acting is classic comedy. The plot is moving and hilarious and it works. I only have great things to say about it.

It's the kind of movie where you wish you had a little notepad so you could write down all the hilarious unique quotes that you know you will have to repeat later. (Ok, you young people don't need the notepad. I didn't used to either, but now I'm older.)

So if you're looking for something worth seeing this week, grab this one.

Loved it.


I don't know what to say.

I don't think even WTF covers it.

I can't bear it alone, though, so it's my Sunday Share.

You're welcome / I'm sorry.

October 1, 2009

No peas, please

My son, Jack, is what we call a "picky eater". In the past ten years, I've tried really hard to recreate the amazingly diverse and creative dinners my mother put on the table my entire childhood, but I have not had much success. I'm not a great cook, no matter how hard I try. But I'm not terrible, and I still have this kid who won't eat 98% of what I make.

I can't remember how old he was the first time he expressed his dislike for some food or another, but I know that the minute he did, I must have launched into some mental justification of why I shouldn't make him eat food he doesn't like ... something to do with my own eating disorders ... who knows ... but now, at 11 years old, he usually gets to eat something in the very narrow category of food he likes, although I do usually insist on, say, six peas, or two little broccoli trees.

Which drives my mother totally, completely insane. I actually think I can see her twitch when I bow to my child's wishes. I am quick to apologize to her (for what?) and to explain my reasoning (which, really, is crap) but she just purses her lips and shakes her head and says something like, "It's no wonder he won't eat anything. He doesn't have to."

I'm starting to get her perspective. When I was a kid, she took cooking classes like Chinese Cuisine and tried obscure recipes like Green Tomato Pie. Some of it we loved, some, not so much. But we ate it. And we did so because of the Five Rules of Eating, Circa 1960-something:

1. Dinner was at a certain time. May not be the same time every night, but it was only served once. At whatever time Mom said. Be there or be hungry.

2. Dinner consisted of what was served to you on your plate. There were no substitutions, no negotiating portion size, no saying something crazy, like "no peas, please." You get what you get and you don't throw a fit.

3. Dinner had four food groups. There was always, and I mean always, something green on the plate. And you ate it. Even if it was spinach. Sometimes, there was a salad in addition.

4. If you didn't like what was for dinner, you didn't have options. You didn't get to have a PB&J, even if you made it yourself. And most of the time, just not eating wasn't a very popular suggestion either. One exception: Occasionally, she would make liver and onions. Even my Dad didn't have to eat it. We all got something else if we wanted.

5. We never, ever ate dinner in front of the tv. Unless: there was something really, really special on (like the Moon Landing, which I don't remember, it just sounds important enough) and you then ate on TV TRAYS in the family room. This happened about once, I think, in my life. Maybe twice.

What happened to that list? Was there something wrong with it? Let me just say that, eating issues aside, I think it kicks ass. As an adult, I gotta have my food groups at dinner. I adore spinach. I would have a salad with every meal if I could. I am a freak for foreign food and will try anything once. I still hate eating in front of the tv, although we get a little lax about it during baseball season. When did I get it into my head to cater to this "I don't like that" BS?

Oooops, I think I just admitted that Jack's picky eating is essentially my fault. Dang it!

The other day, he called from a neighbor's house to ask if he could eat dinner there. Sure, I thought, why not. Who cares if I've already put unbelievable energy into inventing something you might like - maybe - and that it's almost ready. Go ahead, eat at the neighbor's.
The next day, I asked him what they'd had for dinner. I know he knows better than to be rude at someone else's house, so I was curious to see if he had tried something new, or funky. Here's what he told me:

"We had Hamburger Helper and it rocked! It was even burned, 'cuz Mrs. Neighbor cooked it way too long, and it still rocked!"

Coming from our house, that would definitely be new and funky. Way to go, stepping outside the box, Jack. It only gets better from here.

Just a Quickie

Today I discovered this really cool blog: The One-Minute Writer. Every day they give a writing prompt and you have 60 seconds to write about it. The prompt today was Mess. Here is my one-minute response:

My head is a mess. Everything else seems to be in order these days but my head. I still can't think straight most of the time. I can't find thoughts that I need. I lose ideas mid-creation. I feel foggy and lost. I write to help it. (It works.) Maybe I spend too much time cleaning my house.