Let there be light

Mr B was kind enough to brave IKEA with me this week. He’sactually been in their store before, so I was glad to have him there because I would have gotten lost in there and I probably wouldn’t have emerged until sometime next year with 8 McMansions worth of shit.

Because he was a pilot in a previous incarnation of himself, it was entertaining to watch him driving the IKEA buggy. Did y’al know that all 4 wheels on IKEA shopping carts rotate? Mr B kept giving the cart a great push with a bit of a twist on it and the cart would just go flying up the aisle spinning in circles. To be honest, I’m a bit surprised that we didn’tget kicked out.

We now have all of the light fixtures for the house. Rude Ass will be installing them sometime really soon. I’ve stashed a few of them until after Sunshine finishes the walls, because they’ll be in his way if I have them hung now.

It was exciting just putting the cartons inside; I’ll probably piss my pants when they’re actually hanging from the ceiling.

I wanted black or blue or even metal finishes on my lights but went with white to match the switches and outlets. It wasn’t the hill I wanted to die on (that hill still looms ahead in the form of kitchen counters).

The three pendants hanging over the kitchen peninsula each require three bulbs.

There is a spotlight to shine on whatever Sunshine decides to hang over the fireplace; it requires three bulbs.

My four track lights in the kitchen and living room each require four bulbs.

My bathroom has a 3 bulb track light going in.

I hope I have enough light in the house. (Yes, that was sarcasm.)

Final note: all of the bulbs throughout the house will be LED, so using that many bulbs isn’t as obscene as it sounds. I wouldn’t want the electric bill that went with that many incandescent bulbs (or, heaven forbid, halogen).

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I don’t fit the profile

I’ve recently read some thought provoking posts about race. Like this one from Alexis, or this one. Or this one from Benjamin.

So I have a question for you. When you look at this picture, which one of the people in it would you be afraid of? Which one of these people would you cross the street to avoid?

A huge thank you to my dear friend @Reshaud for graciously allowing me to use pictures of him for this post.

If you had never met me or read any of my blog, which one of those faces would you think belonged to a junkie with multiple felony convictions?

I can’t tell you how many law enforcement officers I heard say “she doesn’t fit the profile” as I was perp-walked into yet another police or sheriffs station. If I were behind you in line at Target, you wouldn’t lean away from me as you instinctively moved your hand to make sure your wallet was still in your purse or pocket. I don’t look like what most people think of when they hear the word junkie. I don’t fit the profile.

And yet, here you are, reading the words of a junkie with multiple felony convictions and several stays at the “gated community” as a guest of the state.

I don’t want to hear a word about how “that’s all in the past” or how I’m “a totally different person now”. Those statements may be true, but the cunning, baffling, powerful nature of addiction means that I am, right now at this very moment at 10:06PM, closer to my next high than my next day clean.

Side note: the knowledge of that fact scares the shit out of me, which is why I make meetings, and stay in contact with my sponsor, and work steps, and try and help my fellow human beings by being of service to them. However, should I stop doing those things, my good intentions and desire to be a decent human being don’t mean shit. Because addiction wants me high, and addiction is a motherfucker.

I’ve been arrested multiple times for drug charges. I’ve been arrested for fighting. I’ve crashed more cars than any human should ever have a right to crash. I’ve left a string failed marriages and relationships in my wake. I was an angry, raging, self-centered fuckup for the first 35 years of my life. I did prison time for drug charges. Then I did prison time for a parole violation. Then I did prison time for another drug charge. Then I did probation. While on probation, I was still an angry, raging, self-centered fuckup and I was on my way BACK to prison when I got placed into a drug court program under the care of a counselor who somehow managed to keep me out of prison until I decided that I couldn’t live that way any more.

I wasn’t brought up to be an angry, raging, self-centered fuckup. I wasn’t brought up in a family of addicts or alcoholics. I wasn’t abused. I had a good home, a good family. As an adopted child, I believe that I am proof that addiction is a genetic disease; because there is no logical reason for me to be sitting here saying “I’m an addict named Cindy”. Yet here we are, discussing my sordid history and how I don’t fit the profile.

Then there’s Reshaud. He’s never been arrested. He’s a kind person. I’ve never seen him angry. Well, except when I eat cookies and try to call it lunch. He’s a great employee. He’s an even greater friend to both myself and my Sunshine. Reshaud was the only person I invited to my wedding.

Side note: I’d have invited my family but they wouldn’t have come. Let’s face it, this is my third marriage, and Sunshine & I had been living together for almost 10 years, so the wedding was long past overdue. All of Sunshines family was there: his dad, all the way from Utah; his two oldest sons; his four grandchildren; his nieces and nephews… I saw that I was going to lose the battle for a very private thing like I wanted, and Reshaud dropped everything he was doing on 5 minutes notice on Christmas Eve to make sure I had somebody there that was there just for me. I’m crying as I type this, because that’s a friend right there. That’s the kind of friend I’m not, and the kind of friend I don’t always deserve.

It was my time in the gated community that started opening my eyes to the insidious nature of racism and inequality in this country. I saw the disparity in sentencing firsthand. I witnessed unfair treatment with my own eyes. I also saw more grace and dignity in the black and brown women in the “gated community” than I saw out of the white ones. White people are fucking crazy, y’all, and you will never convince me otherwise. I did time with white people, hell I AM A WHITE PEOPLE, so I know exactly what we’re capable of. And it ain’t nothing nice.

What really drove it home for me, though, was Katrina. It wasn’t the horror everybody saw on the news that did it. It was what I saw with my own eyes in the rooms of 12 step fellowships. I saw people who claimed to be spiritual–who claimed not to care about age, race, creed, religion, or lack of religion–act in despicable ways when the evacuees started arriving in our area. I saw the people who looked like me get hugs and dinner invites; and I saw the people who looked like my friend Reshaud get ignored. I heard those people share their pain, and I watched them be shunned by people who should have been doing everything in their power to make those people feel welcomed and safe at one of the most horrible times of their lives. Racism is alive and well in this country. It’s just a bit more covert than it used to be.

I don’t fit the profile. I am blonde, with blue eyes, and pale skin. I was treated respectfully, politely even, by law enforcement and judicial officials. Well, except for that time my attorney got frustrated with me for being an absolute ass in a courtroom and threatened to slap me. Seriously, he was not having any more of my shit, no matter how good I was for business. And yes, he actually once said that I was good for business.

Every time the police shoot another black person in this country, I can’t help but cry. Black people are dying in these streets like it’s open season, for infractions as minor as wearing a hoodie and eating Skittles… And I spent years getting away with so much shit that I never got in trouble for… And I know it’s because I don’t fit the profile.

I’m here to tell you that the profile is wrong. I’m a white person who has done some pretty ugly shit, behaved in some really ugly ways, and treated people horrendously; and Reshaud is a black person who is so many of the good things I could never hope to be, never been in prison, never been an addict, and can be trusted with my car keys and credit cards and even with little kids. How the hell does it even make sense that I don’t have to fear for my life for wearing a hoodie and eating some Skittles? I don’t even have to fear for my life while going on a drug fueled bleep fest of a rant at a cop, and yet Reshaud had better be polite and do as the cops order him to or he risks dying. I am heard when I speak, while so many are ignored. I am allowed to speak, when so many are being silenced.

I don’t fit the profile, and that is fucked up. That’s privilege, folks. White privilege.

The profile is wrong. Maybe the only way the profile is going to change is if people who look like me quit being ashamed to say “I am the profile”.

Now, I’m going to leave you with two last images, then I’m going to retreat into my corner and go back to listening to people like Alexis and Benjamin. Because they are worthy of being heard. Their experiences matter. And to be honest, their experiences are most likely a whole lot less sordid than mine.

Which one of these people would you be afraid of?

I got nominated for another one😆

I think I’ve done this one in the past, and that’s OK because I’m not the same person I was back then. So, thank you, Alexis, for nominating me for the Liebster.

Alexis has only asked one big question, and it’s a doozy.

If you were stranded on an island full of zombies, and could only have three things for your survival and peace of mind, what would they be? Tell me about your daring escape.

I told you it was a doozy.

Side note: once again, I tried to copy text from my phone to paste into my tablet. Someone send help, STAT. Or just shoot me. Either one works😉

Thing 1: my N.A. basic text. It’s the book that saved my life when I made the decision to try something different when I couldn’t stand the pain of active addiction any more. It’s the book that comforts me to this very day. It’s a book that taught me how to live. Even when I can’t read that book, just reaching into my purse and touching the pocket sized copy (my mother gave it to me for a birthday about 10 years ago) comforts me. That book would be where I found my serenity amidst the chaos of the zombies. That book would help me find courage to survive in an environment that wanted me dead (because, really, how different is an island full of zombies from active addiction?)

Side note: full dislaimer: anything good you see in me can be traced back to that book (and my mom and sponsor). Anything bad you see in me cannot be blamed on that book; it can only be blamed on my addiction and my imperfect humanity. Do not let anything ugly in me reflect poorly on the fellowship that tries to teach me how to get rid of the ugly.

Thing 2: one of those magnesium fire starter things. It would be vital to the desalinization and purifying of water, and water is life. It would also be vital to cooking any food that is unsafe to eat until the internal temperature reaches 165F or better. It would totally suck to die of Montezuma’s revenge or salmonella or some shit.

Side note: if I’m lucky, these zombies would follow the same laws of zombie physics and biology on display in “The Walking Dead”. Daryl sets a tanker’s worth of gasoline on fire and all the zombies are drawn to the light and die just in time to save Rick, Carl, Michonne, and crew.

Thing 3: a machete or Katana or some other type of large, sharp implement of destruction. It would chop off their zombie heads, help me kill a wild boar so I could eat some meat, chop up some sticks and banana leaves to make a shelter to sleep in, chop vines to make cordage/rope, and it’s shiny surface could be used as a signaling device much like a mirror, and any number of other things.

Also? I don’t know that I’d make a daring escape. The world is so crazy right now that I might be safer on this island with the zombies than I am IRL these days; and being there would mean I didn’t have to interact with people which would sometimes be a good thing since I’m actually pretty introverted outside of the internet. Although, now that I think about it, are we sure we’re not already living amongst zombies? After all, we are living in a world with an electoral college that elected an orange game show host to occupy the white house, which seems pretty zombie-like to me.

Thank you, Alexis, for this entertaining foray into the darkest places of my psyche. It’s the place where the machete toting, zombie & pig slaying lizard-brained-freak lives; and it’s been fun to actually think about something so random😍

Now, I’m supposed to nominate people, but I just threw a bunch of you under the bus yesterday, so today I won’t back the bus up to see what I hit.

Please, feel free to answer Alexis’ question in the comments, because it really is a fun exercise.

Blogger Award Nomination

I’m such an asshole. I always forget to respond to these things in a timely manner, which is rude. When someone takes the time to read my random musings out here on the internet, I should be quick and polite to respomd. So, my deepest apologies to the Late Bloomer for being such an asshole and taking so long to respond. It really is an honor, and I thank you.

So now I’m supposed to 

1 Name and thank the one who nominated me (check)

2 give a brief history of my blog 

I guess you could say my first taste of blogging was about 10.5 years ago. I was fairly new to recovery from addiction, still on Facebook, and I had been writing about my terrible romantic entanglement (I refuse to call it a relationship) on a Facebook function that was similar to Journaling in my mind. I’ve slept since then so I can’t even remember what part of Facebook I’m talking about. After I got out of that relationship, I started blogging on another platform; that platform is where I came up with the name of his blog (either I’m not very creative, or I really loved the name I gave that blog because I recycled it and used it here on wordpress). I had gone radio silent on that platform, maybe because it was lacking focus. When we started looking at properties with Mr B (to begin our fledgling intentional community) I needed an outlet for all of the thoughts and feelings that I was experiencing; this blog was born out of that need to vomit my panic on someone, anyone. Some days, I still need to do that, and I thank you all for the support you offer me, because it helps more than you know. Other days, this blog just serves as our record of what worked. Also? What didn’t work. Which usually is very funny when I get honest and objective, because let’s be real–to the casual observer, the idea of this former stiletto wearing city-girl stagehand being covered in mud mixed with raw sewage during the great septic system debacle is probably funny as hell. Yes, I still have hip pain from that brilliantly executed haphazard plan to fix the septic system; however, even I can see the humor in it if I’m honest.

So, brief history: check

What next?

3 Two pieces of advice

A) laugh. Laugh often, and laugh hard. Laugh until your abs hurt and you can’t breathe. Laugh until you snort like a pig. Laugh until you spit M&M blizzard out your nose (or tequila, whichever the case may be). Life is too fucking short to NOT enjoy it. Life is too short to take ourselves too seriously. So laugh. Laughter is magical, laughter is therapeutic, and if nothing else people will think you’re ratfuck crazy and stay away from you in public.

B) never forget that the past is gone forever, and tomorrow never comes, so enjoy this moment to its fullest. Because in the end, this moment is all any of us has.

Side note: imagine how cooked my noodle got in philosophy class at university (we were talking about Wittgenstein): if we define time as the interval between any two events, then s/he who lives in the present moment (without reliving a past event or worrying about a future one) is truly living in a state of timelessness, or eternity if you will. Now, when we combine that concept with that oft repeated line from Russell Crowe’s “gladiator”

What we do in life echoes in eternity

Then, yeah, my two-years-clean noodle was well and truly cooked.

Live in the moment. There is no time. There is only RIGHT NOW. And right now, it’s time to laugh. It’s time to burn that $30 candle you just got from cost Plus World Market (or Yankee Candle, or wherever you get your $30 candles). Because if you don’t burn the $30 candle then you just wasted $30. Forgive yourself for yesterday’s mistakes and quit worrying about tomorrow. Because you’re worth it–I promise, you really are. You are beautiful, you are worthy, you are the perfectly imperfect result of your creator’s daydreams brought to life. Live in the moments that your creator has given you-it’s a great way to say “thank you for letting me be alive!”

Side note: I know, it’s hard to do that sometimes. Life shows up, or depression tries to suck me down, or anxiety gets me jacked up or whatever. And that’s OK too. Because it happens, it is what it is, life is bullshit sometimes so we just gotta get thru it the best we can. Which leads me back to advice number A).😉

Now, I’m supposed to nominate some other blogs, up to 15 of them. So here goes (and if you don’t wanna do it, that’s OK too, I still love you):

Side note: I just totally tried to copy a link from the browser in my phone TO THIS WORDPRESS PAGE IN MY TABLET. I’m just gonna laugh, because that’s some funny shit, y’all 

Back to nominations:

Confession time

This past week, I had to fill out a form for the registration on my new refrigerator. The company has a service where you text a picture of the completed form to a special number, so I got ready to get it done.

Except I had a brain fart midway through the process and couldn’t remember my own zip code.

So I poked the block where I was supposed to fill in my zip code.

Nothing happened, so I poked it again because I needed to see the autofill options to remember my zip code.

Y’all, I poked that fucking piece of paper four damned times before I realized what I was doing.

Somebody get me some professional help.

House from found objects

We are expanding the footprint of our shop at work. The boss has been doing some major cleanup.  Like, REALLY cleaning up, instead of just pushing all the junk to the back of the property and forgetting about it.

I had been wanting to ask him about one certain piece for a while. This past Sunday, I found it on the loaded trailer heading to the landfill. So I stole it.

Yes, that is exactly what it appears to be. A store fixture bench for trying on shoes. Laying on its side. Because lazy.

I’m going to have Rude Ass do a little cutting and welding and turn it into a storage ottoman/coffee table with a giant cushion on top. The next door neighbor has a friend that does upholstery, so I can get any kind of cushion I want. I’m thinking something utterly ridiculous, like purple velvet or purple faux fur. I also think a nice coat of matte black paint would do wonders for it.

It definitely keeps with the theme of “house from found objects”, doesn’t it?