Sunday, February 28, 2010

Zenyatta v Rachel Alexandra -- The Best

If this promo doesn't get you excited about this year's Apple Blossom, nothing will. It made my heart race!

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Horse Shit

What on earth would make anybody think we are fans of horse racing?

Friday, February 26, 2010

Your Printer is a Brat

At least one student, every time a paper is due, will tell me he had "printer problems." It IS true those damn things have a mind of their own.

ps--you'll have to click through to Youtube to see this one.

What's Wrong With Rehab?

I was thinking this morning about the first Step and why my initial attempts at getting sober failed. I suppose this was because I was reading a blog yesterday in which the writer, an AA old-timer, was criticizing people who'd used rehab as a way to get sober. She claimed that people who go to rehab spend $40,000 to get temporarily sober because they inevitably go back out. They don't adhere, she said, to the steps and traditions of AA. She concluded that people who go to rehab miss the boat: you can be successful in AA for free!

(Another problem she had with rehab is that they tend to treat all addictions as the same: whether you're an alcoholic, or a drug addict, or a sex addict, or whatever, her assertion is that Alcoholism is different. I disagree with this, but that's a post for another day.)

So since she ruffled my alcoholic feathers (because let's face it: it's very easy to piss off somebody who has addiction problems), I started wondering why AA didn't work for me initially. I tried AA, and some alternatives, three times before I finally tried rehab. The first time was way back when I lived in Ohio, when I managed to stay sober for 7 months before I went back out. What was the problem? Well, I couldn't relate. AA meetings were chock-full of old guys chain-smoking and drinking coffee as if all coffee plantations on the planet had been hit with a sudden pox. I didn't fit in. Nobody ever said hello to me, and I was too shy to go up and introduce myself to anybody. After six meetings or so, I finally chucked it and tried to do it on my own, and, well, after seven months, I forgot what it was that had made me want to stop drinking in the first place. It couldn't have been THAT bad.

Time number two was about five years later, and this time I found a non-smoking women's meeting, and I even mustered the guts to reach out and ask somebody to sponsor me. She started me on the Steps. One night we met over dinner, and she started telling me all about her own past drunk life, including that she'd been forced to admit she had a problem when she was arrested driving drunk down the 101 the wrong way. And her friends were sick of her stealing from them all the time. I looked at her, then looked at me, and I thought, "Dude, I've never even gotten a DUI. I've never stolen. I have a job; I have two freaking master's degrees. The most I ever do is get drunk and pass out sometimes." So the first Step was a problem for me. I just couldn't bring myself to admit alcohol had me in its grips and that I couldn't control my binges. I persuaded myself that I could switch to beer only, and that wouldn't get me in trouble. Besides, I was just getting ready to go on vacation to Puerto Vallarta, and who wants to go on vacation and not be able to drink and enjoy themselves? Mexico: land of margaritas and Corona (with a wedge of lime, please), for godsakes! And if it turned out I had a problem keeping it under control in Mexico, then I'd try quitting again when I got back.

I was determined; I had to white-knuckle it in Mexico at times, but I did okay, so back out I went.

A few years later found me in the Emergency Room with an IV in my arm, having passed out and fallen off my barstool in a bar and puking my guts up all over the place. That was scary enough to keep me sober for three months. But I'd developed a real attitude about AA by then. The AA people I'd met were religious assholes. AA was a cult of simple-minded people with self-esteem problems. How could anyone admit to things like character defects or powerlessness? The feminist in me bristled. We can overcome weaknesses and lack of control by trying harder. I don't need God to "fix" me. That's irrational. And don't even call alcoholism a disease. Cancer is a disease. THAT, you can't control. I choose whether or not to drink; I clearly just haven't really tried. So, I tried some AA alternatives: Moderation Management, Rational Recovery, SMART Recovery.

All of these things worked only temporarily. I'd control my drinking for awhile, but inevitably I'd tumble back down the well again.

A couple years later, I was in a period of successful controlled drinking when I met someone I fell hard for. The third time I tried AA was right after I broke up with her. She flat out told me I was an alcoholic. (It's not the reason we broke up.) But I think a part of me wanted to prove her wrong; maybe some part of me believed that if I got sober, she'd be impressed and want to stop seeing other people and get back together with me. It's a dumb reason to get sober, to do it for someone else. The moment I accepted she truly was in another committed relationship (and heaven help me I couldn't stand the woman she was with!), this little dance with AA didn't last. I think I went to all of three meetings that time.

Fast forward five years later, after graduating from occasional nightly binges to three-day weekend benders. I was making all kinds of mistakes and on the verge of trying a geographical cure. Rehab seemed to be the only option. (And it didn't cost $40K. It cost $9K). And it worked. Or I should say, so far it's working.

What worked is that I was in a controlled environment for 28 days, surrounded by other people fighting the same fight. I got to see firsthand the horrible effects of addiction (you see this somewhat in AA, but you really haven't until you've witnessed, or roomed with, somebody who is detoxing.) There was my own detox. It hadn't even occurred to me that my morning sweats weren't hormonal. Neither was the racing heartbeat. And since they monitored my blood pressure for the first week, I saw for myself how it went down and returned to normal as my body adjusted to functioning without booze. My detox was an easy one. There was one guy who shook so badly he had to use both hands to bring his fork to his mouth at dinner. He used to drink a quart of vodka a day, when heroin wasn't available. There was my Christian roommate, as sweet a person as could be, who had been in AA for years but just couldn't kick her addiction. She had liver damage and had already had surgery for esophageal varices. She left rehab and within 7 days had gone on a bender that landed her back in the hospital. There was one guy--a brilliant man, an MD, a cardiac surgeon, for godsakes, who had lost everything to crack cocaine.

And seeing all this, and suddenly feeling lucky, then going through a checklist with my counselor that asked me to examine how alcohol operated in my life, I had to admit that I had about as much control over booze as I have over Sarah Palin saying something comprehensible. It was a moment of clarity and surrender. My ego finally had to admit it wasn't all-powerful. No amount of self-control would keep me sober. Damn, it was a relief to finally see that. I finally understood the First Step. And what I'd always thought would make me feel embarrassed, stupid, or humiliated actually made me feel grateful.

Grateful that my bottom didn't have to go any lower than it did.

So, you know, we can make fun of rehab. We can parody the braindead people who stand up and say, "Hi, I'm Joe, and I'm an alcoholic." We can poke fun of the self-help movement and how everybody is working the Twelve Steps nowadays. We can laugh at Al Franken doing his Stuart Smiley impression. We can watch 28 Days and laugh at the chanting and all the New Age stuff. But I'm all for rehab. I think it's like anything. You get out of it what you put into it. Rehab worked for me because I was finally ready to listen.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Worst Police Artist Sketch Evah!

Well, at least I'm pretty sure if I saw him, I'd remember it.

H/t Huffington Post.

Vajazzlin' Yer Vajayjay...All the Rage!

(note: if you're reading this on Facebook, you might have to click on "see original post" to go to the actual blog to see the video).

I'm kind of a playful person, if you haven't noticed. Actually I admitted to one of my classes yesterday that I never really grew up. But I try to start every class off with a laugh of some kind, because it puts us all in a good mood before we get down to the "important stuff." I particularly like it when whatever we're laughing about directly relates to the important stuff.

Here's what we did today. First, I showed them this Youtube video of Jennifer Love Hewitt admitting publicly that she had had her lady-bits vajazzled:

Then I went to a website (, in which a young woman takes a camera crew along with her to record for posterity her nether regions being...well, prettified. I don't want to steal their entire page, and if the website comes back up (it seems to be down), I'll provide a link so you can go see it for yourself, but here's one visual just so you can get the basic idea:

It's a complex process. First you have to be completely waxed. Then the vajazzler lady sticks rows of rhinestones around your cooter, using a tweezer for the more complicated placements, and voila! Your vajayjay has been vajazzled.

We speculated about how much it cost and then wondered if the cost was worth it, considering that a vajazzled vajayjay lasts for only five days. And, you can't have sex the first day it was done. After five days, we supposed the rhinestones start falling off, and then this led us to speculate about where they go and if they might not get jammed up in places you don't want them to go.

Then we talked about what motivated women to do such a thing. It's as if women aren't acceptable just the way we naturally are. We shave our legs; we shave our armpits; we pluck our brows; if a hair appears elsewhere on our faces, we pluck that off; and lately we've taken to not merely trimming our pubic hair, but shaving or waxing virtually all of it off. Now we're compelled to make "it" all pretty with rhinestones!

The men in the class chimed in that now guys are jumping on the bandwagon, too: now men have to have six-pack abs, a gorgeous body, and a handsome face, so men are getting plastic surgery and even getting abdominal, pectoral, and calf implants.

The women snorted and said that's much rarer, though, than what women experience: the constant changing of hair styles and color, the constant upgrading of outfits as fashion changes, the false eyelashes, the constant manicures and pedicures. Now we're even paying for designer nails. It's the message women get, day in and day out, over and over and over, that our bodies are not good enough, that we have to prim and flaunt and do whatever we can to attract a mate. "Peacocking," one woman called it. If you don't do this stuff, you're considered downright weird.

Yes, I agreed, although Jennifer Love Hewitt also seemed to find the vajazzling to be empowering. Note, though, that she did it after a break-up...was it a way of taking back her own body and making it pretty for just herself? Perhaps. If that's the case, I sort of like that. It's fabulous! I said, "It's like putting 100 pink flamingos in your front yard!" Yeah, fuck you, world!

I segued to how this relates to their next paper--we'll be looking at advertisements and considering the messages we receive from them. It's a chicken or egg question: do advertisements reflect society's norms, or is society influenced by what advertising tells us?

I ended the segment with another joke: "Tell ya what. Men should get into this vajazzling stuff too. We can call them Disco Balls!" I added, "And when that happens, I'll truly believe we really have equality of the sexes."

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Incubus: "Drive"

Excellent song, cool video.

With Apologies to Palin Supporters

Not really kind of me, but I DID just mention people with nothing between their ears.

Lies, Part One

Lately I've been thinking about lies. I recently read that the average person lies once every ten minutes. That's extraordinary for a society that values truth and ridicules those who "can't handle the truth." I remember some years ago one of my assignments in an Advanced Composition class involved getting the students to read a series of essays on Truth and Lies, and one thing we considered as a class were "bad lies" versus "good lies." (Immanuel Kant, of course, said no lie was a good lie; lying under any circumstance was unjustifiable.)

Of course we came up with the usual reasons lying could be okay: If the Nazis were banging on my door, asking if the Frank family were hiding in my house, I'd say no, and that lie would be okay. If my Grandma Luck asked me if her peach cobbler was good, I'd say yes even if I hated it; that's okay. And some lies of omission are all right: If I were a paramedic, say, and I was treating a little boy whose parents had died in a car wreck, and if he asked me if where his mom and dad were, I'd say "They're up in the front seat," avoiding telling him they're dead.

We decided these lies were all okay because the motive behind them was a good one. Lying might save the Frank family. Lying would save hurting Grandma's feelings. Lying by omission would save the little boy from getting upset, which could harm his already fragile state, having been just injured in a car wreck.


What's been troubling me, though, is that even the good lies demand that we make a judgment regarding somebody else without consulting them. Now the Franks, I'm sure, would support my lie, because I've already conspired in a lie with them by hiding them from the Nazis in the first place. But what about Grandma? By saving her hurt feelings, what if she goes on to make peach cobbler the same way henceforth much to everyone's chagrin? Would she not have preferred to know her new cobbler recipe was a bust?

And what about the little boy? At some point he's going to realize an adult lied to him about his parents. What might that do to his ability to trust adults, and how might that wreck his own sense of security?

You can't know unless you really know. And there's the rub. Most every time, we don't really know. And isn't it presumptuous to assume we know what somebody else wants? I do know this: whenever somebody lies to me (to save my feelings or to make a decision for me), I get a little pissed. I would really rather someone just tell me how it is. I don't want to walk around with a booger hanging off my nose or half a boob popping out of my shirt.

But if I feel this way for me, then that means I have to feel this way for you. Do unto others as ye would have them do unto you. Right?

Does this mean I have to go around and tell people if their clothes clash, if their nose is too big, if they're so dumb a worm could probably crawl in one ear and come out the other, encountering no resistance? Wouldn't that make me a big asshole?

Well, there's no problem for me unless I'm asked. Thank God, most of the time people don't even ask. But yeah, if you ask, I guess I'm going to have to blast you (as gently as I can) with the truth. Because I really don't want to decide for you whether or not you ought to know something.


But...what if somebody asks me, "Joyce, is my wife having an affair?"

Arrrgh! You see how I can talk myself in circles all day long.

Okay. I suppose my inclination would be to stay out of it; their relationship is not my business. And maybe that's the answer. "I think that's something that you should talk to your wife about."

But doesn't an answer like that already answer their question?

So now you know why I've been pondering this issue lately. It's hard to find an answer without being able to think of some exception. Maybe that's why Kant threw it all into the breeze and just settled on, "Never lie." I'm not sure I can accept that, yet lately I've been trying to practice rigorous honesty (it's a part of recovery)--but, dammit, that's a taller order than it seems. It's much, much harder than we think.

That's all I've got. Open to other ruminations. I'm sure I'll post on this topic again.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Compliment Alert! Compliment Alert!

Oh. My. Goodness. When Chelle got home from work today, she set down her stuff and then, as usual, opened her arms for me to come give her a hug. She wrapped her arms around me, gave me a squeeze, and then declared...

...wait for it...

"My God, honey, you've really gotten smaller!"

Yay! Yay! Yay!

:::::skips around happily:::::

Just Sayin'

Monday, February 22, 2010

Setting Boundaries

"Setting boundaries" was a term tossed around a lot when I was in rehab. You'd be amazed how many addicts and alcoholics have problems with this. For one thing, many of us have had appropriate boundaries trampled on when we were children (one fella in rehab shared horror stories of repeatedly being raped by his own father), so we weren't really raised understanding what "appropriate" is. We get up in people's faces. We spurt anger. We don't respect others' relationships and we cheat on our own partners. We do all kinds of acting out because we don't really "get" boundaries.

Or, some of us go in the opposite direction and have no clue how to set up boundaries for ourselves. People take advantage of us. We're naively trusting. We're constantly hurt because we somehow seem to be made targets of, or victimized, all the time. We have trouble saying "no." We'll put everyone else's needs before our own.

Or, some of us--like me--do all of these things. I was Jekyll and Hyde--sweet when sober and a furious bitch when I was drunk.

Sure, giving up booze has made me much more even-keeled. But learning about boundaries has helped just as much.

Here's what I've learned so far. When our boundaries are crossed, chaos ensues unless you quickly take hold of the situation. So step number one is, know your boundaries. What is a boundary? As MrSponsorPants says, "A boundary is a limit. 'This is what I will do. This is what I won't do. This is what I will not allow in my life. This is what I will not allow you to say to me. This is what I will not allow you to do to me. This is what I will accept from you. This is what I won't accept from you.'" It is a clear statement that says 'No' to some behavior (an action or an inaction) from another person in any context, be it love, family, work, school, etc." Step number two is actually enforcing that statement in a calm, consistent manner.

Two online friends--well, one a friend, the other an acquaintance--recently tried crossing boundaries with me. One was a guy from college who made a pass at me one night on Facebook. I figured he was drunk and maybe had forgotten I'm a lesbian, so I simply said good-bye and went offline, figuring he'd probably be horrified and apologetic the next day. To my surprise, the next day he was not at all apologetic and commenced his rather pathetic wooing of me, so I politely told him his behavior was unwelcome, and then I blocked him. Period. End of problem. Go get some help, my friend, because I'm pretty sure your wife wouldn't like what you're doing.

The other boundary that was crossed was more heartbreaking, and I alluded to it a few days ago in another post. A friend of mine wanted me to do something I wasn't willing to do, really for two reasons: one, I simply didn't care to because it would've been something that would be a daily aggravation and two, doing this thing would also involve my conspiring with her in a lie to someone else. So, I said "no," and my friend didn't like it. When I explained that I was merely setting a boundary, she didn't seem to get what I was saying and then snapped at me about having boundaries herself (as if my having a boundary was stepping over one of her boundaries). In an instant I understood that this friend preferred me better as a drunk. I was much more compliant as a drunk. Because ... when I was using, this friend did a lot of crossing of boundaries with me, but WITH MY PERMISSION.

She's no longer a friend.

Seriously, I do have to live with myself. And being browbeaten by my own conscience is not my idea of a good time.

So, MrSponsorPants (I just love his handle!) has come up with a list of boundaries that I found worth printing out and sticking on my filing cabinet:

* Other people's behavior does not dictate my behavior. If you lie to me I still speak the truth to you. If you steal from me I do not steal from you. My ethics and my principles are not changed by my anger or my fear, nor are they flexible in the context of "standing up for myself" (which in some situations is just "retaliation" in recovery drag.) You don't get to decide how I behave by the way you behave.

* You can spoil your day -- that's up to you -- but you can't spoil mine -- that's up to me.

* If you want to behave badly that's on you. But I'm not going to be part of it. I leave or you leave if you want to behave in a toxic or hurtful (to me, to you, or to an innocent bystander) manner.

* Helping someone is not the same as enabling someone. Generally I do not shield people from the consequences of their actions (or their inactions), and I do not expect them to shield me from the consequences of mine. I most especially do not shield an alcoholic or addict from the consequences of their using.

* I won't support other people's lies.

* I will not allow people to abuse me verbally, emotionally, mentally or physically -- and while I am not responsible for the whole world around me, I will not sit idly by when others are being abused.

Really, these rules about cover it.

Thanks for reading.

Stephenie LaGrossa Responds to Being Kicked Off Survivor

This is four minutes of her talking, not just the 5 second clip CBS airs right after the show.

The Heroes team stinks! I used to like James, but suddenly he strikes me a drama queen, and Rupert (cuddly Teddy Bear Rupert?!) decided to play dirty by getting rid of the competition. Stephenie is, hands down, one of the best competitors Survivor has ever seen, and now I'm halfway tempted to root for Boston Rob.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Not Taking Things Personally

Not taking things personally. I've been thinking about this a lot lately, because it is one of the many things I tend to do that doesn't serve me at all. I waste so much time and energy spinning my wheels wondering if so-and-so directed that comment at me, or if so-and-so's criticism of me is valid--and oh god, if everybody thinks that and I never knew it!--and, most frustratingly, how do I tell the difference between a criticism that doesn't reflect on me at all or if somebody's criticism is actually something I should pay attention to?

I'm one of those persons who cares too damn much about what other people think. Chelle, my wife, isn't like that at all. Somebody could walk right up to her and tell her point-blank she's an arrogant, bossy, controlling shit of a human being, and she would say, "Yeah, so what?" and get on with her day. Not me. Something like that would bother me all day, all night, and into the next day until somebody else said something that bothered me. I'd be wondering what I ever did that made this person think I was arrogant, and when was I ever bossy, and why on earth would anybody think a passive person like me is controlling, and how could somebody misunderstand me so much? And then I'd reach for the bottle and drink until I was pacing the house, having an entire imaginary conversation with this person in which I told them, not quite so politely, to go suck an egg.

And this is on my mind because yesterday I learned about a friend who was wounded by the words of another friend, and yet I feel absolutely sure the person speaking the words had no malicious intent at all. They're simply two different people coming at a situation from two entirely different angles.

So this is what I've come to think--or, more accurately, what I've come to have to think if I don't want to drink myself to death! Taking it personally is a choice. It all depends on whether the criticism is something you really care about and whether the person doing the criticizing is someone whose opinion you value. To give an example, if somebody told me my jacket was ugly, I really wouldn't care. (This is actually true; it happened the other day. She didn't say "ugly," but that was the gist. And she knows I still love her to pieces.) I didn't care because my jacket is warm, it was a gift from my wife, and things like clothing are frivolous matters to me. That judgment said more about her than it did about me. (Like, fashion is important to her.) So I shrugged it off, but now I have a new tool as well. In this situation, I didn't care if my jacket was ugly, but since I do value her opinion, if I were ever dressing up for a fancy occasion, I would certainly seek out her input, because I know for a fact she'd tell me if I looked like Geek Gone Wild.

Or the opposite--suppose somebody called me a horrible teacher. Ouch! I care very much about being effective in the classroom. But if that person is somebody I don't know or who has never set foot in my classroom or whose ideas about effective teaching differ vastly from mine (like, maybe they think insulting students in class is a good way to beat 'em into shape), then I don't give a steaming hot piss what they think. And I will continue to think I do a pretty good job in the classroom.

The point is, it's really up to each of us to make a choice about whether to take something personally. If whatever it is happens to be hurtful to you, set it down. Walk away. You have the power to do that. Don't let this shit rock your foundation.

Peace out

Human Cat Perch

You seriously have to watch this one all the way through, LOL!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

I'll be seeing you again, I know

Found out my favorite aunt passed away on Monday. Long battle with cancer. I still remember how she took care of Wayne and me often when we were little, when Mom was in the hospital. She indulged us in our fantasy role-play...little Supermen, we were, with bath towels pinned to our shoulders with clothespins so we had capes. Much later on, she totally accepted the fact that I am gay and merely said, in her soft, Southern drawl, "Everybody's got to love somebody, honey." When Grandmother hissed that it was sinful, she consoled me with, "She's just old."

Love you, Vilma. Say hi to Mom and Dad, to Harvey and Steve. To Billy. Come see me in my dreams. Tell Lois she'll have some 'splainin' to do when we all gather together.


Joyce Ann

Happy Anniversary, Nopie!

Here's Nopie! Today's the anniversary of the day Chelle and I rescued him off the track when he pulled up lame at Fonner Park. He's healed up very well, and though he'll never race or jump, he'll make someone a good riding horse. He's about playful as a horse can get.

Jonatha Brooke: Because I Told You So

I've really been on a Jonatha Brooke kick lately. The sound on this one isn't the best because it was recorded by someone live at an outdoor concert, but the haunting quality of this music stays with me.

Derby Preps Today!

The local Kentucky Derby prep, the El Camino Real Derby, isn't even a Grade II anymore, so I'd probably not even mention it except that it's my local racetrack. The two favorites will, naturally, be the two "big" horses from down south, Pletcher's Connemara and Sadler's Ranger Heartley. Ranger Heartley has won over the track. A slightly longer shot will be Thomas Baines, who followed these two in the Cal Derby. These three will also take all the money, with Connemara the likely favorite. Who wants to bet three chalky horses for the trifecta? The Steve Sherman barn has been sizzling hot lately and both of his horses will probably get the best odds you'll ever see on them ... just sayin'.

Rachel Alexandra and Zenyatta have both had good works getting ready for their big match-up in April. Zenyatta's slated to run in a prep at Santa Anita March 13. Chelle and I will be there!

Friday, February 19, 2010

Life Goes On

Well, this has been a dead blog for a while, except for the occasional video or horse racing picks post. Truth is, I had a rough year. I won't burden you with all the gory details, but my problem with alcohol got the better of me. I made poor choices; I hurt people; but in the midst of a blackout one night, a voice whispered in my ear: "Get help." I woke up the next morning not remembering a thing EXCEPT that I'd made the decision to check myself into rehab.

My partner had gotten home late from work and found me, soused, on the couch (as usual), and yet, she says, for once I actually spoke articulately and made sense when describing my pain and fear and how I had realized my life had spun out of control.

Don't remember it. But something intervened that night.

I didn't flake on my intention, and three days later found me at a rehab center in Sonoma County. I had a last little bender the night before I went in, went to bed around midnight, arrived at rehab around 11:00am, and blew a .04. And I wasn't even hungover; the night before had been a mild drinking episode. So...imagine how I must've been those nights I guzzled down 3-shot margaritas, a bottle of wine, some bourbon as a last resort when every other bottle was empty.

On March 2nd, I'll have been sober for exactly 6 months.

I finally feel that I'm starting to reclaim my life. I'm remembering who I am after, basically, a three-year bender that commenced when I moved to Spokane, Washington. Of course alcohol has been lurking in the shadows as a problem my entire adult life, but it never whipped me down the way it did this past time. I'm done with it. Done.

I look around now and realize how very blessed I am. I have a loving, forgiving wife. I have friends I wasn't very good to who have welcomed me back with open arms, relieved I'm okay, one of whom, 23 years sober herself, has graciously offered to be my sponsor and is helping me see when my thinking is muddy. I have a great boss and coworkers who have not uttered a single judgmental word and are pleased to see me losing weight and feeling better. I have classes full of students who drive me nuts sometimes, but of whom I can genuinely say I have a real affection for, each and every one of them. They descend upon me after class sometimes, full of questions and full of stories to share about themselves...and I feel that old deep unfillable void in me finally filling for the first time ever.

It's not all sweetness and light. I've had to drop people who've proven toxic in my life, and in some cases that's made me deeply sad. I'm trying to be better about setting boundaries. I'm not inviting into my life others who would threaten my peace of mind (read: sobriety). What seems to be simple isn't, and it's taking constant vigilance to stick to the wisdom of the Four Agreements (profound in its simplicity, if you don't know the book). Being impeccable with my word is something you would think would be easy. Just recently I had to step away from a dear friend because I couldn't bring myself to conspire in a falsehood. It sucks. I try to end every day thinking back over the decisions I've made, whether they were good ones, or if I need to set something right. But one excellent thing I've figured out is that whenever I, for whatever reason, do something that clashes with my own values, that's precisely the thing that will make me pick up.

So, this is my excuse for my long absence. I really have no clue what this blog will turn into, other than I know I want to share me again, the good and the bad and the hilarious and even the nonsense. Hi, y'all.