I’m up, thinking too much. This energy would be great for working on my novel, but it’s nearly 1AM & I have to be at work tomorrow. So here I am, slumming it in a blog post, wondering how much to disclose.

France was alarming. Friends of my friends were affected. Beirut was also besieged, but the media has Middle East fatigue, because someone is always killing someone there. It’s why American news never talks about violence in Chicago any more. But France was just being French, & because they were doing it with peaceful contentment, ISIS wanted to make a statement.

I suppose, if you’re going to make a statement, that’s how you do it. You pick the people least imagined to want to kill you back, then kill them. Well, France is bombing now. So there’s that.

If my thoughts about this seem less than incendiary, it’s because I already have outrage fatigue. Social media lets everybody have the old twenty years of post-event analysis within an hour of an event. We get every yahoo & couch strategists’ hot take simply by looking down at our phone. Salon’s pandering hand wringing and Infowars’ wackadoo conspiracy theories are right in your face, alongside your Uncle Jethro’s jihadi survival guide & your cousin Ember’s condemnation of the west.

I literally just cannot any more. I can’t even word.

Then there’s the backlash to the backlashes. These things used to take years, with several Oscar nominated films, to parse. Now everybody with at least one thumb knows exactly what’s wrong with the world 2 seconds after something happens. And then everybody else tells you why those guys’ opinions suck 2 seconds later.

So now I’m just sitting here wondering what thoughts to confess.

I have decided it shall be none of them. 

I’ll go back to stalking Facebook photo albums now.

Something I recently googled.

Because I Have To

I am only writing something tonight because Richard messaged me earlier today & told me he likes these. Nothing happened today, but I like Richard & want him to be happy.


This font is not comforting.

Really the only thing I can disclose from my day is that I returned to Target & it was not awful this time. Both my contacts & new glasses should be here in 7-10 days.

I ate delicious leftovers, watched Blacklist (which featured a truly delicious Ressler & Tom fight) & now I’m here. I don’t hurt very much, but my muscles are being very odd. I think my ankle wants to pop out again.

 Many wonderful things occurred that a few of us are chalking up to the work of God. For two weeks, a group of us have been praying & lighting candles for a friend’s cousin & another friend’s child. Today, the cousin (in a coma, not expected to live) woke up, & the child’s biopsy was good news.
When prayer is answered, as y’all know, I am not surprised. This does not dull my delight at the good news one whit. It’s like tracking a package & then the package gets here. God hears us.

I don’t pray for Him to subvert His will, but I do tell Him what I would like for that person, or their family, then add the legal caveat that He knows better & He probably already had something fabulous planned.

When I lose someone, I have to ask “Please help me to grieve properly. I am a robot & it comes out sideways & you know I suck at this feelings crap.” 

I’ve had to do this twice this year. Each time, something amazing happened. The Sunday after the Horrible Wednesday when my aunt, friend, & cat Persephone died, I had not slept. I got dressed & went to the early Mass & lit candles & prayed & sobbed, openly, in front of people. If you know me, you are stunned. This is not a thing I do. Our Deacon & Canon gave me big hugs & talked to me. I went home feeling more at peace.

When Neil died recently, I did not sob the Sunday after (I had done most of my sobbing & wailing at home that week). But I went to High Mass & two of my church friends who knew came to me & gave me great hugs. Christopher just looked at me & knew. Ed came & sat in the pew & reached over. Poor Ed had recently lost his mother, but he was empathizing with me over my cat. Both gestures were so kind & comforting. My church family is amazing.

My online prayer family is also amazing. We don’t all agree on denominations or who is the Son of God even, but we heed the call to prayer & go cuckoo bananas. For years, I have joined with friends of all faiths in prayer & seen amazing results. You believe what you want; I believe in outstanding medical care & miracles.

I guess today was actually pretty eventful after all.

Hold Me Now…

…sang the Thompson Twins. “Oh warm my heart. Stay with me…” but I’m not singing that laconically over synths. I am screaming it into the darkness. Why?


My face after tonight’s American Horror Story.

American Horror Story: Hotel. Tonight’s episode was particularly cruel & brutal. It was also pretty good. Not as fantastic as last week’s, but pretty good. Horrifying Baby is going to be my new obsession for about two hours.

It’s also a great name for a punk Hanson cover band.

Other than that, today involved a horrifying trip to Target Optical wherein promises I was made on Saturday turned out to be rubbish, & then LA traffic woes, & all the rage that comes with that. 
I was also given an opportunity to fulfill a promise to my mother. I hope that turns out beautiful. I am grateful either way.

I’m going to pull up the covers up over my head & shudder until I fall asleep now, thanks.

Tea & Sin

It took a long time to fall asleep last night.

Almost ten years ago, I tore a tendon in my right ankle, on the medial side, more up the calf than the ankle itself. Subsequently I have this weird instability that, thank God, only rears its ugly head a couple times a year these days.

On the drive to church Sunday, it was threatening any time I touched the gas pedal, then seemed to dissipate as I went about my business. It came back full force last night as I was trying to sleep. I laid there & prayed. “Dear God,” I repeated, “Please stop my ankle from popping out. I cannot deal with that pain tonight. I can’t. And I need to be able to drive to work tomorrow.”

I fell asleep & dreamt I could do parkour, which was handy because I lived in a concrete bunker apartment building with no stairs, & I was on the third floor. I had to dodge a bunch of bad guys to get home. Once I entered, Christopher handed me a program for High Mass (which is pretty much standard Sunday stuff for me), & I found Plucky seated in my kitchen, surrounded by empty liquor bottles, lecturing the floor about cat care.

Upon waking I figured this dream meant church is my home, but then why is drunk Plucky in my church? And then I asked myself, why not? If she ever leaves Ashville, I’m gonna ask her to come with me. Like I do.

Is this my calling? Is Jesus calling me as super weird as He possibly can?

Anyhow, I woke up feeling kind of ok, but off, & went to work. I was there for a half hour. Even after taking pain meds, the pain got worse. My ankle didn’t didn’t hurt so much (though it was unstable), but I was in fibro flare. My shoulders, my back, & my forearms were becoming bricks of pain. I managed to pick up an ankle brace & some food before I caused a vehicular accident–small mercies.

At home I ate & collapsed, but I also now had more time to do NaNo. I have created characters I would want to hang out with, & that makes writing a breeze. Then I dorked around on Facebook for a while.

Father Ian (that’s Canon Ian to you) had posted something about taking confessions, & I replied that I had been thinking about that sacrament, funnily enough. But as I’d never done it before, where do I start? “Forgive me, Father, for I have sinned. When I was 6, I said something cruel to a boy to spare myself embarrassment & I still fear to this day that I scarred him for life. When I was 7 I didn’t want to get stung by a bee again, so I kind of shoved this boy in the bee’s path & he got stung.” Wait. As an adult, that last one doesn’t even make sense. You can’t actually shove a child into the path of a bee. Bees aren’t trains.


Maybe I should confess, so Father can tell me these things! Anyhow, he said to come over for tea & we’ll talk about it. I will see if he means it Sunday. Tea does sound very nice. I could ask him my fornication questions (see yesterday), but I’m not sure anyone short of a brimstone Baptist can take that subject seriously.

I then watched Scream Queens (kinda meh this week) & then got into bed & called the boyfriend. And here I am with you.

He is coming for Thanksgiving. I am stoked! I’ll have to make sure I have a pumpkin pie for him; that’s his favourite. Happily, it is also my brother’s. They can split it. 

I’m trying.

I said I’d post something every day. Here is something.



This is a random photo of a goat.

I can’t actually discuss anything today because it was all confidential. 

Oh! I did get to see two friends on TV, on two different shows. I also worked out at a higher intensity than usual, but for a shorter amount of time. I’m trying to find the balance between fibro & strength training, weight loss & injury. I have a super hard time wth that balance.

I talked to a woman who is dating a guy 20 years younger than her, & I am now old enough where that is not skeevy. In fact, it calls for a high five. Remember, if you are single, it doesn’t mean you have no soul mate. He might be a fetus right now. God is making him just for you.

I don’t sleep much any more because I wrestle with intrusive thoughts. They’re not scary or disturbing, just insistent. Many things in my life are up in the air, so I wonder about all the uncertainty. I attach no meaning to the things, so there is no emotional upheaval. I just get caught up in probabilities.

I did not do any NaNo today because TV & work out.

I miss the cats a lot.

I’ve been wondering a lot about fornication, what it means, what is sin, what is biological imperative…. Are we primates bumbling toward seconds of ecstasy that God hopes to elevate, or are we achieving spiritual release? Every excuse could be made here. I want to get to the bottom of that.

I worry about genetic diversity. The male/female for life model seems spiritually more fulfilling, but is an evolutionary disaster. Women really should be selecting diverse, healthy mates. I have lots of theories how this could be achieved, but none are theologically sound.

I sometimes think sex is overated. I often think human interaction is overated. I don’t understand people who like kale.

If I ever hear about Starbucks cups again, I am volunteering for a Mars mission. 

I wish more people respected math. They don’t have to understand it, just respect it. I wish I were less afraid of breaking my sewing machine. I’ve read the instructions three times & they still make no sense. I’m just gonna have to make an attempt. I learn by doing.

I want to make dresses. I will start with skirts.

I keep thinking I’ve forgotten something.

I owe Richard a letter, but that is not the thing I keep thinking I’ve forgotten.

I want to introduce Richard & Christopher because I think they’d become friends. I hope I can still have children. I should never have given up acting.

What do I keep forgetting?

A Day At St. Thomas

“HOW ARE YOU EVEN DOING THIS?!” you scream at your screen. “You’re doing NaNoWriMo, writing pieces for Phantom Sway, and now you’re going to subject us to your personal blog again?”

Yes. Shut your gob. Because as luck would have it, Len & I sat together in the parish hall today, waiting to have our glucose & cholesterol looked at, & she asked me about my writing.

“Which thing?” I asked.

“All of it,” she replied.

Long story short, she convinced me (in a gentle, subtle, possibly psychologically adept way) to keep some sort of daily diary on my blog. Like I used to. And that became a self published book that has helped a few people with fibromyalgia feel less alone. So why not now, when my life is infinitely more interesting?

I told you about lying around in pain all day in Reno, hopped up on goofballs. I can’t tell you about freaking Hollywood?

Well, part of the reason is that my job requires me to listen to confidential material all day. So I can’t tell those stories. Those are others’ stories. But I can drop a couple paragraphs here each day, right? Sure! 

hold me to it

So let’s start with today. Today I woke from a dream in which I was petting a penguin. It was soft & darling, like a kitten, which I imagine penguins are not actually in real life. The alarm woke me & I was so cross to have to set the penguin down.

I rose, showered, dressed, and ate this, which is irrefutable proof of something many people are jerks about:  


That is a gluten free breakfast sandwich. That dotted disc is meant to be a biscuit. You know, those warm, flaky things you Norms smother in sausage gravy? Not so for the celiac sufferer. So those of you who think gluten stuff is a fad, you can blow me. If I have to get out the door quickly, I have to heat this up. This. This…disc.

It actually tastes ok. But still! Disc. And the company knows celiac people will eat it because we don’t want to die. A death proceeded by crapping in church. So they can get away with selling us convenient discs.

I then brushed my teeth & did my eyes & took my hair out of the bun I slept in…NO. I cannot wear an Anglo Afro to church! I cannot be both Weird Al & Carrot Top at mass. People behind me need to see! So I wrestled all the curls into yet another bun & somehow made it to rosary on time.


15 minutes peace with the Virgin.

After saying the rosary with Stephen & John, I took my place in our usual pew with my sister Caroline & her boyfriend Sam, who joined us today. Jimmy sat in front of us (as usual) & told us a beautiful story I’m not sure I’m allowed to repeat. It was very personal, but demonstrated how God moves in our lives. 
The pews filled, waves were exchanged, phones were turned off, and I blinked at the sculpture of Jesus over our altar because my new contacts do not correct for my worsening astigmatism. The familiar echo of substantial boots came down the aisle right before the procession; Robert was in the house.

We then had a lovely Remembrance Day High Mass in which it was announced that Brit had been accepted by our diocese to pursue holy orders. This is magnificent news. Brit was in the same catechism as me & Caroline. I am inordinately fond of her & had the privilege of writing a recommendation for her. It would not shock me if she were made bishop of Los Angeles by the time she’s 40. She is a universe of love in a 5′ singularity. We are all of us blessed by this decision, across space time.

We sang one of Canon Davies’ favourite hymns during communion, & one of mine at the end. We listened to Jeffrey play us out, & then waited in the reception line with Christopher, who was wearing a penguin tie. So I told him about the dream & he sang “Soft Penguin”. If you’ve even heard of Big Bang Theory, you know.

We had a health fair today so the parish hall was packed with nurses ready to measure us and stick us & give us flu shots. My friend Salvador & our parish nurse Debbie worked hard to put it together (it was our first) & I think it went fairly well. The poor gal who stuck my finger was alarmed at how long it took me to stop bleeding, but I’m B12 deficient so I just kept assuring her it was ok. And it was.

Then Dee, Rodney, David & I had a civil conversation about politics, proving it is actually possible, no matter what social media will have us believe.

Achy & starving, I got home finally & made buffalo chicken dip with celery for football lunch. And now I’m writing this. And soon I will Nano again.

Things I learned today:

  • I’ve been without contacts for so long that there are a number of people at my church who had no idea what I looked like without glasses. Many remarked that my eyes are very big.
  • Don’t use mozzarella for buffalo chicken dip. The bleu cheese is essential.
  • It doesn’t matter what I wear; my Pats will always win. This is a relief.

My subsequent entries will be much shorter because church is always more fascinating than anything else I do. Promise. Well, probably.


Cheese Continues to Be The Answer. Also? Bacon.

My experimentation with items from Trader Joe’s continues to satisfy my every cheesy, gluten free, grain free need with this green bean casserole kicked up a few notches to five thousand & twenty on a scale of 1-100.

Let’s make it!

Preheat your oven to 400 & get out the following:

1/2 bag of cleaned & trimmed green beans

1/2 package of Just Chicken

4 oz bacon cheddar

That’s it!

Take an 8×8 roasting pan & layer the green beans, then the chicken, then crumble the cheese on top. Put in the middle rack of your 400 oven for 30 minutes & voila! Makes two servings adding up to the following nutritional benefits & 322 calories (per one serving):

 Some prep notes:

If you’re like me & have fibromyalgia, or some other neuromuscular thing like MS or what have you, or just have weak hands or are lazy, I don’t chop on bad days. Sometimes a knife is truly dangerous in my hands, & some days it’s like an artist’s brush. But today There Would Have Been Blood.

So the reason I spend a little more for fresh-yet-pre-cleaned green beans & Just Chicken (as opposed to chicken that isn’t already cooked) is so I don’t have to use a knife. I can tear it with my hands if I need it smaller. Or smoosh it, depending on my level of dexterity. Something to think about.

The most important thing is that this is amazing & has 9 net carbs. NINE. But it has no potassium, so figure that out somehow with your other foods.

Make it & post your mods below!