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Everything’s on sale

A reblog for a fellow writer in some need! Please help out if you’re able!

Cristian Mihai

Given the predicament that I’m in, I’m hosting a special sale until Sunday.

First, there are advertising opportunities to purchase:

1. Reblog – $50 $35 – Do you have a WordPress.com blog? Have you written a piece you’d want everyone to read? Now you can have your content reblogged to an audience of over 102,000.

You can purchase here. 10 spots available. You can buy as many as you like and use them whenever you want.

2. Sponsored Post$50 $35 – Do you have a book you’d want me to review? Or do you want me to interview you? Or simply showcase your works (for graphic artists, painters, etc.)?

You can purchase here. 5 spots available.

4. Star for a Month – $150 $100 – Be a star on my blog for one month. This means the following things:

You’ll get interviewed by me. (1 post)
I’ll…

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Slight Pause

I’d had a blog post planned and almost completely written, when last night I received news that one of my friends died on Tuesday. He had cancer that he wouldn’t get treated (he tried a couple of times, but couldn’t hack it through all the rounds of chemo) so it wasn’t like it completely blindsided me, but it was still pretty disheartening. He made it longer than doctors predicted. His boyfriend has apparently deactivated the facebook account already, so now all the pictures of him, his comments, our conversations are completely gone. I have a few texts and his phone number, that’s all (which probably doesn’t work anymore, if the facebook is already gone). It’s like his presence is completely scrubbed from existence. I feel … uncomfortably numb, if I may alter a Pink Floyd song title.

I’m trying my best to not let this drag me down into a fit of depression. This weekend, I have some things to take care of, and I may do some additional writing, but I’m not planning on posting anything until next week at the earliest.

Namaste, and blessed be.

The Joys of Moving

Fiance and I have now moved into an apartment, as of the 1st. I have been lagging pretty hard since then, so I haven’t found much motivation to write. I also sustained a concussion on the Saturday before the move, so it made things extra difficult both with the move and the recovery afterwards. Maybe it was the concussion, but it seems like this was the most difficult move I was involved in. Obviously I had little to do with my family’s first couple of moves, as I was little, but the more we moved, the more I started doing. The first time I did a move solo was in 2007. I was just turning 20 and moving out of my parents house, because the controlling nature of my parents (read: my father) was causing me far too much stress. I did a “big” move, moving all of the vital, important pieces to my apartment in Zelienople, but since my parents were still in the house in Evans City, I was free to take my time gathering the smaller, non-essential items. It was pretty stress-free and about as great a move as moving can get. The move after that was hurried and haphazard. I was being evicted and I had a limited time in which to move. Of course, my boyfriend at the time did nothing as far as pre-packing went, so the move took the whole day of throwing random shit in bags and what boxes we had and shuffling it to a storage unit a friend was lending us space in and also to the camper trailer that we would be living in. We had several friends helping us, though, so even then it didn’t seem so bad, it was just overwhelming and stressful because of the events surrounding it. My next move was fairly similar to my first solo move. We had found a duplex trailer for rent and since we had no hard and fast timeline to adhere to, we were able to take our time. My boyfriend at the time actually wanted to delay moving in, but I pressured him because I really didn’t want to spend one more night of having to navigate a driveway and two flights of stairs just to use the bathroom in the middle of the night. We stayed in that duplex trailer for a nice chunk of time until my father finally offered to help us. The deal was he would move us out to where he was in Ohio and would pay our rent while I went to college and my boyfriend either worked or went to college (which, he essentially ended up doing neither) to help us get on our feet. We spent our first night in that apartment on October 31st, 2011. We had taken most of our stuff via my father’s truck, but we had left a mattress and sofa, intending to come back for it. However, by the time my father was able to drive us out there a couple of days later (our car was totaled by that point), the mattress was in the landlord’s truck and the sofa was left in the duplex and a new tenant was already there. We let him keep the sofa (he said he didn’t have a bed … which, if that’s the case, I have to wonder why the landlord didn’t just let him keep the damn mattress, but the landlord was a fucktarded drunk). Anyway, it was no harm no foul for us, as we were able to find free furniture to supplement us. By that time, we had lost the storage unit we’d rented because, as I think I’ve mentioned before, my boyfriend was somehow averse to paying bills. I didn’t even get a chance to get some cherished things from the storage unit as same boyfriend was an idiot and lost the damn key. There are some things I truly regret losing as a result, but there’s nothing I can really do about it now but be grateful for what I was able to rescue before the key was lost. The last move before this one was very harried, but it was pretty simple. I had just broken up with my boyfriend two weeks prior. We were having to move anyway because the landlords we had were wanting to raise our rent to something we couldn’t afford when the lease was up at the end of the month, so I decided to act on my brother’s offer to move me out to the Twin Cities area. It was as last minute as you can get without it occurring in the same day. I finalized and came to terms with my decision on a Thursday night. That Friday – my last payday before the end of the month – I gave my notice at work. I cashed my paycheck and spent that night packing. I packed all day Saturday and ran a few needed errands. My father mercifully sent me some money to help fund my cross-country trip. That night I packed up my car with as much as I could fit into it. I barely slept, between nerves and my new kitten wanting to play with me. I think I got about four hours sleep total, maybe. At that point, I’d last eaten some ramen on Friday night. I woke up early Sunday morning, drove to the closest Wal-Mart with an auto center for an oil change, and then set off. My last thought (and facebook status) before I left the parking lot was a quote from Pirates of the Caribbean: “Bring me that horizon.” I spent almost all of Ohio in crying jags. Heartbroken at what had only just happened. Overwhelmed at what I was currently doing. Scared as to what was going to happen in the future. I knew that it was the best choice I could make, but it was still extremely stressful, and I’d been so busy trying to get everything done that I hadn’t had any time to process my breakup of a six year relationship. Through Indiana and Illinois, I started feeling better. Having crossed state lines, I was feeling more accomplished and excited at the prospect of a new life. Once I crossed over into Wisconsin, however, the reality of only having about four hours of sleep started to set in. I also hadn’t eaten yet that day, as my cat started fussing up a storm whenever I stopped for too long, so any rest stops were as quick as possible. I had drank a couple of energy drinks, but they made me have to use the bathroom too much, so I resorted to dragging on my e-cigarette. The last 100 miles to my mum’s house in Wisconsin, I swear I was constantly taking drags on it. It likely saved my life, giving me the little boosts I needed to keep going. We had agreed to meet at the Wal-Mart in Rib Mountain, a place and area I was infinitely familiar with as we’d spent quite a bit of time in the area. However, by that time, I was so tired, I honestly couldn’t tell if I was pulling off at the right exit or not, but I figured I could always pull into a parking lot and call my mother and just tell her where I was and to come get me. Fortunately, my instincts were correct, and I took the right exit. I paced outside my car, jumping around and trying to wake myself up. Since my mother had a new house that was somewhat difficult to get to, she wisely decided to just meet me. Bless her, she brought my stepdad, so I was able to hand my keys over to him to drive my car as I truly didn’t feel safe behind the wheel. Bless her for also stopping at a Taco Bell and buying food for me. Tacos and burritos never tasted so good before. I ended up spending several days at her house, just resting and recuperating from the whole ordeal. That Friday morning, I drove the three and a half hours to the Twin Cities area to avoid the Labor Day holiday traffic, and I stayed in that house until the beginning of this month. While that experience was very difficult and draining, I’d actually say this last move was the worst I’ve had so far. My fiance and I didn’t have anyone to help us with the move, so we packed up what we could here and there, but there was still various and a sundry little things that we couldn’t do anything with until the day of the move. That morning, we walked over the Uhaul place and picked up the truck, deposited my portion of the rent money in his bank account, and then loaded up the truck. The big stuff was actually the easier part at that point, it was getting all the little things put in bags and boxes and getting them on the truck that took the longest. Once at the apartment, it was almost the opposite that was true, and the little things were much easier to haul up the flight of stairs to the second story apartment. The memory foam mattress was the worst thing we struggled with. And the lightheadedness and headaches I kept getting from the concussion were not helping, either. We got everything done, however, and we were both so glad we had the next day off. The day after, though, we both had to go back to work, and I think that’s what made it the worst: the feeling of little respite before getting back into the normal schedule of things. At least with the previous move, I had no job to get to at that point, so I could take my time to recuperate before being thrust into a schedule. Most of the major things have been unpacked so far, most of what remains is just clothes, which need to be sorted. Joy. I’m hoping to get in on that this weekend. Hopefully. 😛

Thanksgiving

Because of the holiday yesterday, I think I’ll take a break from my home series to reminisce on past holidays. ‘Tis only appropriate. 🙂

Thanksgiving was quite the affair, as I’m sure it is for many families. While Christmas dinner varied, Thanksgiving was always the same. Turkey with stuffing, dressing, cranberry sauce, potato salad, corn, green beans, mashed potatoes, candied yams, pumpkin pie. Of course, this was back when barely anything was open on Thanksgiving, so if you forgot something, better hope the neighbors have some or you went without that year. My mum was very organized and usually had things together, but there was a time or two she forgot to pick up something small and a recipe had to be modified or we ended up going without.

She was very smart about the dinner making, though. She always made the turkey the day before and had it carved and in the refrigerator for the next day. She started making more and more the day before until it got to the point where everything was ready by lunch time, so we started having our Thanksgiving meal for lunch. I think it worked out much better that way, just go ahead and get the meal over and done with, then relax and hang out, then just heat up leftovers for dinner.

When we were living in Georgia, we were living around our family, and I’m sure we visited them on Thanksgiving, but I don’t remember it very clearly. That or it blurs with Christmas visitations. I do know my maternal grandmother made a caramel cake that was probably one of the best things I’ve ever put in my mouth. I finally found a recipe for it last week, so it is on my list to attempt for Yule.

This Thanksgiving was a little lackluster, compared to past ones. Most of our money is tied up in moving right now, so we didn’t have the extra to get special stuff for a Thanksgiving meal. We ended up just eating some lasagna and cheesy garlic toast. But, it was still wonderful all the same, to get to spend it with my fiance. We geeked out a good part of the day, setting up bookings for his wrestling game, then he played some of his football game while I took a quick nap. Then some reading and snuggling time, followed by dinner and a movie. We decided to watch a movie that’s so bad it’s good: No Holds Barred, starring Hulk Hogan. Oh gods, it was terrible. But it was hilarious. One of those movies where it’s fun to snark on as you watch it ala MST3K.

This holiday, for Yule, I intend on doing a little more cooking. Maybe actually have a bird. If a bird is possible, then I’ll definitely be making some of my mum’s dressing. Some candied yams. Mashed potatoes. And at least an attempt at the caramel cake. I actually like being domestic, when I get the chance to be.

But, no matter what happens this holiday season, I’ll do my best not to get caught up with details. I’ll simply enjoy the time I have with  my fiance. After all, we have life, we have each other, and that’s all we really need.

When the going gets tough…

Because of my current financial situation, I’m unable to donate, but if you can, please give a writer a break! Even a little bit is appreciated!

Cristian Mihai

If you’ve been following this blog for a few months, you probably know that I’ve been struggling. Trying to obtain much needed funding for my projects and novels. But also trying to make ends meet. You know, there’s nothing romantic in wondering whether or not you’re going to eat the next day.

Yet I tried my best. I wrote and wrote, and I blogged, and I launched a website even though I couldn’t even afford to pay for a domain…

Sometimes I wonder whether or not I should give up. If I’m actually not good enough. But I’ve always liked inspiring people, no matter how I felt about myself or my life. The truth is, I really am a deeply unhappy person. I’m just trying to make everyone else feel better than I do. I’ve always done that.

I just want to do what I love… don’t know. I’m kind…

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crimson tears

My fiance has decided to join the world of wordpress. Welcome to the madness. 🙂

spoonfulsofharvey

One week after the passing of my father, I was standing outside staring at the night sky trying to determine which star belonged to my dad. Suddenly the wind blew a crisp breeze from my right. As I glanced in said direction, I was shocked to see what appeared to be my dad standing at the top of a very steep hill with his back facing me. Without delay I ran faster than I’ve ever ran before. As I drove my feet into the ground with substantial force as if I only knew how to move in one direction, I couldn’t help but notice that, without taking any steps at all my dad was gradually moving out of reach. The realization of losing him again was a concept that was too painful to bear or consider so, I found a way to run even faster. How fast you ask? So…

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Lovely stress

I’ve had a long relationship with stress in my life. Most recently, today, apparently my car decided to stall while my fiance was on the way home. Its fate is unknown as of yet. We are supposed to move into a new place on December 1st, and not having a car is going to make things very difficult for us. My stomach is in knots and I feel dizzy.

But this is not an unfamiliar feeling. I’ve struggled with stress my whole life. I even remember it as a child, that sickening feeling in my stomach, the inability to shut down the racing thoughts in my head. I don’t always remember specific instances, but I remember the feeling.

I clearly remember lying in bed in an old apartment of mine, facing eviction, unable to sleep because I couldn’t stop worrying about what I would do, where I would go, what would happen to me. I ended up practically homeless, living in an unheated camper trailer in the driveway of my ex’s parent’s house. Like the Mary and Joseph in the Bible, there was “no room in the inn”, so we were relegated to the trailer. In Pennsylvania, it gets bitterly cold in the winter. I had to resort to only bathing once a week, because peeling off all the layers for a few minutes just to pull them back on was such a chore. I dreaded sleeping at night, when it really got cold. I pulled on as many layers as I could, including a hat, and pulled the blankets over my head to conserve as much heat as possible, though I was still chilled throughout the night. Going to the bathroom was a real experience, as there was no running water or working toilet in the trailer, so I’d have to pull on boots and my winter coat and carefully traverse an icy driveway to climb two flights of stairs in the house just to get to the closest bathroom.

Even the duplex trailer we managed to nab and move into, there was still issues there. My ex was a pillhead, and as such he usually squandered his check on pills, giving little regard to our bills. Our electric bill got so ridiculous, we had to be put on a payment plan. There was several times the landlord had to come knocking about rent, and he was far from a gentle man. The vibe he gave off was gruff and unfriendly, and sometimes scary. There were times that I simply dodged into our bathroom or our bedroom (where he couldn’t see in) when I noticed him walking towards our trailer. He wasn’t always coming to us, but when he did, I would ignore his knocking, because I didn’t like dealing with him, especially when I always got the wrath that should have been directed at my ex.

I also remember, in that duplex trailer, we only had one car for most of the time we lived there, and my ex used it to get to work. After that car was totaled, he hitched a ride with friends, but it still put me in the position of being absolutely alone all day. A lot of times, he would go get stuff with his friends after work. Sometimes he would be home quickly, but a lot of times I was waiting for him long into the night with absolutely nobody there, nobody to talk to, nothing to do except watch TV (when the cable was on…our neighbor allowed us to hook into his cable for a small fee each month, but my ex was not faithful on any kind of bills). It drove me up the walls, especially when there was no cable. He was my only real human contact, and I felt abandoned most of the time. Alone with my thoughts and feelings, which tended to overwhelm me. I was living there when I lost all faith in the Christian religion after being coldly rebuffed by a pastor that I personally knew. I’m sure he doesn’t know this, but his refusal to help a member out by simply giving them a ride when they had no other options sent them into a downward spiral that resulted in leaving the Christian faith. I could go on about this, but I won’t. Not on this post at least.

Back on topic, a familiar bolt of panic shot through me when my brother messaged me on facebook and told me that his new boyfriend (of less than a month at that time) was going to be moving in and fiance and I had to move out by December 1st. I remember I actually cried because of the short timeline (this was the end of September) and the fact that not a lot becomes available in Minnesota in the winter because people generally don’t like to have to deal with ice and snow when trying to move. Of course, my brother is oblivious to many things, and I’m sure he thought nothing of it. But I think of these things. Hell, it seems I think of every little thing, and I panicked. I cried. I hyperventilated for a minute. All kinds of cuss words ran through my head. But my fiance was my rock. He assured me we would find a place and that I would never have to go back to the kinds of situations I’ve been in.

And he was right. We found a place, and despite a couple of miscommunications and missteps, we have the place secured. And then this happens with the car. Always something, it seems, that seems to be the theme of my life. I can’t seem to have anything good happen in my life without something happening to interfere or deflate it. I try to not let things get to me, I try really hard. But I’m a worry-wart by nature (thanks, Grandma) and with an anxiety disorder stemming from PTSD, I have physical issues that is difficult to deal with without proper medication. But, because of various circumstances that I don’t feel like going into right now, I can’t get what I need to help. So, I just flounder here and there and go on as best I can. My heart is still in my stomach as I await to hear the fate of my car. I can only hope and pray to the gods that everything will be okay.

 

ETA: Fiance made it back to the car and it started and he was able to get it home. We are hopeful he’ll be able to pick me up tonight as I’m not really dressed to walk over half a mile in the cold and snow to the bus stop. I swear, if it’s not one thing it’s another. My life can’t be going good for too long! Damnit, Loki, gimme a break!

More on Music

Today, as I fixed an error in my posting (somehow, the music post didn’t have “draft” selected when I wrote it, though I swore I selected it, so it posted when I meant to save it … so when I did post it, instead of posting third in the series, as I had planned it, it posted as the second), I was struck by another memory involving music.

International Falls is a very small town on the American/Canadian border in northern Minnesota. We moved up there in March 1997 so my father could be a pastor to a church up there, but then left a little less than two years later. I turned 10 years old just two months after we moved there. We had a party at the local McDonald’s because they had a pretty awesome play place.

I made a few friends there, though none I’ve kept in touch with. One in particular I used to have quite a few sleepovers with and we enjoyed playing and hanging out. She also helped introduce me to secular music. Her parents went to church, but they didn’t seem to be overly religious as they had no problems with watching TV and listening to a variety of secular music. I also know that her father smoked. I don’t know about other Christians, but in my flavour of fundamentalism, smoking was a big no no. Though, now that I think about it, I don’t remember actually seeing him at church. Perhaps only her and her mother went.

Anyway, I remember holing up in her room and listening to Backstreet Boys, N*Sync, Janet Jackson, Christina Aguilera, Britney Spears, and the like. These days, I don’t particularly like pop music in general, but at that time I loved it. It was so different than anything I was usually permitted to listen to. I loved the beats and the different instrumentation. It was so catchy and infectious. Unfortunately, at that time, it was more difficult to copy music than it is today, so unlike with my best friend when I was 14, I was unable to make copies for myself to listen to in private. If I could have, I definitely would have, though.

I had another friend I hung out with quite a bit. We’d ride our bikes to this little park area where there was a small amphitheatre. I remember that we’d take turns suggesting songs to sing, and I was always embarrassed because I had never heard of the songs she was suggesting. I don’t remember any of the titles she would throw out, but I’m sure they were popular songs of the time. We ended up just sort of going along with the other when we traded off lead, because the only mildly secular songs I knew at that point were old country songs and some Elvis, and she didn’t know any of those songs at all. I always wondered if she thought it was weird that I hadn’t heard any of the songs she knew. Then again, I wonder if any of my friends noticed the little fundie differences that came through like that. I wonder if they gave it much thought or just shrugged it off. I honestly couldn’t say. Curious.