R.V. Butler was raised among the fairies in the foothills of northern California, where she learned the magic of storytelling from a variety of wizards, witches, mermaids, and superheroes. To her chagrin, she was never kidnapped by pirates or abducted by aliens, but she managed to find adventure in the most boring place of all: school. In her teens, she began a lifelong battle with the demons Depression and Anxiety, which she currently has under her thumb with the help of some very powerful potions and spells.
She presently works as an administrative assistant in Winters, California, a magical land known the world over for farmers, steak, and a certain country music singer we’re not supposed to make a fuss about. At the end of 2016, she became a true Phoenix, and since then, she’s been befriending dragons, hunting things, and time traveling. Every November, she straightens her Viking helmet and captains the Yolo County ship for NaNoWriMo alongside Elisabeth Kauffman.
Recently, I finished a class on soft skills, put on by New World of Work and taught by the fantastic Natasha Palumbo. We covered ten skills that can help in the workplace, skills they don’t teach you when you’re majoring in English or pretty much anything else in school. One of the things we covered in the last class was resilience.
Historically, I’ve had a hard time with resilience. I think most people with depression do. One small failure can keep us from trying again or trying something new because it’s a glaring example of our perceived incompetence. That, paired with a poor view of my own self-worth, has been what’s kept me from finishing a novel and having a successful career doing what I truly love.
I have to admit, I’m a little apprehensive about the movie Long Shot. Don’t get me wrong. I have very high hopes for it. Based solely on the two trailers I’ve seen, it looks like it could be an enjoyable watch. (Please note that what follows is a discussion on a particular type of movie, which Long Shot may or may not be. I haven’t actually seen it yet. The movie’s trailer only sparked this discussion in me.)
Depending on how the actual movie plays out, it could be another in a long line of “unattractive”* guy meets “hot” woman and somehow woos/seduces/date rapes her movies (I’m thinking of Sixteen Candles and Hitch right now, but there are plenty of others). Who cares? What’s so bad about that? It’s cute and endearing and shows the power of love, right?
Feeling whole and feeling like nothing is missing are two different things to me. There’s that old metaphor that gets used about the Japanese bowls being repaired with gold and looking more fabulous than they were before, and yes, that’s a wonderful metaphor for healing. But even though those bowls are whole, they can still be empty.
I’ll just say this up front, I feel whole. There are a couple little cracks a way deep down inside that could maybe be filled, but I don’t feel broken. (What is broken? Sam Winchester in the current season of Supernatural; he’s fucking broken.)* What is wholeness? I guess to me wholeness is having everything you need to get through the day and then recharge at the end of the day. If I’m not able to do that, I am definitely not whole.
Excuse me while I have some fun. I’m watching Romancing the Stone right now, and I was thinking how cool it would be to see a (well-done) remake. Then I thought to myself, Self, what if the genders of all the characters were reversed? Well now, that would be something! So, without further ado, here is who I would cast:
Ira/Irene (orig. Zack Norman): Julianne Moore Ralph/Ruby (orig. Danny Devito): Melissa McCarthy Dr./Col. Zolo (orig. Manuel Ojeda): Salma Hayek Elaine/Eddie (orig. Mary Ellen Trainor): Zac Efron Gloria/Gabe (orig. Holland Taylor): Ben Affleck Juan/Juanita (orig. Alfonso Arau): Elizabeth Rodriguez Jack/Jackie (orig. Michael Douglas): Zoe Saldana Joan/John (orig. Kathleen Turner): Ryan Reynolds
I mean, really, wouldn’t you just love to hear Julianne Moore say, “Look at those snappers, Ruby.” Elizabeth Rodriguez saying, “John Wilder? The John Wilder?” Can’t you just see Zoe Saldana shooting at Salma Hayek, mumbling about how she should have listened to her mother and become a cosmetic surgeon? Ryan Reynolds, crying over the ending of his new romance novel and saying, “Oh God, that’s good!”
Hollywood, I expect to be made an executive producer and receive a portion of the royalties on what is sure to be a blockbuster hit. kthnxbai
So I decided a few days ago that I would try Whole30 again. Today is Day 1, and it’s a great day to remind me why I’m doing this.
I woke up late this morning, by about two and a half hours. No biggy. It’s Sunday. I can afford to sleep in. I fed the cats, checked to make sure my computer hadn’t miraculously healed itself overnight (it hadn’t),* took a shower, and made myself a great Whole30 breakfast of bacon-wrapped shrimp and veggies. I was feeling pretty good and looking forward to church and a library visit.
Then, it hit me. I felt like I hadn’t slept in a week. All I wanted to do was crawl back into bed and take a long nap, and it was only 10:30 am. I had nothing left in me to give anyone, even myself.
Tonight on Twitter I made a confession. I confessed to having watched the 2006 documentary Jesus Camp at least four (?) times. I did this as I watched it again for the fifth (?) time.
A couple of points I should make: I am an agnostic Wiccan Unitarian Universalist. I used to be a fundamentalist Christian (a Reformed/Calvinist Baptist, in case you wanted to know), but I have never been a Pentecostal. I have never been 100% onboard with what the people in the film are preaching.
So why have I watched it so many times? I pondered this tonight and decided to talk it out here because why not?
First of all, I find the hypocrisy fascinating. I’m not talking about Ted Haggard preaching against homosexuality and then having his extramarital relationship with a man outed. I’m talking about magic.
Behold the beauty of my personally designed planner. After scouring the internet and bookstores for the perfect planner for–let’s face it–years, I finally decided to create my own. (Side note: I did try bullet journaling for a while, but I hated that I had to create new spreads every day/week/month by hand.)
I originally was going to have it printed at Kinko’s and put it in a binder, but that was going to cost in the hundreds of dollars (?!). I decided to check out a self-publishing website I encountered before (BookBaby), and to my pleasant surprise, my new planner (bound with a hard cover!) was going to cost less than $50, including shipping.
In which I complain about a lack of manners and then insult a very particular type of person.
I’m not saying I’m a snooty manners snob, but whatever happened to just regular old manners? Pushing in your chair when you get up. Saying excuse me when you’re walking behind or around someone. Looking at someone when they’re talking to you (autism spectrum and blind people excepted). Shaking hands when you meet someone. Saying please and thank you. You know, things mothers used to teach their five-year-olds. I’m not saying we should go back to upper class Victorian England or Louis XIV Versailles. Just some politeness. Common courtesy. Thinking about others before yourself.
But also, to all the people who are too good to stir your coffee with a fork: go fuck yourself.
I just ordered 300 pens with my name and website on them. Perhaps I should post on this website more often. The pens are bound to get out. I do work in a restaurant, after all. Pens disappear all the time. We know not where they go, only that we enter the restaurant with five in our pocket and leave with two or three. I will use one pen obsessively in hopes of losing it so all my pens will be the same, only to lose the others and keep that pen until I intentionally “lose” it. I will buy pens that are different than the hosts’ pens, only to see the same kind of pens I bought show up in the hosts’ pen jar a week later. Well, not this time. And if it does happen, I won’t care because I’ll have 300 PENS WITH MY NAME AND WEBSITE ON THEM. I can take them back whenever I want because I know they’re mine. Or I can leave them there and hope the hosts lose them. Lost pens usually find their way to the right place at the right time, right? Perhaps. At least, I hope my $126.65 will encourage my pens to be lost in all the right ways.
It’s never too late to educate yourself. No matter where you went to school or what kind of grades you got, you can always learn more. Never took Chemistry in high school? Want to learn another language? Don’t know anything about the French Revolution? Pick up a book at your local library, watch YouTube videos or a Netflix documentary, or enroll in a class at your local community college.
The best thing about being out of school is that you can learn about anything you want! LITERALLY ANYTHING. There’s no one telling you to take general ed or to follow a course of study. There’s nothing stopping you from picking up a book or watching an online lecture. You can audit classes and listen to the lectures without worrying about getting a good grade. You can read textbooks without the pressure of memorizing information for a test.
Today I picked up two books from the library: Easy Spanish Reader (2nd ed.), by William T. Tardy, and The Wild Out Your Window, a collection of nature essays by Sy Montgomery. I also own Saxon Algebra 1 (4th ed.), which is where I placed because I’ve forgotten a great deal of the math I learned in high school and college. I’m planning on completing it and all Saxon’s math programs all the way up to Calculus.
Am I consistent with my self-education? Hell no. I have nothing motivating me except my own interests, which wax and wane quicker than the moon, and a desire to educate my children, who currently don’t exist. TV and the internet are distracting, and I have ADD, anxiety, and depression. However, I still think it’s important to try.
So get out there and learn something! Anything! Whatever you want!