I just synced my RSS feed to Goodreads, and learned that Goodreads doesn’t support WordPress’s aside format, which I’ve been using for the better part of a year in order to microblog primarily on my own site rather than on other social media (which I should also be doing, but…).

When I started the microblog, I read that in the past, users of the aside format would put an infinity symbol at the bottom of the post containing the permalink. I might have to start doing something like that as my first line. If Goodreads is turning the first line into a default title, it’s possible that other RSS readers are doing something similar.

“Play in space beneath sight.”

I tend to make these poems spontaneously, and find meaning after the fact. To me, this is about imagination, which is absolutely a space beneath sight.

The Grammarly browser extension now has a feature that detects tone, or at least attempts to, in much the same, fumbling way that the Grammarly software attempts to do anything.

It labeled a flat-out rant I’d written as having an “appreciative” tone.

It also labeled a draft of my blog post on 2019 as “accusatory.” Take that, 2019!

Peanut Butter Cup Fat Bombs

I created my own recipe for peanut butter cup fat bombs since I’m not patient enough to look through 5,000,000 blogs and find a good recipe that someone else wrote. And also, I’m too picky for my own good.

It’s been years since I followed any kind of strict diet, but I have a handful of guidelines I set for how I eat. One of those is to try to stick to sweets that are filling and low in sugar. This fits on both counts.

Makes 12

1 cup peanut butter
1 stick butter
2 tbsp honey
Vanilla
Cinnamon
1 cup chocolate bits
Cacao nibs (optional)

Prepare a muffin pan by adding Halloween-themed cupcake papers to each little cup. This will not work if there aren’t ghosts on the paper. It’s the same principle as how, if a recipe says to use 1% milk and you want to use whole milk, you still have to use 1%. Someone who wrote a recipe said you have to do it, and now your arms are moving on their own, and you can’t stop them.

Melt the chocolate bits. I use dark chocolate since the whole point of these is to have something sweet that’s low in sugar. You can use a little extra if you want to be the type of fancy person who drizzles chocolate artfully on top of things. You don’t need a double boiler for this, no matter what anyone says. Stop living in fear.

While the chocolate is melting, sprinkle a bunch of cacao nibs into the bottom of each muffin cup. They make everything extra crunchy and chocolatey. Plus, ghosts like them.

Once the chocolate is melted, pour it into the bottom of the cups on top of the cacao nibs.

Melt the peanut butter, butter, and honey.

Add vanilla to this mixture. I’m not sure how much, even though I’ve made these numerous times. Half a teaspoon? A whole teaspoon? Just add some. You’re not going to fuck it up. Same goes for the cinnamon.

Pour the peanut butter mixture on top of the chocolate in the cups. Optionally, you could wait for the chocolate to harden first. But I didn’t put patience on the ingredients list, did I?

Now, if you’re fancy, add the chocolate drizzle to the top, and some extra cacao nibs to go with it.

Freeze or refrigerate.

Developing film
Soapmaking
Printmaking

This list is the intersection of:

Art forms that sound awesome and
Art forms that have caustic chemicals and
Art forms that I will not try due to anxiety.

I’ll pull out my eyebrows for 2019

For more than a month, I’ve been trying to answer the question of whether or not 2019 was a good year. I’m not ready to touch whether or not the 2010s were a good decade. This was the fourth time in my life I’ve watched one decade change into another, and the fact that I’m aging is hitting me hard lately. But a year? I can handle that.


Writing-wise, I kicked ass this year. I relaunched this blog (to no fanfare, as I don’t fanfare well), and I’ve been working diligently on Stars Fall Out. I came out of the combined writing slump of 2017 (anxiety) and 2018 (baby).

Despite this having been my worst mental health year since I was diagnosed in 2012, my writing hasn’t been stomped on by my anxiety the way it was in the past. I have a toddler, and so many weeks, I didn’t write as much as I wanted. Still, 2019 is the most consistent I’ve ever been.


I had a string of bad haircuts, culminating in me giving in and getting a professional haircut for the first time in three years. I’m still pro diy haircuts, but this year was one botched experiment after another.


I lost two aunts and a great aunt. As a result, I’ve put more thought into my own death than I probably have before.

Don’t embalm me. Put me in a simple box, and let people write and draw on the box. Plant a tree over me.


I made less art and went on fewer adventures than I wanted.

It’s no surprise to me that they’ve both been weak; I’ve long considered art and adventures to be two sides of the same coin; one is the input, the other is the output.

My writing is a form of art, and that went well. But there’s only so much to pull out without putting something back in. I miss sketching, watercolor, collage. I miss going to new coffee shops and cemetaries and turning down intriguing roads.

The exception to not having many adventures were the ones I took with my toddler. She loves Dunkin Donuts, but I don’t know how many times one can go to Dunkin and still count it as an adventure.


When I try to figure out what 2019 was, I keep thinking about what turned out to be my flagship anxiety problem. It started when I paid off my car earlier this year.

Specifically, I paid it off a year and a half early to save more money in the long run, including on my insurance.

I was supposed to follow up by letting my insurance know that I had done this, which would give me full control over my policy again so I could choose cheaper coverage options, thus saving myself $200 per year.

This was a smart plan, but I can’t handle phone calls, and I didn’t do it. Reasons and excuses rolled one into the other, snowballing for weeks and then months. Knowing better isn’t doing better.

Around this time, the trichotillomania I’ve dealt with since my teens hit me the worst its ever done. Every so often, I’ll pull out eyebrow hairs while reading or thinking. I don’t typically notice until my thumb and forefinger come into view with five or six hairs pinched between them. I usually have months between episodes, so it hasn’t been too big a deal.

I don’t think it’s a coincidence that I haven’t had my eyebrows in their entirety for the same amount of time that I’ve been procrastinating on this call.

My social skills have seemingly deteriorated, which makes sense because assuming they are actually a skill and not a talent, one would have to practice to keep them sharp. It’s been a bad year for social anxiety, and I haven’t done well at keeping in touch with people. Low key texts to friends get wrapped up in the bigger anxieties of every other correspondence-related task I’m putting off. Like that phone call.

So back to that. For ten months, I assumed I had to make a call. For anything important, it’s always a call. No matter that we’ve advanced technologically to the point where that shouldn’t be the case. It’s always a damn phone call.

But then I went on to my insurance’s website in a fit of desperation, knowing it was a waste of time and I wouldn’t find anything. Instead, I learned that I can change my policy online. And because it made me feel like I was doing something, I filled out a contact form and asked if there were any way to have the lien removed from my policy electronically.

I knew this wouldn’t be possible. I knew they would tell me to call.

Instead, six hours later, I got an email that said it would be taken care of.

AFTER TEN MONTHS. That was it.

I’d love to see if my eyebrows grow back.


I couldn’t tell you why I started a list with every single year of my life and tried to label each year with a single word.

  • 2009 The Year of Depression.
  • 2015 The Year of Change
  • 2017 The Year of Pregnancy
  • 2018 The Year of the Baby

I’ve only managed to label six years of my life, and those ones came to me easily. The others bleed together. Nothing clearly demarcates them except for the numbers we put on calendars.

I remember twenty years ago, in 1999, the odd precariousness of realizing that all four numbers would be wiped away. 2000 would be a new, different world. This is both true and untrue of every new year that comes.

A few weeks ago, I asked my partner if he thought 2019 had been a good year. His response? A series of quizzical noises.

Huh?

Eh…?

And so it came to be that 2019 was The Year of the Mixed Bag. I don’t know if time and introspection will turn that into the official label, but it’s true for now.