Monthly Archives: June 2016

So happy together…

My cello teacher, Luna, arranged The Turtles’ “Happy Together” for two cellos.  I played the melody.  Mostly by ear; if I know how a simple melody sounds, I don’t need to check the sheet music very often.  Luna can always tell when I’m doing it, too, because I don’t hesitate the same way as when I’m sight reading.  So that was fun, and I got to learn how to extend back into a flat — which wasn’t hard, although I want to work on muscle memory with my drone app, to make sure I’m getting the right pitch.

I started learning second position.  Awesome!  I have an etude for that to work on.  I’ll also be using the drone app here.  I need to learn to sight read higher notes, way above the lines.  Otherwise it gets too confusing when I try to remember which position I’m supposed to be in.

And we started a cheerful bit of Mozart, too.  I don’t have a problem with the rhythm, but the bowing is a bitch to learn.  Alllll the slurs.  Slow ones.  Fast ones.  Ones with three notes, ones with two…  I have a feeling it’ll be easy to play once I get the bowing down.

So: excellent lesson, and I’m sad that it’s been four weeks since my last one.  I’m already looking forward to next week!

Last week sucked.

Sometimes, usually when I’m depressed, I go through periods when I don’t want to talk to anyone.  I’ve been having one of those.  So hello to my online friends, I’m not dead or anything.  Actually, yesterday was fantastic — I woke up with a ton of energy, and set about cleaning my bedroom and bathroom.  Did two loads of laundry, swept and mopped the tile areas of the house, even washed a dozen skeins of handspun yarn.  And went for two walks. And started knitting the pillows for the living room futon.

Today I woke up a little slower but still did a 5 mile walk, then babysat, then ran errands, then got a bunch of online crap done.  So I’m doing pretty well on the productivity front today, too.  Still have to go to the grocery…

I did my July budgeting.  Ugh.  Spent too much this month (purple Docs, I’m looking at you, you beautiful things).  Something I’ve figured out in my budget spreadsheet (which probably everybody else knows, but I haven’t had credit cards in ages) is to calculate the amount of interest I’ll owe if I don’t make a decent credit card payment, and wow does that work as motivation to keep my balance low.  Because losing $50 to interest payments will piss me off.  So I’m not doing that, and July will be tight.

I am, however, spending the $70 to get my current bicycle tuned up.  The woman at the bike shop said they might be able to fix my setup so that riding is more comfortable for me, because, after thinking about it some more, a new bike is definitely not a need, and I’d be better off spending that money (basically the same amount) on a college class, because learning things is more fun than riding bicycles.  If I still want a new bike by Christmas, I’ll consider getting one then.  In the meanwhile, I’ll see if I even enjoy riding once my current bike is set up/tuned up.  Because, while walking is awesome, and I’m still doing a lot of it, Florida is fucking hot in the summer and it would be nice to feel a little breeze on my face during my daily workouts.

Speaking of walking, I mapped a new route this afternoon.  Took a drive down the opposite way I normally go, and it’s quite beautiful.  And shady.  Yay trees!  It’s 3.5 miles round-trip, which means it’ll be good for days I want to do a short walk.  (My long route is just under 5 miles.)  And I have to take my camera one day, because it’s beautiful down that way.

I’ve been able to read again lately.  I’m almost finished with a book on the history of the American highway system.  It’s fascinating, although I’m sure it sounds dull to most of you.  Next up is a book on how Dante’s Inferno permanently changed Western society’s mental picture of Hell.

While I’m on the subject of media: As previously reported, Mom and I were binge-watching The Blacklist through Netflix.  We quit on Friday, because the stupid burned so much that it’s not even worth watching for James Spader.  It just… it was never that good to begin with, except for him, and it just kept getting increasingly dumber throughout the season.  We finished it (season one), but fuck that show, seriously.  Last night we started Luther.  So much better.  (Mom has a thing for crime dramas.  She reads crime novels, too.)

And now, for something completely different: I started seeing the new therapist last week, and I like her bunches.  Hopefully she can help me get over my PTSD shit.

I’ll leave you with a picture of Loki showing his belly.  Because he’s cute.

Upside-down Loki

Why I want to stay single

I don’t want to fall in love again in this lifetime.  It’s not because I’m bitter.  It’s because I don’t trust myself.

I have loved three men enough to live with them, one of which I married.  The first and last were abusive.  The second I chose deliberately because he was the exact opposite of the first one, and not even slightly intimidating.  So when left to my own emotional judgment, I wind up with abusers.  And the thing I hate myself for is that I was happy with them.  Not when the abuse was happening, that part sucked, but for years with both of them I just shrugged it off and went back to waiting on them hand and foot.  I wanted to make them happy, you see.  I adored my ex-wife, up until the end, despite her terrorizing me into sobbing my eyes out and begging for her to stop, at least twice a week, for over a decade.

(One day, a few months before I left, I asked her about it, because she accused me of being abusive for trying to defend myself against her.  ((Once she came out as trans she started accusing me of being abusive simply because I was no longer a woman and she had become one, and if I said anything even slightly critical it was “abuse”.))  She said, “I’m not being abusive, I just get angry and want to pick a fight.”  Um.  I played along like that was perfectly reasonable.  The talk didn’t stop her from doing it again the next day.)

I’m so angry at myself for being happy with them.  So angry that I willingly catered to their every whim because I wanted to please them.  So angry that what finally drove me away in both cases was them replacing me with other women, not me leaving because they were hurting me.  Angry that I brushed off what they were doing to me as nothing, or, even worse, my fault for not making them happy.

I don’t — can’t — trust myself to not repeat the experience.  I’d like to think I’ve learned better, but at this point, if I’m attracted to someone, I assume the worst about them.  (This goes for all genders; even the people who aren’t physically intimidating could still hurt me, because I seem to accept it as part of a relationship.)

There is something wrong with me.  I guess it’s a good thing I start seeing a new therapist today…

Hey, more cyberstalking!

I got a text from my ex today, asking if I had a copy of our marriage license.  Because apparently my ex-FIL’s wife was looking for it online and couldn’t find it, and was claiming that my ex and I were never legally married.  I assume that she was looking in the wrong county; our wedding was in a different city than where we got our license, and ex was able to find it online with a quick search once she knew what county it was.

Considering that ex-FIL hasn’t spoken to his child in four years, why the hell do he and his wife care?  Do they think I can somehow go after them for alimony in the divorce?  Because I’m pretty sure that, even if I was inclined that way, you can’t sue your ex’s parents for marital assets.

So yeah, they’re stalking us again, for no valid reason, and coming to some of the weirdest conclusions, as they always did. I suspect this will only end when they die, even after the divorce goes through.  I’m not angry so much as baffled that they don’t have anything better to do…

In need of purpose

My life has no purpose.  I don’t mean that it’s worthless, or that I’m suicidal.  I just feel adrift with no direction.  For years my goal was to finish college, and I did that in December, and then volunteering didn’t work out, and…  I need something to do that makes me feel useful but doesn’t tax my sanity.  I have a few small projects, and I do things like reading and making things with wool and playing my cello, but it’s all just a way to fill time.  I’m too crazy to work, and while most people think anyone will take volunteers, most places won’t take someone who can’t be reliable on a set schedule, which is totally understandable. I’m sick of people saying “you should volunteer!” like doing so is the easiest thing in the world.  Volunteering requires a modicum of stability and the ability to interact with other people to some extent.  A lot of days, I don’t have either.

So I drift.

My sister found her calling a few years ago — teaching high school students about history and government — and when she talks about her job, her whole face lights up.  I’m over the moon for her, and I want something that makes my face do that too.  It probably won’t be a career, not with the way I am, but… something.  Something useful that I can be passionate about.

I hope I find something soon.  I’m tired of not having an anchor…

Switch is back!

I changed my online moniker from SwitchKnitter a while back, because my evil ex-father-in-law was cyber-stalking me and my then-wife.  But I’m in the process of getting unmarried, so fuck that guy.  I want my name back.  So hi!  I’ll post a real update shortly.  Right now I’m just settling in and rearranging things…

To bicycle, or not to bicycle?

I hate my bike.  It’s a GT Aggressor hybrid, about ten years old, and I hate having to bend over it and put all the weight on my hands.  It sucks.  I was looking at cruiser bikes online and thought that I could sell my GT and get one of those.  I went by the bike shop my sister uses to see what they had.

Saleswoman: What’s your budget?
Me: $200-ish. I think I want a cruiser.
Her: We can do that!
She shows me a cruiser in my price range.
Me: what I really wish I could get is one of those Dutch-style commuter bikes, they’re really cool but I can’t afford one.
Her: Here’s one for $300, and we set it up for you, and the first tune-up is free instead of $70, and you get discounts on parts, so you save a lot of money, if you really want one.  Also it’s black.  You said you like black.
Me: drooooooooool
I pause.
Me: I wish I could ride more, but I’m always afraid of going too far from home and the bike breaking and me having to walk it back or get stuck.
Her:  Good bikes kept in shape don’t do that.  Learn how to change a flat and you can go anywhere.  And later you can upgrade to fancier tires that rarely go flat.  You shouldn’t have to be afraid to bike!
Me: …I think I’ll start putting away some money…

I don’t know if I’ll do it or not.  I mean, it doesn’t hurt to save more money anyway, but I don’t know if I’ll put it towards a bike.  I know some good places to ride that aren’t on the street, like the walking/biking path I always take my walks on, and my aunt is retired and into biking so I could maybe do longer rides with her, if I got some endurance built up…  I’ll think about it.  No harm in thinking.

Tropical storm memories

I hate tropical storms. They remind me of the time, back around 1995, that my evil ex-boyfriend forced me to drive in one from West Palm Beach to Miami, on the interstate, in a car with no air conditioning and only one working windshield wiper. To get a UPS for his computers so he could keep the internet up during the storm. He didn’t go with me, of course. I went alone, and had to drive with the windows down because the windshield kept fogging up otherwise. The drive wound up taking two hours each way.

That was the evil ex who used to beat and rape me if I made a mistake in his home business’ accounting software, or did anything else wrong.  I was 17 the first time that happened, but it wasn’t the first time he hurt me.  I was into BDSM, and he would ignore my safeword even if I was chanting it while sobbing and screaming.  Lovely man.  I was already broken, from repeated rapes at age 13, and he convinced me that he could fix me.  I just had to do what he said.

Tropical storms will always remind me of him.  Terrible, awful memories…

Max Richter by ear

Max Richter has long been my favorite modern composer.  His “On the Nature of Daylight” is so beautiful that I always want to cry, despite having listened to it god knows how many times since the early 2000’s.  I was listening to it yesterday and thought, “hey, the second violin part would be crazy easy on cello.”  So I tried it by ear and it sounded right.  I checked Noteflight to see if I could find it written out, and they had it for piano in Ab major, but I’m too lazy/inexperienced to remember four flats so I transposed it to C and voila, it was what I’d been playing.  So I had my intervals right just playing by ear.  I am pleased with myself.  :D

Here’s the original piece, which is transcendent.