Utterly random update

Just a bunch of stuff I feel like rambling about.  Warning: I got carried away and this is very long.

1. My boots.  I get lots of compliments on my purple Doc Martens.  The most recent was on Thursday.  I was picking up Cracker Barrel for dinner, and there were these two butch women who had to be in their 70’s sitting on the porch.  They asked where I got them.  “Oh, on that Internet thing?  Is it a set price or will they bargain?”  They were tattooed and very Southern and I wanted to know their life stories but I didn’t have time to be nosy so I thanked them and left.

2. My novel.  I’ve been depressed the last couple of weeks, so not much has been done of actual writing.  I’ve been doing a lot of reading for research, though.  The inter-library loan I picked up a few days ago could be used to kill people.  It’s a specialty encyclopedia and it’s enormous. I’m not reading the whole thing, but it’s fun to have it sitting out looking all weapon-like.

3. My novel, part 2: research.  I went to the library to ask a librarian to help me with research.  She was delighted.  We were looking on WorldCat at books about the Bantu religion, and so many of the titles were from the 20’s and 30’s and had titles like “Religions of the Lower Races.”  So gross.  Finding books in English written more recently was actually fairly difficult, and many of them were sort of like New Age guides to spirituality, aimed at African-Americans.  Which is cool that those exist, but if (for example) I was looking for a book on the history of Christianity, I wouldn’t turn to a book on applying Christ’s teachings to one’s daily life.  Need facts, not modern applications.

4. My divorce.  After much back and forth with the ex about paperwork, I finally got everything turned in to the county court clerk last Monday.  I had to drive two hours each way to file it myself, because the ex (who lives 20 minutes away from the county courthouse) couldn’t be bothered.  I had decided to file in her county instead of mine, because I figured there was no way she’d come up to my county for the hearing.  (She has spinal problems, and car rides are difficult; however, she’d use it as an excuse to not show up, so I wanted to make sure she couldn’t get out of it.)  I actually made the drive twice, because the first time we didn’t have a couple of notarized forms we needed.  Good thing I a) have a reliable car, and b) don’t mind having time to listen to my podcasts.  I would still prefer to not have to make the drive, but since I had no choice at least it wasn’t terrible.  Also, I’m still glad I have my CPAP machine; back before I got it, I would occasionally fall asleep while driving and have to pull over in rest stops or parking lots to nap mid-trip.  The hearing is in a month.  My mother and sister are going with me; not for moral support, but so we can celebrate afterwards.  I don’t plan to ever see my ex again after the divorce is final. I like her mom and will occasionally have lunch with her, but my ex can go rot.

5. Going back to school.  I went to the advisors’ office at the community college to talk about taking classes as a non-degree-seeking student.  The look on her face when I told her I was coming back because I’ve always wanted to learn calculus?  Hilarious.  I don’t think she hears that one very often.  So I’m registered for trigonometry, starting later this month.  I’m excited.

6. Old friends.  The week before last I talked to the woman who’d been my best friend before I got married.  We got together last Sunday for coffee.  I’ve missed her terribly, and it was good to see her.  It felt  little awkward, but I’m hoping it gets better.  We really hurt each other at the end of our friendship; she’s forgiven me, but it’ll take time to get to know each other again.  She’s working out-of-town some these days, so we’re planning to get together in a couple of weeks when she’s working locally.  It inspired me to get in touch with another old friend from my early college years.  We lost touch when the ex and I moved out of town.  Because we hadn’t ended badly, we immediately clicked again and spent Sunday night geeking out over Facebook Messenger.  She doesn’t have any local nerdy friends, and my local nerdy friends are into completely different things than me (like opera and original Star Trek — hi Butterfly!), so we’re both really happy to reconnect.  I hope we can get together soon.

7. More reasons I’m happy for the divorce.

a) The Olympics.  She always made me watch them and I hated it.

b) Driving.  She always insisted we listen to her music when we were driving somewhere.  I was always the driver, and she insisted on the music being loud.  I have auditory processing problems; loud noises cause me a great deal of stress, and it’s even worse when I hate said noises at any volume.  So driving was nerve-wracking, and if I started being unable to keep the wheel steady then she got mad at me.  Despite knowing about my processing problems, and being unwilling to turn down the volume.  In fact, when I turned down the volume she got mad.  When I suggested she use her headphones with her iPhone, she got mad.

There are tons more, but those are the two I’ve been thinking about lately.  Saturday I told my mom about the driving thing, and she remarked that I’d stayed in that relationship way longer than I should have.  As if she’d gotten worse over the years.  She hadn’t.  She was abusive from the beginning, before we even got married.  Looking back, I don’t think I really was as clumsy as she said.  Nobody else has ever “accidentally” elbowed me in the eye on a regular basis, or tripped me so I felt face-first into the shower stall.  But of course she wasn’t being abusive, she’d say.  I was just clumsy.  Also, my “clumsiness” disappeared as soon as she figured out ways to make me cry and beg for mercy without causing me pain.  As a survivor of previous domestic violence, I had issues with consent.  If someone is doing something to me and won’t stop when I ask them to, I start freaking out.  If they keep going, I will have a full-blown panic attack.  So she would take something as innocuous as tickling and turn it into a nightmare for me.  I’d be sobbing, pleading with her to stop, and she wouldn’t quit until I’d lost the capacity to even speak.  It happened a couple of times a week, at least.  We were together for 11 years.

I hate the fact that I wrote all that off, that I was happy most of the time and thought I deserved it.

Sorry, didn’t mean to get depressing.  It’s just been on my mind a lot.  Let’s move on.

8. Sewing.  My ex-MIL gave me a never-used Brother sewing machine when I went down to file the divorce paperwork, and I’ve been bitten by the sewing bug.  Originally I wanted one to sew my handwoven fabrics, but then I walked into the fabric section of Joanns and oh help.  There are so many pretty fabrics.  There are even black-on-black prints that I would be willing to wear as clothing.  (I adore making things with pretty colors — I never spin or knit black things if I can help it — but my entire wardrobe is black because I’m a fucking goth.)  So I downloaded some sewing books from the library and I’m getting ideas.  Most of them are pretty simple, like throw pillows and short-sleeve tunic-length shirts.  I dress in simple lines anyway, so I don’t need to make fancy clothes.  (Also, I don’t need to make darts and stuff because hello, not female.)  So I’m going to practice on pillows and project bags and other small things, then tackle making myself some shirts.  Wish me luck.

9. Knitting.  I finished all the squares for my sister’s afghan.  When I started making it, I said that I’d knit all the patchwork squares and then she could crochet them together.  I’ve been giving her squares as I finish them, but I suspect her cat has stolen many of them.  So I may have to make more squares once she’s assembled the ones she has.  That’s cool.  They go fast anyway.

I started a short-sleeve knitted tee for myself.  It’s two strands of black and green held together.  The effect is pretty cool.  Originally I got the yarn to weave the shirt, but I’ve decided that knitting is much more economical and also more fun.  Well, I always knew it was those things, but weaving is a nice occasional distraction.  The woven shirt was going to be black warp, green weft.  The knitted version has a similar feel to it, but the colors aren’t uniformly distributed so it’s visually more interesting.  I hope I can get up the nerve to wear it.  As I said, I don’t usually do colors.  But with some black jeans and boots I think it’ll look neat.  I started with a pattern I already owned, but I’ve already rewritten the whole thing so it’s more or less an original now.  I have no plans to publish it, because I don’t want to knit more versions to test out different sizes.

I will confess something.  The shirt is Loki-inspired.  I may be slightly obsessed with comics!Loki.  Movie!Loki is awesome, but comics!Loki is my imaginary boyfriend/girlfriend (he’s genderfluid).  I’m somewhat ashamed at being such a colossal dork.  But regardless of my inspiration, the shirt is going to look neat when it’s finished.

10. Speaking of comics!  My sister got me to finally catch up on MS. MARVEL, which is brilliant and everyone should go read it right now.  I’m also still digging THOR, CAPTAIN MARVEL, A-FORCE, BITCH PLANET, and LUMBERJANES.  Yes, those are all female-led books.  I’m liking BLACK PANTHER, too, and I’m catching up on DEADPOOL.

Huh.  None of the books I’m following have straight white men protagonists.  That’s kind of awesome.  They’re almost all Marvel, too.  If you’d told 1990’s me that I’d be a Marvel fan I would have laughed at you….

Okay, I’ll shut up now.  If you’re still reading, congrats.  Hope it was at least mildly entertaining for you.

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