Blogoween Day 22 – Real Life Scary Things

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Today should be a Vacancy post, but there are too many things going on right now for me to dedicate the right amount of mental power to that. I’m really excited about the next episode, so I don’t want to cheese it. Unfortunately, Blogoween has become me hastily writing something late in the evening just for the sake of posting. There are pros and cons to this. Pro: I’m not breaking the habit, Con: It’s shit. I think the pros outweigh the cons, for me at least, so this will continue for now.

It’s really great being moved, but a new home always comes with problems. The internet got fixed today which is absolutely fabulous, but also frustrating because the issue was that Comcast had disconnected this house from the street pole, but did not have any kind of note in their own system that their own team did it, so throughout the whole process of me transferring the internet, calling to troubleshoot, traveling to their store on their request, and paying for a service call, the issue turned out to be something the company should have resolved on their own prior to my transfer. So now I have to return to an Xfinity store to give them back the extra equipment they gave me lest I be charged for it, and I have to get them to reimburse me for the service call since–by their own admission–this was not something I could have possibly fixed. I am unsurprised that America hates Comcast more than any other company.

I haven’t had any time to write lately, and that’s sort of bumming me out. Yes, I’m writing now, but it’s not the same. My brain is mush just like when I worked in what was essentially customer service–I’d expend all my mental energy at work and have nothing left to devote to words. I know this will pass, so I shouldn’t complain, but it perpetuates a cycle of feeling down and getting into a foul mood which often leads to eating poorly and then feeling like shit about my body and my willpower, so I guess I should just give up on everything and so forth and so it goes. It’s very first-world-problem of me to say that buying a home is making me depressed, but there it is. The list of things to do seems to grow by the day, towering over me, preparing to topple.

I’ve needed a good cry for a couple weeks now, I think. Stories ranging from terrorism to deaf dogs have all had me on the verge of tears, but I’ve been pretty overwhelmed with both a guilt about that desire, and judgement toward it for being utterly stupid. There’s no reason to cry, so just don’t, and also you’re not allowed to feel bad when there are other people who need emotional support.

On the plus side, fall is definitively in the air. We’re only eight hours north of where we used to live, but it’s decidedly cooler here, and the foliage visibly is marking the seasons. We were walking around our new neighborhood this evening, and I realized how stoked I’d be if I were a kid and new Halloween was around the corner living here. It’s the perfect neighborhood for trick or treating. I wish I could have gotten the yard all glammed up, but the spirit of the season will still be there. I’ve got candy and non-food treats ready to hand out, and we’ll have costumes, and I can’t ask for much more than that.

I’m also getting to physically be outside again which is a huge relief. I spent so long cooped up in that apartment. Of course, I could go out for a walk if I wanted, but the city seemed to get progressively more dangerous as we lived there, and it was far from peaceful. I found a number of awesome parks to walk to in the city, but getting there was often treacherous. I was accosted a lot, and there were a lot of reports of assaults in the area. The weather was also miserable this summer, but that’s just another reason to love fall.

I’m sorry this is such a bummer. If you made it this far, I’d like to commend you and leave you with something positive, buuuuuut I have no idea what that could be. I’m plum out of positivity. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I’m happy, I’m just…I guess I’m just tired. It’s funny how significantly different my mood can be if I just don’t sleep. So that’s what I’m going to do now. Recharge this brain, then tomorrow I’m going to exercise this body and I’m going to fuel it with healthy foods. I’ll unpack and focus on things that I love about this house and utilizing this space for creativity and growth. Tomorrow’s a new day and the possibilities are endless. Tonight is just what it is, and right now it needs to be sleep.

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Blogoween Day 20 – Moving Day!

I’ve never blogged from my phone before and I must say, Dear Reader, I absolutely hate it, so this won’t be long.

We moved today. This is our seventh move in eight years. Some years we moved multiple times, and sometimes we spent multiple years in the same place. The latter were always the best.

This was the first time we didn’t do the move ourselves and paid movers. They were worth every penny. Although I’m exhausted and covered in bruises from the previous week doing work in the new house and moving a few very personal items, my body is not absolutely wrecked like it has been every other time.

But of course there are always hiccups, and our biggest one at this point seems to be the internet. We have Comcast as a provider, so no surprise there, but somehow the internet just doesn’t work here even though the previous owner was using their Comcast internet service here earlier this month. We spent a few hours being transferred on the phone and then another hour driving to an Xfinity shop to find out there is nothing anyone can do about it without a technician coming out for a fee on a date that no one has given me yet, so for the foreseeable future I’m sans WiFi, and I kinda wanna WiDie, I’m that dependent.

So here’s a photo of me that Husband took at Walmart today where we had to go so we could get a TV antenna in order to watch sportball tonight. It’s my penance for my Mom’s Meme’s post which mom said made her feel a little bad on her first read (don’t worry she’s over it now).

Success Is A Fuckboi

I mused on success recently, and while doing so I had a thought. Success is often personified as a woman, fickle and choosy, mysterious and aloof, other feminine words and synonyms, but I don’t know about all that. Women are only “mysterious” because when we don’t want the thing that men think we should want, they quickly throw up their hands and deem us complicated and irrational, as if we’re actual people or something. So then anything difficult and baffling gets clothed in a slinky black dress, stilettos, and a wink.

Instead of a pearl-adorned, sultry demoness, I, as my post title has already revealed so this isn’t shocking but I needed this sentence to be longer stylistically, like to think of success as a fuckboi.

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There are a number of ways to spell it, but I find “fuckboi” to be the most charming because it really encompasses the meaning of the term: childish, a product of the internet era, and visually both displeasing and appropriate. Fuckbois are the masculine answer, I believe, to thots, and if that doesn’t mean anything to you then we are not exactly in the same boat, but we’re probably rowing adjacent to one another in the ocean that is rapidly evolving internet linguistics.

A fuckboi, as far as I understand, is a boy–specifically not a man by action but likely by legal age–who fucks you, literally and figuratively. He is a “tease” and a “slut” but with a penis (so of course we have to come up with a new term for him), and he also seems to be particularly astute at manipulation with a specialty in gaslighting. A school of naive or historically abused heterosexual women are drawn to the fuckboi despite how poorly he treats everyone else in his life, likely because the fuckboi is often attractive and suffering (see: profiting) from some form of cluster B personality disorder so can reign in his shittier characteristics long enough to convince a sexual conquest that he is “really a nice guy underneath it all” at least long enough to “hit it an quit it,” often multiple times.

Okay, got it? Well, if not, we’re moving on anyway. So I find success similar to the fuckboi, at least in my success-less current state, but having had a few minor highs in the views and likes departments recently (and having one bad experience with a dude who was a fuckboi in every way but looks and name about a decade ago). Both are attractive, especially from afar and in photos. Success has a hard jaw, spends a descent amount of time in the gym, and an impressive “I tried really hard to not look like I’m trying hard” sense of fashion. When he gets a bit closer you might see him stiff a waiter or not hold the elevator for someone clearly running for it, but you excuse those behaviors because god damn, Natalie, have you seen that fucking smirk?

You hear a lot of stuff about Success, how maybe he’s not worth it, he’s had a lot of partners and they didn’t really work out, but your internalized misogyny comes crawling up from the nastier parts of your soul, and you think, “jealousy is a hell of a drug, bitches!” and you put yourself out there. You might even change yourself a little to be more attractive to him. I mean, it’s just a Brazilian blow out, why can’t I reinvent myself, Natalie? God, don’t be so judgmental, you don’t understand how hard it is to maintain curls in this kind of humidity, okay!?

When Success texts you for the first time your heart beats so hard you’re sure he can hear it through the phone even though text messages don’t have sound and no one actually calls anyone else in this economic climate. (I haven’t dated in a long fucking time, so Success probably actually sends you a message on Tinder, but just roll with me okay?) Success isn’t really that funny, but you laugh at his jokes, and he’s not that clever, but you’re willing to dumb yourself down a little for him because God and 8% body fat gave him an inguinal crease to die for, and his profile picture is just a bare torso so it’s not like you can avoid it, Natalie, I mean it’s right there.

But Success is flippant and enigmatic. Everything he says is up for interpretation, and even though the strong, independent woman that you know you are (because Natalie keeps texting you the Venus symbol emoji) is sure you shouldn’t be trying to please him, you find yourself doing things you never thought you would for a boy. Your Instagram feed is somehow both a little racier and also a little more self-loathing than normal, and you get crankier with the other people in your life so when they balk at you, you label them toxic and cut them out. Your normal meter is broken, but you can’t recognize it in all those pieces under Success’s Adidas.

But it all seems worth it when you get a taste of Success (I am so sorry for that image). He’s calling you “babygirl” and “love” and blowing up your phone with so many notifications that you missed when Natalie’s dog had to get surgery because his stomach was actually where all her missing socks were going. You’ve seen what Success can do and you want more, everything else be damned.

Then…it all stops. You don’t want to seem desperate, and frankly neither of you declared yourselves monogamous or that you were in a relationship at all but you’re still you, and you want answers. Looking back at it, Success never really commented on your posts publicly, and his relationship status was already “It’s Complicated” before you even met, but you’ve got proof of something somewhere, don’t you? Are your feelings worth nothing? Success continues to allude you, and when you call him out, he tells you that you’re the crazy one, you’re making this out to be so much more than it was, and you’re not even really that hot, so he was doing you a favor that one time you asked him to come over at 1:00am to “help explain Rick and Morty to you.” And by the way, that photo you posted of yourself on the beach last week isn’t super flattering and you should probably untag him from it.

Now truly alone, you call up Natalie, but she’s too busy with Max the hosiery hound for your inevitable bullshit, so you turn to vaguebooking, quoting song lyrics from when you were a sad-sack teenager, and stalking Success’s social media for a glimmer that maybe he misses you too. Spoiler alert: SUCCESS DON’T MISS NOBODY. (Until it’s convenient for him, but he doesn’t mean it.)

And that’s the clutch, guys. Success really doesn’t miss anyone because it doesn’t need anyone, least of all you or me. Pandering to success long term probably won’t work out, but maybe it’s okay to try because it can be fun and even rewarding if you’re an egotistical fuckhead *clears throat and puts down front-facing camera* Sorry, what were we talking about?

Maybe this analogy isn’t fair because success doesn’t really make choices, that’s the masses (and those controlling mass media to some point, but this isn’t the place for conspiracy theories), but it’s probably as fair as calling success a pretty lady that won’t give you the time of day. The only truth is that success is fickle, but maybe someday if you love yourself enough, you’ll be able to nail down something that suits you better and loves you back. Or something equally mushy and gross.

Also, listen to Natalie every once and a while, okay?

 

Normally I don’t credit the photos I use because I get them from Pexels with specifically no attribution required licenses, but because I’m using this guy’s photo in what can be seen as a negative light, I’d like to say explicitly that I’m not commenting on the subject or the photographer of this photo being an actual Fuckboi™ and would like to credit him. Go give R Fera some love.

Things I Just Don’t Fucking Understand: Mom’s Memes

My mom has a folder of memes saved on her computer.

If you noticed my absence the last week or two and happened to see my last post, Eulogy, you can probably put two together and figure out my grandma passed away recently. I traveled to New Hampshire for her funeral and to visit with my family. While there’s plenty to ruminate on there, I’d rather focus on something more lighthearted for now. And that brings me to my mom’s laptop and her folder of memes.

It’s here I should clarify a couple things for you, Dear Reader. One is that I am not an enemy of fun. I want people to have a good time and unabashedly love the things they love. As long as you’re not hurting anyone else, you do you. And two, I pronounce it “mem” like in re-mem-ber, not “meem.” It appears I’m wrong, but I wanted to throw that out there to see if anyone else might do this too.

I’m not entirely sure when the concept of the meme changed from a template image, captioned with slightly altered but relatable and reproducible text to basically any picture with writing on it, but it has, and that’s fine, but this expansion mixed with the boom in older adults utilizing more and more social media has produced a plethora of images that I, personally, do not find humorous. But my mom does. By gods, Dear Reader, does she ever.

While I was visiting her, I paid for my room and board with technology lessons. After answering questions that I didn’t really have the answer to, she opened My Photos. Here, you can see a preview of each of the sub folders. Mostly mountains and snow, but there was one folder, quite dissimilar to the others. The image was clearly compressed and not a photo so much as a solid white background, some text in a near illegible font, and a yellow, amorphous blob. Something in my brain seized at that, but she quickly opened a different folder from a hike she did two years ago and lulled me into a false sense of security. Dear Reader, I’ve seen 90% of her photos before. In fact, I’m in at least half of them, but viewing them with her is just another form of currency, and I’m glad to pay it. But then she confirmed my fear and opened it. The meme folder.

So I got up and started making nachos, because that’s the only thing a sane person can do in that situation. She would chuckle in the background. Increasingly loud chuckles. She was baiting me. “Got some memes there, do ya?” I asked, sprinkling Mexican Four Cheese onto a single layer of tortilla chips because that’s how you do it, Dear Reader: single layer of chips, cheese, another single layer of chips, cheese. Fight me.

“This one’s so funny!” she insisted, and then she read it to me.

Dear Reader, under threat of slow and painful death at the yellow-nailed and pigs-blood-covered hands of an inbred, cannibalistic, radiation-blasted family of the undead, I could not recall what the meme was because when I saw it, my brain shut down.

It’s this thing that happens when faced with something that I don’t agree with on a fundamental level, and I can’t muster the fraudulent expression needed to continue the conversation. I just kind of turn off. It’s basically what happens whenever I see one of these fuckos:

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Then I am filled with a BLINDING RAGE and cannot be held accountable for my actions.

But I decided instead to try and make something of this. Why did I have such a reaction, and why was it so in contrast to her own? I avoid these things like the plague, she she, my own mother, the loins from which I was born, seeks them out and saves them as if they won’t be eternalized in the infinite cloud that is the Internet. And for her, someone who has tremendous difficulty on a computer, saving an image from the internet is not an easy task. But this, she learned all on her own! I had to teach her how to set up her bank account alone, but this was more meaningful to her! So I asked: What makes a meme worth saving?

She was quiet, the remnants of a good laugh still plastered in a smile on her face as she stared wistfully at the screen. Then came the reply, “I dunno! They’re funny!”

I know. Take a breath.

I tried to dive deeper into this: Was it that she liked the sentiment of the meme? Were they all similar in some way? Or perhaps she cared for the person who sent or posted them, or even the specific situation that person had referenced with the meme? Every time you see that one-eyed, yellow, banana-loving bastard, do you remember a very specific hike into the snowy mountains of New Hampshire?

“Yeah, I guess.”

She guesses, Dear Reader. And that’s a good enough answer, I guess, because really, no one has to justify their actions to anyone else, especially ones so incredibly insignificant, and especially in response to someone who isn’t doing real science, but I still felt perturbed not getting to the heart of the matter. Her inability to enthusiastically or even completely commit to that answer told me it wasn’t true.

So why does she think they’re funny, but I don’t? Why does she insist on showing them to me even when I say they’re not funny? It’s as if I’ve said nothing or, worse, as if I actually laughed, as she keeps offering another to me. “But this one has Garfield in it!” she tells me despite that the words attached to the image have nothing to do with lasagna or Mondays which just further boggles my mind: these memes are almost completely devoid of meaning beyond the images themselves. In no other context (or really even their own context) would they make sense which I thought was the core concept of a meme–that the image was recognizable and offered additional commentary on the text.

I don’t have an answer for these questions, just like I don’t know what that notification is that keeps popping up on your phone but it’s not there right now, so you can’t show me, but it pops up like five times a day and you can’t get it to go away except it’s not there right now. I can come to some conclusions about why I hate these things, and even some hypotheses as to why she loves them, but I fear we’ll never come to an agreement on them. I’ll forever be making nachos and she’ll forever be giggling at Snoopy drinking wine despite that he’s a dog from a children’s show.