RSS Feed

Tag Archives: Anchorage

Spring Forsakenings

Most people look forward to spring. To people with mood issues and to people who live in Anchorage, it’s just another day in Mar a Lago but without the green, the golf and, thank God, the president.

My winter was okay, plenty of cross country skiing and skating, employment, fun. When spring comes to Alaska the winter sports end and the waiting begins. Waiting for summer because spring is a mess just like my head.  This photo sums it up.life.png

This is what snow looks like after the spring plowing exposes it to the light. Layers  of  snowflakes crushed  into prickly ice mixed with months of dirt. That’s what I feel like right now. More like layers of ice cream crushed into bitterness mixed with months of black mood morsels.

Spring cheer is not based on a date or on the return of sunlight. It’s rooted in hope and opportunity.  I like to go on walks but this is what greets me.

walk

Icy hills North or South are my only alternatives. Deathtrap. Stay inside. Eat. Mope

But if I do I miss the view at the top.

street.png

Or what’s on the other side.

icey

The little birds are back despite the ice. The geese and gulls are waiting. The actually greening will occur in early May over one short week. Until then I will keep my car plugged in and trudge on.

 

Anxiety Woman’s reading list: a prescription for wellbeing

Posted on

I remember being in the middle of a conversation with a fellow actor in San Francisco. After yammering on as we actors do, he stopped, looked me in the eye and said, “I can’t afford to be around negative people anymore.” Then he walked away. I laugh large laughs in my head today because his conversations about making it big and investing in his latest project remind me of a certain current president of a formerly much admired nation. If you can’t deal with negativity then perhaps you might need an ego reboot.

Sure, I’m a bit negative when it comes to assuaging men’s egos. I also have a tendency to underrate my own cooking but this is a self protective move. If I tell people the brownies are a bit undercooked and have too much salmon extract in them, that means there are more for me.

I’ve been noticing my stress level is creeping up lately. I can’t sleep until 3 am. My dominant forearm is aching while I type this. I’m getting charlie horses at night and now I have “Trigger thumb” where my thumb becomes dislocated as I sleep due to high tension and over use during the day. How do you overuse a thumb? By yanking up one’s pants too many times, securing wheelchairs, pushing wheelchairs, giving a thumbs down to bad movies, riding a bike in winter  desperately trying to get the brakes to work and by cross country skiing.

I am taking a break from the skiing and the biking and decided to catch up on my reading.  My reading choices reflect an inability to move forward with my life. It would take a disaster of great proportions to uproot me from my safety net of friends and activities so that’s what I read about. Besides there is nothing like a disaster book to make you feel like anxiety is a good thing.

I read this one last year when there was very little snow in Alaska. The weather was getting me down but reading this put an end to my complaints.

I just finished reading this. If a recurring reference to a pail of human eyeballs doesn’t put you off then you might enjoy the rest which is equally gory but historically accurate.  There are no big plot surprises as you can see the trajectory right on the cover. And to think I am wary about moving back to the Northeast because of ticks.

Here’s one I got at the library book sale on Friday night, haven’t started it but it was on the shelf marked. “Disasters” so how could I go wrong?

I know I shouldn’t judge a book by its cover but I have a difficult time resisting non-fiction with the word, “terrifying” in the sub-title. I hope someday there will be a Trump era history with that word in the title. I find myself feeling much more at home in a Trump presidency than many of my friends who don’t court disaster as doggedly as I do. I, who am oft  the outlier in terms of neuroticism, now appear closer to the mean or average. This is a lucky break for me.

A man named Lance Panzer, no relation to the tank, reviewed it on Amazon.com with the headline, “Makes the Perfect Storm look like a picnic”

Just in case I needed a different sort of input, I made my way over to Title Wave to  cash out my credit before the March 15th deadline. Look what I found!

Product Details

They have two more copies if you want one!

This is how I put my life in perspective. I may have no direction. The leader of my  country may be inherently unstable but at least I am not on a plane with snakes.  If you have any film or reading recommendations, please leave them in the comments.

 

 

You don’t need a weatherman to tell which way the wind is blowin’

It recently snowed, lots, for three days straight. The news  projected “overcast skies” with zero percent chance of precipitation each day. This photo was shot at the half way point.

house.pngThis is how it can feel anticipating the next four years.

My guess is that the chief weatherperson is on vacation in Hawaii and there is no backup but someone akin to a vice president who looks things up on Wikipedia, Encylopedia Brittanica  or Lands and Peoples from their home in Seattle. Even to Alaskans, Seattle is not the center of the universe.

landslands2lands3

I give the vice president, or whomever, the benefit of the 1955 edition even though the 1932 edition is more colorful.

1932.jpgEverything looks more colorful in the past – the reign of Queen Victoria, the winters of my childhood, the loves and losses. I distrust predicting the future with polls or by use of the vast amount of information available to me. The present continues to surprise me even though I speak to live people. Perhaps that’s because I know myself so poorly.

Only on few occasions do I speak to people without my hidden agenda oozing over my attempts at connection. Why should I expect any different from others? You would think I would have learned this practicing as a therapist but I continue to assume that with enough information I will be able to predict the behavior of others and even improve upon it. This is called grandiosity. Welcome to The American ideal.

I suffer from nostalgia which throw me into fantastical worlds where I am both old and young, safe yet brave, gifted yet of the common man. There are elements of these in both President Trump and Bernie Sanders. It must be difficult in a land of superheroes to elect a practical commander in chief.  Perhaps, the Christian culture fosters the search for a savior instead of a professional paper pusher. I forget that there is no paper anymore, just email, video and tweets.

I delight in ferreting out the B.S on Facebook, in The Huffington Post and The Anchorage Dispatch News. Perhaps those who practice Biblical Exegesis do this habitually or is it just the curse of the depressive? Paid adverts are deleted immediately, any post with a small child or wounded animal pleading not for themselves or their personal freedom but for the plight of their peoples are suspect. Promises and cures are equally annoying. I would enjoy reading that someone lost weight using tricks that would only work for them personally and may not be permanent.  The message is Hope. The command is Faith.

Even when I see many women marching in cute hats I question what I am supposed to feel. If I am honest, I know women used their savings, employed babysitters, and gained a sense of power on Saturday. These are women who vote and yet their vote did not win the election. I am not that interested. It’s good practice for the minority voice to be heard but I care more about the snow. It has fallen in vast amounts. People are mourning. I get it, but what about the snow? It’s still falling. I can be nostalgic and think about the good times we had but my source  is both removed and outdated.

  I am more interested in those who did not attend. Those who disagree, those who don’t vote, those who have an alternative solution to the world’s ills. These are the people who won the last election.  This is the weather I could have foretold by looking out the window in Alaska instead of listening to a weatherperson in Seattle.  It may be too late to get them to listen to me. I approach them not with my political agenda but with my own person, in my own hat. A show of force can be effective in some cases but in others it takes a fool to survive the chaos of the world. Wish me luck.

Another chance to get it not quite wrong

Happy New Year! This is a strange holiday for those of us who have to take it one day at a time, and isn’t that just about everyone?

Things I am noticing already –

It does not feel warm? Where has my global warming gone? It’s 4 degrees every time I get out of my car.

cold.png

This is what it looks like when it is too cold for live people to be outdoors

Also, I am overwhelmed by new shopping choices . Why is there chocolate peppermint  drizzle popcorn? How come the sale price is $3.99 and it’s after New Year’s? Isn’t it getting both stale and soggy? Can I get a free sample?

Why is there a cauliflower  product ground up into dust then sold for more money? Can’t these people who want to lose weight just eat sand?

Don’t even look in the frozen section if you know what’s good for you.

corn.png

SURPRISE! Is there really an asterisk after the words “Hormones” and “Steroids”?

I am considering hosting my own local version of the Presidential Inauguration Ball, featuring these corn dogs. I learned  from The Guide to the 2017 Presidential Inauguration on Washington.org that

“It is cold in January in Washington, DC. Dress warmly and wear comfortable shoes.

Thousands of portable toilets are brought into National Mall and in front of Metro Stations for the event. Bring your own water and snacks or purchase some from hot dogs and pretzel stands.”

What exactly do they mean by cold, and are their dogs gluten free?

May I also add that I went for a cross country ski the other day out by Point Woronzoff. It was beautiful but the sewage treatment plant smelled like it was in overdrive. I assume the portable toliets at the inauguration will smell the same. It will make you consider going on a liquid diet and never defecating again.

coast.png

Here is the view from Point Woronzoff. I will let you imagine the smell of the fecal matter of 300,000 people after the holidays.

If you wish to attend an Inaugural ball and are in a decidedly funereal mood, the internet is ready to help.

ball-gown

Yes, it’s cosplay, but found under search terms “funeral” and “ball gown”

Meanwhile, the ice fog has cleared and perhaps I shall see The Northern Lights this weekend. I wish you all a warm place to sleep and plenty of gluten free sweets in your pantry. Don’t let a little inauguration get you down. Find your own way to have a ball.

 

5 degrees and holding w/ mint chocolate

Today there is a big old man in my bedroom blasting the Grateful Dead. One would hope that I got lucky last night but the mattress, box spring and I  are out in the kitchen. The bedroom carpets are being replaced and the walls painted. ‘Tis the season for home repair discounts. I have been in this apartment for over 12 years so I’m lucky we’re getting an upgrade before they have to carry me out in a box.  Speaking of boxes, I meant to mail out a present today but I can’t find it because all my stuff and my two roommate’s stuff is mingled in a Close Encounters mound centered in the common space.

 

pile.png

The belongings of three people who do not need anything for Christmas

 

I could spend the day outside but I did that yesterday and got a bit cranky. It’s about 5 degrees, I’m being generous here. When the trees are covered in Hoarfrost, you know it’s a little damp and a lot cold so I am prepared for my ice beard. I have hair all over face which gets wet then icy. Yesterday after skating I looked like Scrooge. My pale white hair frosted over and stuck straight out at the sides. I shouldn’t complain. It’s actually good weather for sleeping and taking a walk to see Christmas lights. I know I’m in trouble when I open the door and a cloud of mist appears when the warmish house air hits the super cold outdoors air.

T

frosty.png

The white stuff on my collar is my breath

 

Now my cranky housepainter is listening to The Rolling Stone’s Shattered. I wonder if he started painting at 20 and has been listening to the same station ever since then. I bought myself the cheapest peppermint patties I could find to cheer me up. They taste a little waxy but that way I don’t eat as many as I would the York ones.  I almost bought peppermint tea but I have 4 boxes of other teas I really should drink first. But peppermint is so delicious. It’s like winter in a cup but warmer.

Alaska Sausage and Seafood is like a winter wonderland of food. All the food is German, Swedish or Alaskan and wrapped in colorful foil, covered in powdered sugar, or filled with squishy marzipan. Of course there are also many sausages including a potato sausage  which I thought might be vegetarian but was mixed with pork squeezed into somebody’s intestine. I spent a good amount of money there because I am only doing edible gifts to most people this year. Having cleaned out my room, I was depressed with all the crap I have and how much time it takes to go through it. I have photocopies of things. No one keeps photocopies anymore. I have photos. I still have a few VHS tapes and way too many books. Salvation Army will save me if I can just get them into bags and out the door. But I must give because I love Christmas so here are some of the things I got. My roommates don’t read my blog so these are some of their presents.

fish.png

Not from Alaska Sausage, from Fred Meyers, not the seafood dept.

 

choc.png

Looks delicious, I hope they share

 

ling.png

A classy looking gift for about 10 bucks

Now I must go because it is time to bake. Then I will go downtown and buy a dreidl because I want to get the residents of the nursing home where I work to earn their gelt.

 

trees.png

Happy Hoarfrost to you, and to all a good night!

 

 

 

 

Tis the Season to SCREAM!!

The clocks are going forward which is SO stupid in Alaska where most of us have seasonal affective disorder. It’s going to be pitch black when the school bus comes no matter what time you call it. It’s also going to be cold and for some children, way up North, there will be polar bears waiting to eat them at their bus stops.

The only redeeming aspect of this weekend is Halloween. Most kids will go to malls or well orchestrated Halloween Townes or Trail events.  But we still have some old school ghouls with their porch lights on. One family in Mountain View has their home open as a Haunted House this weekend.  My roommate and I have put our unit on The Trick or Treat Map and are almost through decorating. Sad to say, I am almost through the first THREE POUND bag of Halloween candy as well. Here are some photos of the yard. Nothing was purchased  except the $3.50 zombie head, which I decorated myself.

zombie.jpg

This next guest is a favorite of mine. My roommate created it and it has a seat of honor right by the door. I am using gender neutral language because even though it looks like a chicken, I don’t want to make assumptions.

chick.jpg

This creature reminds me of the  Malcolm McDowell film, “O Lucky Man,” which featured the following result from an advertisement for paid participants in medical research.

sheep

A not so lucky man!

We also have other obscure guests on our porch.

trio.jpg

Yes, that is a rat with a rotten banana. How about a grave with ketchup?

cross.jpg

That is a stake, not a steak which I believe is more commonly associated with ketchup. On the subject of scary food, how about a really obnoxious orange tree?

orange.jpg

My roommate made an excellent sign for us since we live in The Valley of The Moon.

doom.jpg

We do our best with very little cash but I did buy one of those laser lights that you see on TV which make it look like there are fireflies everywhere. I consider it a great investment as it works for Christmas as well as for indoor parties. Now I will never have to hang lights again.  Hanging lights is not my forte. The ones you see on the window above were originally hung by me but I caught my roommate rehanging them so they would be more artistic. I am messy but Halloween can be messy, I hope. At least as messy as election season.

Maybe that’s why my seasonal affective disorder is so bad this year.  I’ve lived here a little too long. I need some more adventures that don’t involve being cold, wet, or  the online dating of Republicans. Perhaps I will put the zombie as my primary photo on OK Cupid. I seem to peek the interest of men in Florida. Does that mean that only really inaccessible men like me? or are people in Florida more likely to fantasize about the cold? I don’t fantasize about Florida. I dream of a state with less expensive health insurance and a few less Right wing zealots.  .

Please feel free to stop by my house this Halloween. I only get a few trick or treaters. I mostly decorate to keep my recovery strong. After all, there is no better time to be obsessed with death and doom! Except, once again, election day.

Grateful to Donald Trump

I am grateful never to have been assaulted by Mr. Trump. I am not a 10, I am not a number. I was surprised to find his campaign did not send either a picture or other identifying information for The Alaska Voter’s pamphlet. I am grateful he has forgotten since maybe that will deter a few people who might assume he is not on the ballot in our state.

The only time anyone has ever grabbed me by the crotch, I was walking in East Oakland after dark with grocery bags in each hand. A man grabbed me from behind using my crotch as a lever to rub against him. He was a special needs man and laughed at me when I cursed him.  This is who I think of when I think of Donald Trump.

I  am grateful to have made it this far in my life without a serious sexual assault. Of course there is still time. Even in nursing homes, where people don’t generally go looking for “10’s, there are assaults. That’s because  sexual assault isn’t about people being attractive. It’s about dominance and power. You could say it’s about wanting to be more like  Mr.Trump.

When I worked in mental health, I reminded people on outings that no one was going to comment on someone’s body in the YMCA locker room because everyone was trying their best to mind their own business and not attract attention to their own body. Most locker rooms are like this. I imagine Donald does not go to The YMCA very much. It’s easier to criticize other people’s bodies when you have a private pool.

Another great gift is Trump’s focus on  Making America White again.   Even the earliest migrations to America were successful due to the enslavement of people of color to build their settlements.   One can only be as rich as Trump by using other people’s labor to build an empire.  Queen Victoria, Big Cotton, Microsoft, Big Pharma,  The Holy Romans, Game of Thrones, your average workplace, they all insist that that human sacrifices must be made and those who make them will be rewarded.  Most of us spend our time trying to  be one even if it means that number two and number 200,141 resent us. Americans don’t like being average people. We want to be superstars and mavericks. I can’t imagine Trump saying that he would take a pay cut before laying off workers.  I could stand for making America mediocre but more equitable.

The Black Lives Matter Movement threatens the Trump hierarchy which puts police and the military and other corporations on top when actually these public servants are policing people who are their equals not scum. It is important to deal carefully with  those who disrupt public order. The most dangerous and despicable  deserve a trial as well as those with mental health issues. Many cultures question the death sentence but we hand these out daily on the streets of America.

Recently, it was suggested we start a neighborhood patrol or neighborhood watch for our street in Anchorage.  Burglaries are up. There have been several murders. One neighbor suggested we need people with military and police training to take part. I would say train the police to be less like the military and more like peace keepers. Let the neighborhood watch create a lively interaction between people who are looking out for each other and can help by banding together when in need.

Guns should be for getting food. I am not sure how guns figure in Donald Trumps life but they are implements of domination that I could live without. I appreciate that he is pro-gun because it makes it clearer that I need to be on the other side.

You may not agree that Donald Trump is a mirror of our inner will to dominate the world.  I think most will agree that he makes Kim Kardashian look like a potential write in candidate.  I wish you merry voting and a happy new era.