A post in which I explore the answer to the question, “Does anyone want to keep me company as I wander the beach forlornly and cry.”

The answer is no. No one does. Not even one person.

Now the reason I went on a morose shoreline stroll is that I did something bad.

Two days ago I found the most perfect, baseball-sized dead sea urchin on the beach. Not a crack! Already missing most of its spines so I didn’t have to fret about whether it was secretly alive. The day I found it was the second best day of my vacation, and the fifth best day of my whole life. I’ve been searching all week, and finally!!! A whole urchin! Not a dime-sized piece, not a spine, but a whole one! Oh, glory! Oh, rapture!

The problem was that, although I put it in a ziplock, it was stinking to high heaven, so I had to clean it. I used a bleach-to-water ratio that was too high and broke it into about thirty-eight tiny pieces.

This is the fifth worst thing I’ve ever done in my life, and the third worst I’ve ever done on accident. The chances of me finding another one are minuscule, and I am bummed hard. Major bummage. The bummiest of all bummers. Bummer II: The Bummening. Bumbelina. Two bums up.

I am feeling about twelve sad emojis in a row, plus a couple angry emojis, plus like eight emojis of that guy crying two vertical lines worth of tears down his face.

Sadness abounds. I am urchinless once more.

How to Resolve Conflicts: Superhero Edition

IRON MAN: Bucky’s a bad guy. Remember all the bad things he did? You can’t be friends.

CAPTAIN AMERICA: Remember all the bad things you did when you didn’t know any better, creepy rich ex-arms dealer?

IRON MAN: You’re right!  People in glass houses shouldn’t call the kettle black!

[They high five and everyone’s best friends!]

BATMAN: I don’t like that you’re an alien.

SUPERMAN: I don’t like that you’re super violent.

BATMAN: I get that. But we should consider that our differences aren’t actually relevant in any way. That there’s a bigger picture here.

SUPERMAN: Like crime, and poverty, and systemic cruelty, and maybe, just maybe we’re being manipulated to make this more about our egos to distract us from what really matters.

BATMAN: Like that jerk Alex Luthor.

SUPERMAN: It’s Lex.

BATMAN: Whatever. No one cares. You should throw him into the sun.

SUPERMAN: That’d probably cut down on future worldwide misery, even though that’s immoral. I could throw the Joker into the sun, too, if you want.

[They gaze longingly into each other’s eyes and whisper, “Bro.”]

ALL OF X-MEN, IN THE STYLE OF A GREEK CHORUS: Go away, Wolverine! No one wants you here!  Take the Phoenix and go!

WOLVERINE: Do you spell “snikt” with or without a “c”?

ALL OF X-MEN, IN THE STYLE OF A GREEK CHORUS: You have had your share of the franchise. Now it’s someone else’s turn. Like Beak. He’s better than you. Like, way better. Like, a hundred times better.

WOLVERINE: No, but how do I onomotopoetize my claws?

[The rest of the X-Men team just wail until he gets on his motorcycle and drives away forever, thoughtfully chomping on his cigar as he mouths s-n-i-k-t or s-n-i-c-k-t,  s-n-i-k-t or s-n-i-c-k-t,  s-n-i-k-t or s-n-i-c-k-t.]

Dear Boy Who Said, When his Sister Switched Seats With Him at Great Clips, “Good, Now I Don’t Have to Sit Next to the Adult”

Dear Boy Who Said, When his Sister Switched Seats With Him at Great Clips, “Good, Now I Don’t Have to Sit Next to the Adult,”

I get it. I do. Adult strangers make me nervous, too. If I can help it, I sit on the aisle or sandwiched between people I know so I won’t have to sit next to adult strangers. But I think you’ve mistaken me for someone else.

See, I am no adult.

Exhibit A: I can’t drive. Adults can drive. It’s a true fact, proven by science. See, my eyes don’t work very well, and my body is clumsy, and it means that people don’t often treat me like I’m an adult. Think about every time you really, really, really wanted to go to the movies, or get ice cream, and mom and dad wouldn’t let you– even if it was for a very good reason. Now, multiply that feeling by like fifty. (Multiplication is tough, I know. Let’s just imagine this feeling is a big feeling.) I can’t go where I want to go or do what I want to do, like adults can and do. I have to depend on adultier adults to help me. It means that sometimes, even though I’m old, I feel very, very small.

Exhibit B: I say things like “adultier.”

Exhibit C: My job is to make up stories. And sometimes I draw pictures and people give me money for that! And sometimes I play with babies and people give me money for that! So, basically, I get paid for playing pretend. That is not a job for an adult (but I love it!)

Exhibit D: Secretly, in the quietness of my heart, I’m still a little bit scared to cross the street alone.

I don’t blame you for not wanting to sit by me! That’s okay! You should do what makes you feel comfortable. But if it’s just because I’m an adult, you’ve got it all wrong. If I’m an adult, I’m a badult (because I’m bad at being an adult, not because I’m a mean grown-up). Who knows, maybe one day you’ll end up being a badult, too?

Bordering on Hoardering (Episode 5)

It feels a lot like signing a contract in my own blood with Mephistopheles.  I decided I’d do more than my thirty days of purging because I really, really, really, really, really wanted a solar powered robot kit.  I needed it.  This may have been a mistake.  (It was a mistake.)  But I can’t unsign a blood contract, so here we go.

I found out that my mom can clean and organize better in five minutes than I can in five hours.  Or five months.  The best I can do is still woefully inadequate and I have to stop every fifteen minutes or so because I get overwhelmed and panicky.

So small bursts is what’s doing it, except when my mom comes in and lends a hand (that gets me overwhelmed quicker but a lot gets done, because she*  bombards me with information–this, do you need it, that, where does that go, you don’t need this, this space needs to be cleared off, if you put something here you need to get rid of something else from here, remember blood contracts are permanent, you can’t quit and give the robot back, do you need this, why are you keeping that).

* She’s being very helpful, and I’m grateful because otherwise I’d be glassy-eyed watching Spongebob and trying to take even breaths as I sit in a pile of clothes and scraps of paper and slowly lose my mind.

Anyway, that’s where I am.  My floor has a big swath of empty space now, like a scar.  Drawers are emptying so I can fill them again.  I like to call that the circle of strife (and it moves us all). For every new thing, I’m getting rid of something else.  I’m seeing a real difference, but only when my mom is there to guide it and keep me on track, because otherwise I get caught up in the details, and I get distracted, and I lose my focus.  I panic either way, but at least this way I panic and make progress.

Batman v Superman Review

I’m going to air my grievances in the order of appearance, much like the credits at the end of a movie that spent the whole time building up to a ten minute fight and spent the rest of the time setting up the next three sequels.

Thomas Wayne was a sociopath, to start with. Who, upon being mugged at gunpoint in front of their wife and young child, rushes the mugger? Good job, CEO, you got yourself and your wife killed and relegated half of your fortune to your son’s future therapist.

I’d think that being one of the richest guys in the country would mean that you have some modicum of common sense, but– okay, I heard it as soon as I said it.  #thomaswayne2016 #makegothamgreatagain

I did like how the recoil of the gun broke Martha’s pearls, that was a nice touch. Visually very appealing.

And hello unreliable character.  Fool me once with an overblown dream sequence so I can’t tell reality from Bruce Wayne’s fantasy world shame on you.  Fool me twice, shame on me. Fool me three times and you’re really knocking the stuffing out of any actual shocking moment you decide to show us, because I’ll be waiting for Bruce to gasp awake.

Why is it that Bruce’s weird dreams are giving him prophetic information? Are we going to address it, or– nope?  No?  Just let it stand there? Okay, cool.  Bat ex machina. We’re just going to let a bad dream and a bitchy conversation with Clark Kent dictate the events of the movie, that’s okay. (That’s not okay.)

(What, was Alfred fifteen when he started raising Bruce?)

Isn’t turning on your own batsignal the same as liking your own status on Facebook?

Clarky, Clarky, Clarky, four words: “Lex has my mom.”  Maybe start with that instead of the fisticuffs. Cut through the macho nonsense and use. Your. Words.  I get that you’re emotionally compromised and Batman was trying to show off the size of his budget, but we all know Batman isn’t stable. You’re supposed to be the adult in the situation.

Also, Superman, your superhearing can detect the tiny underwater fists of Lois Lane but can’t work out where your mom is?  It’s almost like it’s a massive plot hole solely so that the noble blue boy scout has a reason to punch Batsy.

The giant death orc absorbs energy when you attack him, so… maybe you should do something wild and not attack him?  Maybe, I dunno, hit him enough to keep him interested and keep dancing around him?  Do you maybe have someone with superspeed?  Yeah?  And the giant death orc doesn’t have superspeed? Sounds like a walk in the proverbial park to me.

I liked the acting overall.  It wasn’t the actors’ fault that the screenwriting had more holes in it than Metropolis’ skyline. Eisenberg’s last speech fell flat for me. I like controlled, slightly twitchy Eisenberg better than absolutely down the rabbit hole Eisenberg.  He lost all element of danger at the end. It seems like the only reason that he went to prison is so that they could shave his head and tie up his storyline in a bow to give the audience a false sense of closure. Does anyone believe that Lex freaking Luthor is going to go to prison? Not buy off the judge and jury? Not hop a plane to a place without extradition? Superman’s out of commission. Lex is on a beach somewhere working on his tan and creepy speeches.

Speaking of getting a tan, haven’t we thought Superman was dead like four times already? Why don’t they set Clark’s body out in the sun for a couple days before they plant him in the ground?  Clark is solar powered, after all. They just so happened to forget what the entire movie kept repeating: Clark is not a human.

One and a half yellow suns out of five.

Bordering on Hoardering (Episode 4)

Spoilers for The Big Bang Theory, if you care about this sort of thing:

I know TBBT has flaws with stereotyping nerd representation, and a lot of other things, too, so it’s not the perfect show.  This isn’t about whether or not TBBT is good/useful. This is about being bad at getting rid of things.

I’ve always been called the Sheldon of my family. Can’t drive, sometimes struggles to connect with people, has an… unusual sense of humor, can be pedantic, obsessive, will get into nerdy debates until I figuratively (not literally) turn blue, am super into the fact that I’m smart, and I relate to Vulcans and robots a disturbing amount.  The big difference is that I don’t want to be an elitist jerk, and while Sheldon has improved on his neuroses during the course of the show, I haven’t taken those same strides.

Okay, so, the Zoloft helps with the obsessing, but when I watch the show, I see my worst qualities superimposed onto a taller, skinnier, male me, who can change at the stroke of a writer’s pen to become brave in ways that take me a lot of work.

He has a significant other, and what the world would call a pretty normal romantic relationship, which I’ve never had. I’ve dated a little but my relationships tend to nosedive early (nearly 100% my fault due to the aforementioned reasons.  I’m much better than I was when I last had a boyfriend, but I haven’t dated in a long, long time).

I just saw an episode of TBBT where he revealed to Amy that he has a storage unit full of everything he’s ever owned. A golf ball he had thrown at his head by his brother, every toothbrush he’s used, a ziplock bag full of used ziplock bags.  And so let’s add another tally mark as to how I’m like the worst adjusted protagonist on prime time television. Except instead of a golf ball, it’s every half-hearted sketch I’ve ever done, every mostly empty bottle of paint, every book I’ve ever read.

To end this, I want to leave you with a quote from the show, which is actually really, really accurate to what I’m going through right now:

AMY: Okay, why do you have a bin of pinecones?*

SHELDON: I used to collect them as a child. The spiral of scales open in the Fibonacci sequence. A fact that, when you tell your brother, gets a golf ball thrown at your head.

AMY: So, why do you feel you need to save these things?

SHELDON: I’d like to say it’s nostalgia, but every time I think of throwing anything away, my ears start to ring, and I get butterflies in my stomach. And then it feels like the butterflies get eaten by rats, and then, the-the rats get eaten by…

AMY: Okay. I get it. I get it.

SHELDON: It ends with dinosaurs. I’m sorry if you think less of me.

AMY: I don’t.

SHELDON: Really? ‘Cause every time I come in here, I think less of me.

AMY: Why?

SHELDON: Because I’m a fraud.

AMY: No.

SHELDON: I purport to be a man of the mind. I’ve been such a-a vocal champion of The Singularity, but how can I leave my body behind and become one with the Internet when I’ve never even thrown a toothbrush away?

* I have a large disposable cup of tiny pinecones in my room right now, each about the size of a pencil eraser.

pinecones

I’m not into the idea of The Singularity.  Though my body frustrates me, I’ve gotten to the point where I realize that I’m in a body for a reason, and that reason is to help people and be kind and make art and experience the world around me and love people the way God loves us. And if I purport to be unmaterialistic, I need to practice what I preach, even though it’s hard. Blah blah blah, inspirational ending, blah.

For Annabelle at Ten Weeks Old

Everyone else was watching a Brad Pitt war movie. I was watching you.  Little Annabelle, in my arms as you slept, wearing navy blue stripes.

I would hardly look up.  But when I did, I had questions.

“Did flat-nose die?”

“Yeah. Wait. Who’s flat-nose?”

Shane from Walking Dead was flat-nose, but I knew that no one would know what that meant.  So I said, “I dunno. The one with the flat nose.”

“The one from Texas?”

“Could be,” I said.

“Yeah, he’s dead.”

Then I went back to watching you. Hearing you.  The soft way you breathed as you slept. The way your tummy lifted and fell.  The corners of your eyelids.  The way your mouth would sometimes twitch just a tiny bit.  I felt like I was in that spot between radio stations, full of static, sometimes hearing something that makes sense, usually hearing hush.  All that mattered was you.  Which is weird because grumpy Brad Pitt killing Nazis is kind of in my wheelhouse.

Even when you’re here and I’m there, I miss you.  You fill my heart with so much love it feels like crinkling newspaper.  Like white noise.  A constant pounding of waves on a shore.  It feels like the sound of fingers on a keyboard, or a typewriter, like when you hear it too much it becomes a part of what you expect to hear and when it’s silent you feel the quiet viscerally.  You are my soft, still space of peace.