Queen of the Neighborhood

Also also also also also also also also also also…we went to see Bikini Kill last night! It was at the King’s Theater in Brooklyn which is such a pretty and convenient venue. Bikini Kill was as awesome as you’d want them to be. Here are some pics:

This is before the show. We were just kids, then.
We didn’t get to sit with Amanda. She was on the upper tier but we found her and waved frantically haha.
I asked security if I could go up a little closer to take a photo and this is sort of the best I could do. Not probably the most flattering photo of them but exciting nonetheless!
Just a quick photo of the sign outside. Such an awesome night.

I’m sitting at the kitchen table drinking my coffee. I’m a little tired but that was fun. Have to hop to it and get to work now!

Success!

Yesterday, I completely forgot to mention at least two major things that also happened recently:

Kristyn got published for the first time in this issue of The Public Historian!
We got to vote for Kristyn in a public election! She ran unopposed so it’s looking like she’ll win!
Here she is outside the polling booth after we got to vote for her!
And here we are, self-satisfied and on our way to take me to work.

We’ve been having a lot of good times lately! *Knock Wood*

It’s not all bad

Okay, this has been a grim-fest around here. I’ve committed sort of a hit and run where I’m all “Momma’s got open heart surgery and Charles died. Bye for a year.” Objectively though, I’ve been having a pretty good time with myself. Here are some awesome things that have happened in the past year with photo evidence:

  1. In 2018, we went to Scotland with our family. I mentioned that but here’s some additional evidence:
This is me, Kristyn, and some of our cousins in front of Greyfriar’s Bobby in Edinburgh last June 2018.

2. Here we are, later that same trip, getting tattoos of our dog, Shirley, in Glasgow:

It was semi-on a whim and started out with a family plan to get a thistle tattoo. Oh, there’s a thistle in there but the dog is kind of the main attraction.
We both got the same tattoo; Kristyn’s is on her forearm and mine is on my thigh. It’s a drawing that one of our favorite cartoonists, Nicole Georges, did with thistles added. This, btw, is my left thigh.

3. On that same trip, we stayed a few days extra to do a small hopover to Ireland. We stayed in Dublin and here we are Dublin’ it up:

We’re in the Trinity College Library here which is gorge, natch.

4. Then from Dublin, we took a bus to Northern Ireland.

We got to see a lot but here we are in the Crown Bar in Belfast.

5. Then we spent the summer and fall at our camper Upstate:

Here’s Shirley by the campfire last fall.

6. This winter, we did a lot of fun things such as:

Going to see Michelle Obama at the Barclay Center. That’s Michelle Obama being interviewed by Sarah Jessica Parker. That was when Michelle wore THOSE BOOTS.

7. And then we went to see Maria Bamford in Newark for her birthday.

8. AND THEN we went to Paris for few days!

Here we are drinking champagne and eating the free chips that came with the champagne under the Eiffel Tower. That was a trip.

9. We went to LA and visited our old stomping grounds and also saw a lot of cool things that we couldn’t do when we lived there (for grievous lack of money).

We were heading into a Harry Potter event.

10. Oh shit, we also met Nellie Oleson!

This was us on a tour that Alison Arngrim lead. We were legit in a van with her for like three hours while she told us stories about her lift in Hollywood. She’s a pip and I love her forever.

11. My sister had another baby!:

Here we are, making him crazy already.

12. For some reason, my company let us knuckleheads launch an LGBTQ initiative.

Making it werk.

13. We’re back up to our old tricks Upstate.

Here’s Shirley tolerating us by the river.

14. We bought a car!

It’s a VW Beetle Convertible and we just cannot with it.

So, I mention all of this not to brag to you, dear reader. I’m mentioning it all to brag to me. I’ve been really anxious and a little sad lately. I think it’s because I’m stressed. This year and a half since Charles died has actually been one of the best of my life; despite losing him. I think his death shook loose some cobwebs and gave me a more “fuck it” stance which ended up making me take life less seriously and have more fun. In all of the positives above, I didn’t mention how many funerals of other loved ones we attended. I didn’t mention the fact that I finally started taking an anti-depressant (which I think maybe helped me immeasurably). I didn’t mention my constant fears about failure at work. I didn’t mention that I twisted my stupid ankle in Salem, Massachusetts. In fact, I forgot to mention that we also went to Salem AND WE DID. More on that later because it’s worth mentioning.

And so, I’m posting all of the above, not only to bring up the tone around here but also to bring up the tone for me. I’ve been stressing lately but the reality is that we’re having a really good time in our lives and I need to just cool it with the anxiety. Life is really good and I’m choosing to make it be that way.

BTW, I’m going to write more in depth about some of the above because the point of this blog is really so that I can remember and if anyone else enjoys the ride; awesome.

One Year

Today marks one year since we lost Charles. I decided to stay home from work and be alone with my thoughts. I actually ended up having a nice day. I sewed a patch onto something, crocheted part of a scarf, watched Factory Girl, and decorated the Christmas Tree with Kristyn. I also ate Thanksgiving leftovers twice. I definitely cried also. I think today was better than I thought it would be. We all miss him so much.

Oh hullo there!

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Okay, I’m ridiculous because I haven’t posted here all summer and so many crazy things have happened. Well, first, my Mom is doing better. See above. We went Upstate and I think the fresh air did her good.

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We also went to Scotland but Mom couldn’t go because it was way too close to her surgery which was sad.  More on all of this later! I wanted to post something to show that we’re still here and all is (relatively) well. In 2 days, it would’ve been Charles’ 28th birthday.

Wild Week

Lately, my life and everyone around me’s life has been completely out of control wild. We are all jumping from one insane event to the next. My Mom has been in and out of the hospital lately having problems with her heart resulting in a triple bypass. I fell and hit my head on the tub, went to the ER, and got a concussion. Work’s been nuts. That’s not even mentioning the fact that we went to Las Vegas, Kristyn finished her first year of her PhD, and we opened up the trailer last weekend. This isn’t even all of it. Oh AND?! Our car got stolen, then found, and we had to pay around $300 to get it out of impound. Point being that Momma is BUSY and TIRED. (I’m the “Momma” in this scenario.) Here are a few pictures recent pictures of these events:

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The above is me at the ER after I fell. The entire day before, we’d spent in the ER with my Mom and the nurse had told me that she’s had people fall and not report it and die. Then the next day I fell and hit my head HARD. I felt kind of fine / kind of suspicious so of course I had to go. Ugh.

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Here we are after getting our car out of hock. We’re smiling because we got it back and also because it’s the SECOND time that this exact same car has been stolen and returned to us.

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The above and below pictures are on Mother’s Day. My family took a spur-of-the-moment trip to Michael’s Craft Store after eating brunch and realized we hadn’t taken any nice pictures together. We had to leave to go to Kristyn’s family’s house so we took this one in the aisle, LOL. Gorgeous family portrait.

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Also, we forgot to take a photo with everyone in Kristyn’s family together before some people left so as we were walking out the door, we took this quick use. Another beautiful family portrait!

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Last weekend we went Upstate for the first time in 2018. It rained and we slept all weekend except for literally this minute just before we left.

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This is just Shirley sleeping on me and being a lunatic.

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This is me and Kristyn in the ER again with my Mother. She was there to be admitted and we were goofing around. We took more goofy pictures too. Don’t let the fact that we were selfie-ing fool you into thinking it wasn’t a serious situation. It was but we handle serious situations with goofiness and this beautiful background was the partition curtain in my Mom’s room, ha.

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the above picture we took after we found out that Mom’s surgery went well. We were jolly because of the weight lifted and all leaving for the day after being at the hospital since the morning. This bag that my Dad is holding up has my Mom’s initial “D” on it. She kept calling it “the D bag” as in “Can you hand me my D bag?” and it kept making us laugh. So here we all are the D bag.

We do find a way to enjoy ourselves but man I could sleep for a thousand years haha.

We live on this plane now

We are on a plane to Las Vegas and have been on it for approximately 24 full hours. We’re finally landing and it looks like this below:

We have been in a feeding frenzy out of boredom. Kristyn got a lot of her presentation done and I alternately napped and listened to Comey dish.

We ate and drank weird things too. We had soylent (above) and Primal strips vegan jerky (below):

I wouldn’t say that either were great.

I think one of the flight attendants was consoling a woman who was afraid that it would take too long to get from the airport to a casino to gamble. The flight attendant was really nice to the weird lady. I wonder if I tell her that I’m afraid of developing deep vein thrombosis if she’ll also talk me off a ledge.

The woman behind me has been talking endlessly to the people next to her and I’m not sure she knows them at all. I wanted to shush her for a little while because I literally couldn’t hear Comey speaking even though the volume on my audiobook was completely turned way up. No she doesn’t know this guy because she’s telling him she has a grandson.

We’s landing!

A Higher Loyalty

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Cover art via Audible.

YOU GUYS. First, I did not mean to sign on here and blog about anything. I sat down to pull up the Stephen Colbert interview with him to watch while we eat breakfast. I’m going to do that but first, I wanted to say “YOU GUYS.” I started listening to the audiobook last night and it’s a humdinger. Really interesting. I’m about an hour and a half-is in and he’s talked about a home invasion that happened when he was a teen, which is why he got into law enforcement, his experiences with the Mob, the nature of truth and lies, and has outlined various leaders he’s been proud to work under or suffered working under. It’s dishy and suspenseful so far. Gurl should write mystery novels or tell-all celeb biographies for a second act. I’d read’m.

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From Pete Souza’s Instagram. The caption is, “Every person in this photograph is a patriot.” GURL.

Oh, ALSO? He’s a lot more profane and silly than you’d think. I mean, that makes sense because he’s a human person and a grown adult but every time we’ve ever seen him or heard him, he’s been sort of straight-faced so that was a pleasant surprise ALTHOUGH, that “Lordy” thing makes me LOL a lot. Okay, I gotta GTFO. I’m, like, supposed to be doing a lot of things other than this!

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Image from here.

Partying

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Hey pals! Ya know what? I’m going to start blogging again in a “just talkin’ shit” type of way. It’s a real 2010 thing for me to do; I realize. I had  lot of fun doing it back then. It was a ridiculous hobby that made my family members say “God, Coleen just really puts everything on the internet, doesn’t she?” (Uncle Danny) and “If want to know whatever dumb thoughts Coleen has, just go to her blog” (also Uncle Danny) and “Jesus Christ, I’ve never met anyone who took so many damn pictures of her own face” (my Mom). Well, Uncle Danny and Mom, I’M BACK.

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The above is us this past Friday night after we’d eaten Indian food and went to a Medium at Mystical World. In this photo, we’re full of naan and spiritual questions.

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This weekend, we also did a two day workshop called Getting Real with Money with Beth Pickens. She is a counselor and a consultant to guide artists on how to optimize their businesses through grant-writing, financial advice, and is the author of Your Art Will Save Your Life and Making Art During Fascism. The workshop’s first day was about getting at the emotional and familial roots to your relationship to money. The second day was about practical strategies to actually get on the path to fixing your finances. It was very helpful. The workshop was in a writer and artist space called Wendy’s Subway in Brooklyn. We live close enough to Brooklyn to where it’s not really a big deal to go there (10-ish miles) and tedious enough to get to that we really never do so it was nice to go. The above photo is of us with our heads buzzing with financial advice in front of our neighbor’s Magnolia tree. This tree pleases me and kills me every Spring. Once the pink flowers fall of the tree, they become like slippery banana peels.

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The above is both the truth and also my “bedroom coaster”.

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Me, my sister, and father face-swapping.

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Me and Foofaloo face-swapping.

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Me putting my Grandmother’s face over my face.

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We got mood sunglasses. We keep talking a lot about how cool we are. I don’t need feedback otherwise.

Okay, g’nite.

 

Hullo

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Shirley  napping on me earlier this year.

I’ve been back at work for two months now and I’ve fallen back into a routine which is good. I did a comics assignment from Nicole Georges recently that has me writing down what I do all day and then drawing a scene from each day. I started the project on March 1st and just doing that first week, I was shocked to see that I have more of a life than I thought I did. I thought I was still just stuck sitting in a chair staring into space. No, I’m getting up every day, working a full day, coming home, making dinner, and then doing things like hanging out with friends, or planning a trip to Scotland, going to doctor’s appointments, and all various manner of things. It’s comforting to see that I’ve gotten back into living a life and also depressing because it means that Charles is that much more gone. On March 27th (~10 days from now, he will have been gone for three months). Here is my life since January:

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Breakfast at The Stack

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At Walmart with a Sloth.

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Women’s March with Silvie Sophie.

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Kristyn’s 38th Birthday

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Cave met up with us at the Women’s March.

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For Kristyn’s birthday, we went Upstate and went to a cidery.

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Us in Rhineback, NY.

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Me and Mel Robbins.

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We had a Valentine’s Day date at the Arlo.

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My last week at the JC office, I took a photo in the reading room.

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Scotland planning session that turned into a St. Patrick’s Day party.

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Foof and me.

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Me on International Women’s Day sporting my purple for a group text message to family.

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My Valentine to Kristyn

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Kristyn forced me to exercise self-control.

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Another Valentine for Kristyn.

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My Dad and my Foof.

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Loolies in Target buying a fire extinguisher.

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Me in a natural setting at the gynecologist’s office.

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Kip Pan at the doc’s.

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Us staring at the Verizon guy after a snow storm knocked out our cable.

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Me at the doc for my back.

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Kristyn coming to the doctor’s with me.

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Us and Foof sitting in a literal rainbow.

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Shirley wanting to sit in the pink area.

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Kristyn hooked me up.

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Mark’s going away party that I also made into a St. Patrick’s Day party.

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Shirley napping on me this morning.

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Kristyn and Shirley this morning.

Basically, we’re getting better all the time. It’s surprising and I miss him.