on finding my inner warrior

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I had kind of a surreal experience today. I attended a workshop that taught me what to do in the event of an “active shooter” situation. On the one hand, it is really horrible that this is the reality that I live in. This is something so common that it is a thing, getting trained for an active shooter situation. On the other hand, this is the reality. This happens all too often and being prepared could save my life. Pretending that this is something that doesn’t exist is not helpful.

We learned about the Run, Hide, Fight method. Watched the video (below) and talked about what we would do if this were to actually happen, what would be our plan.

Then we got to learn some of the “fight” tactics. We learned how to tackle an active shooter and to take him down (should it come down to that – this would be the last case scenario!) and we even got to practice by tackling the police officer giving the training.

I was super nervous about this, and didn’t believe I would have the strength or even fortitude to accomplish this. But I did it! And I even accidentally clocked the officer in the nose as we went toppling down to the mat. I apologized, and then was reprimanded for apologizing. :)

I have to admit, I feel empowered.

February postcard swap

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Why hello there, Blatherskite Readers! I am sorry for the radio silence lately. I haven’t been up for blogging much lately. Hopefully this ennui will pass soon. In the meantime, the latest postcard swap is live! If you would like to sign up you can do so below.

This month features a postcard from my Twitter friend Michael Sturgess! You can find more of his work on his website.

First outing with my new Holga 120GCFN

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As all of you know by now, Holga closed it’s doors last November. Not only did they close their doors, they also destroyed the tooling for the cameras and didn’t bother selling anything. This was very sad news to me, since the Holga is how I jumped into the wide, beautiful, world of film photography.

As soon as I heard the news I jumped online and purchased a new one, since I knew everyone else would be doing the same. I’d been wanting a glass lens one for a long time and was lucky enough to find one that also included a funky flash with gel filters! I’m so glad I jumped on this when I did because Amazon sold out of Holgas that day.

I finally developed my first roll through the new camera! Here are the shots from that roll. They were all made around my small town during a lunch break and walking to work. I used Tri-x.

The Junker Building

The Junker Building

Antfarm

Antfarm

America

America

A Red Hydrant

A Red Hydrant

The tree in the front yard

The Tree In The Front Yard

My walk to Work

My Walk To Work

I also bought some fun accessories, one of them being a selfie lens. :)

An Honest Selfie

An Honest Selfie.

 

I am very pleased with the results from this camera.

I ended up buying another one “just in case.” So my Holga story continues…

Aunt Dee can f*ck off

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So I have been writing down my dreams this past couple of weeks and it’s been both fun and enlightening, as well as helpful for my mental health. It’s been fun to interpret the meaning of them (it gives my brain something constructive to do) and it’s been very amusing to see how my brain uses metaphor for things in my waking life. It’s weird, actually. Things that seem just weird in my dream actually turn out to have some pretty solid meaning, and sometimes the meaning is very far from being obvious.

Well. Last night I had a visitation from Aunt Dee  in my dream.

I dreamed I was in a basement living room with my family and we were listening to music. It was really nice. In real life this is something that we have done all of my life, and when I was a kid it would sometimes turn into an impromptu dance party! I have very fond memories of these times. So I was listening to records with my family, having a nice time, when this bitchy woman walks in the door uninvited, walks across the room, and turns down the music. I couldn’t fucking believe how rude she was. I was speechless. My mom asked her, “Can I help you?” And she bitchily says she is turning down the music. And then my mom recognizes her as someone she is friendly with and they chat. All the while I am getting pissed off at this rude woman. At some point in my dream she yells at me and I try yelling back and I don’t have a voice. This is a common theme in my nightmares. I try to scream and nothing comes out. And it happened in last night’s dream as well. Eventually, after more stuff happens, she decides to leave. She walks up and picks up her bag and gives me a dirty look. I flip her off, tell her to fuck off, and tell her that she is a horrible human being. And when I say it there is no guilt because it is the truth.

When I woke up i almost didn’t write down the dream because I was thinking that it was just my brain being weird. But I wrote it down anyway, and then I let it sit in my subconscious. Eventually I realized that this bitchy woman in my dream was depression, or “Aunt Dee” as this blog post describes it (btw, really great advice in that link if you have to deal with depression).

This makes me happy because in my dream I tell off depression and tell it to fuck off, which makes me feel empowered. I feel like there is some semblance of control there, that I don’t have to let depression push me around.

And I woke up this morning deciding not to let it push me around. I have recognized it for what it is, and I am going to take care of myself and give my self a little bit of compassion. So there.

Suck it, Aunt Dee.

How to die (if you are David Bowie).

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  1. Get Cancer.
  2. Don’t reveal to the public that you have cancer.
  3. While going through Chemo/contemplating your death, throw your creative energy into making a unbelievably amazing album.
  4. Release said record album to the public on your birthday.
  5. Die two days later.

Well played, sir. The world will greatly miss you.

Photo credit: By AVRO (Beeld En Geluid Wiki – Gallerie: Toppop 1974) [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

On New Year Resolutions and brushing my teeth

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So today is the day where I am supposed to look ahead and talk about the things I want for the upcoming year. And I am tempted to do this because I have a lot of things that I want to strive for. If I am not anything else, I am a serial striver. I like to have things (ok, let’s call them goals) to work toward.

But this morning I had a kind of epiphany. I was sitting here, feeling bad from the drinking and the sugar overdose from last night as I ate a piece of cake and piece of pizza for breakfast. As I noticed the layer of plaque on my teeth I started to beat myself up a little bit for not brushing my teeth before I went to bed. I thought about how much that one small act, brushing my teeth before going to bed, affects me and my self worth. It’s kind of weird actually, how one small thing can affect me in such a big way. Last weekend I woke up in the middle of the night and layed in bed, worried about a number of things (as one does). I realized, as I was laying there, that I hadn’t brushed my teeth the night before (I fell asleep on the couch and was too lazy and tired to take that extra step). I decided to get up and brush my teeth. When I went back to bed I immediately felt more relaxed and I fell back asleep pretty quickly. I am not sure what this was all about but I realize that this small thing really makes a big difference in my well being.

So what if, instead of having these huge lofty resolutions (lose 15 pounds, eat healthier, go to the gym, etc), what if my one resolution this year is to brush my teeth every night before I go to bed?

I then thought about my meditation practice and my “goal” of meditating everyday for 10 minutes. This is a resolution but in my mind I see it as “lofty.” But what if meditating everyday is not seen as lofty and is seen as a more mundane activity, like brushing my teeth? It seems like meditation should be as mundane as brushing my teeth. It should be that simple. Maybe this year I will look at it that way.

So anyway, this is what I am looking at as i go into the next year. I like Jim Grey‘s (from Down The Road) way of looking at the new year too and I am going to think about the three themes he is going to focus on.

Happy New Year, dear readers! Best wishes for 2016!