30 May, 2012

Bridges, figuratively.

I got this in a fortune cookie yesterday, and it got me thinking about bridges that I've 'burned', so to speak, and I've come to realize that I'm ok without most of them. The ones I do have are strong, and the people they lead to work with me to keep them maintained. (Is this making sense? It's all figurative, and relative to the saying.) But I also realized that more than burned bridges, the ones I've lost have simply collapsed, been ignored, or I've let crumble after people were too rough with them.

I like to think I'm a fairly giving person. I love to help people, friends especially, and I'm more than willing to do everything in my power to help someone out when they need it. But in the past this has led to me being walked all over by people who took advantage of my good nature. At first, I just let it go. I wouldn't say anything, or do anything, and I harbored resentments.

Then, one day, I realized it simply wasn't worth it. I started to stand up for myself, to say 'Enough is enough!' and to have a limit to my generosity. Not because want to be mean, but because I cannot be happy if I'm giving so much of myself that I'm going to resent the person. It hasn't affected the people closest to me, other than giving them a chance to see a much happier me, because they would never dream of taking advantage of me.

But others, people who expect too much and give too little, were surprised, angry, even. They had come to expect so much, that when I said 'no,' or didn't jump to answer their call, their true nature showed, as clear as day. The difference, though, is that I harbor no resentment, no ill nature towards them. I simply stopped putting effort towards 'repairing' the bridges that they had over-used, and without my efforts, there was no bridge.

Now, I may not have always been the best about letting people down gently, so to speak. I hate confrontation of any kind, and will avoid it at all costs. I believe, in some cases, people have been so oblivious to their own 'gimme-gimme-gimme' nature, that they honestly did not understand why I was no longer associating with them. I'm not worried about it though. Someday, maybe, they will grow up and realize the error of their ways, but it's really not my problem.


I do realize that I'm no saint. People have chosen to not be my friend for a number of reasons, and while I think some were a bit childish or silly, that's their prerogative, and I truly wish them nothing but happiness in life.

A few things, though, I know I'm really bad about, and I'd like to share just in case someone I know is reading this and thinking, 'Does Mandi not want to be friends with me?'

-I am not the best at calling people, or answering phone calls, and I rarely ever listen to voicemail. If I miss a call, I will most likely call you back within the next 48 hours, and if you left a voicemail, I probably won't have heard it. If in doubt, TEXT!

-I love having company, and am willing to let any of my friends come stay in our extra room, but I tend to get weird after more than 4 or 5 days with almost anyone. Don't be offended! I still love you, it's just a side effect of my anxiety.

-Sometimes, I just need some quiet 'me' time. So if I go off in my room, or just quit talking at all, don't assume I'm mad and start asking me "What's wrong?" Just give me a few minutes to collect myself, and I'll be alright.

-I can be picky about things being in the 'right' spot. If you're my guest, and trying to be helpful and I snap at you, please, please don't take it personally. It's more me being upset with myself that it matters so much.

-I can be overly sensitive at times.

-If I insist on driving, it's not because I don't trust your driving skills, it's because I have really bad anxiety attacks when anyone else drives. Please don't take offense, it's not something I can control. It's actually pretty awful, and I don't like it any more than you do. Promise.

So if it seems like I've done any of those things to you, I'm sorry. Really and truly sorry. These are not indications that I don't like you, they're either grotesque manifestations of my depression, anxiety, or just plain ol' bad habits.

Wow, this got really long and ramble-y. I do apologize.

27 May, 2012

Dance party!

So Josh made a radio station, and he'll probably be mixing live pretty often, go have a listen here if you like dance music at all! :)

23 May, 2012


I've made no secret of the fact that I suffer from a severe anxiety disorder. I have a number of triggers that can set off anxiety attacks.

Some of them are the normal things you would associate with anxiety attacks; being in a closed space with too many people, and driving on a busy, undivided highway can both give way to panic.

Some of them are not as common, but are still explainable, as they are manifestations of traumatic incidents in my childhood, like my inability to be outside alone after dark, and how people driving past me with their windows down makes me uncomfortable.

Others, though, especially (for whatever reason) those that are focused on the night, are oddly inexplicable.

One of the strongest is a fear of closing the bathroom door. My brain, despite efforts on my part to convince it otherwise, has determined that if I close the bathroom door, and murderers break in while I'm in there, then I won't hear them and I'll walk right out and into their murderous plan. However, reason fails when it comes to understanding why having the door open, and them seeing me on the pot would save my life.

Another that stands out in my mind, and is equally lacking in logic is the idea that 5 AM is the magical time when murderers stop breaking into houses. If I get to bed before midnight, before Josh, or if we have company, this does not apply. (Again, this is not something I want to believe; these are simply things that my brain makes me believe, despite what I know to be true when I'm not in the midst of an attack, and can think logically.) I don't know why. I suppose all murderers have to be at work at 7 AM, and therefore they must do their dirty work before 5, so they can get home and get ready for their day job.

I'll share one more, and I don't know where it fits in exactly, because I've never really talked to other people with anxiety as severe as mine. I've read a few blog posts here and there, but it's not typically something people want to discuss, and I understand that, of course, but at the same time it's always nice to know that you're not alone in this horrible struggle. Anyway. The last thing I'll share is my fear of loud noises at night, or rather, what horrors those loud noises could possibly be covering up. Once it's dark, my TV gets turned down to the lowest possible volume I can get it and still hear what I'm trying to watch.

The rational part of my brain knows that these thoughts, these fears are ridiculous, and as I type them out I can see how silly they may sound to someone who's never felt the level of panic that I can feel over some of these things, but the truth is, when you're trapped in an anxiety attack there is no logic, no reason, it's just fear. Pure, unadulterated fear and panic, and those things are so very real in that moment. It's an awful feeling that I wouldn't wish on my worst enemy, but I feel lucky that I have wonderful and understanding people in my life who help me through the darkness on my worst days.

14 May, 2012

Heart attack

What's one sure-fire way to make sure you scare yourself so bad right before bed that your heart starts racing and you can't get to sleep afterwards? Allow me to enlighten you.

First, you must ensure that you have a TV in your bedroom, and that it is old and weird, and that the picture takes at least a whole minute (possibly more) to appear out of the darkness. Then, you can go ahead and step on the remote without noticing.

At this point you will start to hear voices laughing (seemingly) right outside your window. Immediately, your heart will jump into your throat and begin pounding. As panic sets in and the voices become more clear, you start to glance around for the nearest weapon, while at the same time wondering whether throwing on a robe will take too long, or if the shock factor of a half naked crazy with a meat cleaver will be sufficient in scaring the murderers away. It is at this point that the TV picture will finally start to show up, but you still won't realize that you caused this.


And once you are plenty terrified, and standing there, glued to the floor, clean sheets clutched in your hands, eyes wide, and heart a-racing, your husband will calmly announce that you clearly stepped on the remote that's right by your foot, and laugh at you.

Not. Amused.

12 May, 2012

Lurking clowns and bigfoot

Last night I had the craziest dream...I was in a threatre, and I had two cameras, so I was running around trying to take pictures of everything. At one point I left my DSLR in my seat, and when I came back my seat had been taken, and my camera was gone. The people there said someone had taken my camera to the dressing room and one girl offered to walk with me to get it.

So I followed her out of the room, and apparently whoever designed this crazy dream theatre of mine was insane because it was basically an obstacle course to get backstage. We had to hop/dance over these giant things that looked like sewer coverings but if you stepped on one it made this huge sound like an organ that echoed through the whole place.

Then, you had to walk through a maze of seats, but they weren't for the audience. It was like they had a separate area where the techies who weren't working that show (or whatever was going on) could sit and 'watch' but without seeing anything. (It was weird. And also a dream, so...)

We finally get to the dressing room area, and there's this guy wearing some weird clown get-up kind of lurking in a dark corner across from the dress room, so I keep an eye on him, and go get my camera, and when I come back the girl who walked with me is holding up two sets of lingerie on hangers showing them to clown creeper and (it seems) asking his opinion, but as soon as I walk up he starts looking me up and down, and, while I am thoroughly creeped out, it's also kind of so ridiculous, this situation I find my (dream) self in, that I start smiling this amused smile, and this other girl who's currently half-dressed (and I REALLY don't know why, but I'll get to that in a second) looks at me and see's my smile, and see's crown creeper looking at me instead of lingerie girl, and gives me this evil look.

By the time I got out of there, the line to get in was wrapped all the way out the door, and, for whatever reason, I didn't have tickets, or a way to prove I had already been sitting inside before it even opened to the public, and so I had to leave. People were dressed up, though, so as I was walking out I kept taking pictures of different people that were waiting in line.

It was all so crazy, and weird, and just absolutely ridiculous, and the strangest part of all is that I was supposed to be there for a bigfoot lecture not a play or show or anything.

11 May, 2012


I find it amusing that, of all the words in the English language (one needs only to lift a dictionary to realize the vastness of it) we continue to utter the same few choice words over and over. When given the opportunity to speak, rather than employ words that are beautiful, exotic, esoteric to convey their message, concern for the general populous and worry of making listeners feel unlearned keeps people from exploring the depths of literacy, from challenging the norm, and diving into the ocean of language that is at their disposal. Hundreds of years worth of literature to explore, words arranged and rearranged over and over, spoken words, written words, secret words whispered in the dark. And yet we cherish the simplest of these, lift them up, place them on pedestals, and say "It was a stroke of genius, arranging those words so perfectly." But was it? I could sit here and type for hours, putting words into all kinds of order:

"Eternal sleep in the eternal sea; wisdom and love can set you free."

"Sometimes, in all the cruelness of the night, we forget to dream."

"Age is such a strange thing. Those who don't know us define us by it. Those who do know us expect us to 'act it'. And yet inside of yourself one can quite easily forget it...age should not be defined by the amount of time that has passed but by the amount of life one has lived. Even the frailest of children can exhibit wisdom far beyond their years while adults of all ages, fatuous and obtuse beyond all reason, not only exist but thrive in society. I fail to understand the logic of giving people credence simply based on the number of years that they've been alive."

"It is only when you open you heart to the reality that dreams are more than a subconscious manifestation of ideas that you can truly let go of your inhibitions and experience that feeling of infinite bliss without having to enter another realm; but beware that you do not fall so deep into ecstasy that a nightmare slips in, or you could get lost in yourself forever."

"Bright eyes, lucky soul, and a heart of stone. Keep your sins hidden. Talk slow, dream fast, sky children never stay past dawn. Indulge in delirium, and toss me the key."

"Only the love of a forest child can save you now."

"Three weeks in this motel and they still haven't fixed my shower. The TV only has one channel, and the kids next door haven't eaten since I've been here. I'm down to my last $3, maybe I'll hit the jackpot tonight."

Now, all of these are 'poems' I've written, or pieces of them in some cases, so of course they mean nothing because I'm nobody. A lone voice speaking to an internet full of lost dreamers, critics, judges. But if I hadn't told you that, if I'd instead written a story of how I had moved into a house once owned by one of the greats, Cummings, Emerson, Millay, Dickens or Plath, and found a lone page, ripped from a journal, stuffed in a box in the attic, would it have meant something different? Would the words they arranged have held greater worth, deeper meanings than the words I arranged? Simply because we know them based on their ability to arrange words?

02 May, 2012

Exotic pets and whatnot.

Recently I've been speculating about what led my parents (in particular, my father) to make some of the choices he did while I was growing up.

For example, while I was reading Jenny Lawson's (aka The Bloggess) post about the duck that the homeless people ate, I was reminded of the baby duck that I had when I was about 3. I can't remember the exact circumstances surrounding the main event, but somehow they don't seem terribly abnormal. Anyway. Let me just tell you what happened.

One night, I woke up because I could hear my parents talking in the kitchen, and I went to see what was going on. There was a large wash-tub with a towel draped over it, and a giant heat lamp clamped onto the side of it. My parents warned me not to look in it, which I promptly did. Inside was a tiny, yellow, wet feathered baby duck, and a freshly hatched eggshell. Because I was the first thing he saw, I became his mommy. I named him Baby Huey, and we proceeded to be BFF's. That little duck followed me everywhere! Inside, outside, and since I had no other pets at the time, it was awesome. My dad had raised and sold ducks for as long as I could remember, but I always thought Baby Huey would be safe because he was mine, he was a pet, a friend, and not just some random quacker that lived in the backyard and ran when we tried to get near them. Unfortunately this was not the case, and the day came when Baby Huey got loaded up into the trailer with the other ducks born around the same time as him and shipped off to wherever my dad sold them. I don't know where they went and I've never asked because I really don't want to know. I realize now, as an adult, that they probably weren't sold as lake-fillers but that doesn't mean I have to accept that Baby Huey got eaten either.

Anyway, that wasn't where I was going with this. My point was not that Baby Huey got taken from me, it was the fact that ever since then, my father bombarded me with a vast array of pets, virtually anything I wanted. First he bought a sheep. Her name was Dolly (clearly I was also allowed to name everything that came into our pet family), and she had two little baby sheep. (Kids? Or is that just goats?) I have great memories of riding her around the yard, and encouraging my neighbors belief that her poop pebbles were raisins. (I wasn't always the nicest kid...) I think we got rid of her because she wouldn't let grass grow in the backyard...after her came the turkey. He was awesome. My mom was not happy when we came back from the feed store with him in tow, but WHATEVS, MOM, DAD BOUGHT ME A TURKEY. He was white. And awesome. I don't know if I ever really named him His name was Gobble Gobble, and I  remember being traumatized when he died the day before Thanksgiving one year. I still think that it's because my brother kept telling him we were going to eat him which we were definitely not.

We also had a slew of rabbits and chickens over time. Of course I don't remember all of them, but a few do stand out. One chicken we had was that black and white striped kind that's very friendly, and she was such a sweetheart. I called her Henny. (Brilliant at names, wasn't I?) We also had a mini hen and rooster at one point, and then one year we ended up with a crazy mean rooster...he would attack you from behind anytime he had a chance. We ate him. (Seriously.) Plucking him was the worst. Have you ever plucked a chicken? It is very time consuming. We also had a rooster that, when he was young he had acne, or the chicken equivalent I suppose, and ended up blind on one side after a healing 'pimple' closed his right eye up. I used to like sneaking up on his blind side and petting him. He'd always jump and make a crazy noise. I learned my lesson, though, after I tried to do it from under him once (while he was in a tree) and I went for his foot and that big claw thing on the back of his foot split my thumb completely open. Ouch.

One time we had a rabbit that had something wrong with his legs...I don't know if he was missing bones or muscle, or had a weird rabbit disorder, but his legs were basically just fur bags that were useless to him. We had to move him around pretty often, and unfortunately he didn't live that long. I remember one girl rabbit that killed her first litter of babies. She lined them up side by side and stuck all their tiny heads out of the wire...it was really creepy to find. I don't know what drove her to do that. Every litter she had after that was fine.

Ok, sorry, I've gone off on a tangent again. What I've been trying to get at this whole time is, did my dad take to buying me whatever animal I wanted because he felt bad about taking Baby Huey away? I mean, I was pretty devastated, and I was only around 4 at the time it happened, so I probably cried A LOT. Or, did my dad just like collecting animals of any kind, and let me pick them out as a sort of shield to use when my mom expressed frustration that we took in yet another pet? I guess it doesn't really matter, I had fun with all my animals, and they led to me having a lot of crazy stories about them.

(This post addressed the more 'exotic' pets, but we did have normal pets (cats and dogs) too. More on them another day.)