Random (but not really)

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Sunset and Almost Full Moon

Got a late start on the walk.



Written by Michelle at 8:19 pm      Comments (0)  Permalink
Categories: Picture a Day  

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Sunset: 29 August

Our evening walks are ending just in time for us to catch lovely views of the sunset.


Written by Michelle at 9:48 pm      Comments (0)  Permalink
Categories: Morgantown,Picture a Day  

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Sunset: 28 August


Written by Michelle at 8:02 pm      Comments (0)  Permalink
Categories: Picture a Day  

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Weekend Travels: Ohiopyle PA

Saturday we went to Ohiopyle State Park (in Pennsylvania) and stopped by Fort Necessity.

For some reason I’d never been to Ohiopyle before, and I have no idea why.

I have memories of going to Fort Necessity in 2nd or 3rd grade; it was even smaller than I remembered, and my memory was of thinking, “this is it?”



Written by Michelle at 6:00 am      Comments (2)  Permalink
Categories: Pennsylvania,Photos,Travel  

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Another Notch on the UCF Scabbard

I don’t even know if that title makes sense, but do I care? Nope.

I didn’t mention it at the time, cuz he was on vacation, but I got to meet fellow UCFer Dave (and his lovely family) a couple weeks ago. They were stopping for the night in Pittsburgh, which is only a hop, skip, and a jump from Morgantown, so we met up for dinner, and then sat around talking while his offspring swam in the hotel pool.

Michelle & Dave

I was very excited to meet another member of the UCF in person. Dave, you and your entire family are wonderful–I can’t wait to meet up again.

Written by Michelle at 7:47 pm      Comments (3)  Permalink
Categories: Photos,UCF  

Saturday, August 18, 2012


A post on depression has been fermenting in the back of my mind for quite awhile, but I’ve mostly been ignoring it, because, at some point, I feel like there’s not a damned thing I can say that I haven’t said many times before, so what’s the point?

But then I feel depression creeping in from the side, sinking its claws in, coming in under the cover of stress or grief or anxiety.

But that’s the thing, you see. How do I tease out depression from all these other things? How do I determine what is an acceptable reaction to events and what is depression being a big fat fucking liar?

As with Grandmom, I am going through periods of intense sadness. Stupid things will make me burst into tears. That, I am pretty certain, is grief.

But in between, I think, are the sneaky tendrils of depression.

I don’t just feel sad, but I also feel utterly alone. I feel as if it’s wrong for me to want to talk about my sadness and grief, that people just don’t want to hear it.

Or even worse, that I’m not eligible for my grief, that I’m not justified to feel so sad.

Part of that comes, of course, from the fact that I feel mortified by my own reactions. When we buried Grandmom, I knelt down to touch her coffin one last time and burst into uncontrollable sobbing. I could not stop myself from what felt like hysterical crying, not matter how hard I tried.

I felt like I was making a huge scene and hated every moment of that lost control just as much as I hated saying goodbye to her.

That’s just weakness, the darkness whispered.

So now, I struggle again, trying to understand why I feel this way.

Why do I not accept my own feelings as valid? Why does this sorrow make me feel like an imposter in my own mind?

Intellectually, I recognize this as my depression speaking. That my feelings are valid and my own reaction and no one–NO ONE–has the right to tell me I’m doing it wrong.

But I can’t stop myself from telling myself that.

Which really fucking SUCKS, let me tell you.

So I’m letting myself feel. And I’m being really damned careful about how much I rely upon pharmaceuticals–but that in and of it self is a Catch-22. Short sleep will kick-start a bout of depression, so I’ve been taking half doses of Tylenol-PM so I sleep, but then I worry that I shouldn’t be relying upon drugs to sleep, that it’s bad to take them, so I berate myself for my “weakness,” which of course makes me depressed.

That’s a fun game that can be played endlessly, let me tell you. (You may remember a similar game I played two years ago when I broke my ankle, over whether it was OK to take pain meds when I was hurting.)

So, we come back to the fact that I know depression is a fucking liar, but it’s like a horrible take on those gawd-awful horror movies–the lies are coming FROM INSIDE YOUR HEAD! If only I could run out of my head to get away. Or even grab a ball bat and beat the living hell out of the vicious invader.

But what I can do is try to keep myself honest. I’m allowed to have these feelings. And if I need to cry, I’m allowed to.

But I also have to remember to search out the joys that exist, and seek out the things that make me laugh. Because just as I am allowed to be sad, I am also allowed to laugh. And it’s my job to share light where I find it, to remind myself and others that we don’t live in the darkness, and even if I visit there, it’s not my home.

Written by Michelle at 11:31 pm      Comments (7)  Permalink
Categories: Depression  

Friday, August 17, 2012

I Love Lemony Snicket


The clip, a kind of literature snuff film, opens with Lauren resting her hand on her victims: a stack of books whose spines she will soon rip out.


It has always been my belief that people who spend too much time with my work end up as lost souls, drained of reason, who lead lives of raving emptiness and occasional lunatic violence. What a relief it is to see this documented.

Written by Michelle at 10:09 am      Comments (1)  Permalink
Categories: Books & Reading,Non-Sequiturs  

What Kind of Writer Am I?

What kind of writer are you?

You’re a Ernest Hemingway. You chose clear and unflashy words that get right to the point. Other writers known for this style are George Orwell and Raymond Carver. Try your hand at a six-word memoir, consider a career in journalism, and maintain an active Twitter account.

Sounds about right.

Written by Michelle at 9:25 am      Comments (6)  Permalink
Categories: Books & Reading,Fun & Games,Non-Sequiturs  

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Compare and Contrast


5 years ago, I was disowned via letter when I came out to my father. This is how hate sounds.


Dear Hypothetically Gay Son

(I found those last week, but didn’t feel like posting them.)

Written by Michelle at 7:33 pm      Comments (0)  Permalink
Categories: Religion & Philosophy  

Horrible Book Covers

Last night I finished a book I enjoyed, but HOLY CARP the cover is HORRIFIC.

Interestingly, I searched online for images, and none of the images I found had the sheer horrificness of fake blood that was on my cover.

My guess is that someone fixed the cover, for later printings. Which makes the current cover bad, but not quite as OMFG YOU’VE GOT TO BE KIDDING horrible.

So, here it is:



Seriously. Click through the Flickr to see larger OMG AWFUL.

Just to prove I didn’t photoshop that horrible blood in there, here is my co-worker Meredith, reacting to the cover.


If you click through to Flickr, you can view full size and still see the horrific blood drips there.

FWIW, I then loaned the book to Meredith to read, because it really is a good book.

Written by Michelle at 9:51 am      Comments (3)  Permalink
Categories: Books & Reading,Non-Sequiturs,Photos  
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