The Irony of Looking Backwards


For someone who criticized Jonathan for looking backward so much (I believe my words were, "Stop bringing up things I did 11 years ago. I don't remember them."), I sure spend a lot of time in the past.

Probably should have done that a while ago.

kitt@www$ df -lk . 
Filesystem     1K-blocks     Used Available Use% Mounted on
/dev/root       98502268 92764064   4721636  96% /
kitt@www$ rm -rf apache-logs/
kitt@www$ df -lk .
Filesystem     1K-blocks     Used Available Use% Mounted on
/dev/root       98502268 81767436  15718264  84% /

I also added /books/ and /tags/ to my robots.txt list. The search results for those were only duplicates, and sucked. Will probably reduce my search results by a lot, but seems worth it to remove the duplicate content.



I know that there are many ways to process grief. I'll tell you what, though, ignoring it and pretending it doesn't exist, as in running away from it, really is the worst way to process it. Said running doesn't work, as it isn't actually processing the grief. Being in a situation that doesn't allow the processing of grief, followed by piling on more pain and grief, is one of those surefire ways of developing complicated grief, the kind that just f'ing lingers forever. And ever. Don't do that. No really, don't do that. Even if you can't avoid it, don't do that.

Claire has been amazing at helping me find ways to deal with my grief. Dena has also been amazingly supportive. The internet has various suggestions on what to do with the grief, "Let yourself feel it," "Go ahead and cry," "Find help," the usual. My fave so far is, "Be gentle with yourself." Good lord, how many times have THOSE words come out my mouth to someone else? Yeah.

What I was not expecting , however, was for writing to be a healing process. I was not expecting that it would ground me and let me process my grief in the way that it has. In the speed that it has. I had somehow forgotten about how the flow I manage when reading, the different flow I have when writing, and the other flow when editing, are all calming to my brain.

For the last month or so, when I've become agitated or anxious and have time (and sometimes when a coworker pushes me, "You have 30 minutes. Can't you just go for a run or something?"), I've been going for a run. The run around the block is about 2 miles. I've been trying cadence runs at 160 steps per minute, and zone 2 runs, just to be moving. Running has been helping, that's for sure. Sometimes the running isn't such a great idea, however, say, when I've started to injure myself from too much running too quickly. Or when I've already run twice in a day and really need to run again, but it is close to bedtime or even already dark outside. Is my fitness improving? No idea. My HR still goes to 165+ around mile 2, jogging or running. It won't go below 155 on any movement faster than a walk, so, no idea. Gosh, the number of blog posts I've "written" while running is uncountable, let me tell you.

I've tried the Huberman Lab Journalling Protocol, too, in the four day version. Holy moly is that one overwhelmingly hard, and very, very effective. Recommended if you want to surface and get through some trauma fast. That's a different kind of writing from what I've been doing here, which is story-telling about my life.

But the writing in general, wow, that has been more helpful than I was expecting. By a lot. Time spent writing is time spent not doomscrolling. Or looking at his social medias. Or even just resisting looking at his social medias. Or wondering why she is looking at my website. Seriously, I cannot wait until I read this in 5 years and think, "Wait, who was the 'she' in that sentence?" because you know that is going happen. I've been rereading a bunch of my posts from decades ago (heh, I can say that!), and, wow, I do not remember who some of the people I was writing about were. How cathartic to be able to let those memories go and be happy that they are gone.

Also, more wow, and not wow, do we ever encounter the lessons again and again and again until we learn them.

Melissa Lines once asked me about my website when we were at her farm. She knew who I was before we arrived because she was reading my site, caught up on the previous couple months. "Why do you write on the web?" Because I want to remember my life. "But, why?" Why out here? It was a great question. Why write in public? Why show you are human? Why show you suck? You fail? You are an asshole unintentionally? Why show weakness? Why any of that?

I stopped writing here at much as a result, because it is a VERY GOOD QUESTION. Why write here where random people can comment, and TELL ME I AM WRONG in my own space (yeah, fuck you, said people, I'll just delete your comment unposted)?

IDK. Because I don't want to tell every friend the same story? Because I want friends and family to know what is going on as a pull, when it works for their time, instead of a push, Pay attention to me!? Because I want my mom to know what I'm doing without having a 2 hour call with her? (Hi, Mom! Love you lots! Call me!) Because this is the medium that works for me, and I really do not care if you know my bra size, that I am a dork, that I grow tired of you all telling me what I already know, that I'm grieving, or whatever else I've posted here.

What I do care about is healing. And not being an asshole (to you or to me). I want to be the energetic, bouncy, everything-is-amazing, I-am-excited-for-you person I used to be. I want to be the optimistic person Grue sees me as. I want to be the amazing person Wook sees me as. I want to be the person I used to be.

And writing all this down seems to be helping. Writing the stories that happened, the good and the bad, see my mistakes, understand them, and improve. Writing seems to be helping that.

Writing at 11:37 at night, maybe less so. But all of this is a surprise. And delight.

What Would You Pay Me?


In August of 2018, Jonathan, the boys, Carol, and I all went to Los Angeles for a family vacation. We were in Santa Monica for a week, and Ventura for another week. We visited the Dillers, and went to a number of my old haunts. We went on hikes, I learned about Hayden's amazing ability to do a billion pullups. We went to museums, the boys remarkably interested in things at the Getty. We went to the amusement park at the Santa Monica Pier. We went to TopDrawer for the first time. We went to the Hollywood sign. Well, I did. I managed to frustrate Lucas enough that he turned around, and I was frustrated enough I kept going up to burn off my frustrations. We went to the Inn of the Seventh Ray. That trip was nominally a good trip. I deeply, deeply regret not posting here about our adventures on that trip.

One event that stands out, the five of us were at P.F. Changs in Pasadena. The sushi we ordered came with a side of wasabi in a little plastic cup. After the meal had started, Lucas asked about the wasabi. He made the same mistake I had when I was five years old and thought the whipped butter brought to the table was ice cream and I wanted to have ice cream because brother Chris was having ice cream. Lucas thought the wasabi was actually edible.

After being told what the wasabi was, and HOW SPICY it was, he asked Jonathan, "How much will you pay me to eat this?" While Jonathan tried very hard to get "I will not pay you to eat that wasabi, do not eat the wasabi," he was no match for my immediate and very loud, "Twenty bucks!" Carol was shocked at me, "Kitt!" Jonathan was horrified. I was grinning like a mad woman.

Lucas' eyes grew big, twenty dollars?!? and he was IN! He was going to eat this wasabi.

Lucas tried. He really did. He tried the full bite, and to say he nearly threw up whlle trying to get the wasabi off his tongue, would be, well, quite truthful. I don't recall if I paid up the $20 for the try, but I really hope I did. Maybe Lucas or Jonathan will drop a comment here and let me know if I paid up. If not, I owe Lucas $20 for that entertainment, plus interest.

So, why do I recall this story today (other than the fact I'm backposting 13 years of Snook posts, a story for another day)? Or rather, last night?

Because at dinner last night, Rhys asked me, "What would you pay me to eat this?" as he held up a small plastic container of wasabi. Grue's immediate answer was, "I'm not going to pay you to eat that wasabi," while Dena's response was, "Do not eat that wasabi." My response was an immediate and very loud, "Twenty bucks!" and I was laughing. I reached over to my pocket and pulled out a twenty dollar bill, and set it on the table. "What? No!" came quickly after my twenty drop, followed by a, "Wait, you'll pay me $20?"

"Yes, yes I will. $20 to eat it and keep it down."

"Hold on." Rhys stood up. "I've been watching YouTube videos about this. I know what to do." He walked into the house and came back out with a small glass of milk. I think Dena was mortified, and Grue was amused. I was grinning like a mad woman.

Rhys took a swig of milk, and popped that wasabi ball into his mouth. He followed it up with the rest of the milk in the glass. To say he nearly threw up whlle trying to get the wasabi down his throat, would be, well, quite truthful. His body tried a few times to eject the milk. Dena commented the impressve part was that I managed to get Rhys to drink a glass of milk. Go me.

I paid up very quickly, and asked him what was going on with his body, was the wasabi going down. He explained what the YT videos he watched said was going on. The conversation was fascinating. He talked about how his body felt in the different places, what hurt, what didn't. Maybe how much the milk was helping or not. The whole experience was part entertainment, part learning, part memory, and part time is a flat circle.

What I really want to know, however, is what happens when the wasabi comes out the other end.

20 dollars on a table between cups

Half Empty, Half Full.


There are two days each year that are important to me to celebrate: my birthday and Thanksgiving. There are many other days that are important to celebrate for various reasons, these are the two that are important to me. They are days of gathering loved ones, new friends, old friends, acquaintances, and all of those people's significant others. These are days of celebrating an arbitrary location around the sun that we encounter yearly. In a lifetime, you have two days where you can gather everyone you love, and the second time you are dead (the first time is your first wedding, if you haven't heard me say this before). Those are big ones. The yearly ones are more frequent, less grand, but still important to me.

My birthday is approaching. I asked Dena a couple weeks ago if we could celebrate my birthday with ice cream on their deck. Invite everyone I knew locally, have a chill dessert at her place, enjoy the first summer with the deck complete and the landscape starting to grow in. An evening of hanging out and being social.

I invited four people outside of her family. Two of them said no immediately. One bailed at 5:45 pm for a 6:30 dinner. One totally forgot the dinner and celebration.

As my group became smaller and smaller, I slid into memories of previous birthdays, comparing them to what Jonathan had this year. He refused to let me organize anything for any of his birthdays while we were together. This year, he had three birthday parties. My birthday events have become smaller and smaller and smaller each year. I was getting the birthdays he wanted. He was having the birthday I wanted. My birthday five years ago, which was my most recent major milestone, was a lovely but screwed up affair, a meal at a sushi restaurant that told me upon arriving that the chef I specifically requested was taking the night off. Jonathan, Matthew, and B were there. A far cry from the giant celebration I had dreamed of 20 years before.

My brain was not done reminding me of the celebrations I didn't have. I recalled the worst Thanksgiving I have had, spent alone in a small AirBnB apartment in Ottawa. I had flown to Ottawa to be with Jonathan on the holiday, but he declined to allow me to stay with him and declined to drive the 12 miles to spend the holiday with me downtown. A winter snow had arrived, and only one place within walking distance had pumpkin pie. I walked over in the falling snow, bought two small pumpkin pies, and ate them alone in my small dining room. In his defense, he did not know how important Thanksgiving is to me, it is THE family holiday in my family. However, the crap memories had started flowing, and would not stop.

In three trips to the car, I recalled more crap birthdays, ones with 2 people coming to my party, and a dozen cupcakes that I ate alone the next day (because you KNOW I did). I loaded up the ice cream base, my ice cream maker core, the honey lavender syrup I had made earlier, the sushi appetizer I had bought, and started the drive over to Grue and Dena's, the weight of loss and grief bearing down on me.

And, as it happens EVERY TIME I head over to their house, when I was about a third of the way to their place, my spirits lightened. I was going over to see three people I love dearly. My birthday celebration wasn't going to be a sucky birthday because 4 people weren't coming, it was going to be a lovely celebration because I was going to be with people who bring me / cause / create tremendous joy. I'm talking the kind of joy with the intensity of a thousand suns kind of joy. I was going to make ice cream with Dena and talk about our days and our weeks so far. I was going to have dinner with Grue and Dena and Rhys and talk about whatever came to mind about work or summer camp. Based on experience, we would laugh at something absurd, and tell the tale for years.

In the car, I realized I was going from a glass half empty to a glass very much more than half full. Yeah, I have had sucky birthday celebrations, but what adult hasn't?

I managed a celebration dinner with three amazing people who bring me much joy. MUCH joy. Yeah, that's a good celebration.

Journey of a Day in June


Looking at photos on my phone, I came across a picture of Snooks and me, from ten years ago to the day. I checked here, and realized I hadn't posted the picture here. So, I corrected that, then wondered how consistent I was about posting on any specific day, June 19th in particular. Let's just say, inconsistent at best: 7 of the last near 22 years.

At some point I will look at what day I am most consistent at posting on. Today is not that day. But here are those other June 19th days:

2005: Instant Karma a gift from my mom.

2007: It Sucks! A gift FOR my mom. Yes, the image is missing, the gift was a vacuum cleaner.

2008: The camera returns pictures from my camera that was passed among my friends at communal dinner, the images are missing here, too.

2013: This sums up my life right now I broke a dish my mom had given me. Images missing. I need to fix these missing images before I forget where I have them stored, or lose the hard drive they are stored on, or the hard drive fails. I still have that dish. I mended it, and use it as my soap dish to this day.

2014: Dairy Queen with the Kiddos, I fucking love this picture of Lucas. Jonathan and I look like dorks.

2018: Achy This and Achy That. I hurt all over, had two broken toes, but, hey, the post has a picture.

2022: Ha Ah Ah Omer Homer gift from Kris for my birthday that year. We were two of the few people wearing masks.

The irony of this post is that the first Drupal tutorial I wrote back in 2002 was how to write a block that posted content "On This Day" in the past on the site. Had I kept updating that tutorial, had the documentation people not claimed ownership of my content on a D6 upgrade, thereby causing me to say fuck this, I would have just used that block and not written this post. Life is strange sometimes. Time is a flat circle.