Cutting it close

Sometimes, things don’t feel like they’re getting close. It doesn’t feel right now like I am getting closer and closer to completing my course. It not only feels like I’ll be cutting it close to my self-given deadline. It feels more like cutting… it almost hurts like actual cuts, not having more done already, not progressing faster… failing so much… it just hurts…

Post-a-day 2023

Baseball coincidence and fun

I send a friend of mine a photo of the baseball game from our seats for the night. My man’s brother let us have his seats for the night, since he is out of town, and w w roughy my brother and sister-in-law with us. They are great seats. But it is also a professional baseball game, and this particular friend loves the Astros.

I snap the photo and send it.

Then I do a double take back to the message. On the message screen is two photos. Apparently the last messaging we had done on there (versus WhatsApp) was when I had been asking why he wasn’t at our gym social yet, and he had responded with a photo of the baseball game… a photo that looks almost identical to the one I have just sent him.

Hang on a tic…!

Are we in the same section as his tickets?!

I quickly show the photos to my man and start to look around. It seems his photo is slightly more to the right. My brother points out that it is also a touch higher up. I look to the implicated seats. I do not see him, though. As we pinpoint our exact guess – one row up, one section to the right, seat nine or ten – I notice that my phone is buzzing in my man’s hand while he swipes back and forth between the images.

After my man details for me why he thinks the photo was taken where he thinks it was taken, I open the new messages to see a photo of a television screen showing the game. The friend is watching at home. Ugh! I thought he had season tickets, though! I tell him as much. Only for the weekend games, he says. Ah, I see. I tell him how I was looking for him. He asks if we are on a certain same level. Uh, duh. Did you not see those two nearly identical photos?! I say that in a nicer way, and I tell him my man’s specific guess for where the friend’s weekend-only seats are located.

He is blown away. They are actually three rows higher than ours, not just one, but the section is the one right next to ours and the seats are nine, ten, and eleven. My man was almost spot-on.

But we’re not nerds. ;P

And we were all three very into this tiny game of comparison. Again, though, we’re not nerds or anything. Haha 😛

So, that was cool! Also, the Astros won, quite impressively. They had, I believe, four doubles in a row in one inning, giving three runs just from those. Then, the fourth run that inning was stolen, perhaps? I know one run was, but not sure if it was that inning or the first inning. If it was the first one, then, I believe, there was yet another double that inning. Nonetheless, it was a lot of doubles to have in a single game, let alone in one inning. And the pitcher wasn’t messing up. They just were somehow hitting them. It was really cool and bizarre.

Okay, I looked it up! I remembered correctly! It was four runs batted in from doubles, with a total of five doubles in a row in the inning!

It was totally cool to see. Each one was played very well by both teams, which helped to make it all so impressive. I’m really glad we got to attend and see this game.

Also, one player did the whole jumping into a wall thing to catch what was very nearly going to be a home run for the visiting team, and he caught the ball. He slammed backward into the wall a bit, and then pitched forward and fell to the ground, but he kept a good and clear hold on the ball, securing the out. It was absolutely impressive.

Thank you, God, for this lovely night out for us all. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Amen.

Post-a-day 2023

Credit goes to MLB’s website for photo and video, as shown on each.

Are you kidding me? :/

I sometimes really dislike being sick. I already can’t stand how I’ve been sloppy and lazy with tidying at home, and now I have to be sick in a way that I can barely get up out of bed or off the sofa just to go to the bathroom (which I’ve had to do constantly, due to drinking water as I need). Add to it that I’m feeling all emotional about all of the aforementioned, likely due to the impending beginning of menstruation.

Ugh… sometimes, things just feel really sucky, and I really dislike that I have a desire at such times just to go to bed and avoid life and the world, and hope for better circumstances whenever next I wake.

But I kept that in mind today, and made myself watch movies all day and eat as much food as I could handle… I even worked on my coding course as much as my eyes and brain could stand it. I don’t want to go down that path of avoiding life. Been there. Done that. Don’t need to go back.

I worked hard today, and it felt like I just sucked at life, and ended up still sick.

Oh, God, heal me, please. Amen.

Post-a-day 2023

Good start

Today was a success! Yay! Sure, there were definitely some moments of awkwardness, and I also had to sit around and wait for an hour and a half, simply because certain people did not communicate a schedule change to others. However, it all worked out okay, and I even got to walk around the festival for a while with my mom. I also got to sit in a shaded VIP area for a while with my mom and just hang out and rest somewhat. Both opportunities were great and greatly appreciated.

What’s more, my man built almost the whole chicken coop today!! ** So, an extra yay!! Yay!!

Thank you, God, for a successful day for us all. Grant us peace and purpose always, and heal all of us, please. In your name, I pray. Amen.

**I only just a few days ago re-learned – because I definitely knew this before – that it is a “chicken coop,” and not a “chicken coupe.” To be fair, I once read a joke, after having already heard my cousin tell it, that kind of made me mess up my spelling of the word.

Relevant joke that is meant to be said and not written: Why doesn’t a chicken coop have four doors? Because then it would be called a chicken sedan.

Though, the written joke had “coop” spelled already as “coupe,” which really messed me up. Also, I never understood the joke, because it was also worded poorly, instead saying something like, ‘Why does a chicken coupe only have two doors? Because otherwise it would be called a chicken sedan.’ I massively struggled with this version of the joke, because I only knew of chicken coops that had just one door. So, the premise alone didn’t make sense to me. Nonetheless, the idea of the joke is cute and comical. Imagining a “chicken sedan,” whatever that is, as well as a “chicken coupe,” is quite a fun game to play in the brain. Give it a go! Vroom-vroom!

Post-a-day 2023


Is this slight pain in my tooth a cavity?

God, forbid it, please, and heal my mouth, please.

I take such good care of my teeth and my oral health. Even the dental workers are surprised with how good of a job I do.

It could just be exposed too far down the tooth, and so it is sensitive. I do floss somewhat often…

Oh, God, please, let it just be that. Please. Heal us all. In your name, I pray. Amen.

Post-a-day 2023

The Opriest of Operas

Or the oprarest, if you want to be British about it…

Tonight, we saw Tosca, which is by Puccini. It was great. As our family friend said, the tenor really did steal the show. He was spectacular. Spectacular. And, given how great the lead and the other main supporting roles both were, that’s truly saying something. They were all awesome.

However, that same family friend had informed us ahead of time that the production was great. He saw a final dress rehearsal of it the other week, you see. (He also is a musician by career, and has worked many years in classical radio, so he knows what he’s taking about with opera.) Apparently, Tosca is possibly his favorite opera and was the first he ever saw, working as an usher with his mom forever ago.H

He and my mom were messaging before the show tonight, as well as during the intermissions. He said specifically before the show started that Tosca was, ‘the most opera of operas,’ and, therefore, to expect a lot of people to die, as well as lots of drama.

As we hit the first intermission, he shared that the music ending the first act is his favorite and he has been singing it constantly since seeing the show recently. At the second intermission, the end of the second act, he said that he had started listening to a recording of it just after our show started. Ha! My man responded, “I’m listening to it, too.” (He has a lot of trouble staying fully awake at the opera, as we usually go weeknights, and, let’s admit it, it is Hard to stay awake at the opera when we’re sitting in a dark theatre, far from the stage, and we’re tired before the show even starts.) 😛

My mom sent a final message that, ‘Only two people have died so far, so I’m guessing the third act will be busy!’ He laughed at it, gave a confirmation of its accuracy, and then added, “‘Only two people have died so far,’ is the most opriest thing one could say”. We cracked up so hard right as the lights were going down. And he wasn’t wrong, not on any account. (This includes his ironic statement of its being a light little, family-friendly show with good moral values. It very much is not, and comically so at certain points.)

In the end, yes, just like almost all the other operas, death reigns, hope tries really hard with a really pretty and powerful aria, all the stupid people get what they had coming all along, everything is ridiculously dramatic, and the music is practically divine in how spectacular it is. Indeed, Tosca is very much the most opera of operas. Though, I now will hold this classification in mind for all operas I see, and determine if I can find an opera more opera than Tosca!

Post-a-day 2023

Nice People

Has anyone noticed that so many nice people tend to be the people at whom so much of our culture currently seems to be mad? In my experience, the youth who hold the doors open and say, “Yes, Ma’am,” “No, Ma’am,” “Yes, Sir,” “No, Sir,” are the stereotypically declared ‘dumb country rednecks’. And their ‘dumb country redneck’ parents tend to behave the same. They are actually usually very kind and respectful. And they seem to be some of the only ones these days.

It is starting to make me wonder if most of the stereotyping-based hate and noise around them all might truly just be tied to a very small percentage of the population’s actual actions, and be drastically blown out of proportion, quite possibly by people who aren’t willing to step up for themselves and let go of being victimized and making themselves victims to life.

I was a victim of abuse, but I didn’t victimize myself for it. I didn’t make it such that life happened to me and ‘poor me,’ I need everyone to stand up for me now and hate that man and get him back. I didn’t make a big fuss or demand that the horrid actions be addressed by reparations. He owes me nothing. I repeat: He owes me nothing.

Sure, I have trouble forgiving and letting go at times, and I have very angry and aching feelings at times. But that doesn’t mean I bash the man or bring it to the media. How does that make the world better? How does that help me to heal and let go and move forward in life, rather than fixate on the past abuse and keep bring it up again and again? I can’t find a single way it doesn’t harm my progress instead of help it.

Instead, I pray for healing and ask for God’s help. I share what I need to share with those who want to help me to heal. I pray to release my ill will toward that man. I help create safe spaces for others where I had once found none. I help others to be heard and to heal. I help to make a positive difference in the lives of others. I use my terrible experience as a means of making the world better. In short, I love.

And, when I want to hate instead, I remember that his horrible actions come from his own life of hurt, whether he is aware of it or not. And I pray not to hold that against him. I don’t want him in my life, but I don’t have to make his life end – figuratively or literally – in order for me to live mine. The two are separate ideas entirely, independent of one another. They truly are…

I just can’t help but wonder if, instead of throwing out so much anger and hate to people – especially to people we do not know directly but whom we stereotype based on specific interactions with disproportionately select individuals among the group – if we looked for how to solve problems with love, the world would be so much brighter and genuinely better. Like what I said about my fear of guns – if we got to know one another better, it might be a completely different story altogether. The biggest part of the fear – and, thereby, anger and outrage – is the unknown behind that face or culture or lifestyle or way of thinking or way of dressing or way of eating… If we used love as our foundation, perhaps we might find a lot more common ground than anyone ever thought possible… And perhaps the problems would be fewer and fewer and be handled much more easily in the moment through love and communication…

Just some thoughts on my mind tonight.

Post-a-day 2023

But Why Guns?

Okay, to clarify, as I realized I might never have done so:

I am working on my comfort around and with guns. Why? Because I noticed how utterly uncomfortable and incapable I was with them. Let me explain.

***Note: If you don’t want spoilers for Fifty Shades of Grey, don’t read the following.***

When I read the Fifty Shades of Grey books – yes, I read them eventually, and as audiobooks… not sure I could have continued reading if I’d been reading them as text! – I eventually got to the part where Anna opens Christian’s desk drawer and finds a gun sitting there. Her immediate reaction is that she proceeds to pick up the gun, she checks if it’s loaded, and then she sets it back down in the drawer. At no point does she express any nerves or unease at doing any of this. Her only thoughts are of why he might have the gun in the first place, as it surprised her to find one in his desk drawer.

Initially, I was panicking. I felt like some accident would ensue from her unintentionally mishandling the firearm. But then I remembered that her stepdad, who helped raise her, was a military man who had taught her everything he knew how to do. So, she likely had grown up knowing guns very well and using them comfortably and with ease. She wasn’t being unsafe by picking up this handgun. She was actually been even safer than Christian had likely been with the gun, as she truly knew what she was doing with it and how to handle it safely.

I was awed. When I thought about it, I was certain that I could not have done what she had done – check if it was loaded – even though that was about as simple as it gets with firearms. If I ever were to come across a gun or, God forbid, please, have to fight one away from an attacker, I wouldn’t even know how to pick it up and know that it wouldn’t fire as soon as I touched it. I knew not to touch the trigger itself, but that’s about all I knew. I couldn’t even turn a weapon in to the police if I crossed one. So, how would I make sure no one else came across it on accident, if I didn’t even know how to pick it up and unload it? And, God forbid, if someone were to attack and have a gun, if the gun got loose, how I could pick it up safely and keep it away from the perpetrator, let alone use it for defense, if needed?

What’s more, later in the book, she actually carries the gun with her, fully concealed, and then saves her own life by using it at the right time as she is being attacked by a man who means, likely, to kill her.

My mind was doubly blown by that part, especially considering we the readers don’t even know she has it until she draws it… I think, anyway… Nonetheless, this again brought up that I wouldn’t even know how to go about any single part of that whole scenario, let alone the whole thing. In addition to everything else about it, I just kept wondering how on Earth she knew she wouldn’t accidentally get shot with the gun in her waistband…

This determined for me that I knew too little about firearms and weapons handling.

And, for whatever reason, this weighed heavily on me for years after reading the book. Eventually, I knew I had to do something about it, and somewhat soon.

Last year, I had the opportunity for someone, in the comfort of a home, to show me how to take apart a semi-automatic handgun – think of the most typical black handgun you can imagine, and that’s what that means – and to guide me to do it all myself and put it all back together myself, including unloading and loading each bullet into the magazine.

Once I finished it all, I set the weapon down on the counter and declared I was finished for the day. The weapon was put away directly, and we raked some more about what all we had just done and discussed. It was absolutely terrifying for me, but extremely informative and good for me to do. Talk about having courage… courage was what got me through it all, along with the grace of God. This was important to me to learn – truly learning and getting to know something removes a great deal of fear from it, as history has shown us often, especially with peoples*.

I went through a similar thing with makeup. Once I learned how to do all the fancy stuff – and I do mean all of it – and I was comfortable with it all, I no longer was afraid of wearing make-up. Sure, I actually wear make-up even less now than before all of that, but I have no anxiety around make-up anymore. And I truly only wear it when I want to wear it. And I can pick it up on the fly and do it easily, every time. Basically, that’s how I want to be with guns. I’m not trying to become a competitive shooter and gun-hoarder for any zombie apocalypse or anything. I just want to be able, should the need ever arise, to handle and, if needed, use a firearm both safely and effectively.

Thus my reasons for working on my relationship with guns. I highly encourage everyone to lean into those intense fears that could change your life for the better, let alone possibly save it one day. I believe that, when we learn about what we fear, we have the potential to transform for the better the world that we face every day.

*Yes, I mean that plural use exactly as I wrote it.

At home on the range

Well, we went to the range today. It was only my second time going to an indoor gun range, but I believe I was much better prepared this time than last time. I had eye and ear protection that fit well (and didn’t hurt), for one thing. For another, I was mentally prepared for all the reverberations and all the physical shakes I’d get from other firearms being fired throughout the room/range. (You know, I feel like carpeted walls and floors and ceilings would go a long way for indoor ranges not being so loud and miserable… they’re only concrete right now, anyway, so I don’t see the carpeting hurting in any way…)

Now, I got to shoot two different revolvers and a 9mm, each for the first time today. The first revolver was a .22 caliber. The grip was a bit large for me, but I was able to shoot it okay, nonetheless. Starting with that one helped me significantly not to break down into ugly tears*. Then, after getting my man’s input on the kick of the .38 Special as compared to the .22 and the 9mm – double the .22, but much less than the 9mm – I reloaded the single round, aimed, breathed a bit, exhaled, and fired. And it was not anywhere near as frightening as I had been expecting. It felt doable, frankly. I put a full round in, then, and went through them all, and at a reasonable speed. And I nailed the target with all of them.

After that, I tested it at different distances from the target – I was pleasantly surprised to find that I had wonderful accuracy with this gun. Both its sights and its weight and lack of massive kick helped me in my accuracy, I know. After a few rounds, I knew we were running out of time, so I switched back to the .22 revolver to have a little more experience with the ‘little’ guy.

Then, in our last few minutes, I went back to my man’s lane to try the 9mm. 9mm had, so far, made me cry every time I start shooting one. I don’t necessarily cry the whole time – only with certain ones, it seems – but I cry after the first shot, at least, and for an unclear amount of time. So, he tried to get me to fire the .45 first. I watched him fire a round from it, and then firmly declined – that was the one that had hurt with a wall between it and me(!). I had him show me the 9mm, then, and determined I could give it a go. I only wanted a single bullet in the magazine/gun – mental safety right there – which he set up for me. I picked up the gun, aimed, exhaled, fi… and pulled the really light trigger a long way… and got stressed and released it…

I’m sorry – what?? I guess it had a really long pull. Try again.

So, I did. This time, I found the hard spot in the trigger action, paused, inhaled and then exhaled once more, and pulled that last bit.

And it wasn’t as bad as I had been expecting.

I immediately asked for five bullets, please. We were short on time, and I wanted to have the practice, so let’s do it. But let’s not overdo it or anything. Five is a good big number for me right now. Haha

I fired the five comfortably, especially after having discussed the trigger with my man, and felt a sense of relief. It was a bit of a wow: a 9mm that didn’t make me ball. And it was still a black pistol. That’s kind of a big deal.

After that, I packed up shop and got out of dodge (meaning the range room). It had been a good and successful time for me, and I wanted to end it all on a high note(!). (Our time was also basically up, and my man had to leave for a meeting, so I wasn’t just being dramatic or anything. It actually was time to go.)

I am both glad and grateful for our time at the range today. Yes, there were still people going at it with something loud down the way, upping my heart rate every time they decided to shoot – think a whole bunch of loud booms, one right after the other. And yes, my man’s firing of the .45 scared me every time he fired it. But I worked on accepting the noise and the shaking in my body from those Boom!s, and continuing my own steps, anyway. And it went really well. And firing the firearms I intended to test out went really well, too. And my aim was good with them all! It was a really good time at the range today. I genuinely wanted to keep reloading the revolvers, because – get this – it was fun! (Shocked me, too, I know, but it really was fun.) For the first time, I understood why people might want to compete in shooting competitions. Not that I intend to do that – my eyesight likely isn’t good enough, in the first place – but you never know. I can be quite competitive, and competition helps me strive and work to do better at something…

Anyway, I’m really glad we went, just the two of us, and that it wasn’t very busy at all. I don’t expect it always to be that way, but it was just what I needed for today. Baby steps, right? Today had several of them accomplished, that’s for sure.

Thank you, God, and thank you, my man, for such great support and such a great time today.

Thank you, God. Keep us always safe, please. In your name, I pray. Amen.

*Okay, I did break down slightly, though. When we first arrived, my man told me he was going to fire the .22. Uh, okay… thanks for the warning… on a gun that barely will go boom at all… I was grateful he was watching out for me, right? So, then, after he fires it, I fire it, and then I go back to my own lane to see if I can get myself to fire the .38 Special revolver that is there. Just as I’ve loaded a single bullet into the cylinder and aimed, I am accosted by a sudden series of loud and repetitive Boom!s in quick succession that shake my insides and make my ears cringe. I set down the .38 Special, and step away from it, my eyes beginning to water.

As silly as it may sound, that was shocking and scary for me. It was sudden and very loud and very shaking for my actual body. Why was it so rough? Because it was a .45 shooting right next to me(!). Who shot it? My man.

Really, man?? You’re going to warn me for the .22, but not for the really big and loud .45 with a ton of rounds in it????!!! Massive eye roll, I’m telling you. I told him, too, of course, and we both laughed about the idiocy of it all. Baby steps. Haha. I didn’t end up crying full out; I just had tears prick my eyes, then go away. But that was how it happened today. Massive improvement from the constant ugly crying of the last two times I went to a range and shot guns. 😛

Post-a-day 2023