Just get out 2016; leave

Even George R.R. Martin agrees 2016 has been a horrendous year, as written in his Live Journal blog on December 28, 2016. The author of the Game of Thrones series, notorious for picking off characters we love and subjecting them to the most gruesome death (without regard), thinks, “this year just keeps getting worse and worse.” I find it hilarious that 2016 could have literally been written by him, and he kinda knows it.

Perhaps the other urban legend taking root on Twitter is true:

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The latest bout of celebrity deaths – George Michael, Carrie Fisher, then Debbie Reynolds in just the last week, has just left me in awe. Everyone we know and love is dying off, breaking our hearts, killing our hope, and leaving us shocked at how far 2016 can truly go. As if losing Prince, Muhammad Ali, Gene Wilder, Florence Henderson, Anton Yelchin, John Glenn, Alan Thicke, Arnold Palmer, Leonard Cohen, Nancy Reagan, Alan Rickman, Alexis Arquette, and others wasn’t enough… I also lost my cousin this year. But it’s not that I love everything the celebrities did; that’s not why I mourn.  These people helped me discover who I am, in a small way. My cousin did, too.

Syrians died. French people died. Germans. Black lives. Blue lives. So many. 

I feel like there are still 2 whole days left in this godforsaken year and just about anything can fucking happen. Further, the realist in me knows this doesn’t stop just by the calendar year ticking over to 2017. It’s going to keep happening. It’s not just suddenly going to end.

One of Carrie Fisher’s quotes seems apropo right about now:

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We have to keep going forward despite the fear. Against the hate. One foot. Then another foot. In front of the other one. 

Personally, 2016 was not my worst year. My worst year was actually 2013, the year I went through a break up, lost my father, and hit the pinnacle of shittiness in my career.

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So I figure if I can survive the worst for me in 2013, and 2016 was not the worst, then I’m actually ok. But I totally agree, 2016, don’t let the door hit you on the ass on your way out. I personally plan on staying up until midnight on New Year’s Eve for once just to watch 2016 leave, ya filthy animal.

Perhaps I seem to be ok despite everything crumbling around me because I seem to have a lower amount of hope. With the barriers to Donald Trump’s inauguration on January 20 (the actual electoral college vote and a looming impeachment) cleared, I have no hope that America will be great again under Trump. Shit’s going to get worse. Fill those liquor cabinets and buy that legal marijuana where you can. Hold on to your butts.

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I have friends vacationing in London and Paris right now, who get the general sense from foreigners that they’re actually afraid of what Donald Trump might do. You know what? I am, too. He could undo everything, and not in a good way. Those traveling friends are embarrassed to admit they’re from America right now. And I am, too. Game of Thrones Cersei bell-ringing “SHAME!” walk to you, America. I sound my bell at you and cry, “SHAME!” You voted this man in, not me. Shame.

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All we can do is activate the phone tree and form a protection circle around Betty White and another one around Ruth Bader Ginsburg a la Practical Magic with our Swiffers and Dysons. If you want to pray, pray for social Darwinism, that the powers that be take Donald Trump and Mike Pence and put them on an island somewhere, with no political power/affiliations and no Twitter access. I don’t want Trump to die. But I certainly am sick of seeing his chook neck and ridiculous claims all over the media.

All joking aside, at this point, 2017 can’t be anything but better, since 2016 was so shitty. So I’ll raise my glass to what can only be better than this mess of a year was. Whilst it was certainly not my worst year, it was not the best.

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10 of swords, reversed

When I was a little girl, New Year’s Eve was almost magical in the power I had to stay up late just one night a year. My parents would drink, but I would get soda, or chocolate milkshakes, or whatever I wanted. Since I had a small family, comprised of only my dad, mom, and me, often we would play board games, or watch movies together.

One thing my mom did on most New Year’s Eves I can remember is do a tarot card reading for herself and me. My dad normally wouldn’t be interested in that kind of stuff. So, to rekindle the memory and see what 2015 had in store for me, I did a tarot reading for myself last night.

For those of you unfamiliar with tarot cards and reading, there are many spreads, or layouts, of the cards you can prepare. I chose a Celtic spread, which is shown just below.

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I used a universal waite deck of cards, which has traditional cards. There are 78 cards in a deck – 22 Major Arcana (these are the cards like The Temptress, the Hanged Man, Justice, etc.), 40 Minor Arcana (there are 4 suits numbered Ace(1)-10 of Wands, Pentacles, Cups, and Swords), and 16 Court cards (these are Queens, Kings, Knights, and Pages within the 4 suits). Only the Major Arcana transcend the 4 suits; all other cards are some court or number of those suits. Based on your astrological sign, you can have a particular suit which represents you in general. Being a Fire sign, I am generally represented by Wands. Water signs fill Cups; Earth signs are represented by Pentacles. Air signs are depicted by Swords.

You’re meant to shuffle the cards while you think of a question or issue. For me, I find I don’t need to think of a specific question – it still works if I just shuffle and be in my head and in my skin. I did that last night and could not have received a more helpful assemblage of cards.

The spread pictured above shows numbered cards, and each card translates to something about the question or issue at hand. I’ll go through each card in my spread and translate my reading for you, dear reader, just for shits and giggles. Bear with.

1: Concern, or issue at hand – 10 of Swords, reversed
Firstly, the cards in a spread can either be upright, or reversed. Orientation of the cards actually does have meaning and should be used when interpreting the actual cards themselves. A reversed card can have a very different meaning than an upright card.

My concern is there will be no changes in problems and troubles, but no new ones. I need to have the courage to rise again, as the situation is not as black as it appears. Stagnation causes misery and my mental focus is unclear. Excessive burdens cause back problems.

Now I will tell you the central issue I’ve been mulling over of late, if you hadn’t already guessed by my last two posts. I am not doing what I love at work. There isn’t much spare time outside of work to do the things I love. I don’t even know what the things I love to do are. I have wanted to take time and focus on what makes me happy, and doing more of it. Life is too short not to be happy. However, reality things, like bills, rent, retirement savings, have forced me to be responsible and keep working. What I’d really love is to take time off from work, to travel and find myself. I want to find what truly makes me happy and put more of it in my life. I have been so fed up with work that I actually contemplated burning bridges over the holiday break and handing in a resignation letter now, rather than riding out my responsibilities through the busy season and into the summer.

This card is spot on for the central issue at hand. I’m stagnant right now, waiting in the wings for this grand ideal I have for my life, and I’ve quite literally had backaches this year just from stress alone. As a Leo, I’m supposedly ruled by my back. Coincidence? Perhaps.

2: Obstacles – Page of Cups
The Court cards actually can represent key people in your life. The Page of Cups represents a Pisces, with willowy body, expressive hands, and light to medium hair. The Page of Cups also refers to love and emotions. Ironic, hey? My obstacles are my own goddamn emotions, me, myself. I’m my own problem. Wag the dog…

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This Page of Cups can be a homosexual and oversensitive. Who knew I was a Page of Cups?! I always thought my Tarot Court card representation was the Page of Wands growing up. Go figure. This Page may also have problems associated with liquor or drugs. The only “problem” I have is not drinking right now because it can negate the effects of my antidepressants. And it’s not really a problem since I woke up New Year’s Day without a hangover and being productive by writing this post right off the bat. But I digress…

3: Objective – The Devil, reversed
Less selfishness and greed for material possessions or social standing. Wow – spot on. I’ve a wonderful affliction called the Joy of Missing Out (#JOMO) and I honestly don’t give a crap about being a power lesbian or public persona. The goal in my life is to not relish in material possessions, and refusing to worship false gods. There is a desire to face reality, to lift the veil of illusion and be real. I want to use my creativity in beneficial ways. That has been goal throughout this lifelong process of finding out who I am and what I want. I want to be real, and I want to be happy. Not so hard, right?

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4: Thoughts and Feelings – 5 of Swords
I see these problems and troubles as very real. There is an unhealthy mental attitude and I’m subject to rash behavior. Desires cloud good sense, and changes may not be positive if made right now. I know I’d be an idiot to quit my job now, without a travel plan lined up, without a backup job, and burning bridges could have very real consequences. While my heart wants what it wants, I need to maintain a holding pattern right now, if it’s the last thing I do. This stagnation could not be harder for me to swallow right now. Word.

5: Past – 4 of Pentacles
I realize the value of material possessions, and avarice may have played a song or two. I knew I wanted to get a good job out of college, make money so I wouldn’t have to worry about it. I kept a balanced attitude about money – I knew what it could get, but I didn’t idolize it or love it. This card also signifies in the past I may have had an inheritance (yes, a small one after my father passed), good health, and a Midas touch. What resonated for me when reading the description of this card is that the Midas touch was also referenced in a lyric in a song I included in the playlist in yesterday’s post, which described the state of mind about looking back on my year. B.o.B.’s “I’ve Got the Magic in Me” – “every time I touch that track, it turns into gold…” Whoa. Mind minorly blown…

6: Immediate future – The Moon
I must learn to control my negative thinking, because refusing to face the truth is counterproductive to my objective. I can be swayed by my own emotions, and be indecisive/moody. I’m not using my intuition to overcome obstacles. There will be fears and doubts about life and my future. So I’ve got that to look forward to…

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7: Attitude about the Concern/Question – Death
Before you go assuming the Death card is something terrible, please know it is not. Death signifies the end of a situation and a change for the better. Be open to love and release resentments. New ideas and future plans are healthy – wanting to travel and sort myself out is totally acceptable. Destruction breeds creation. I should use my energy to gain enlightenment and let go of old experiences that no longer have meaning. I guess I couldn’t ask for a better attitude. I’m open and willing to make changes. That’s all I could ask for. The card also says take care of health issues. So I need to try to remain healthy and positive until the time comes for action.

8: Outside Influences – 6 of Pentacles, reversed
The outside environment is encouraging me not to make choices about money. It’s not charitable or sharing either. I have the potential to make unwise decisions about money – like say quitting a job and blowing a wad of cash on a huge trip. Not wise, indeed. I’ve got poverty on the brain and what happens when I deplete savings.

9: Hopes and fears – 7 of Cups
I hope for victory gained in love, and a path of creative visualization or daydreaming. Or perhaps that daydreams will come true… Yup, that’s fair. I’ll allow it. I want to demonstrate mental control over emotions and seek balance. The guidance I seek should come from within – remove the illusion and rose-tinted glasses that comes with liquor and drugs.

10: Final Outcome – King of Cups
This Court card is represented by a Cancer with large head and body, a broad chest, and full lips. He is emotional, loving, caring, and nurturing. He is a good family man when married. His interests are real estate, home products, interior design, food, arts, and science. He needs to feel safe and secure in whatever profession he follows.

So basically, don’t cock it up by hitting send on that resignation letter too soon. Ride it out, be patient, get your emotions under control, and don’t do anything stupid. It will be a good final outcome if you look for yourself within. Sometimes, no action is the best action, and I can forget that.

And for the record, I like to think I’d make a fabulous wife to some lucky lady out there. If she has kids or we have them together, I’d be an ok mom, I guess. I’d want to be able to provide and give my partner what she wants, so I guess being the lesbian equivalent of the King of Cups wouldn’t be all bad. I, too, like interior design, arts, sciences, and duh, food.

Why just yesterday on my impromptu trip to San Jose, I bought a new area rug for my living space. I thought, hey, new rug, new year. Yes, this is the coffee table and couch where I write most of my posts. Paisley (or as my ex-flatmate in Sydney calls it, brocade) suits me.

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All in all, the tarot reading did some good to settle my mind and orient myself on what I need to do. I need patience, a little faith, and not to jump the gun. As Bon Qui Qui, a MadTV character says of King Burger, “Welcome to King Burger where you can have it your way… but don’t get crazy!” I, too, can have it my way, just don’t get crazy. I’ll have to remember that one. Ha.

New year

Today, I drove down to San Jose. I had no real purpose in mind, except to get some kisses and hugs from my old cat, Toby. She’s been with her two daddies since I moved to Australia, and she is still spoiled rotten. Mission: accomplished. She is still such a love. Kitten kisses are good luck.

I could spout off New Year’s resolutions, but if you are anything like me, you have trouble sticking to them. Don’t get me wrong – I could go on with a new healthy habit for a year, but I’d still give up, and revert to old ways. So this year, instead of calling them resolutions, I prefer to look at myself in mirror, and I’m gonna make a change. (*Start singing Michael Jackson’s “Man in the Mirror” with me now.*) I am making positive life choices, and trying to grab my own life by the reigns. I survived another year. Coming off of a super shitty 2013, 2014 was definitely an upswing, and 2015 is going to be my year. I will make it so.

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I want to spend 15 minutes a day researching DSLR cameras, and how to capture images of certain things. I’m planning a trip in 2015, and I want a camera that can keep up with me and allow me to nurture my artist’s eye. Without giving too much away about the trip (the itinerary of which is still floating around in my head and haphazardly beginning to get organized in a master spreadsheet, cause that’s how I roll), I want to learn what kind of DSLR settings are required to photograph the Aurora Borealis, a beautiful sunset, fireworks, stars, and the moon.

I recently read somewhere that drinking 5 green teas a day will help you lose belly fat. Call me a sucker, but I’m going to give it a go. I may not hit 5 times, but I do love a nice jasmine green tea, and a little pick me up for my 3pm-sleepies during busy season may be just what the doctor ordered.

I need to start going back to the gym every day. I let my routine fall by the wayside when work got busy this year. I promised myself I wouldn’t do that when I spent the last year of my life finally making time for me and getting healthier again. When I go to the gym every day, I need to start doing abs again. Every time. I did an ab challenge in July 2013 that was insane, but I got results. I haven’t done it since. Time to get back into it. No excuses.

I also want to spend 15 minutes a day beginning to learn basic German. I want to be somewhat conversational. I want to have what may be the worst conversation of a fluent-speaking German’s life, but hey, at least it’s a conversation.

I enjoyed the sunny drive in the cold air. The music that happened to come onto the radio during my drive down really set my mood for the whole day. I spent much of the day in my head, just thinking things.

I’m ringing in the new year where I feel most comfortable – in pajamas, in my apartment, and in my head. No line for the bathroom, no bra or pants required (though pants are on because hey, winter.)

So pour a glass of bubbly and sit with me on my couch. I’d love to share moments with you, remembering this year, the highlights, the lowlights, and everything in between. Play some YouTube roulette with me, and listen to the videos on YouTube in the order of the playlist below. Some you may know; some you may not. See what thoughts the lyrics inspire. See what movements your body wants to make to the rhythms. Let it go.

1. Santeria – Sublime
2. Shut Up and Dance – Walk the Moon
3. Ho Hey – The Lumineers
4. Burn It Down – Linkin Park
5. The Heart Wants What It Wants – Selena Gomez
6. Walls (No. 3) – Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers
7. Somebody Loves You – Betty Who
8. Cough Syrup – Young the Giant
9. I’ve Got the Magic in Me – B.o.B.
10. Some Nights – Fun.
11. Shake It Out – Florence and the Machine
12. End of the Line – Traveling Wilburys

I’ve never felt stronger about this. I’m gonna make the rest of my life the best of my life, and it starts with January 1, 2015. Happy New Year!

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