Liking Her More and More

November 21, 2012

I was a metal-head and a punk, but my appreciation for music goes far beyond that. I was a musician. I guess I should use that in the present tense–I AM a musician. But I have trouble accepting that, always have.

I’m now faced with declined hearing due to the OI. I’m starting to wear my hearing aide more often (I have two but one needs adjustment), particularly when I sing and want to enjoy undertones in music. Going deaf is one of my biggest fears. I often think that I’ll definitely kill myself if that ever happens.

But lately, I’ve been calmer, more generally content–not happy, just content. I don’t like the word happy. My contentment, however, has reached back out to the warm embrace of music, the one thing that has saved my life before.

I picked up my ukulele a few months ago when I was in the dark and the PLDs had moved in again. And though I haven’t played recently, I still plan to play it and eventually maybe write songs again. Most of my songs start off as poems anyway, so maybe (just maybe) I could adapt some of my NaPoWriMo poems as uke songs.

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Oh right, Lana! So on my Borderline Girl Song Week Thirteen post, I posted a Lana Del Rey Song. Her real name is Lizzy Grant. In that post, I called her pretentious but good. I suppose though, that pretentious is just a label given to any musician that takes their music seriously. So I will back away from that word. I’ve been listening to her more and more. Surprisingly, despite my minuscule stature, I sing better in her register, or rather, women who sing in lower, contralto registers like two of my favorites–Amy Winehouse and Fiona Apple.

I’m liking her more and more. I want to sing again and shout out loud. But I’m afraid. Afraid I’ll fail. Afraid I’ll quit like I have before. I can’t let the fear of my hearing loss take control of my actions though.

Here she is singing live. Oh, yeah, and it turns out she CAN sing very well live. It just depends.

Sometime in early summer when my bro, V, and I became friends again, he said to me, “P, I want you to listen to this chick. I think you’ll like her. She a bit off, like you. I know you like that kind of shit.”

He took me over to his computer and showed me a Lana del Rey video, “Born to Die”. I wasn’t very impressed, but I nodded my head and said, “yeah, yeah, she sounds good. Not bad.”

Turns out I’m really diggin’ her now. Not nose deep diggin’, just knee-high diggin’, ya dig?

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Yeah, I admit that I like her music ok! There I said it. She’d probably be a cool chick to hang out with too. Yeah, sometimes she sounds like she’s having a seizure when she sings live, but I honestly think she’s just, you know, off. And I kind of like that. She’s not all jumping up and down the stage singing about partying. I think she has a pretty powerful voice actually; she just doesn’t control it well when she’s up in front of the mic live. I mean, shit, I’d probably sing like a dying baby goat if I went up in front of a stage. And I sing fairly good, mind you–good as in mediocre and taking into account my halfway deafness. ha.

Anyway, I was listening to her the other night, ON MY NEW-OLD phone that my bro’s sweet girlfriend gave me! Yep, I now have a smartphone! BOOYAH!

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“Ride” is one of the songs that really got me liking this Lana girl—obviously a pseudo name ’cause girl is whiter than YouTube sensation Krispi Kreme. Lana is a beauty. In this song, she expresses some of the core “borderline” characteristics. And I mean the version that’s in this video specifically when she says, “mama said I always had a chameleon soul” and “no fixed personality”. Also the whole being a poet thing and “to seek safety in other people” really rings with me. I mean she’s running around with a whole bunch of older men.

This seems a bit pretentious, but it is good nonetheless. I have good taste so it’s GOOD CAUSE I SAY IT IS DAMMIT. I kid. Whatever never mind.

Note: The direction/cinematography/editing of the video is pretty damn good too!

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Oh right the surgery?! The surgery went splendidly. I no longer have a metal rod stuck in my jaw, poking out on the back of my mouth. YAY! I’m in pain now and a bit high on Norco and don’t want to take more ’cause I know how quickly I can get out of hand– being impulsive and all, so I’ll go on the sewing machine for a bit.

Mouse love (the PLDs are off on vacation but they send their love too).

Grateful Today

November 2, 2012

When you’re down under the defunct skin of depression, it’s difficult to see anything in bright light or feel anything pleasurable. It’s difficult to be grateful, even though you realize there are “good” things in your life, you’re so bereft of health, positive, motivational feelings that it becomes void. You KNOW there are good things, but your subconscious traumas take over, particularly in people with BPD. You only feel the shit smothering you in nastiness. And then you feel guilt for not feeling “appreciative”. The pain is just too strong, too overpowering. The lenses have no view of, or recognition of enjoyment.

Now, today, I am grateful for the beautiful weather, for water, for being able to swim, for my eyes and ears (though they fail me), and for my hearing aids which help my ears. I’ve learned to accept them and use them more often. This doesn’t mean I’m no longer a musician. Oh yeah, I’m grateful for music!

I’m grateful for my body, though it’s hard for me to love it. I am learning to love it for what it is–T-Rex-Duck arm and all. Swimming has helped with that.

I’m grateful that last night, even though I got drunk, I did not self-harm. I’m grateful that I ran into a lovely fella from the university after therapy and he asked to hang out. I’m grateful that he came over and we jammed a little. I played the ukulele and piano for him (though I was shy about it and stopped midway). And he taught me a little Arabic scale. He brought a candle that a lady who hosted us–the activist group we were in–at her home in Detroit for the U.S.Social Forum. That was back in the summer of 2010. I can’t believe he kept it this long.

We lit the candle and he sung a prayer in Arabic for the Day of the Dead (it’s a Mexican tradition, but other cultures have similar celebrations and rituals). His soft fro was lit by the flickering candle, and I thought of Monkey Man’s red and gold beard. I though of all those close to me who have passed on.

It was just… pleasant.

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Tonight, I will add to this on my Facecrack page.

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What are you grateful for today?

Haven’t had a chance to write much lately, but I’ll let you know I’ve still got life. And I’m glad you do too!

I played my keyboard and ukulele for someone today. It’s been a while!

I’ve had a good week though I’m having a shitty night. I really want to drink and pass out, but I won’t. Or at least I’m trying not to. I was gonna post another song, but this one’s been in my head all week and I’m feeling lonely at the moment.

I like being by myself much of the time, but I can’t stand being alone– that empty feeling– and especially that feeling of being abandoned. Alone has nothing to do with being with one’s self. It, like many things in life, is just a state of mind. I can and have been surrounded by hundreds of people and felt completely alone–empty, devoid of human warmth, of connection.

But I haven’t been feeling “alone” or lonely lately, which is almost strange for me–to NOT feel alone. I’ve spent most of my life feeling alone, distant, cut off from the world as if an opposing magnetic force shielded me from humanity.

Tonight I do feel very, very lonesome. That shield has been placed over me again. See, I had plans today to go to a Halloween party. I was so anxious. The anxiety had been building up. I haven’t even properly worn a costume since I was probably thirteen years old. I don’t even think I’ve been invited to Halloween parties since I was a small child (maybe a few exceptions). Anyway, I even talked to the therapist about this Halloween party and how anxious I get despite the fact that I’ve been more social lately. I love Warrior D, so I was looking forward to going and seeing her. She’s the one throwing the party, only her home is waaaay far up north Houston. She’s also the only person I’ve told about my overdose in May.

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Well, all my plans for tonight went down the fuckin’ drain (I don’t get plans, making them and all). It makes it harder when you don’t drive in a city that is built on nothing but highways and SUVs. It doesn’t make it easy when everyone bails on you last minute. And it doesn’t help that one of the “borderline” characteristics is having a deep-seeded fear of abandonment. I’m just coming to terms with it. But I can’t help to feel abandoned (albeit momentarily) by any little insignificant thing like this. They couldn’t get me to where I wanted to go, so now it means they don’t care and I shouldn’t give a fuck about anyone. I depended on them; I hate not being able to have that sense of freedom independence grants you, hence, I suck and so does my existence. That’s the twisted way my mind interprets the situation. However, I’m intelligent, I’m calmer these days than I have been all year. And I’m aware. I’m working on using more balanced/adaptive cognitive restructuring here… I won’t see things in black and white and I definitely understand why the others couldn’t make it out to give me a ride. I understand their side.

Wish I had some weed though.

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So now I’m chillin’ with the dogs trying to use self-sooth by cuddling with them, keeping busy and using the distracting coping mechanism taught in DBT; I’m writing this and maybe watching a movie later or taking them for a walk. I thought about reading some blogs or some poems from this book I got at the university, but I’ve been having the reading spasms. I just can’t seem to read much these days.

Guess it hasn’t been a COMPLETELY bad day. Nah, it was a nice, pleasant afternoon. Houston decided to finally feel like fall; the chill brushed in to our coast.

I don’t even like to use the words ‘good’ and ‘bad’ to describe most things. That’s why I won’t say tonight is bad. There have been a few disappointments, but it happens. Though days like this are when I miss Monkey Man the most. I felt alone with him much of the time (especially when he was high and drunk out of his mind), but at least I got some comfort of a warm body and of knowing he was filled with me and I could be filled with his lovin’. I did (and still do) love him.

Well, I’m out my magnificent mofo’ bloggies and MFFs.

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Oh, and here’s the lovely Amy

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“Got so sick of cryin’, so just lately, when I catch myself, I do a 180”  ~Amy Winehouse

I’m catchin’ myself. Catchin’ the Mouse. Catching the Pretty Little Demons and tuckin’ their sleepy thorny heads in to bed.

Mouse love

As mentioned before, these little installments I came up with is a series of songs I randomly choose. They are songs that colored my youth in some way or another.

This week I took a trip down to my early teens. They were not happy years from what I remember. Sure, there were high times, but most of it involved bullying at school, violent fights with my mother, isolation, depression, discrimination, surgeries, insomnia, chronic pain, anxiety, self-loathing, rage, self-harm, etc. Though I’ve always been more of an introvert, I was a loud child. I was aggressive; I didn’t seem timid. I became increasingly timid when I hit middle school (isn’t that a rough one for everyone?). Anyway, since I felt so out-of-place, I rejected the boy band thing. I loathed Nsync, Backstreet Boys (for the most part), and especially the Spice Girls. Sure I loved the “girl power” thing, and the little feminist in me didn’t mature until I was in my twenties, but I always had a bit of anger towards girls. Guys, I could hang out with. Girls, not so much.

I generally haven’t been into much pop music since my early teens–even in my younger days I was more into gangster rap like Biggie, Tupak, Bone Thugs-n-Harmony, ha–however, Savage Garden is a pop duo I will forever love. I think this song came out when I was twelve or thirteen. That was when I started thinking about drinking a bottle of Hydrogen Peroxide and sniffing glue–not, not that white Elmers’ glue, the heavy duty construction worker glue in paste and jars– to see if it would kill me.

This song represents that little lost “borderline” girl in me. That girl that was never given room to grow, the girl that would become a little metal-head, a little punk and do anything to stop the pain.

I think as a result, I’ve had a taste for more contemplative music, if you know what I mean. Oh, and I love the shots of New York (near Brooklyn bridge) in this video.

She’s taking her time making up the reasons
To justify all the hurt inside
Guess she knows from the smiles and the look in their eyes
Everyone’s got a theory about the bitter one
They’re saying, “Mama never loved her much.”
And, “Daddy never keeps in touch.
That’s why she shies away from human affection.”
But somewhere in a private place
She packs her bag for outer space
And now she’s waiting for the right kind of pilot to come
And she’ll say to him,
She’s sayin,

“I would fly to the moon and back if you’ll be, if you’ll be my
Baby.
I’ve got a ticket for a world where we belong
So would you be my baby?”

She can’t remember a time when she felt needed.
If love was red then she was color blind.
All her friends, they’ve been tried for treason
And crimes that were never defined.
She’s saying “Love is like a barren place
And reaching out for human faith is like a journey
I just don’t have a map for.”
So baby’s gonna take a dive and
Push the shift to overdrive
Send a signal that she’s hanging
All her hopes on the stars
What a pleasant dream
She’s sayin,

“I would fly to the moon and back if you’ll be, if you’ll be my
Baby.
I’ve got a ticket for a world where we belong
So would you be my baby?”

(Hold on, Hold on)
“Mama never loved her much.”
And, “Daddy never keeps in touch.
That’s why she shies away from human affection.”
But somewhere in a private place
She packs her bag for outer space
And now she’s waiting for the right kind of pilot to come
And she’ll say to him,
She’s sayin,

“I would fly to the moon and back if you’ll be, if you’ll be my
Baby.
I’ve got a ticket for a world where we belong
So would you be my baby?”
~JONES, DANIEL / HAYES, DARREN

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I dedicate this particular post to my brother’s ex-ex-girlfriend who made his life “miserable”. But really, now that I know, I suspect she has BPD. They were together for five years and lived with us for about three. She’s my age and also loved/loves this song. Hell, she probably loves it more than I do. Sadly, she was in denial about her problematic behavior and didn’t get help when we asked her to. The entire world was against her. When I repeatedly asked her to get help, I was “antagonizing” her and siding with my brother. Mind you, this was shortly before I was asked to get help too. haha! She had it rough though. I thought my family was crazy, until I met her.

At least my family was there for me in some way or another. At least they showered me with lots of love. At least my mother never made me sell drugs at sixteen, despite her violent ways with me. At least my mother never kicked me out of the house (although she did tell me to get the hell out plenty of times). At least my father never walked out on me. I never had a sister in prison and with seven kids by the age of twenty-one. I don’t have another sister who survived a suicide attempt and then went on to have terminal cancer. It was sad seeing her go… and god, the kid.

I didn’t grow up in Fifth Ward, one of the roughest neighborhoods/parts of Houston. I only grew up in the “semi-ghetto,” not the full blown ghetto, and the principal transferred me to a “rich kids” school in sixth grade because of my good grades. My brother wasn’t in prison, hell, he’s never been in trouble with the law, except for one public intoxication misdemeanor (the story was funny as hell too). We were the only family she thought she had. I’m not even going to begin or try to explain how alone she’d been in this world. I’m surprised she was alive that long and I hope she’s alright these days and that life is treating her well.

I miss you Dee. I hope you finished your mechanical engineering degree! I’m sorry things didn’t work out with my brother, though they may have with me. heheh. I joke that I fell in love with her more than my bro did.

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Janis had a voice in tune with the angels and demons. Her Pretty Little Demons must have been beyond pretty, gorgeous even, much like mine. And I’m not saying I’m gorgeous here; it’s just my demons are.

So, today’s song is “Summertime”. The mood in this song is so melancholy and yet the lyrics have a mixed tinge of humor and sadness, of sarcasm and anger, of positive and negative thougths battling between this girl from a rich dad and gorgeous mom. A girl who will someday fly. I love that thought as trite as it may seem. Will she fly as an angel in death? Or will she do great things in her life? It’s up in the air.

It’s like the essence of the song describes my childhood, my youth.

I know all about having a gorgeous mom, about melancholy and being mixed up with ambivalence, confusion and ambiguity. But my dad on the other hand lost his business in Colombia when he decided to move to the States for me. He sacrificed everything he’d worked up for until that point. I always felt so guilty about it. Ironically though, the guy who took over his photography studio after we left was shot while some hoodlums broke in to steal anything they could. Colombia was in deep political unrest at the time.

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Well, it’s summer and summertime living is easy for us southern girls. ha! Somer time is ‘a leavin’.

Summertime for me has often been a time of remission from the “mentals” (usually, not always); the only brief remissions I recall. And this summer seems to be no different, despite the burdensome circumstances. I have been getting relatively “better” since July.

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I also recall many melancholy summers in my childhood. I was a melancholy child even before the suicidals hit. Oh I do.  Child melancholy. Adolescent melancholy. Adult melancholy. It just gets worse. It’s just another bucket filling in the well.

Oh summertime though. Weren’t childhood summers the best? If I recall clearly, even my childhood melancholy summers where better than my remission adolescent and adult summers.

Summertime is  ‘a here y’all. Don’t you cry girl. Don’t you cry. Remember you’re the “mean challenger,” the “brave girl” who never cries.

Yet I’m crying now.

Oh I have so many stories about what this song means to me. So here’s just one of the many….

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Once Upon a Summertime

I became extremely close to a dirty-blond haired girl way back in 2003-2004. She had big eyes like mine, only hers were green–mine are brown. And she had gorgeous big, pursed lips. It got to a point where I had an intense crush on her. I’m still not sure why.

Back then, I was involved in this organization called the International Order of the Rainbow for Girls and used to joke that they were a cult of lesbians–I wish they were because at least then I wouldn’t have to wear white dresses and do stupid rituals for Jesus. No offense to Jesus. I’m sure he was a cool dude. I’d have kicked it with him, but I doubt he enjoys all that adoration.

This organization was VERY religious and very strict. I caught hell for wearing a brow and nose ring. Anyway, that’s were I met this wonderful girl. The day I met her, we laughed at the rituals and the white dresses.

Don’t get scared; they didn’t harm me. Well, they did once when we went to Corpus Cristi but that’s another post altogether. This Rainbow for Girls thing was more like a cult of Mason’s Christian daughters who claimed to do charity work (the reason I’d joined was because I wanted to do charity work), but instead of doing charity, they only bickered. Anyway, me and this girl (I’ll call her Emma) connected because we both felt out-of-place there. We were both outsiders.

Emma was a wild one, a  free-thinker like me. We had one of those intense connections that immediately sparked! And one summer, we had a road trip with the other Rainbow Girls, the not-so-free-thinker-ones. In the car, Emma and I jammed to Joplin. Me and her, her and me. We laughed a lot that girl Emma and I.

This girl, Emma, knew ALL ABOUT Janis Joplin. I mean, if you know anything about Janis Joplin, you know that she was from Texas. You’d know she was born in January 19, 1943 and began writing plays in the first grade (oh how I’ve always had a thing for most Aquarians I’ve met). You’d also know that she went to Lamar State College for a stretch between gigs before becoming famous. And since you’d know she grew up in Texas and that Lamar State College is where she went for a while; you’d know Lamar State College is also in Port Arthur, Texas, not too far from Houston where I grew up.

Yep, you’d know, you’d know how inadequate she must’a felt there. You’d know that in high school, she’d earned the name “pig” for being pudgy and “nigger lover” for her “tolerance” and love of blacks and her hate of racism–which she witnessed a lot of in Port Arthur and at Lamar, I’m sure. You’d know that that’s why she often left to live with her aunt in Venice Beach, California.

Surely, you’d know this, but even so, you wouldn’t know all the things this girl Emma knew. Emma and I felt her PAIN. This girl was a DEDICATED Joplin fan–must be still. I became a hardcore dedicated fan thanks to Emma.

A year after that summer, in the spring of 2004, I went on a road trip to the northwestern plains of Texas with Emma. Just us two. We went to visit her then-fiancé in prison. She and I had a thing for bad boys, only she’d slept with many and I hadn’t… yet. She was only a year older than me but had been engaged more than once. I hadn’t even had sex or a boyfriend.

I remember getting so upset when I was in that line of booths where you talk to the prisoners through a connected phone behind the windows. I got upset because the people next to us was a family of five–a mom and her three little kids. The dad was a prison inmate. The oldest child was about ten. They were all visiting their daddy, and to me it was so sad. I just sat and watched the man talk to his kids behind the glass while Emma talked to her fiance. And I wondered if it were better for those kids to visit that man, their father, or not. I was so depressed then. I remember wheeling myself to the restroom past these gates where men in solitary confinement stayed. And I just sat on the stall and cried and cried. When I got back, I sat there just looking at them but trying not to look too hard. I always felt things like that, intensely.

Springs have never been good to me, but sumertime is a little different.

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On our way back from the prison–oh those lovely Texas prisons and there are loads of them– we stopped at this old ma-and-pa shop looking for a place to eat spaghetti. Emma got herself a Southern Comfort plaque, and we planned to see if we could sneak our way into buying some Southern Comfort whisky back in Houston.

Janis had been a “troubled girl” like Janis and I, so she drank a lot of that Southern Comfort whiskey (we ended up not getting the whisky after all).

She was my “date” at my senior prom. She wore a tucks with high heels and I wore a beautiful black and green dress. I didn’t enjoy myself. I only cried after it was over.Then Emma told me that she was planning on going to Lamar State College. She never did. She went somewhere else. She also told me she had BP (bipolar disorder), but back then I hadn’t had my monumental mental breakdown, so I hadn’t been diagnosed or sent to any psychiatric clinic. I was still struggling in silence. So I felt awkward telling her about how much I empathized. I did tell her I empathized but not REALLY EMPATHIZED like I did on the inside. I guess I paid no mind because I was trying to put “mind over matter” like a good Christian Scientist would. I still suspected BP or something similar in myself.

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What do you think happened between me and dear Emma?

Yep.

Very borderline is what happened.

Our intense friendship broke–just as intense of a rupture as its union. We dissipated from each other as quickly as we had bonded. I see our little summer escapades as a chemical reaction between atoms, forming new molecules, new bonds–that became our friendship. Then, the borderline in me and the bipolar in her was the catalyst.

Then again, I could over analyze it like I tend to. Or oversimplify it.  Of course, life is just like that. Some people drift in and out of our lives. But for me, it’s everyone I’ve been close to. Maybe that’s just how life is for some of us.

In 2006, Emma and I rekindled our friendship online. And for a brief moment, all was well between us again. Then one day, she let me down. She asked me out to a Greek festival and the day of the festival she didn’t return my calls. I instantly went from loving her to hating her guts! I wanted to tear at my skin and pull all of my hair out.

“How could she do this to me?” I thought. “Why wouldn’t she at least call back and say she was sorry, that she wasn’t going, or that she couldn’t pick me up because something held her up?” When I emailed her about it, she didn’t reply. “What did I do? She obviously hates me. No one will ever like me.”

I insulted her in another email and cut her off completely though I missed her terribly. Now was that just life or some of the “borderline” in me?

Soon summertime will become “autumn time” in this part of the world. Molecules come together; molecules break apart. Warmth becomes cool.

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Enjoy!

addendum: Monkey Man L. had a vinyl record of hers I really wanted. mmmhmmm. I would have wanted it as a memento. I think his sis too it. Well, she deserved it.

Went to therapy today. The bus ride wasn’t as “fun” as the one last week, though the Houston heat today was much less piercing and much more enjoyable. I was reminded of how many stories I have from years of riding the bus. The people I encounter, I just want to write about them. So many people. I want to write about people.

Yep.

As far as the actual session. I feel it wasn’t as productive as last week and a part of me wants to quit already, but I know that the thought of quitting therapy is a bit ridiculous since it’s one of my biggest life lines right now. And my homework assignment? Write down negative thoughts that cause intense, negative emotions tand challenge those with cognitive behavioral methods of cognitive restructuring. I’ll explain later.

For now, enjoy some of my ridiculous thoughts. I had some of these on my bus journey to the university campus. Some I had when I woke up from my nap. We all have them, some of us just believe them. I’m one of those.

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That black albino girl looks like she came out of the Fifth Element. Why is she still staring? Oh, kids, they stare. She’s kinda cute and very albino, like the dude from the Da Vinci Code. Book was better. Ugh, kids stare because you’re so tiny, it’s just a fact of life. It’s better than ADULTS staring with that OH HOLY GOD WHAT IS THAT, look. Let me just wave my hand and smile–show her I acknowledged her little cute staring. Ooh, hey there, works every time!

Is the whole world fucked or what? That fucker honking at us! Good going albino girl’s mom. Tell him off! Shit, but calm down lady. Don’t go off that hard.

Swimming is only going to make you go deaf quicker. Why do you think your ears are itchy all the time? Swimmer’s ear? Yeah, and that’s just your ear’s nerve cell’s dying P.

Monkey Man needed you and you failed him.

You need a gun. No, a gun wouldn’t work for you. Shit, all those new shiny pills might.

You’re such a bitch. Let go of that thought.

Ugh, don’t use that word in the negative sense! Luna is a little bitch and she’s awesome.

They think you’re an asshole. Why else would you get so many views after writing that last post? So many hushed readers, no bitch? You worthless piece of…

But he saved three dogs from an abandoned warehouse several months ago. Yeah, and now he wants to cheat on his wife. And you’re his object of desire. What does that make you?

You won’t be able to go another day without texting him something sexual.

Lamotrigine is only going to make your hearing loss and tinnitus worse.

Can I just have a roomful of people I can punch? Matter fact, make it a room full of babies!

Your therapist is plotting to kill you, just like your psychiatrist is. Don’t believe them.

This feeling is unbearable. Tear your skin off instead. It’ll feel good.

Oh no, no no. That interview with the reporter is going to suck tomorrow. You’ll say something stupid, I’m sure.

You want to do something with all those new shiny pills don’t you? You think you can’t handle this? Ha!

Oh no! Now that you’ve shared this, the bloggie people will be able to read your mind!

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Alright, I’ll stop there. Yes, I was a Cranberries fan in my younger days. Enjoy!

Oh look, it’s young Frodo–I mean, little Elijah Wood. God, I feel like I’m reliving some of my childhood in these songs…