This is why I stopped eating meat.

Friday, March 10, 2017

I wrote for about 15 minutes today, so I rewarded myself with 30 minutes of staring at my new pet fish and realizing that I’ve been so involved with anxiety these past few months that I feel, for the first time in those months, completely unanxious. My mind has temporarily given up. I’ve given all I could give to worries and wants. I think the breaking point was the nightmare I had last night: I was running late for my wedding. I didn't remember to book a caterer and didn't have a white dress. No one could believe it, but I still showed up. Then I ran off for reasons I forget. The wedding happened without me. The second breaking point was, after coming back to my office after enjoying a fresh fish taco lunch, I couldn't look my new pet fish in its eyes. I felt so bad. I felt so bad that I couldn't feel anymore.

On this day 4 years ago, right about this time, I was dropping Brad off at the Nashville airport. We'd just had a long discussion on my couch about the state of our union. I invited him out to Nashville on a whim and he agreed on a whim, and within two days he was there, and in a flash he was back on a plane again. That was a terrifying time in my life and I'm glad we've been through what we went through. He still is the hottest person I've ever seen in my life. He's also funnier than I am, by a lot.

This is the honorable Ruth Betta Finsburg. She's the fish I can't make eye contact with anymore.



Now that I’ve thought about it, I realized that my life goal is to someday hold eye contact with a fish and not constantly divert my gaze down and away from theirs because that’s what abused pit bull puppies do, not female human beings.

I will not sell you weight loss tea

Monday, February 13, 2017

It's been a while. A lot has happened... and a lot hasn't.

At some point last year (and I truly cannot bore myself with trying to remember when specifically) I was approached by one of those online weight loss tea companies, asking me to shill their product to my Instagram followers. This wasn't a new concept to me, as I've partnered with brands in the past that I genuinely liked, but only when they'd approach me first. I'm proud that even in selling out I stayed true to myself.

Something about the fact that it was weight loss tea and the fine print of the agreement stating I had to take a selfie with the product (something I seriously never do, and a product I'd never use) and the whole thing forced me to take a big step back out of this Internet spotlight and reassess what the hell kind of situation I'd gotten into.

I've promoted 3 or 4 brands that I either already liked, or was willing to try based on the price (for me, that means free). I've turned down companies -- even when they sold something I could feasibly get into -- simply based on the fact that I don't need more shit piling up in my 1,000 square foot apartment.

The magnitude that social media has grown is impressive and exciting and disappointing. But that's life. Whether we like it or not, things change.

Last night I was thinking about blogging, because of course I was. For years, I wouldn't leave home without my laptop so that I could stay connected to the people who made me feel sane when I was actually going crazy. In hindsight, I'm not sure I had that many real friends and that's kind of scary.

I wonder if blogging is so popular now because it’s where we can dump our thoughts we don’t think our real friends would care about, but mostly I guess it’s a circle jerk for our words and art. Which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, I guess.

Sometimes it feels fun and sometimes it feels really gross and self-serving, so it’s also like a circle jerk in that way as well, I’d imagine.

This started out as a lighthearted piece about what it means when you sell out just to continue to allow people to read your inner dialogue, even if that inner dialogue is 35% thoughts about dogs, but I just feel so gross about blogging about blogging.

I'd planned a relaunch of Deer Diary. Life got in the way. Today was supposed to be the day. I was going to have a new layout and new features and updated content. I was excited to use my new DSLR camera to show you an easier way to make crab ravioli and show you around my beige apartment. I got sick. I mean like, a head cold, but I also went off mood-stabilizing birth control for six months and got really sick. That's the best way I can describe it. At one point, I researched rehabilitation facilities because I found myself hoping to get hit by speeding cars on the freeway. I felt like if I could just find a way to get myself killed, I'd be relieving so many people of all the anguish I cause them. That sounds dark because it is. I was in a dark place and I'm back on my birth control and am able to see some light. I don't say this for sympathy or head pats. I guess I feel like, in some way, I owe it to those of you who still check in on me.

I'm prepping two other major projects for this year that are coming together one way or another, but I'd really wanted to check back in with blogging. I miss it, and I also don't. Something has to change.

Anyway, I know y'all aren't here for the weight loss tea and neither am I.

Izzy Turner is feeling herself in this low key Kardashian reference. Proud!

garbage orchids.

I was given an orchid plant on my first day of work back in 2014. It was one of those grocery store orchids -- already in bloom, full bodied and bright fuchsia. The thought behind it was rooted in business etiquette; I was starting a new career after abandoning the listless brand of being a 20-something boomerang child.

Knowing nothing about orchids, I perched its beauty on my windowsill and forgot about it. It was always there, every morning. I'd glance up after lunch, I'd watch its petals glow from the sun shining behind it in the evening. Until it died. Or, I thought it died.

Devastated at the petals scattered around my new office, and with no time to care for it, I clipped the flower buds off but retained its original stem, hoping that with regular (yet scarce) watering, it would bloom again.

I waited 18 months, and found no signs of those blooms coming back. It kept turning out new leaves, new roots, and appeared to otherwise be alive. So I clipped its stem right off. One swift action with my office scissors, and it was gone.

A few months later, a new spike emerged. It grew quickly and I was hopeful for the blooms. I'd forgotten what the fuchsia looked like. For 18 months, I had nurtured a few leaves with a dead spike for the sake of it coming back one day, and it was starting to pay off. The new spike, the promise of new blooms.

One day in August, I came into my office to see three flower buds. Cognizant to its needs, I watered weekly and protected it from any triggering sensitivities. Indirect light, temperature control, even a little fertilizer marketed to helpless plant idiots like myself.

It bloomed while I was at a meeting. Two more blooms followed that week. It took a year and a half, but I no longer was holding onto a stick with leaves.

I came back from Las Vegas this weekend to an unbearable coastal heat wave. My apartment, situated less than a mile from the shore, was experiencing temperatures near 93 degrees. The heat will subside in the next day or two, but the misery is palpable and seems neverending.

My orchid wilted over the weekend. Two of the three flowers are drooping, browning, being the most dramatic motherfuckers. Unaware of the effort I'd previously put in to saving them from the bowels of my office trash can. The promise of another bloom, the desire to not fail at one measly task that comes so easily to others. This fucking orchid.

I quickly put several ice cubes on its soil and moved it away from where the temperatures must have scalded it over the weekend. It's situated in a cooler, shadier corner, away from the abuse to which I'd unknowingly exposed it. It was happy and I thought things were fine.

I keep glancing back at it. Looking over my shoulder, hoping that its new environment is doing it some good. Hoping the damage isn't permanent. Hoping that I won't have to wait another 18 months of excessive effort and care for this damn orchid to come back to life. I am slowly realizing that the work required to maintain something that only blooms for a few weeks every couple of years might not be a priority I am willing to take on anymore. I'm sad and embarrassed and defeated. It's just a plant. There are dozens more at the grocery store, with better leaves and more blooms and less hang ups. Why does my orchid have to be so temperamental? Why am I feeling sentimental about something that takes and takes and takes, and offers me absolutely nothing in return?

Who Asked

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

On today's episode of Who Asked, one of my bosses tells me I "look like Halloween."

"Oh..." she starts. "It's a panda on your sweater. I thought it was that gross thing from Nightmare Before Christmas."



That gross thing. From Nightmare Before Christmas. That GROSS thing.

This will be a new segment that I document online. All of the unnecessary and rude things my superiors vocalize regarding the way I look.

Someone needs to enjoy this, since I clearly don't.
“Love is a temporary madness. It erupts like an earthquake and then subsides. And when it subsides you have to make a decision. You have to work out whether your roots have become so entwined together that it is inconceivable that you should ever part. Because this is what love is. Love is not breathlessness, it is not excitement, it is not the promulgation of promises of eternal passion. That is just being in love which any of us can convince ourselves we are. Love itself is what is left over when being in love has burned away, and this is both an art and a fortunate accident. Your mother and I had it, we had roots that grew towards each other underground, and when all the pretty blossoms had fallen from our branches we found that we were one tree and not two.”

Louis De Bernieres

the crier

Friday, August 5, 2016

Coming off hormonal birth control, month 2. I am noticing a mood pattern, although I'm told to expect the unexpected for at least 6 months to a year. I have just entered the week wherein everything is sad, meaningless, pointless, and reminds me that we will all be dead one day, rendering every daily task, idea, dream, achievement completely useless. Work is becoming overwhelming and I want to walk out of here and leave forever. The only thing keeping me here, currently, is knowing that my salary is what pays for my apartment, and therefore my bedroom, and therefore my bed. I can't be homeless with a memory foam mattress. It will get stolen and full of dirt.

It points out things I already knew about myself too, like the fact that I don’t think I could be with anyone who is more structured (neurotic) that I am. I feel that I would not be able to tolerate that sort of person. At the same time, it would be sooooo relieving to not be the Planner for, like, one occasion. I shouldn’t complain though, because he is the Snack Sharer, the Ride Giver, the Couch Warmer, the Heavy Stuff Lifter, the Keeper of Hulu Passwords, the Chill Maintainer, the Possibilities Explorer, the Errand Runner. Then there's me. The Crier.

Queen of Now, Queen of Always.

SO LONG, OLD FRIEND...

Sunday, July 10, 2016


This will be my last blog post from my old hometown bedroom.

I wasn't going to post about it because I didn't think it mattered. I'm not much into blogging anymore and while my archives are full of belly laughs and horrible embarrassment, I have been preoccupied with real life and just... I don't do it anymore, the way I used to.

Until I remembered that this room, this 12x12 foot box, this westward-facing room that roasts from 3 PM until 8 PM from the sun beating down on it, this sanctuary I built myself the summer before my 13th birthday... this is where it all began.

I wrote my very first blog entry ever 17 years ago on LiveJournal in this room.

That white desk. That hand-me-down from my sister, who was upgraded to a bigger wooden desk with storage. That old creeky white desk with shelves on the side that would fall apart if more than 6 CDs sat on it. That old computer monitor with the rounded screen and the loud tower whose fans would whirr and buzzzzzzz while I typed away to strangers on the Internet as a 13 year old. The duct tape I put over the computer light because I couldn't sleep unless it was pitch black in here. The one glow in the dark star that has been on my ceiling fan blade since before my family moved in. The last piece of the family before us. It's lasted all these years. When I turn the light off at night, a glowing circle above my head, until it fades, until I fall asleep and wake up to the sound of the pool pump starting, the fountains splashing into the water and the heater kicking in. The water flowing right by my head and the birds in the palm trees outside screeching, screeching, screeching as early as 5 in the morning sometimes. The way the sun rises at 5:30 in the summer; not until nearly 8:00 in the winter. Those horribly dark days of junior high, of high school, and some of college. That biology project... the one with the grid. Something to do with DNA and dominant genes and probability of having a child with brown hair and blue eyes. My blue transparent cordless phone. The one Corrie would call me on everyday after I'd eat dinner, when we'd make plans to see bands and obsess after we came home from shows. The white wallpaper with light pink flowers from the previous owners that I kept on my walls until sophomore year (that initially were covered with Hanson posters). The hot pink walls when I went through a hot pink phase in high school. The now sky blue walls from college when I couldn't bear the memories of high school. My first kiss. My first kiss ever! Almost exactly where I am sitting right now! What was his name? Ian? He played drums for us briefly and looked like a Moffatt. 9/11, coming home from school early and not understanding what was going on. Trying to call my dad at the radio station and not getting through. Learning to drive. That first breakup. The real gut puncher. I didn't eat for a week. Annie came over and laid next to me while I cried over that boy. My first round of antidepressants, when I came home from college for Christmas. Christmas mornings. Sixteen holiday seasons, Halloweens, Thanksgivings, Christmas mornings. The way the Santa Ana winds feel on my skin every October. Driving up to Lombardi's for bake sales and performances and pumpkins. The view of the hill outside my window and how every time it would rain, there would be one crow in the tree. The weeds would shoot up a day later and the city would mow it all down by the following week. The brush fires. The evacuations. The smoke inhalation. The asthma attacks and acne and first dances and proms and school plays and choir performances. My first guitar. All those times I got grounded for things that still make no sense to me. When my first cell phone ran out of battery power while I was in Calabasas holding hands with a boy on the roof of Sharky's off Las Virgenes. I came home late and had everything taken out of my room. The car accident. The car accident that changed everything for me. The car accident that I am still dealing with emotionally. Being woken up every 20 minutes all night long because of my concussion. My mom sleeping on the floor with me while I cried. Doing my make up in the mirrored closets. Sitting on the floor, staring at my imperfections for hours on end. Cutting my own bangs, dyeing my ends blue. Walking to the next street up to see friends whose parents had the same house layout as ours. The pool parties, oh my god I'll miss the pool parties. Going in the spa until midnight and dreaming about who we'd be when we'd turn 30. The various layouts of furniture over the years, the twin bed, the TWO twin beds, the queen bed. Moving away to college. Crying over lost loves, lost pets, dogs whose deaths still make me cry, dogs who would lie in bed with me and lick my feet while I'd cry and cry and cry about how hard it was to grow up. Making a split-second decision to move to Chicago a day after I graduated college. Moving home when the snow started to fall. The recession. That fucking recession. The call at 9:30 PM from my aunt letting us know my grandma had passed. I sat and stared at the dresser to my right. How could this be. She was fine. Moving to Nashville when my world really began to fall apart. Moving back here and losing all sense of independence for a year while I nannied for an actress. Hating every minute of being forced to live here, making no money, saving even less. Wanting desperately to be able to just go home one more time. It's all done now. It's over.

This room has seen all of me. It heard every song I wrote as a teenager. It saw every weird outfit I put together. It saw every boy I obsessed over, every dream I tried to accomplish, every friend and acquaintance and schoolmate and project. Every single memorable moment of growing up took place right here, where I'll sleep for the last time tonight.

I'll drive away from this house and this city next month to send off my parents into retirement in another state. I'll never swim in this pool again. I'll never turn onto this block. I might never stop within the city limits again, save for the occasional tank of gas and pit stop at Telly's for a burger.

It's been a wild ride. In the immortal words of Blink 182, whose record I listened to for the first time in this room, "I guess this is growing up."

maybe

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

I'm sorry for even writing a dream blog entry because WHO CARES ABOUT YOUR DREAMS, but I had two terrible dreams in a row that I can't shake. In the first one, we were all trapped in a Donald Trump mass shooting hybrid (basically Donald Trump was rounding us all up, or finding us at work, and shooting our brains out. I was smart enough to crawl underneath a bed and escape when he wasn't looking, but I couldn't find Brad. So I ran to Disneyland in the dark and had to hide in bushes along the way so that nobody would see me.) In the second dream, my godson died of SIDS. It was a pretty horrible dream full of me screaming and screaming and screaming and sobbing, sobbing, sobbing and some other things that are more disturbing but I’d rather not write down.

I woke up it was so awful and was glad to realize it wasn't true.

Anyway, I’m only writing about it because the moment after I woke up I pretty much realized what causes Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. It’s comfort! Think about it! You’re not suppose to put babies on comfy mattresses or surround them with awesome pillows and blankets because it can cause SIDS!

Comfort causes SIDS! Babies just get so fucking comfortable they’re like “I’m just gonna stop breathing. That’s what I’m going to do. Fuck breathing. I just want to be like this forever.”

OR MAYBE THAT’S SOMETIMES WHAT I THINK WHEN I’M REALLY DEPRESSED AND LYING IN MY BED. MAYBE. POSSIBLY. MAYBE I’M POSSIBLY PROJECTING MY DEPRESSION ONTO BABIES DYING OF SIDS. THAT MIGHT BE A THING THAT IS HAPPENING.