Category Everything is Terrible

2023 in snippets

Here it is, another last-minute roundup of things that I was doing this year or that were happening when I wasn’t publishing here, which was essentially the entire year minus two days, including this one. 

Teddy Bear

Teddy Bear passed away at the end of June.

In April, he began seizing on our walks in front of a neighbor’s house, always in front of that specific house. I leapt to the frighteningly dysregulated conclusion that these neighbors were doing something to trigger his seizures (which were otherwise well-managed with medication)–that they had some kind of anti-dog sonic device or were spraying a chemical on or near the sidewalk or something that was hurting my boy, and I was ready to fight them immediately. It was significantly easier to get angry and feel like it was a situation I could control than acknowledge that his time with us was coming to an end. Yes, our walks were more often ending with us needing to carry him the rest of the way home because he was tuckered out, but I reasoned it was a matter of overexertion, what with all the joyful barking at the world for the first couple blocks and the frenzied challenging of any dog he saw or heard on the way. He simply didn’t save enough energy for walking! We’re just getting closer to the day where we might need to take him out in a stroller, is all. IS ALL, because we definitely aren’t going to lose him any time soon! Sure, he was losing his vision and his hearing and had already lost most of his teeth and his internal clock was getting wonky, but he was still well-muscled and brimming with enthusiasm for life. 

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Season’s Greetings: Squeaking in under the wire

Merry Yulesolsticeweenmas!

A lot has happened these past two years while also not much has happened these past two years. I keep drafting and nothing feels right or complete, even as it expands far beyond its scope and the attention span of any reasonable human being, boiling ever outward but largely full of nothing, like a universe but comprised of navel-gazy pessimistic ill-informed bullshit. Or as Yoast SEO calls it, “unreadable.” Like this one is, two paragraphs from now!

What has there been to write about, when I’m largely either at home or a barn? The pandemic? Travel? The business I started? More horse stuff? Regular life stuff?

The Pandemic?

No one in my household has caught it, which is no small feat given that some half of Americans have had it at least once. We’ve had both the privilege which allows caution and the human hardship of living in isolation in a world that is determined to move on despite experts warning that we are not yet in the endemic stage. Particularly now, given the “tripledemic” going on this winter and what appears to be humanity’s total exhaustion with safety precautions. At Fred Meyer yesterday, nearly every elderly person I saw had their fingers in their nose, on their mouths, or were just open mouth coughing into the air because??

I’d experienced a brush with covid very shortly after it first emerged in the US: at first, it felt like a timely subject about which to write, but as “fifteen days to stop the spread” expanded into months and then years of fighting over masks and vaccines, with communities of color suffering and healthcare workers pushed to their limits, who cares about the two weeks I spent in my house, running on my mini elliptical and focusing on the day I could again go outside? I didn’t even get sick! The biggest hardship was underdeveloped grocery delivery infrastructure–the horrors of eating expired food from the pantry!! Riveting.

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The Deepest Horror

Just about everyone has something they’re squeamish about, that thing so dreadful that merely uttering its name can take them from zero to full body horror instantly. Mine is eye trauma.


It started at a young age; my parents were very strict about just about everything except what I read, and I read a lot of books that were, in retrospect, possibly definitely a bit too mature for me at the grand old age of ten. Lots of Stephen King, which meant not just the tearing and rending of Cujo the rabid dog but also Steve Kemp and the adventures of his wandering dong. Not just a murderous clown-thing-It but also the supremely awful sewer doesn’t-seem-consensual-but-even-if-it-was-it-was-gross-as-hell group sex with eleven year olds. I dunno how a person can be simultaneously sensitized to something as well as desensitized to it; somehow I managed. 

The scene that got me was short, a snippet of a book within a book, The Dark Half. Flavor text. People I’ve queried about the book who’ve read it don’t even remember the scene. I will never, ever forget it.

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