Category Archives: writing

To Stress or Not to Stress?

Life really does get in the way of blogging, at least when you are as deliciously lazy as I am. When blogworthy things are happening, I am far too busy to actually blog them. That would make entirely too much sense. 

I find myself currently in the midst of an existential crisis, most notably existential because I am not sure if it is even occurring, or if I am just being an insufferable ninny. Probably the latter. 

Everything is going swimmingly. I’m beyond happy at work, succeeding for the first time in a little while. My confidence is definitely back. I’m reminded that doing well in (reasonably) less than favorable circumstances is my specialty and that I can have full control of a kitchen without being unpleasant about it. 

It is an amazing confidence boost to find that people actually like working with me. Not all of them, mind you. I’m not that nice. 

I couldn’t be happier relationship wise. Current connections are strengthening and new ones are being built, and I continued to be surprised at almost every turn. I might turn out to be a fully formed person someday!

Maybe this existential crisis just needed to be written out of my system. I miss the rhythmic pounding of keys and of iambic meter, carefully measured and artfully disrupted. The sentences that aren’t really. The turns of phrase that are trite, but still leave a warm feeling in that center of my brain that is all too pleased with itself. 

Maybe it’s time to pause from the reading, put down the books, and start working on my own.


Too lazy.


Sick and Spoiled

So, for the second time in three weeks, I have been felled by bronchitis. Enough really is enough. I’ve used all my sick days this year, and I am completely miserable. 

I thought I had handily dispensed of the sickness the first time, with the might of a fully finished round of anti-biotics–which is quite the feat for me, but it is back with a vengence. For the first time ever, I have to use an inhaler to breathe. 

So, this is why the writing has been sparse. I just have noooooo energy. 

I’m glad Gramma is here to spoil me with dinner and sandwiches and nagging reminders to take my medication.

The love is felt.

A Little Help

Now that I have stepped out of the fog that I sometimes find myself in when I fail to take care of myself, I’m trying to actually work on my writing. 

And I’m not talking about the jibberish I post here, that barely passes for writing. I’m talking carefully constructed pieces that go through drafts and edits and re-writes. 

Ya know… writing

Some of you have already read my first foray into peer reviewed writing. Popcorn Popping has sadly become an archive of things past, but Dybbuk and everything else, is still there for the reading. If you’ve already read it, great. If not, go over, take ten minutes out of your day to read it and then come back here and give me some advice. 

Is it worth continuing the story? Should I focus on re-writing it, or should I move on to the next part of the story? Or should I scrap the storyline and start something completely different?

I really want your opinion, so please leave your thoughts in the comments.


I can’t count the number of times I’ve heard, “Crystal, you’re just a mess.” And I’ve thought it more than I’ve heard it. It’s one of those poisonous tapes that plays in my head, of the same genre as the tapes that say I’m fat and ugly, that I am nothing but wasted potential, the tapes that destroy an otherwise peaceful existance.

While I may have mess-like tendencies, in fairness, my adult life is the aftermath of a hurricane of a childhood. I am not one to blame my problems on my childhood; that is not the purpose of pointing it out. But in light of the storm that is my internal identity, the outside appearances are a light gust of wind.

I learned at a very early age that I was expendable and unwanted. I did, and do have, stablizing influences, but the main message was that I was just a little, inconvenient person to be shuffled to and fro, to be passed back and forth between hands that claimed to want me one moment, and gladly gave me back the next.

I am a fully formed adult now, with an almost fully formed emotional inteligence, so I understand that my mother was sick and under the influence of all manner of drugs, and was recovering from a disaster of a childhood herself. And that my father made choices he wish he could take back, but choices are non-refundable. I am even aware that both would love to have now the parent-child relationship that we all missed out on when I was an actual child.

But I am no longer a child, and as much as intelectually I would love to give in and just play that daughter role, it is just far too late. I have never felt like anyone’s daughter, and I probably never will.

If they happened to read this, which they won’t, the above would probably hurt the feelings of my adoptive parents. God knows they tried, in their imperfect way. But by the time I officially became their daughter, and as much as I truly love them, it was too late for me. There was no storybook moment, made for tv movie epiphany, in which I felt like I was finally part of a family.

I have often pondered how my brother and I became so very different, living under the same roof, in the same environment. And I don’t mean in the normal way that siblings are different. My brother and I are strangers with same last name. His frame of reference for being is so diametrically opposed, that I don’t understand how he arrives at decisions. He is very much THEM and I am very much OTHER. The difference is that he gave in. He was somebody’s son. He is their son.

So, in the moments that I shut off the poisonous tapes, I come to myself in a dark wood, for I know the true way is lost, and has always been lost. I look for my guide through Hell, and no one comes. I face the shewolf alone.

It’s a wonder sometimes that I can face the storm at all. The sense of childhood abandonment has ultimately lead to a sense of divine abandonment. God doesn’t send me a guide through Hell, because he doesn’t love me anymore than my parents did. And because I never learned to be a daughter to my parents, I will never know how to be his daughter.

There will be no sleeping savior for me to awaken in the midst of the storm. He has always been quite busy calming other storms to have time for mine.


I used to be a writer; these days I’m just a thinker.

I say this not to complain, but by way of explaination.

I no longer felt driven to a keyboard when moodiness or happiness strikes. Instead, I open a magazine or a book, pick up the phone or open a door, watch tv or go for a walk.

 I do things.


I’m looking forward to a boring semester. My classes are Personal Health, Physical Geography, College Algebra, Psychology, and Physics.

Lots of P’s, no E’s. I’m going to miss my skate-by Economics courses. With Economics, once you have a very solid foundation in the basics, you just can’t fail. Everything you need to know, you learn in Intro to Macro and Intro to Micro.

The rest of the stuff, with higher class numbers, is simply more interesting, not more difficult.

Ah, I am quite the snob, aren’t I?


Perhaps boring was not the correct word. I’m going to be very tired. Twice a week, I will work a closing shift and then have 8 am classes. Luckily for me, because I have Physics on Monday and Wednesday nights, this will not happen twice in a row. My rough patch will be Thursday/Friday, but I will get to sleep in Saturday.

Somehow, these things always work out for me. I really will pull off 40 hours of work and 5 classes, with relative ease and a little discipline. I don’t know about keeping my 3.9, but I will try like hell.


Talked to Eric tonight. Sadly, he and Krystal will not be making it to the Glenn Beck Convention this weekend.

But I will be!

I know it will be fun. Last time I saw Glenn live, it was a smashing good time.

I am ambivalent about meeting him, though. I have this thing about celebrities. To me, they are just people. And if I don’t have anything in common with them, what do I say? I hate the notion of being all gaga, and “OMG!!!111!!!! UR so KeWl!!!!”

 But NYC for a day?

 OMG!!!111!!!! so KeWl!!!11!!!one!1!!!!

On Writing

There are times I just can’t shut my mind off; when I sit down with a good book, but the evil muse bids me write.

And if I knew what he wanted me to write—my muse is surely male—it’d all be so easy. Just get a few words onto the page and I could go back to enjoying my reading.

 But it never is quite that easy. He interrupts a perfectly good read and then leaves me sitting empty-headed at the laptop. Hardly seems fair, but certainly seems male.

 John and I, while on our two-hour one hour car ride, in which Crystal drives in a big ol’ loop instead of a straight line, discussed the idea of professional writing, the skill level needed and the fear that comes with never feeling quite good enough.

 And that is the demon that casts a shadow over my writing—inadequacy. And it all seems quite silly, to be perfectly honest.

 I like the way I write, though I can see the flaws so apparently. I know that I am lazy and could be much better if I spent more time reading and more time writing. One does not become better by sitting on her ass watching Dexter and Grey’s Anatomy and Studio Sixty and Numb3rs, but she does become happier, and that is a trade off she is often willing to make.

 Other people like my writing. They tell me so all the time, and while I take the praise of close friends with the requisite grain of sodium chloride, the praise of relative strangers always catches me a little off guard and causes no small amount of vainglory.

 It is said vainglory that causes me to use words like vainglory and use silly rhetorical devices, like substituting sodium chloride when simple table salt would do. If you couldn’t tell, my writing is terribly self-aware. Sort of like I am, which is why you’ll never catch me in a sleeveless shirt or a bikini, at least not until I get rid of those pesky fifty pounds that just won’t go away.

Oh, now I am so depressed about my heft, I think I’ll go eat a half gallon of Bryers. That should help.

 And were I just going for the cheap, end it with a one-liner trick, that would be the end of my entry, but this damned muse still won’t let me read. Maybe he is the anti-Christ and doesn’t want me to read another glib Jesus book. Or maybe he is Jesus and doesn’t want me to read another glib Jesus book.

 Maybe I should write another glib Jesus book instead.

 (Sorry about the cheap, end it with a one-liner trick. Really, I am.)

A Cup For Joe

I watched him every day, buying cigarettes and coffee for himself and lottery tickets for his girlfriend. He looked seventy, but he was closer to fifty.

 He didn’t seem to like anyone much, but he always said my coffee was good. A small iced and a glass of water. Maybe to make the coffee last longer, I thought as he counted out the dimes and the nickels and the line grew impatient behind him. I wish I could say I was more patient than they were.

 He was gruff and didn’t seem to notice when he pushed others out of the way. Maybe if I were in as much pain, I wouldn’t notice either.

 One day, he pushed up to the counter and someone called him an asshole. It hurt my heart. Do they not understand that he has enough going against him already? That he doesn’t need them to add another injury to his unhappiness? But I said nothing.

 When I heard he’d died, I wanted to cry. I hadn’t even liked him all that much for most of the time I had known him, but the more of his pain I came to see, the more I understood.

 Later that night, I was thankful that the last coffee I sold him hadn’t been paid for in nickels and dimes—at least not his own. He’d been short that day and I knew he really wanted that small iced with a glass of water.

 “You’re all set, Joe. Enjoy your coffee,” as I took the change from the tip cup on the counter.

 “Thank you, Honey.”

 “You’re welcome.”

 He called me honey. I told you he liked my coffee, even if he didn’t particularly like me.