Tuesday, April 2, 2013

The Anti-Agoraphobia Adventure Continues

Today is day 5 of my new bulldozer approach at tackling my agoraphobia, and here's what I've learned so far.

1. While the outings are getting easier, the anticipatory anxiety isn't. In fact, it might be getting worse. Every day I find myself thinking, "I don't have to do an outing today. I'm probably all better now, right?" And I have to remind myself that no, in fact 3, 4, or 5 good days does not indicate that I've conquered this deep-seated issue I've been battling for months. This is my fear of success coming into play. I am hard-wired to sabotage myself, which something I have to tackle in every aspect of my life, every day.

2. In addition to the anticipatory anxiety, my overall anxiety level is getting higher. Mornings and evenings are really difficult, and I don't feel like I've completely relaxed for a second in days. This was to be expected. Of course I'm going to feel an overall level of stress when I'm making a daily effort to do the thing that I find hardest in the world. The trick will be to not let my desire to take a break derail my progress. I just have to remember that I'm going through all this now to improve the bigger picture. One day off today could equal additional weeks or months of being victim of my fears. It's not worth it. (It does occur to me that one of these days I'm going to be sick or something and I'll have a legitimate reason for letting a day pass without an outing. That terrifies me, but I guess I'll cross that bridge when I get there.)

3. I've found that nearly every time I have a panic attack while I'm out, it's initiated by a thought about what might happen later. "What if I'm too anxious to operate my car to get back home? What if I get home and the anxiety doesn't go away?" In these instances I try to just remind myself that all panic attacks pass, and pull myself back into the moment with an immediate task, like, "Just get to that next turn" or, "Just find the next thing on the grocery list". It seems to help. I have a friend who swears by Eckhart Tolle's book "The Power of Now", which seems like it might provide some insight into this issue, but I take issue with the "spiritual" aspect of the text and I have a hard time taking those guru-type authors seriously. I'd like to find something similar to read with a more practical approach, though.

Today's plan is to get gas in my car for the first time in 7 months. Wow. And, then I might go on to run some other errands. I'm not sure. So far I've only really tackled one errand at a time, and that seems like a good approach since I need to sort of "save up" tasks so I'll have somewhere to go every day. But, on the other hand, it might be good to push myself to do a bit more while I'm out. We'll see. 

Sunday, March 31, 2013

I'm a bulldozer.

Oh hello internet. It's been a while.

My last post here was literally the day before my life crumbled to bits. In one day, something broke in my brain and my tendency toward agoraphobic behavior turned into full-on, overwhelming agoraphobia.

What is agoraphobia? Basically, it's a fear of  leaving the house. A fear becomes a phobia when one's behavior changes to avoid the fear. I tried not to give into the sudden onset of fear, but it was so unexpectedly potent that I felt powerless.  I still don't know precisely why it struck so suddenly, but I assume it was intersecting stresses in my life (new problems with migraines, successes in my business life [success scares the heck out of me], and a battery of problems with my drug-addict mother) , combined with the issues I'm always dealing with (a long time battle with Generalized Anxiety Disorder and lots of physical health complications caused by Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome).

Physical symptoms of agoraphobia can vary from sweaty palms to pooping your pants. Thankfully I've never had the latter, but attempting to leave, even just to walk Amelia, suddenly caused me to get completely confused and disoriented, spontaneously cry and/or vomit, sweat profusely, go numb in my limbs, and get blurry vision. It wasn't pretty. I completely quit driving and started leaning on my dad and my sister for rides and company everywhere I needed to go. Running out of something, like food, was suddenly a big problem. I had to wrangle ways to get places, never be alone, and be able to escape at any given moment if my instinct was to do so. I was the least enthusiastic guest at my own 30th birthday party. I made it through Christmas on pure adrenaline.  I've  had to lie to friends and family and clients for the last 6 months as to why I couldn't meet them places, because, how do you explain that you're just suddenly terrified of everything?

I'm saying all this in past tense, but the battle isn't over yet. I've just finally gotten to the point where I'm entirely convinced that I will get better. The only way to get past fear is to face it. Head on. There's no way to buffer it or shield yourself or make it pleasant in any way, shape or form. I spent 6 months trying to find a way to ease myself back out into the world, but any time I tiptoed forward, the anxiety would  shove me half a mile backward. I kept reaching and grasping for someone or something that could help, knowing full well that I was the only person that could get me out of this. (Not that I don't appreciate the massive amounts of support from Dad and Sis. It's just that I'm the one that had to put in the hard work.)

Finally, very recently, I got fed up enough to just bulldoze through it. In the last 3 days I've gotten in my car and driven myself places and run errands even though every fiber of my being says it's actually impossible to do that. When I'm on the road I am sure that I will die if I continue in the direction away from home.  I keep going anyway. I navigate through my errands on numb stump legs.I completely ignore people when they talk to me because I cant think clearly enough to formulate a response. It's only been a few days, but I know it's a big leap in the right direction.  I'm going to keep doing it, because it gets a little less miserable every time. It's my only choice if I want my life and my independence back. It feels like defying gravity every time I grab my keys, and once I get back home, I want nothing more than to stay there forever, but I don't and I won't. I've got a running start and I wont stop until I can comfortably hop in the car and drive to anywhere and enjoy my time out whether I'm alone or with friends or with strangers.

And another big indicator that things are looking up is this: I'm writing about it. I'm not ashamed. I didn't ask for this, and it doesn't make me crazy or weak. It's my particular struggle, and I'm fighting it with everything I have. Even though it feels silly to celebrate the fact that I drove around the corner to 7-11 without crying, I'm going to  indulge in my pride. It's an opportunity to appreciate things that nearly everyone takes for granted. 

This blog is titled "Life Begins Now Damnit" for a reason. Because I've wasted way too much of my life waiting for something to happen. No more.  Stay tuned as this adventure unfolds.

Thursday, September 20, 2012


It's 3AM and I give up on trying to sleep tonight.

I haven't been feeling well for a few days. I had another migraine and it knocked my life off kilter again. I know other people just have them and then go back to life as usual, but a migraine strips me of all confidence in my ability to do anything. I get afraid that I'm going to be in the middle of something important and get one, and be helpless to it. Nearly blind and in extreme pain. It's no fun.

I have a ton of art to put up in my art blog, but I just don't feel like it. I just want to make the art and then say, "Ok little drawing-child, go off into the world and show yourself off!"

I've gotten CRAZY OBSESSED with this cartoon called Gravity Falls. There are only 9 episodes out so far, so I just keep watching them over and over. It's so stinkin' good. It's a Disney series, and while I love Disney, their toon series have always been rather formulaic....until this one. It's clever, unique, and every detail is well thought out. I have chosen re-watching it over watching new episodes of my regular shows. I'm 2 episodes behind on Doctor Who, which is just a huge testament to how much I love this cartoon. I don't miss the Doctor for nuttin'.

Anyway, the last hour I've been laying in bed looking at people's fan art drawings of Gravity Falls. I have to share some of my favorites. There are TONS, so I'll keep it down the bestest...

Wait, first, here's mine. I haven't gotten around to the main characters yet. I just drew the demented gnome named Shmebulock. I spent 11 minutes on it. It sucks...

And now for the non-suckish ones by people who aren't afraid of art that has lines in it.

By Sharpie91
By ilovesapples
By Alyssizzle-Smithness
By Socks-and-Notebooks
By Zakeno
By Cosmicnivy
By Squidsouffle
 OK, I'm tired of doing the linking thing, although there are several more that I really like. And there were also a lot of poorly anime-ized versions, ones with the twins being all lovey in a non-sibling way, and sexualized versions of both Mabel and Wendy. People gross me out.

On a totally unrelated note, I guess I'm skipping this week for my BYOT project. I made my chart and stuff, but then I got sick before I could even use it, and it doesn't really matter because I've lost all will to feed myself, so I'm probably not derailing any progress.

OK, time to look at more art and feel inadequate.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Productivity, FTW!

Before I begin recounting my day, I'd just like to formally apologize for last night's nonsensical entry. Some of it was just me being silly, but a lot of it was genuine difficulty formulating sentences. I would write something, see that I left out words, and then add on extra words out of sequence as a solution. It only made sense in my extremely sleep deprived head. If you read it and managed to make sense of it, thank you, and I'm sorry.

Today was much better. Amelia (my dog) finally let me sleep last night. She's been going through her heat cycle and it's like living with a small furry psychopath. She tries to dig holes in the floor, cries nonstop, has extremely obsessive rituals regarding the placement of her toys, and new strange symptoms pop up every day.

Amelia and her really scuzzy "baby".
If you feel compelled to tell me to spay my dog right now, let me assure you that I'm an advocate of spaying and neutering pets, but I have reasons for not having it done for Amelia. That's all you need to know.

Anyway, the night before last, she decided she needed to lick me for 6 hours straight. I would pull the covers all the way up, but she'd burrow under and get me on the back of the neck. I tried wrapping myself up like a burrito, but she'd dig at it trying to get to me, and being dug at is just as obnoxious as being licked. Plus, she seemed to be okay with the idea of licking me through the covers, which I thought she'd tire of, but she licked until there was a huge wet spot in my comforter. I got so fed up around 4AM that I broke into tears. Amelia attempted to comfort me...by licking me.

She's the sweetest dog ever, but hormones transform her into something...weird. I may have considered fashioning a tiny straightjacket if things didn't get better quickly.

I can't believe I actually found clip art of a dog in a straightjacket.

Finally, last night, after 30-something hours without sleep and a long power walk, both Amelia and I slept well. And today I've been super productive.

This morning I designed 6 iPhone 5 cases and some new Halloween invitations for my Zazzle shop. Then I got cooking and made another batch of zucchini lasagne and some chicken cordon bleu. In the afternoon my niece was here for a bit, and then my dad visited, too. I also managed to finally register a domain and launch my website. It's jenhoney.com! Check it out. There's still a lot of work to do, but it's up and functioning for the most part.

Lastly, I updated my art blog with some more drawings of 80's cartoon characters.

Oh, P.S. The boob experiment has flopped (eww, no pun intended!). It's only had 5 views. *Shrug*.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Write this post, Yoda did.

I've been getting poor sleep lately, and my brain is fried. Instead of trying to make sense today, I think we should just look at art, k? (Note: my original spelling of "think" was "thibnik". Point proven.)

First, I have some new art on my art blog. You can go to there and look at it with the eyeballs you has.

But, I wanna look at other people's art. I've been on a cartoon binge and I wanna pick out some cartoons that I like especially for the art and look into their artists who mades the stuffs that be on the show. Writing is so hard right now. Forgive me yoda caveman lolcats language blah.

My Life As A Teenage Robot. Show From the early/mid 00's, I think. Very stylish & Art Deco-esque. Love the fonts used on title cards. Do they still call them "cards"? Title art. Whatever.

See what I mean? So good.

So, artists involved with the show were: Joseph Holt, Alex Kirwan, Rob Renzetti. Let's look at their stuff.


 Good textureyness.

I like his signature. Lots.
And....that's all I've got because he's not very good about updating his blog/portfolio/online shiz.


Character design for a currently running show, Kick Buttowski. I've only seen one episode.

Um, doodles of awesomeness?

More doodles of awesomeness. I love doodles. Usually more than finished works.

This is for Fanboy and Chum Chum. I like that show despite it's 3D shiny-ness. Damn, this dude is busy.
He worked on The Mighty B, too, which was a big favorite of mine, but it didn't last, because life isn't fair.

Beetlejuice fan art. This guy officially rocks.

Aww man, I miss the Mighty B so much. I better stop looking at this guy's stuff cuz I just want to copy and paste it all here and say not very eloquent stuff like, "This good thing!". But there's tons more here and here.


Uh, apparently he's too cool to keep a blog or website or anything, so here's a picture of him drawing Jenny (the robot AKA XJ9).

Next toon of Awesomeness...

Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends. Artists involved: Craig McCracken, Mike Moon, Martin Ansolabehere.


Foster's comic strip.

He also created the Powerpuff Girls. This is the first drawing of them ever. On orange construction paper, 1" square. 1991.

And now I've hit a wall and so the other artists you'll have to google yourself if you're interested. Me crash. Boom.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

There are no pictures of boobs in this post.

I have to show you guys something. But, let me preface it with this:

I love getting comments and views on my blog entries, but that's not really my main goal of blogging. I'm not trying to make any money here or win a popularity contest. I'm just putting a little bit of myself out there into the interweb world for the few that are interested or can possibly gain something from whatever I say. That said, I do sometimes look at my stats and see what gets viewed the most. There doesn't seem to be any rhyme or reason to it. Tags are supposed to help generate traffic, but sometimes I'll put a zillion tags on a post and it gets 5 views. Other times  I use no tags and the post gets 5-10 times more views than the one before it. I just have no idea how to draw in readers that would actually be interested in what I'm writing. I do, however, seem to have accidentally come across a surefire way to draw in viewers that probably aren't my ideal readership...

This is a screen capture of my blogger dashboard.

The mere mention of fairly medical terms for boobs/boobparts got me 30x my average views. Am I surprised? Not really. But, I do find it funny that anyone would bother clicking on this blog if they were out looking for pictures of ladyparts. This is the internet, folks. You can accidentally see boobs during practically any google image search. What are you doing here?

Anyway, there were some very cleavage-y photos (of Alyssa Milano) in that post. We'll see if this post draws in viewers for just mentioning boobs. Nipples breasts tits mammary. That last sentence was for good measure.

Onward to actual things.

I finished re-watching The Vampire Diaries today. I'm really glad that I did because there was a whole lot of things I totally forgot. Also, in the episode called 1914, Damon casually mentions that his father knocked up  maid once, thus answering my Uncle/Nephew Zach question. I had forgotten the entire middle of the last season. Things got so intense at the end that all I really remembered were the last few minutes of the finale and the vague idea that most of the season was about fighting Klaus. Oh, and all the Damon and Elena moments were pretty fresh in in my memory. But, I had forgotten the whole thing about all the other Originals being around, and I completely forgot about Bonnie's Mom being an active part of the season.

Now I'm going to be crawling up the walls in anticipation for next season. I starts early next month. I came across this promo shot of Elena/Nina Dobrev. They really uglied her up.

I also just now found a legit promo for season 4. Before today all I could find were ones that showed the last few minutes of the finale followed by flashbacks into previous seasons where Elena talks about her wishes not to be turned.

Exactly one month until the premiere. What am I going to do with my life? What am I going to watch? I mean...other than my regular shows as they air.

Speaking of currently airing shows- "The New Normal" premiered yesterday (and aired it's second episode today, for some reason) and I'm already in love with it.

 Remember, it's one of the shows that I decided to watch because a certain hate group started trying to get it cancelled before it even began? Said hate group is screwed on this one. It's a winner.

The little girl did an excellent Little Edie impression throughout the whole second episode. I am now inspired to be little Edie for Halloween.

I need the brooch. One for less than $350 (like this one on Amazon). Oh yeah...I make jewelry. I forgot. I'll get right on that.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Anxiety/Insomnia blather

Hmm. I thought I was going to bed, but my body decided it would rather have panic attacks. Neato.

I don't know what to write about.

I googled a writing prompt generator.

The prompt is:

"If I were a superhero, I would be..."
Insomnia girl! Fighting late night crime with red-eye and mediocre lucidity. And I could orb, just because orbing is cool.

It drives me nuts that the word mediocre doesn't have an H in it. It should be medi-ochre, like the paint pigment. It also bothers me that the word furniture doesn't have the word "nature" within it.

"The one time I was really surprised was..."
Never. I've never been surprised. I don't know the emotion.

This prompt generator sucks. I'mma find another.

I found a list. I'm going to go through it like a survey. Hopefully the anxiety will be gone before I finish it.

  1. why I like midnight// I don't particularly like midnight, unless it's at the beginning or the end of my birthday. At the beginning I'm like, "yay! It's my birthday!" and at the end, after I've been afflicted by my birthday curse, I'm like, "yay! The curse is almost over! Soon I can leave the house and use sharp things without the chance of injury being...100%.
  2. my favorite times to write// Well, apparently i like to write when I'm anxious. I also like writing journal things in real-time. In my Denny's days my journal entries were like, "And Stevo just ordered a Lumberjack Slam...."
  3. blue moons// They saw me standing alone.
  4. what it is about being the oldest child// I wouldn't know. I'm an only child. I guess that technically means I'm the oldest of my parent's children. But I'm also the youngest. And the tallest and the shortest.
  5. fresh air// doesn't really exist. All air is used.
  6. what I learned from my favorite teacher// I learned that when you love someone who doesn't love themself, they'll just resent you for it and continuously chase after people that wont love them.
  7. the Tao of Underdog//What?
  8. why I don’t write pulp fiction// Cuz me no good at fiction. And I like painting better than writing.
  9. everything I know about State Fairs// All I can think of is the Rasputina song. "I'm really into the boys that work there. The feeling you get when your ticket they tear. Four days in May: The State Fair!" I'm not sure I even know what a state fair is. Is it like county fairs? Bigger?
  10. the last concert I attended// I'm not sure. It's definitely been a while. It was either Tori Amos or Siouxsie Sioux. I think.
  11. the first concert I attended// Page & Plant
  12. the day I learned to drive// I don't remember the very first time exactly, but I remember the whole period of time when my mom was teaching me to drive. She was a nervous wreck and she clutched at the door constantly like she was going to try to escape. She also stomped on an imaginary brake pedal on the passenger side all the time. And she was having issues with the fact that I was dating a girl at the time, so every time I'd ask whether she wanted me to turn, she'd take the opportunity to say, "GO STRAIGHT! IT'S THE ONLY WAY TO BE!" Ugh.
  13. who taught me to drive and why// oh, I think I just answered that. Although, previous to the driving sessions with Mum, Brian would take me out driving in the Mustang. I learned the most from him.
  14. classes I loved// High school photography, my earliest drawing classes in college, everything I took from Gocke.
  15. classes I hated//All the other ones.
  16. the first time I thought I might like to write// Pretty young. I have journals from as young as 6.
  17. favorite places to write as a child// I have no recollection of where I wrote back then.
  18. where I used to hide out// When? I'm getting old enough that "used to" is a really broad term. First places that came to mind- A. This little stone structure by the baseball field at the college. (Age 17-19ish)  B. The hearse garage at Claffey and Rota funeral home. (Age 14-15) C. The roof (ages 16-22).
  19. how to get space in a family of eight// I dunno. Me no do fiction, remember?
  20. what was I like in junior high// Obnoxious, hormonal.
  21. my first crush// His name was Daniel and I liked to say his name really really quietly in his presence because that was as close as I was ever going to get to actually talking to him. Oh, I was 5, BTW.
  22. the last time I played on a seesaw//I have never been on a seesaw.
  23. bottle rockets//Yeah, those exist.
Well, I feel less anxious and more sleepy, and the prompts get weirder from this point on, so it's time for bed. Again.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

BYOT starts!

Today I officially start my BYOT project.

I took the time to get a super organized system down for the trainer part of things. Now it's time to see if I can follow my own plan.

This is my first chart. Pardon the naked people paintings. They are my inspiration for the week. Both are by artists I love- Jenny Saville, who paints big ladies, and Egon Schiele, who painted rather thin figures. Both beautiful, just different. I don't ever want to look like a Schiele figure, but I do want to get closer to it. Hence the writing: "less Saville, More Schiele".

I'm starting off really easy so that I don't shock my bod. Very small increments of exercise and I'm even allowing myself to get into the candy stash- in moderation.

I'll be making one of these every week and working on it every day, tracking my daily, weekly and monthly goals. I made it desktop wallpaper sized so that it will always be out to remind me. I even made a set of custom stamps (photoshop brushes) to use on the chart.

I only made positive ones. I thought about making ones that said "Boo you suck!" and "FAIL" for days when I don't live up to my goals, but then I decided a real trainer probably wouldn't do that.

I'll change my short-term goals every week to keep it fresh, and I'll share my filled-out charts here every week, as well as the next week's empty chart.

Today was my cooking day. I'll probably do this one day a week from now on. I like to have home-cooked meals, but I don't have the patience/time to cook daily, so I make big batches of things for the rest of the week. Today I made:

 Cucumber salad- with cukes from the garden (and one from the grocery store).

 Wax peppers from my garden stuffed with low-fat cream cheese and light salami. SO GOOD.

Lasagne with zucchini instead of pasta, super lean organic meat, reduced fat cheeses and sweet basil sauce.

Cauliflower mash with tons of fresh garlic and real grated Parmesan.

Right now I'm only at 800-something calories and it's nearing the end of the day. Probably because of the fact that I needed a long nap after cooking. It wore me out. That bothers me more than being fat. I am so out of shape and weak. I want the energy to be much more productive.


In other news, I've recently finished a painting and shared the process in my art blog.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Candy-stocking Bastards and the BYOT Project

The stores have started stocking Halloween candy and I'm in trouble. I went to Target today and completely lost all self control.

I was all...

I couldn't be bothered to finish this drawing, but you get the idea.
This happened at a particularly bad time because I'm really fed up with feeling like crap lately and I seriously need to start getting healthier. I'm going to do my best to not let my new enormous candy stash be a setback. Just because I have it doesn't mean I have to eat it. Well...today I had to sample 2 or 3 of each kind of candy I got. That's mandatory. But, tomorrow I could just maybe have 1 or even none.

Why the hell must stores stock the tempting sacks of fun-sized candy bars so damn early anyway? It's the beginning of September and Halloween's not until the end of next month. No one needs to be that prepared. It's like stores want me to get a running start at my holiday weight gain. Those bastards!

I've been waiting on my cousin Christina so we can start her senior project on personal training, but it was supposed to start weeks ago and I can't wait any more. I'm a month and a few days away from turning 30 and I want to at least have some hope of being a healthy 30-year-old. So, I'm gonna be my own damn personal trainer. I'm replacing the "personal training with cousin Christina" button in the sidebar with one for my new project:

I'm not exactly sure how I'm going to go about being my own trainer yet, but it might include the motivational method that I've been using for the past week while I try to start some new good habits. It's basically a slightly more sophisticated version of putting stickers on a chart for good behavior.

It's completely nerdy and neurotic, but so am I, so it works.

P.S. I did a big update on my art blog today. GO THERE.

Monday, September 3, 2012

TV things

Yesterday was the series 7 premiere of Doctor Who, and I swear there was some kind of conspiracy going on to keep me from being able to watch it. I wasn't able to get a free moment to sit down and watch until 1 AM, and then I only made it though 17 minutes before deciding that trying to pay attention through sheer exhaustion was futile. I finally saw it today, and it was wonderful. I laughed, I cried, and I perplexed over the fact that the show endlessly manages to be epic without overdoing it.

My niece-monkey was visiting today and she is also a huge Doctor Who (and all things Steven Moffat) fan. She felt similarly about the episode, although her emotions are amplified by a mega-dose of teenage hormones, so she spent large chunks of the day curled up on the sofa, stricken with Doctor Who-related "feels".
Also, not apparent in the photo, but noteworthy; she was wearing this shirt...
We are so related.

My excitement about the Fall TV lineup is greatly diminished this year because a ton of my favorite shows have been axed- the 2 biggest being The Secret Circle and Ringer. I've twice now tiptoed into the teen section of the local bookstore hoping to find the Secret Circle books so that I could find out what happens.

Unfortunately, I haven't come across them, not that I was really dying to have to read for entertainment. I used to love books, but now I get irritated that they inhibit my ability to multitask. I may invest in the audiobooks so that I can listen while I work, but they're 18 bucks each and there's 3 in the series, so I wont be making that purchase until I've figured out how to justify the expense in my mind. If I sign up for an audible.com account I can get one for free and 30% off the next 2, but I'd have to listen to them all within a month and then cancel my account in order to not be charged $15 monthly, and I'm fearful there would be some hitch at that point.  Anyone reading have experience with an audible account?

So, I'm in the market for some new shows to watch. I have a secret method of finding great shows, but I try to employ it very rarely. What I do is: I go to the website of one particular "Christian" extremist group, dedicated to eradicating equality in the media, see what shows they're trying to get cancelled, and add them to my must-watch list. It has worked out quite well in the past, and I like the idea that I can fight bully-bigots by simply watching TV.

I checked the site today and gathered 2 prospects for entertainment.

First I'll be checking out this comedy, The New Normal.

It's about a 2-dad family conceiving a baby through a surrogate.

Second is a series still working on a pilot, called "The Fosters". It will be about a 2-mom family, and it's being produced by Jennifer Lopez.

I'll be keeping both of those on my radar. I also intend on checking out the CW's new Beauty and the Beast show, although I'm a little sore that it's taking the Secret Circle's spot.

That's it for new shows of interest....so far. Otherwise I'm just waiting on the return of some hiatus shows. Tomorrow a new season of Switched At Birth premieres. I'm excited for that.

Aforementioned niece is taking ASL as her second language, so I'm hoping to get her into this show. It has several deaf characters and lots of signing going on.

Next month will bring back The Vampire Diaries. I'm preparing by re-watching the whole series as my current "interim show". Re-watching has been interesting because my take on the characters has changed drastically throughout the 3 season that have aired. Now I see things in a new light and am perplexed as to how I was ever on "Team Stefan".

Some other thoughts that have occurred to me whilst re-watching season 1...

1. Early on there was this crow theme associated with Damon. They abandoned it shortly after the pilot and never explained what it was about. I think I've read that in the books Damon can turn into a crow, but in the series, they just made it seem like crows were kind of a harbinger for Damon.

2. Hey, remember how Elena and Stefan used to keep diaries, hence the name The Vampire Diaries? The diaries were an integral part of the show, on top of being part of the title. They abandoned that, too.

3. Man, I miss Jenna.

4. This still is from the 2nd episode and it's clear now that Damon was already in love with Elena. Totally missed that the first time. I thought their dislike was mutual into the second season, but now that I know he had actually met her first, I'm seeing hints at that fact all the way through.

5. Vicki was a spectacular hot mess. I'm really enjoying revisiting the beginning of her story.

6. In episode 4 Damon reads Twilight and makes fun of it. Loved that.

7. "Uncle"/Nephew Zach. He was killed off so early that I never questioned how Stefan and Damon could have a nephew. In all the flashbacks with the father and the old house and stuff there's never mention of another Salvatore sibling.

8. Nina Dobrev is so good at differentiating between the characters of Elena and Katherine that I actually consider Katherine to be older (looking) and thinner.

9. Vicki never had a daylight ring, and here she is, mid-transition, laying in the sunlight. Woopsie.

10. Bonnie's Gran was pretty cool. I wish she had been around longer. Her death was the beginning of Bonnie turning into the insufferable bitch she is now. That's probably an unpopular opinion, but I can't stand how she always thinks she knows what's best for everyone else and she'll lie to her closest friends to be able to carry out her own agenda.

Oh, also the girl that plays Bonnie (Kat Graham) makes ridiculous music with ridiculouser videos.

Oh man, it would be so good if it was intentionally funny.
Ok, one more...

That one's actually kind of catchy, as stupid as the lyrics are. But...what's with the eye patch? And the bad 80's pants? It looks like she was shooting for Lady Gaga, but landed on, "I played dress-up at the Salvation Army".

And now it's nearly 4AM. Uh. Goodnight.