Category Archives: OCDoodles

My Trophy Life

For a long time, I thought I was doing online dating incorrectly and that’s why I was always so unhappy about it. Whenever I’d poast about it here, that feeling would be reinforced by all the (well-meaning) advice I received. I’ve deleted most of those poasts because they and their comments annoyed me in retrospect. After five and a half years of online dating (including some breaks), I gave it up for good around a year ago. As it turns out, I wasn’t doing it wrong ~ it’s just wrong for me and many others like me. Millions of people. Not talking about the creepy process of selecting our dates by specs like we buy a TV off Amazon, though that’s horrible enough. Not even talking about the brutal way we reject people because they have a scratch and we think we deserve a flawless model no matter how imperfect we are ourselves, nope. Talking about this:

Last year, Match.com released a volunteer-based study on recent dating trends. Although the survey wasn’t scientific, the results were revealing. Almost one in six singles (15%) reported feeling addicted to the online process of looking for a date. Millennials were 125% more likely to say they feel addicted to dating. Men were 97% more likely to feel addicted to dating than women, but 54% of women felt more burned out by the process. [Source]

It’s addicting for people who get addicted to things, and that’s a lot of people, myself included. Hell, I just became briefly addicted to Spider Solitaire after Windows 10 updated itself and installed it on my machine. OOH WHAT’S THIS? Must play game. I played 135 games. In less than a week. They sent me a notice that I’d flipped over 10,000 cards and I got very excited. It was a gold trophy. SHINY! Got a few more goodies. Then I thought wtf am I doing? I’m supposed to be writing a novel, hello. So, I deleted the entire app from my laptop.

Every time I joined a dating site I told myself I’d just be chill and let things unfold. But that isn’t my way. It’s just not. I had to check out the profile of every man in my area who fit my criteria. I had to try to figure out why someone rejected me if they viewed me and didn’t say hello. I’d make up my own stories about each one. I overanalyzed every chat. If a man criticized me in some way or was drive-by mean, I took it personally. It was hard to shrug that off. On and on. And these were the guys I never even met!

But people with OCD are particularly susceptible to spending too much time fussing over stuff in general (obviously), and for whatever reason technology tends to exacerbate that tendency. Online dating is like a game, isn’t it? Or a job hunt. We are driven to “win” or to achieve a goal, whatever that means to the individual, and we keep playing, clicking, swiping, liking, checking, turning over cards, whatever, until we get that shiny trophy. And then what? Well. There’s a question for another day.

In the meantime, here’s a study from 2016 that links addiction to mobile devices with depression and anxiety. Again, it’s more relevant for people who already have issues with OCD in the first place. An online dating site is that perfectly irresistible magic mix of toxic elements coming together for someone prone to anxiety. Definitely not a safe place for someone like me, which I always suspected. I wasn’t doing anything wrong, except for joining to begin with! Those sites fed my existing problems and that’s why I became miserable while dealing with them.

It wasn’t me; it was them. This last year has been so much better since I gave up online dating, and even better still in the last two months since I left Facebook and Instagram. Onward to more shiny goodness!

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How I’m Spending Mother’s Day

My children live far away and my mom has passed on, so I planned a quiet restful day with kitty, writing, movie at home, stitchery, etc. No need for a crowded annoying brunch or peeps coming over to pester me with flowers and whatnottery. I was looking forward to a nice day alone to catch up.

But first my bathtub/shower stopped draining water. I thought okay, no biggie, it’s just draining slowly and I will text my landlord dude guy later to deal with it tomorrow. My sink is also slow, and he can fix both things at once, efficiency rah. After a little bit I went to check the tub again and it hadn’t drained at all since my shower, so that was just Not Good. I started having some anxiety about work tomorrow and things of that nature, making sure to dry my hair in such a way that it could last for two days.

I had some tea and checked the tub again. Nope, nothing. All the yucko shampooey water was still there. So, I made my bed and washed the dishes as you do when you think your landlord might be coming over later. Then, naturally, I bailed all the yucko shampooey water out of the tub with a cup and flushed it away, cleaned the tub and shower curtain all nice and sparkling, since I couldn’t have my landlord and/or plumber seeing anything yucko. That would be gross.

Then I refilled the tub one inch or so with nice clean perfect water, texted my landlord that things were amiss, and waited for his reply. He called after a bit and said he’d fix everything tomorrow, Monday. Okay. I could live with that.

In the meantime, I went back to my beautiful clean tub to discover that the perfect water had drained out and in its place, from the bowels of hell, was a giant pile of dirt. WHAT?! This was not smelly poopoo dirt or anything like that, but dirt-dirt, like from outdoors. How could dirt-dirt get up to my second floor apartment? Why did it need to burp out of the drain for the nice clean water to go down? What was this mystery trade-off?

Well. I got out some trusty disposable cleaning gloves and bleach and wiped up the dirt-dirt. Soon the tub was even cleaner than before, so shiny and gleaming it hurt my eyes to look at the thing. In fact, I was getting a giant migraine from all this tubby gorgeousness. Again, I ran some nice clear water in the tub and kept checking on it. Eventually it went down (after a million years) and left a teensy bit of residue ~ not the huge clumps of dirt, just a few specks. I wiped them away and did it again. Same. I’ll probably keep doing this the rest of the day because this is how I am.

Obviously there’s a voracious creature waking in the pipes, something alien that was left here by a spaceship, a dirty hairy drain monster that will soon burst through and devour us all, beginning with my kitty and me sometime tonight after I fall asleep during one of the tub rinse/wipe/refill cycles. Gatsby seems unconcerned because he’s a cat. But really there’s nothing we can do, so we may as well nap and dream our last dream.

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Happy Mother’s Day!

Notable Friday

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What’s special about today? Well, it’s the last Friday in April, the last Friday I’ll be this age, and it’s a square cube (4/27) with lucky 18 at the end. Happily all dates this year have lucky 18 at the end ~ what an amazing coinkydink! Anyway, I like squares and cubes, and I especially like square cubes. I like all squares too, and I even have a line in a pome referencing this in my latest book All She Wrotewhich is selling well and getting fab reviews, much to my surprise, thanks to all you lovely peeps.

Back to numbers. One is also a good number. I have one cat and he’s adorable! I like Day One of the month when Prime members choose their free Kindle book. I’m trying to get caught up on my backlog of unread books, but there are so many and I’m always finding new wanna-reads. And now I have That Girl to finish watching, plus there are some good movies coming out (not to mention the good ones I’ve missed on my list too), plus of course the books I’m writing and don’t forget my stitchery projects! Oops, I may have forgotten my stitchery projects, yikes. (I know I could do stitchery while watching That Girl, but I’ve actually been editing old stories during TG because, not to disparage TG in any way whatsoever, the shows don’t consume my entire attention.)

So, yes, I think today is a Notable Friday, and I’m noting it. For the record. Let it be noted!

~*~

The Daily Prompt: Notable

A Glimmer Is Not Enough

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I’ve been doing more deleting, my peeps. Facebook, Messenger, and Instagram were the big ones, but that was just the beginning of my webhousecleaning.

Actually, that’s not true. I began this back when I dumped all the dating sites for good in 2017. And I’ll tell you something: I do not miss them one bit, nor do I miss dating. It’s the most stressful thing in the world, not fun at all, and I’m sleeping so much better since I quit. Turns out, I do not have insomnia! I had dating-related anxiety. I sleep through the night just fine almost every night now just like back in the old days before I began any of it. Anyway, last month was FB & Co.’s turn to get the heave-ho. But what about the other sites?

I had a Meetup account since 2011 and over the years joined various groups ~ Scrabble, writing, walking, board games, etc.  But my favorite writing group never meets at a time that’s convenient for me now. New groups that sound interesting are always too far away or some other annoying thing. The rest of the groups are too sportsy or too young or too costly or too dating-related or whatever. Every week or so I look in with the glimmer of hope there will be something fun and nopety nope nope. Waste of time. Isn’t my new motto to quit wasting time on things that aren’t productive, healthy, or fun? Yes, I believe it is. A glimmer is not enough to justify time wastery. Meetup account DELETED.

Deleted some Yahoo groups for the same reason and quit getting email notifs from a few otter ones. Why spend time reading things that are of no value? That’s time wastery. For some of that stuff, there isn’t even a glimmer of a chance anything interesting is going to come of it. It’s barely one step above actual SPAM. People I don’t know jabbering about things I don’t care about. WTF am I reading this? Habit, a bad one.

And then I figured that it’s just Not Good to have random idle accounts sitting around “out there” due to nasty hackers, evil Russians, alien pods, and whatnot. So I went on a spree, whacking accounts like DISQUS, Quora, Ello, and various otter sillinesses that I don’t even use or waste time on but don’t need to have my name associated with either. Paranoia, it’s what’s for dinner. You guys forgot about Ello, dincha? 🙂

I’m debating Goodreads. On the one hand, it hardly takes up any time, so it doesn’t count as a waste of same. On the otter hand, I find it vaguely irritating. First it doesn’t let me delete my own books. I have unpublished a few (couple short stories I decided I don’t want as stand-alones, wish to edit them, and then have them as part of my book of longer, connected short stories I hope to have out by the end of this year). So, if you click on the links, they don’t exist. Of course this drives me bonkers. Why can’t I delete them from my bio there? That’s one thing. Second, GR makes me feel compelled to finish a book even when it’s bad so I can have that book added to my book count. Okay, that’s not Goodreads’ fault; that’s my OCD again. Regardless, that’s how it is and being on the site creates this issue. But perhaps this isn’t a bad thing? At least once recently I ended up enjoying a book I wouldn’t have finished otterwise. So, hmm.

Guess I’ll leave GR for meow, but they’re on the watchlist. I’m sure they’re terrified.

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The Daily Prompt: Glimmer

In Which I Beg a Big Corporation to Take My Money

When I deleted Facebook, Messenger, and Instagram, I wiped all the history, cookies, etc. off my devices in an attempt (probably futile) to rid myself of their tracking and crap. Until yesterday this was no big deal, but then I tried to buy a song for my Nutty Playlist on iTunes and all hell broke loose. I had to re-enter my info and every time I tried to put in my credit card stuffs, the program shut down. Fine, I said, I have an iPhone meow, I’ll do it that way. NYAAH!

I went to Apple music on my iPhone and said hai can I haz a song? They said only if you sign up for our music thingie and pay. WOT? I don’t want to pay for a whole program ~ I just want to buy a song sometimes like I do for my cool themed playlists. They didn’t care at all about my cool themed playlists. Rude. I didn’t know what to do except I did know I was going to get what I wanted and finish my Nutty Playlist and put it on a CD to listen to in my car because well I just had to! They shalt not thwart me and my OCD! (Especially when a CD is involved.)

I went to Shazam on my iPhone where I remembered it offers the option to buy a song. First, I had to play the song on YouTube on my laptop so I could Shazam it (it was “Angie Baby” by Helen Reddy, if you must know, which no one suggested, but I chose later after googling songs about insanity which I do not recommend because it can really flip you over the edge into severe depression). After the song was up on Shazam, the buy option appeared, so I clicked it. Next, I was flooped over to the iTunes store where it let me buy the song with my fingerprint. WOT? I didn’t have to sign up for the program? Nope. I could buy “Angie Baby” for $1.29 like I had wanted to in the beginning. I did that. I also bought a couple more songs for Nutty and also some for another playlist that had been sitting around called Dating Sucks. Burned them to CDs. Now I have two new CDs and am working on two more themed playlists. I’ll pester you guys about those later.

The coolest part is that it only took a few seconds for the song to show up in my iTunes library on my laptop after I bought it on my phone. Isn’t technology AMAZING?! Actually, one of them took like 45 seconds and I started to get angry. WTF??? The otter ones only took 10 seconds. I can’t bear all this waiting. I have things to do! OMGGG!!

I still don’t understand why Apple allows you to buy an individual song via Shazam but you can’t simply click into the Apple store on your own and buy one. That’s so weird! More likely I’m misunderstanding how to do it, but whatever… I got what I wanted. Yes, in a very roundabout strange way, but hey.

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The Daily Prompt: Thwart

App Gap

Ever since I deleted Facebook, Instagram, and Messenger from my phone last week I’ve had an “app gap.” What I mean is that I had two screens of 16 phone apps each, 4×4, all filled in, and now there are two missing from the bottom right of the last screen. I know you can all math, so yes I did “unbundle” my fitness apps or else there would be three missing. I also know you are all laughing at the idea that I have fitness apps. SHUT UP! I am planning on fitnessing at some point, and if that day ever comes, those apps will come in handy.

Initially I thought, hmm, I could d/l some innocuous apps I wouldn’t use much, like solo chess and another boring game, but that sort of defeats the purpose, doesn’t it? My idea is to spend less time involved in distractions from my projects. Without FB, maybe solo chess would suddenly become exciting. You just never know.

Then I had an epiphany. The adorable photo of Gatsby I use for my home screen had been pretty well covered up by my 4×4 app grid, but the two missing apps on the second screen reveal his beautiful golden eye and sweet little pink nose. Plus they remind me how I’m not wasting oodles of time on FB and Messenger meow. Win win! Embrace the gap! (You had no idea how OCD I really was, didja?)

*

On a related unrelated note, I stumbled across this article a few days ago (I have a lot more time to actually read the news now, go figure). The advice was written for men by a woman (or someone with a female ‘nym) and says to delete all your dating site apps because they are rigged, not fun, and a waste of time. I agree with this advice 100%, despite being a woman and allegedly having so many more opportunities than men on the sites. Maybe if I were 35 I wouldn’t say “allegedly,” but I’m not, so I am saying it.

If dating were a “numbers game”—if exposure to more people meant dating more people—then people would just go to the nearest concert venue, introduce themselves to as many people as they can, and magically end up with a date. — Sophia Benoit, GQ

Yes, some people have managed to beat the odds and find someone via a dating site blah blah blah. So what? Some people also win the lottery. That doesn’t mean buying a lottery ticket, or 100 of them, is a good use of your time/money/energy.

DELETE ALL THE THINGS! Or don’t, wev. But I wrote four crappy pomes this week for my book of crappy pomes instead of BSing on the Book of Face, and I am feeling gosh-darned great about that.

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Clutter Flutter

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I’ve noticed a higher tolerance for disorder in my physical space as my emotional landscape has become much less messy. This has been gradual, so I don’t know exactly when it began, but sometime last year I would guess. I suspect it has to do with giving up dating sites and some other activities that stressed me out. Now a cluttered desk and an unmade bed simply don’t bother me the way they used to. My obsession to compulsively keep my tiny corner of the world super organized and at right angles dissipates as inner peace manifests. Who knew? Ommmm…

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The Daily Prompt: Messy

Glittertrails

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I’m glad I’m not famous, or every st00pid thing I’ve written would be immortalized forever. Remember when we used to shoot the shit with friends and those convos would drift off into the aether, lost with our hangovers? If there was any brilliant philosophical insight or poetic piece of pretty, they’d be gone too, poof. But now we tweet and fb our every stray strand of emotion, and hopefully no one screencaps it since we’re nobodies. I myself have deleted more things than I’ve poasted. Yes, while you’re all sleeping, I walk the cyberbeaches in the moonlight and erase my footprints. Well, I used to do a lot more of that; now I do it only sporadically.

While I was poking around the otter day, searching for lost writings, I found this piece of poast* which I really like, even out of context, and will share it with my loyal blogfans.

Laurel Canyon. The summer of nineteen seventy-nine. I am my own gaslighter. I drive too fast on these curvy roads, but I am made of silk and butter, and I slide around danger like an egg on a sizzling skillet, close to the edge, but always slipping back to the center before anything terrible happens. Something would happen soon. I run through the scenarios in my mind every time I leave the house. There are times I believe the bad thing has already occurred and I scour old newspapers for the story. I have to go to the library to find the papers because someone won’t let me see the mail. People creep around the house and hide things from me. Who are they?

I’ve poasted about gaslighting a few times now, and every time I do I end up deleting the poast because it’s too personal and I’m uncomfortable with it sitting out there for anyone to read. Even though this blog doesn’t get much traffic, it is public after all. Theoretically, anyone in the world could stop by. I don’t feel like changing permissions when I get all emotionally vomitatious; I’ve done it in the past and it’s too cumbersome. In any case, I’m not some wannabe counselor or a Linky Laura going for adrev ~ either my poasts are about me or there’s no point.

Well, actually my long game is to accumulate a giant number of blog readers that I can eventually show to a publisher and say SEE I HAZ POTENTIAL BOOK BUYERS! But er for that I would actually need to write a book. Gah, details. Always details!

I had a cold for a week, which wouldn’t be a big deal, except it triggered a cascade of violent migraines and I’ve been very dizzy and nauseated. Still not 100% “normal” yet. I missed a few days of work, and I haven’t been able to write much or do needlework at home. I just zone out in front of the TV every night. But finding that gaslighting snip has motivated me. This weekend I’ll be getting back to my pomes. These are cathartic, a purge of years of old moldy boxes from the attic, and I caution everyone not to buy the poetry book when I plop it onto Amazon because the pomes are simply dreadful. Post-ploppage, I shall return to my Real Writing.

*phrase stolen from the Great & Powerful Lizard

Strategy

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If I don’t plan a careful time management strategy, I find myself frittering away my nights and weekends on unproductive nonsense. It’s already the end of January and I have made scant progress on the poetry book I want to self-publish ASAP so that I can move on (back) to finish up my fiction in progress. I have not abandoned my writing! It’s all moldering away in perfectly organized computer folders. However, I am pleased to report that my current needlework project is coming along, but there’s still a long way to go on that as well. Onward to victory!

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The Daily Prompt: Strategy

FINALLY!

Guess what blogfans? I’ve done it, I’ve done it, I’ve finally gone and done it!

YAAAY! Woo hoo! Hurrah for me!

What’s that you ask? No, I have not broken up the Clooney marriage and snagged George for myself. Pffft.

No, I did not quite manage to finagle the million dollar publishing contract. Yet. Just hang in there with me, my loyal peeps.

But I did finally finish something today I set out to do two years ago Thanksgiving and it’s pretty darned exciting if I do say so myself. With only hours to spare as the sun sinks lower in the sky on the last day of 2017 I give you… dun da da dun…

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THE COMPLETED SCARF!

I was like a knitting terrorist… knitting for two years, off and on, mostly off, not knowing how to stop. I have a rule that I go to YouTube only for entertainment, never to learn things, and I couldn’t figure out how to stop from printed text, but luckily I remembered that I also have a rule that rules are to be broken…whew! Off to YouTube I scampered, searched for how to end a scarf, found an easy peasy bind off for dummies, and viola.

My scarf is cozy extravagance and I will love it almost as much as Gatsby loves his kitty tunnel (just using up a bunch of prompt words like a good OCDer, don’t mind me, ignore this sentence, thx). Now, like a true creative, I’m immediately jonesing to begin my next project, which will be a (somewhat) self-designed cross-stitch. Stay tuned for deets!

Wishing all my readers a happy and healthy 2018!

~*~

The Daily Prompt: Finally