Accidental Fudge

Updates Thursdays

Tag: friends (page 1 of 2)

Weekend Adventures

As many of you may know, I work for a Jewish organization, and one of the best things about this is the fact that I end up with lots of extra days off throughout the year for holidays I don’t personally celebrate. Passover was this past week, and because of where it fell this year, we ended up with a couple of days off last week, and Monday and Tuesday off this week. I had just enough Southwest miles saved up for a free trip to the Twin Cities, so I decided to use my long weekend to catch up with family and some friends I hadn’t seen in a very long time.

I flew into MSP Saturday afternoon, and dropped my stuff off at my partner’s parents’ house, where I was staying for the weekend. That evening, I got dinner with my parents and brother (which went more-or-less okay – sometimes it’s hard to find things to talk about), and then got drinks with an old friend from church youth group. Catching up and reminiscing was a lot of fun.

Sunday I went over to my parents’ house, where we were joined by my brother, sister-in-law, and nephew. The time went well (better than I was expecting, to be honest). I was able to modify the Yoda hat I’d knit my nephew when he was just 7 months old so that it will continue to fit him for at least another couple of seasons (it was still big enough around, but was no longer covering his ears), and deliver the blanket I’d knit for him as a belated birthday gift. We enjoyed watching my nephew (who is three) and my parents’ dog (who is almost fifteen) chase each other around – they are best friends. We went for a walk to the park. All-in-all, it was a nice way to spend the day.

That evening, I went back to my partner’s parents’ house and was able to spend some time with them. We watched Moana, which was great, and I’m a little ashamed I didn’t get around to seeing it until now.

Monday I ended up seeing two of my best friends from college: one for breakfast, and one for dinner. It was wonderful seeing both of them and catching up. I also got to unexpectedly go out to coffee with my best friend in the middle of the day, after she texted me saying her afternoon meetings were canceled. I spent the evening watching baseball with my partner’s parents while we all talked to my partner on speakerphone. It was easily the most delightful Monday I’ve had in ages.

Tuesday morning I got up for an early breakfast with my best friend before leaving town. My flight out boarded on time, and then sat on the runway for an hour – evidently, because of some crosswinds, they were using just one runway for all arrivals and departures, and didn’t really communicate this to anyone ahead of time. But I made it home eventually, and was ridiculously happy when I did. As much as I loved seeing people over the weekend, packing that many visits into such a short time frame really drives home the point that I am an introvert. Being social can be fun, but it is also exhausting.

Thanks to everyone who made time for me this weekend, and apologies to those of you I didn’t see – there are so many of you that I just couldn’t get to everyone!

Dealing with Disappointment

In last week’s blog, I mentioned that I was preparing to play my longest-yet set on Sunday. I spend a fair bit of time practicing, there were a handful of people who were planning to come see me…and then, as I was on my way to the venue, I got a Facebook message informing me that the bar had double-booked, and my set had been cancelled.

As you might imagine, I was disappointed. My immediate reaction was to turn around and run home, where I would have spent the evening sulking. Thankfully, my partner had a rather clearer head in the moment than I did, and suggested we try to meet up for drinks with one of the friends who had been planning to come to the show.

Our friend was up for drinks, and while I was still super disappointed, I actually ended up having a really lovely evening. I was able to get past being angry pretty quickly. It made me particularly thankful for friends who are super supportive and who were angry on my behalf.

I ended up spending Tuesday evening recording most of the songs that would have been in my set. Most of them had been posted somewhere on my SoundCloud page in the past, but I had a few new ones to post by the end my little recording session, and because I don’t have much else to write about this week, I’m going to post them here, too.

This first song is one that I wrote back in the songwriting class I took in January/February. We were given the assignment of being “dream collectors.” I posted on Facebook asking my friends to tell me their most interesting dreams. I got a bunch of fantastic responses, and it was hard to choose just a few for the song, and harder still to distill them down to a verse each, but I’m really pleased with the result.

This song is one that I wrote in my most recent songwriting class. The assignment was to write a “nice” breakup song: the sort where you wish the other person well. I think this song might make me seem more evolved and less grudge-holding than I sometimes am, but oh, well.

And finally, here’s another one I wrote in the most recent songwriting session. This is one of the weirder songs I’ve ever written, musically. It started as a word list, and turned into something that’s one part theology, one part blasphemy, and one part social commentary.

Resisting Bitterness

This week, I’ve been wrestling with bitterness.

There are things I want to be doing with my life that feel like they’re on hold until after surgery/recovery. Surgery is only a couple of months away, but with six weeks of recovery time tacked on to that, it’ll be nearly the end of the year before I’ll really be able to do anything to move things along. And that feels really distant, even if I know that really, it’s only a handful of months.

Feeling stuck has me feeling bitter, which adds to the general lack of motivation I’ve been struggling with in the past few weeks.

I don’t want to be a bitter person. For one thing, it’s a colossal waste of energy, and energy is not something I typically have a surplus of. And it’s just generally unpleasant. I try to be pretty happy and easy-going, and bitterness throws a wrench in that.

I’m not entirely sure what to do about it, though, aside from continually reminding myself that this, too, shall pass. I’m doing whatever research I can ahead of time, but I can’t tell if that’s actually helping or is just making me more stressed out about not being able to do anything with what I learn.

In the midst of feeling stuck, though, I’m also feeling extraordinarily grateful for friends who make me laugh and can take me out of my head for a while. Over the weekend we had the chance to cheer one of our friends on to victory at CLLAW, which was super fun. The next day, some other friends joined us for our second viewing of Ghostbusters, which was followed by bowling, which I hadn’t done in years. Bowling is one of those activities that I’m usually pretty terrible at, but it reminds me to laugh at myself and that it’s possible to have fun with something even if it’s not a thing I’m good at. (Case in point: my score of the last game almost doubled my score of the first game. I never broke 100.)

And that might be the secret to beating the bitterness: taking time out as often as I can to have a little fun with the people who remind me that there’s more to life than the parts that feel tedious.

A Short List

It’s going to be a short one this week, but here’s a tiny list of highlights from the past week:

  1. Friend visits! We had the most delightfully low-maintenance house guests over the weekend. Fun was (I hope) had by all…I certainly enjoyed it.
  2. Ghostbusters! If you haven’t been to see the new Ghostbusters movie yet, DO IT. It’s funny, and the casting is outstanding, and it makes me really angry that this thoroughly enjoyable movie with strong female protagonists who kick ass without being objectified isn’t getting the attention it deserves. We went over the weekend with our house guests and intend to go at least once more with local friends. (Confession: I thought the original Ghostbusters was okay the one time I saw it. I liked this better. Maybe I tend to find bad ass women more compelling than dudes as protagonists. If you also find yourself in this camp, you will probably enjoy this movie.) I am convinced that a lot of the cis dudes who are bitching about the movie either 1) haven’t seen it and are just being toolbags, or 2) have seen it, but a) see too much of themselves in the villain, or b) are failing to see themselves in the villain when maybe they should be. Also Chris Helmsworth is really good at playing a complete airhead. Who knew?
  3. Music! The song I wrote for class this week earned me a glitter unicorn sticker (the highest honor), and I’m pretty pleased with it. I’ve been struggling a bit this session to get things rolling, but this one came pretty easily once it started, and that always feels really good. I’ll get a recording up at some point once I’ve practiced a bit more.

Things are Looking Up

Last week was awfully full of feelings, many of them rather negative.

This past week has been full of feelings, too, but largely of a more positive variety.

Last Thursday night, my partner and I went to a songwriting workshop at the Old Town School put on by one of Mouths of Babes, one of our favorite folk duos. It was phenomenal and inspiring and made me want to write all the songs.

I haven’t really had time yet to start on writing all the songs, though. Friday morning I picked up a giant rental SUV before work, and that evening, my partner and I went to IKEA, where we picked up four pieces of furniture and a handful of other organizational tools. Saturday was spent building furniture and rearranging most of our apartment. We finished up Sunday, and even had time to go to MSI with a friend and then to a Mouths of Babes concert (which was also phenomenal and inspiring).

And then Monday came.

Monday evening, a friend arrived in town who will be staying with us for a total of almost two weeks. My partner and I can’t take any time off during the week, but we’re looking forward to playing tourist a bit over the weekend and take advantage of some city sites we haven’t taken in yet in the 3+ years we’ve lived here!

But before that, on Monday, I worked half a day, and then went to a consultation appointment with a surgeon here in Chicago who, among other things, performs gender-affirming chest masculinization surgery for transmasculine folks.

The appointment went really, really well – the surgeon was charming and knowledgeable, and considering the rather intense anxiety I generally have regarding medical facilities, professionals, and procedures, I felt surprisingly safe.

Long story short, I set a date for surgery, so come October, I will be getting two literal weights off my chest. I am unbelievably happy, and far less anxious than I was a week ago now that I have that giant unknown better nailed down.

Three Things

  1. Over the weekend, two of our favorite ladies from the Twin Cities came and stayed with us. We cooked a rather ridiculous amount of food. We went to Zoo Lights. We enjoyed hot cocoa with peppermint schnapps. And we spent a lot of time just hanging out. It was really wonderful. I am so incredibly grateful to have friends who are such lovely and charming houseguests of the sort who don’t leave me feeling particularly drained when they leave. My people are the best people.
  2. There’s so much going on in my brain that I feel like I don’t even know what half of it is anymore. I really, really need to be more consistent with taking time to meditate in the mornings. I’m also thinking I maybe need to start utilizing some meditative techniques outside of tarot – focusing more on breathing and on posture.
  3. Last week, without realizing it, I hit the two year anniversary of this blog. I’ve posted something damn near every Thursday for two whole years! Sure, a few posts went up late, and one or two maybe never went up at all, but on the whole, I’ve been consistent. I often feel like I don’t have a lot to say; I’m often scrambling to come up with something to write about on Wednesday evening. But it’s a good exercise, getting myself to write something each week, and something I feel like I can be at least a little proud of. Thanks for being along for the ride, folks!

A Smile (and a Tiny Hiatus)

I’m scrambling to write this On the bus Thursday morning. Life is particularly busy right now, and writing has fallen a bit by the wayside. 

I have had ample reasons to smile despite a slightly overwhelming schedule, though. Here are a few of them:

  1. After feeling really burned out at work for a few weeks (to the point where I was brushing up my résumé in case I decided to look elsewhere), I had a great conversation with my department manager on Tuesday that has me feeling much better about where I’m at and where I’m going, and much more appreciated for what I’ve been doing. 
  2. I’ve been hanging out with friends a lot lately. There was a long time when we moved that I felt like all my friends were really just my partner’s friends, but we’ve developed our own relationships now and can spend time with mutual friends without feeling like we both need to be there. It’s been so great finally feeling like I’m really connected here in Chicago. 
  3. There’s been a lot of medical stuff going on at our house (everyone is going to be fine, don’t worry), which has been pretty overwhelming at times. Generally, though, it’s served to remind us how well cared for we really are. I am incredibly grateful for our support network all over the country. 

The next two weeks, my partner and I will be out of town, and I’m going to take those two weeks off from blogging. I’ll have something up again on the 27th!

Silver Linings

I’m still feeling pretty rattled as I try to figure out where to go for this rheumatology follow-up. I’m feeling a lot of things, really, and not many of them are particularly pleasant. But I’m trying to look for reasons to smile, and really, if I take the time to step back a little and breathe, it’s not hard to find them. So here’s a short and sweet list of some reasons I’ve found to smile this week:

  1. Even though the humidity has caused an uptick in my general discomfort and has most of my joints feeling pretty stiff, I’ve managed to keep knitting pretty regularly. I’m on a sweater/vest kick at the moment. None of my projects are progressing very quickly, but I’m enjoying them all.
  2. Next weekend I’m headed to Seattle for a wedding. I’m super excited for the couple (my high school best friend and the great guy she’s been with for several years), and looking forward to a little 24-hour adventure.
  3. I’ve been digging deeper into some friendships here in Chicago, and it feels really good. I am reminded every day that I have an incredible support network, and that makes everything else life throws my way feel a lot more manageable.

A Handful of Happy Thoughts

Suddenly, Thursday morning is here and I’m realizing I never wrote a blog for this week. Whoops! I’ve been rather stuck in my own head lately, working through some things, but here are a handful of reasons I’ve been smiling:

  • I finally have enough facial hair to experiment a little bit. I’ve had sideburns for a while now, but my chin whiskers have gotten a lot stronger recently, so I’ve been sporting a tiny goatee for the past week. My partner likes it, and (even more importantly) I like it, so I think it’s going to stick around a while.
  • We both got (long overdue) haircuts over the weekend. There are few things that make me feel really good about how I look, but getting a haircut is definitely one of them.
  • I’ve been working more on the friendships I have here in Chicago (instead of focusing all the time on how much I miss my friends in Minnesota), and I’m finally at a point where I’m starting to ditch the idea that these are all my partner’s friends and not mine, too (because he knew them all before I did). I generally feel like I’m not great at making friends, but I’m enjoying this attempt to be more intentionally social.
  • I knit tiny balloons over the weekend. They’re currently adorning my computer monitor at work, and they’re adorable.
  • My best friend is coming to visit this weekend. I haven’t been able to spend time with her in person in months, and I am so excited!

Gratitude and Grace

May has been an interesting month so far. This week has been particularly full of surprises:

  • I woke up feeling pretty miserable last Thursday; when I tried to say I’d work from home the second half of the day, my boss convinced me to take it easy and actually rest so I could recover. I wound up taking Friday off, too, and by Saturday I finally felt like a human being again. I made good use of my convalescence, and got a ton of knitting done for our friends’ baby who’s due to join us in this great wide world in about a week.
  • Sunday night we wound up at a concert at a super Irish pub (by which I mean probably 80% of the patrons were from Ireland, as were the folks behind the bar).
    • Somewhere along the line my partner got to talking with a woman at the bar who informed him that her kid had just recently come out as trans. We didn’t hear much of the concert (both because it was loud in the bar and because we were distracted), but spent the whole evening talking with this woman and her friend (a rather drunk Irishman who laughed a lot), who bought us several rounds. (I think I had more to drink Sunday night than I’ve had in the past two months put together…)
    • I can be a pretty cynical person a lot of the time, but I found myself telling this woman repeatedly that her kid was going to be okay, because progress is happening everywhere. And this kid is just going off to college – just imagine how much farther along we could be by the time they’re done!
    • Rather remarkably, I woke up feeling pretty great on Monday.
  • Tuesday night after songwriting class, I was invited out for wings and drinks by some of the other guys in the class. It was the first time in my life I had the experience of just being “one of the guys” in a non-queer context. It was a little weird, and pretty wonderful.

Which is all to say that life is good, and I have a lot to think about and a lot to be grateful for. I’m a seriously lucky guy.

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