It’s been pointed out to me by a couple of people that I’ve been “rather quiet” for the last couple of weeks. I had noticed this, but every time I thought about writing something I couldn’t really think of much to say. I usually write when something’s gnawing on my brain and I need to think through it. That “thinking through” process usually ends with at least something coherent coming out of my fingers. So, why the quiet?

The problem is that there IS no problem.

This is a wonderful problem to have, so I’m not too worried about it. Instead, I’m going to give myself over to the idea of doing the unthinkable: being happy all up in your face. I’m going to start this terribly obnoxious process with a little plot summary.

It seems as though everybody is finally starting to get their shit back to where it was before everything exploded last summer. I am no longer being kept awake by thoughts of impending unemployment, I have all the freelance work I can handle and more work keeps trying to arrive at my door. I haven’t had to ask my mother for money since the ceiling of my office caved in.

Also, I’m about to call Humana to tell them that I’ve been sane (aka “off my drugs”) for a year and demand that they remove the rider from my policy, lest I give Blue Cross a call. If all goes well, this should lower the rate of my insanely expensive individual healthcare policy by 20%. I should also point out my glee that I’ve been off those drugs for a year and am currently doing better than I ever did while I was on them. In fact, in a few weeks, I’m going to get on a plane (!) and travel (!) to Los Angeles for work.

I’m not even all that nervous about it, as the sense of adventure is currently far outweighing the anxiety. It’s like being released from jail; I’ve just been running around doing things and feeling like it’s the first time I’ve done them. Eating a hamburger for the first time in 16 years is a lot like experiencing a hamburger for the first time. It’s like being little kid, trying things for the first time, except I actually remember the things.

My roof has yet to leak, my cat is in perfect health, my friends kick ass, I’ve met a nice boy, all of my computer components work, my car starts when I turn the key, my internet almost never kicks out and I’m consistently at my target weight.

If you’re finding all of this terribly obnoxious, don’t worry. I’ll be back to my old, bitching-about-everything self soon enough. In fact, I just thought of a story I forgot to tell you about my trip to Belle Meade traffic court…

…Really IS Fear Itself.

Remember back in July, when I said that thing about the unnamed feeling of dread? The thing slowly breaking us apart, leading us into sleeplessness and frown lines? As we find ourselves looking down the barrel of October, I started to wonder how all that turned out.

What was The Horrible Thing? No one died. No one went insane. It was like we were all tumbling toward the floor only to twist, cat-like, at the last minute and land on our feet. Things that were cutting us up were simply detached and lost the power to hurt us. You can stand there and cover each other in Band-Aids, or you can grab the offender’s wrist and take away his knife.

Have our lives become perfect? Well, no. When you find someone with a perfect life, send that person to me so I can punch them in the face and yell, “life’s not so great NOW, is it?!” However, life seems to have pulled itself out of the endless death spiral for a while. I wasn’t sure how much more of that any of us could take while still having the ability to ever smile again. This isn’t to discount those of you who are still having The Drama. I see you. Even if it’s not my place or ability to help, I see you.

It’s just that the feeling of dread has lifted. The Drama Tsunami (feel free to use any of these phrases as band names) has passed and we’ve begun clean up efforts. We’re all looking around at each other, knowing that we’re going to be fine and that what didn’t kill us really did make us stronger. So, congratulations, friends. Congrats on your new jobs, your new special friends, your new houses, your new cars and the new wisdom you all gained getting to those things.

I think we all made it out of summer 2010 alive.

Playing Pollyanna

I’ve been whining at you a lot lately. Hell, from the last four months of blogs, you’d think that all I do is give up on boys, clog my drains, and look for freelance work on Craigslist. While all of those things are true, there are some things that make me NOT want to shoot myself in the face. Shall we?

My Mom
While this particular shit sandwichy time of my life could have been mom’s opportunity to inform me that I should have known better than to go into graphic design, she has been behaving in a really supportive fashion. I’m not just talking about her offer to help me out with money, either. During last week’s phone call, she referred to certain unfortunate circumstances as though they were things that just HAPPENED, not things that happened because I took a wrong turn years ago. Maybe she knows that I’ve pretty much got “guilt and blame” covered pretty well by myself.

My Cat
While there are some decisions that I have lived to regret, Murphy (alias Mr. Puss) has never been one of them. There hasn’t been one millisecond in the nine years we’ve been together that I have questioned that decision. Not when he needed 600 bucks of dental work, not when he peed on my sewing fabric, not when he clawed my chairs, and not when I realized that my life is now dedicated to fighting “cat hair tumbleweeds.” Why? Because, when I lie down to watch tv at night, he is always next to me for snuggle times. Because, when I wake up, there’s 50% chance of him still being next to me. On a nightly basis, I’m prompted to wonder how many times someone has tweeted “I have the best cat ever.” Jen and I have both had this impulse, but held ourselves back because that’s “not good tv.”

My Friends
All of y’all. Everybody needs some cheerleading every now and then, and both online people and analog people have been getting me through this with encouragement. Thanks for listening to me bitch. Even though I know you’re not keeping score, I’m keeping track of every drink you buy me and every dinner you host, for when I can repay them. Three years from now, I’ll be making twice as much money, and you’re all getting a bottle of good vodka. (Jack Daniels for Katy and Jim Beam for Lindsey.)

My House
How’s it going a year after closing? You’d think that having a dish washer would get old after a while, but it hasn’t. Every time I use it, I think, “damn, I’m glad this is here.” I love the big-ass spider who lives in my porch light (he’s goth as fuck and keeps buggs from flying in when I open the door). I love my comically large closet. I love the OCD-type organization of the closet in the hall. I love how the purple in the kitchen turned out. I even secretly love the comically small bathroom door opening, which makes me wish I knew more large dudes so I could invite them over and alienate them. “How’s that bathroom door workin’ for ya? Welcome to my world, where nothing fits YOU! This is payback for the huge Xbox controllers! MWAHAHA!”

One day, the big wall in my living room really will have a 60-inch flat screen. Today, I am still standing next to it, arms in the air, proclaiming “I am a 60-inch flat screen!” for visitors. Oh, and full-house Bose speakers, solid cherry doors (with etched glass cutouts), and a 6-foot white vinyl privacy fence with lattice work trim. Hell, long as we’re dreaming, custom-mixed “Mary Kaye Pink” vinyl siding, cutesy millwork, and a Hybrid Cadillac Hearse that gets 50mpg. I can’t drive a car that big, but that’s no problem; it shall be chauffered by my live-in houseboy, Jack White.