Category Archives: General

“We … are … Americans” – Some Quick Thoughts on “Us”

Well, that movie’s gonna stick around in my headspace a while.

I don’t think it’s quite as good as Get Out, Jordan Peele’s last film, but few films are. However, I found Us to be more memorable — the imagery is vivid and disturbing, especially during the third act. The performances, including two amazing ones from Lupita Nyong’o, are excellent for reasons I don’t wish to spoil.

Speaking of Jordan Peele, I really should watch the new Twilight Zone series.

Appropos of nothing:

Getting an appointment for a specialist, unless you’re on the verge of death or about to be hospitalized, is impossible for any reasonable time frame.

Eyes Unclouded: Princess Mononoke and Living with Anxiety

Note: This is not an examination of the intentions of Hayao Miyazaki or any of the other filmmakers involved in the production of Princess Mononoke. This is how it speaks to my own lived experience.

(CW: mental illness)

I live with anxiety and depression. I have been going to therapy semi-regularly since 2010, after I experienced an anxiety attack that caused me to flee my workplace. My first experiences with depression were in high school. Anxiety and depression often go hand-in-hand, and I’ve heard it described as a symbiotic relationship — bouts of high anxiety leading to periods of depression.

The experience of an anxiety attack, aka a “panic attack,” is like being stalked by a tiger that’s just out of sight. It’s difficult to breathe. You have to do something right now, come on, let’s go, but you don’t know what exactly needs doing. Your fight-or-flight kicks in, and either you get irritable and angry, or you panic and escape as best you can.

Continue reading Eyes Unclouded: Princess Mononoke and Living with Anxiety

The World’s Laziest Aikidoka

I’ll be back on the mat tomorrow.

I took several months off from Aikido last year. I didn’t think it would be permanent at first, just a short break while I handled an enormous project at work with a hard deadline. Well, that project slogged on for several months, then led into a sequel project (with a slightly softer deadline, but other mitigating circumstances)…

And then I got sick.

I was training for a 5K during this time (just so I could keep active somehow), but my fitness took a huge nosedive while I shook off a nasty sinus infection following a bad cold. When I was able to start running again in late December, I was starting almost from scratch.

Still, I hung onto my gis — one I received when I joined my dojo last year, another I ordered but didn’t get to use — because some part of me knew I’d be back.

Finally, after realizing how much I missed it, I restarted my membership at the dojo last week. I’ve been going over the techniques I tested on last year, doing some stretches to prepare for the rigorous workout, but I’ve backslid considerably.

Continue reading The World’s Laziest Aikidoka

Some Thoughts on “Mold”: Sort of an Awards Eligibility Post

My short story “Mold” appeared this summer in the anthology¬†Survivor, edited by JJ Pionke and Mary Anne Mohanraj, and published by Lethe Press. I’m tremendously proud of both my story and the other outstanding works in that volume. I highly recommend the anthology as a whole for any eligible categories in 2019.

That said, I don’t know if I can write something like “Mold” again, in part to what I learned recently about my family history. I don’t even know if I’ll be able to read it again.

There will be no details, not for … let’s say a decade or two.

All I can say is that I love my mother and my stepfather very much, and I’m happy to have both in my life. I cannot say the same for my birth father.

I’ve turned off comments for this post.